Archive for the ‘Technology & Computers’ Category

Street Photography Workshop

The Photographic Society of Madras in tandem with Pixetra Club is organizing a workshop on candid/street photography on Sunday, 11 Oct ’09 from 9.00am to 5.00pm at S. S. S. Jain College for Women, (near T. Nagar bus terminus/Madley Road subway), Chennai. The first session will be at the venue. For the second session, they will go on to the street.

The workshop will be mentored by Mr G Sethuraman, a professional photographer of more than 25 years and a passionate teacher.

The fees will be Rs.600.00 and is to be paid using credit card at the Pixetra site or by cash at the venue before the start of the workshop.

For more details contact Sethu at 93823-43437 or email at sethu@pixetra.com

Second edition of MoMo Chennai

The second MoMo Chennai (MobileMonday) happened at the Gandhi Nagar club on Saturday. Varun, the key organizer, joked that it was MMS – Mobile Monday on a Saturday. About 60 odd mobile enthusiast turned up for the event.

Prakash Sayini, Developers Relations, Forum Nokia spoke on “The route to global market opportunities with Nokia – for mobile application developers Going to market with Nokia”. It was a brief overview of the offerings from Forum Nokia for developers. He called the mobile phone screen as the 4th Screen, after cinema, PC and TV. There were some interesting questions from the audience about how to market an application. Location Based Services are the next big thing on the mobile and there was some discussion in this regard.
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Getting Zuned…

Here is a simple review of my latest and greatest gadget, the MICROSOFT ZUNE…!
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IT Corridor, Chennai

IT Corridor

IT Corridor at Chennai is taking shape slowly and steadily. The stretch from Madhya Kailash to SRP Tools is almost complete. Traffic moves fast in the IT corridor either to stagnate at the Adyar end or near the Thiruvanmiyur Railway Station end. Traffic was light this morning being a Sunday. Here are some images of the IT corridor shot today
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TN villages going hi-tech

Amidst all the chaos and the gloom-and-doom thoughts I usually have about the governments in India, here’s something different. A ray of hope? A small step for technology, giant leap for indians??? :) Ok. So, check this out. Technology major Ericsson is out with a plan to take technology beyond cellular phones, malls, hi-tech gadgets and put it to some really good use in some remote villages in Tamil Nadu.

EMR (Electronic Medical Records), eClinics etc have taken their own sweet time to enter the Indian market. I wonder why? We are one of best markets in the world to launch any new concept or product. But, still using technology for health seems to be only within multi-speciality hospitals. Few know that the innumerous medical transcription companies thriving in India are actually doing the back office operations of clinics and hospitals in other countries that have embraced technology as the way to go.

Anyway, lets cut the idealism and get to reality. So, here’s what we have in a nutshell. Ericsson has worked out a deal with the government to provide high-speed network access to some very remote villages linking them with Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. Now doctors from Apollo Hospitals can do a first level diagnosis of a patient in the village, from their office in Chennai. Note that it’s not mere video conferencing that we are talking here. The patient actually undergoes sophisticated tests without actually traveling all the way to Chennai. Neat. Eh?

And, health industry is not the only one that Ericsson is planning to work on. They seem to have similar plans for the educational system in villages. Looks like interesting times are coming up… I just hope the governments don’t screw-up this initiative!!!

[Yeah..Right! I just can’t help being the pessimistic creep!!! ;)]

VILLAGE panchayat of the sleepy coastal town of Mahabalipuram is suddenly buzzing with activity. You can t miss the middle-aged villager, with a clutch of medical ropes all over his bare torso. No doctor is in sight, but a local boy-barely out of school-seems comfortable monitoring him as he keeps an eye on the computer screen next to the bed. A villager s vital data is being beamed to multispecialty Apollo Hospital in Chennai, about 60 km away. For a fee as low as Rs 30, he is able to consult a doctor who charges Rs 250 in the hospital. And it s not plain telemedicine.

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Unbranded iPhone Look-alikes & PDAs

The other day, I was walking around the Spencer Plaza window shopping (Don’t smile… Isn’t that we all go there for???)… And I saw a mobile shop with a showcase full of iPhones. Wait a minute. iPhones? in Chennai? Hey… Hold it. It’s not an iPhone. It’s ‘something’ thats ‘iPhone maaathiri (iPhone Like)’.

