WHAT IF THERE WOULD BE NO TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS?

Man would be like the stone-age man living by depending on nature and its natural gifts. We would remain intelligent but ignorant about our intelligence. We could be content with the food we find in nature but would lack the desire to eat tasty food. In the modern age every man is busy running from one end to another in the process of doing his job, in the sense, to earn bread for his family. This he does because of the various opportunities and job options that he has due to his education.

But if there were no technological progress there would have been no education. We would only be looking up to the nature, experiencing the heat of the sun, rain, cold as and when given without any desire for beautiful roofs and shelters. Whenever we are hungry we would go in search of food and not behind the means to earn it. Parents would be free from trouble in the absence of demands for pizzas, burgers etc.

With no education there would be no competition and hence less violence probably. Demands for entertainment of the minds also would be absent. In the absence of technological progress means of communication and transport would not prevail. The atmosphere would be clean with no pollution anywhere. Priests would be busy trying to find solution to human problems by persuading the humble people to endure their hard lot as destined. There would be no need of yoga gurus or gyms as people would be exercising enough by walking long distances. There would be no need of counseling the minds about the art of living, since a person who has sufficed his hunger by whatever means is a happy person at the end of the day.

Breaking News!!!!!

Isn’t it such a commonplace terminology these days? Once upon a time, perhaps the term never even existed in the age old journalistic fundamentals, but today, it’s like an Encyclopedia!

What is this Breaking News all about? Well, to put it straight across, they’re hungry; always on a look out; always raring to go, with their eyes popping out for some sensational piece which would create headlines and a stir of sorts across the viewers. (When we say “they“, it doesn’t merely represent the news channel guys, it also implies their zooming cameras, with the paparazzi running helter- skelter to be there on the spot first).

So what happens in this process is that even a minuscule piece or some by and by news becomes suddenly the most sought after. The crux of the matter is that no matter what, they want to be there first, to capture the event LIVE and report on it as and when it’s happening real time.

Well, but then doesn’t that exactly indicate hard core journalism? Isn’t that exactly what it stands for? News, News and more News.

Needless to say then, that when I as a viewer switch on the button of my remote, I’m overdosed with the same piece of news on every single channel. Even if I try to fumble with those innumerable channels, it’s in vain; because all that I’m being supplied with is the same record everywhere (unless of course I choose to lay my hands on some latest blockbuster movie running on some channel; but that becomes a wrong choice, as I eventually realize that the breaks/ intervals in between the movie are hopeless and would unduly lengthen the duration of the movie. So I give up!)

A lot has been talked about media hype these days. If we scratch our brains a furthermore, it’ll dawn upon us that even this terminology wasn’t apparent till a few decades back. So from where has this term mushroomed? Has it emerged out of nowhere? Absolutely not.  It