Close-up of the unbranded phones

Ok. now I am interested. Unbranded phones in the local market is something thats new. The mobile market has had fakes for a long time. but, unlike DVD players and likes, I have not seen many unbranded versions of mobiles around. And these were not just phones, they were PDAs. They have names like *NOKLA* engraved on the back. They have huge wide touch screens and some look uncannily similar to Blackberry, iPhones etc. Some of them have really innovative keypads and user interfaces. All of them seem to be equipped with cameras. And these phones are priced from Rs. 8000.00. Next time you are at Spencer, check it out. You may find one that grabs your attention and meets your requirement :) …

An array of unbranded phones

Indian version of iTunes

Today, I was at a shop in Adayar (near the Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple), buying books when I noticed this new state-of-the-art kiosk at a corner. I was clearly surprised. I didn’t expect a kiosk in such a small shop. I went over to it trying to figure out its earthly purpose in that shop. And guess what? It’s our own Indian version of Steve Job’s (read Apple’s) iTunes.

Just for some background on iTunes… It was a innovative business model for selling music introduced in the United States. This is how it works – If you own an iPod and liked a particular song in some album. You can go to the iTunes store and buy that song online. It gets downloaded into your music library and synced with your iPod. You pay for only the song downloaded and needn’t buy the entire album. You can even walk into a iTunes store and buy songs.

Now, the ADD (Anytime Digital Downloads) kiosk is just that! Only difference is that it does more than downloading to an iPod. It writes out a CD with the songs downloaded. So, this is how ADD works – You go to the kiosk. Check out the albums available. Browse through them, Search through them. Listen to the song and if its what you want, add it to your list. Once you have added all the songs, the kiosk will write out a CD of the selected songs in mp3 for you.

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The songs are priced at attractive rates. The prices of some songs ranged from Rs 5.00 onwards. I think this is a wonder system. And its instant. You come, you hear, you buy and walk away! I can imagine many of you thinking – “So, whats the big deal? I download mp3 from the internet free of cost!” Well, this is LEGAL. All the songs are priced and copyrighted. You are buying the songs. This is not piracy. Downloading mp3 is. I guess that does make a difference! :) This is taking the music business to the next level.

And the icing on the cake is that the innovators behind such a beatiful idea are from Chennai – Giri Trading Agency Private Limited

Some FAQs from their site –
http://www.giritrading.com and http://www.addkiosk.net

Q. What’s ADDKiosk ?
A. addkiosk.net is part of GIRI network. As Distributors of various labels in India we are looking forward to distributing Indian Music all over the world and also distributing music from all over the world in India. We have also developed an innovative new concept called ADDKiosk (Anytime Digital Downloads – Kiosk). This Kiosk is installed in our showrooms and various musical cultural centres, and public places such as Airports, Cinema halls, Grocery stores, Shopping Malls etc. The response in India is already overwhelming for the ADDKiosk. You can download music, (videos, wallpapers and ebooks – coming soon) into CDs, Mobiles, USB devices and IPODs. We are in the process of exploring the possibilities of setting it up all over the world.

Q. What’s Giri Network?
A. Giri Trading Agency is a treasure house for Hinduism, Indian culture & tradition. Music Cassettes and CDs on various themes like Sanskrit, Vedic, Mantras, Tantras, Devotional, Carnatic Classical Music, Puja Rituals, Prayers and Religious discourses are released under the banner ‘Gitaa Cassettes’. GIRI has showrooms in various parts of India where you can find the ADDKIOSK too.

Get to know your chennai city better

A website seems to be picking up attention, which has a mashup tool of Google maps so called Wikimapia, and a wide variety of other choices to search for.
Chennai city

The best part is the events, members seemed to contribute in this section and the navigation is greatly categorized as “All Events”, “what’s going on”, “what’s coming up”, “what’s over”.

Local search is one more important feature, I guess the site has tied up with other search engines/ portals to give you the best results for your city. So next time you want to know the where abouts of a restaurant, this site is a cool place to hang around.

word of mouth one more interesting section where users recommend a service or product – bad and good times.

Ok enough of me telling stories, check out the website http://www.ilaaka.com

Hands of an artist

Had a rather nice introduction to the science of hand-crafted books by Tara Books, recently. They’ve been conducting exhibitions of their craft, first with the Madras Book Club, then at the Alliance Francaise. Tara’s beautifully finished books are certainly a treat – but I didn’t know that so much work went into it. They called their presentation “Bringing the senses back to the book.” What surprised me was that it actually worked.

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Wikicamp @ chennai

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What is Wiki

Whom can you find at Wikicamp?
Founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales and like minded people.

When and Where?
The event is on Sunday, 25th of February 2007, at Tidel Park, chennai. For people who had missed the BlogCamp, don’t miss Wikicamp

Do register for wikicamp right here.
Cost of registration is Rs. 200 per person.
you can find more information about wikicamp right here

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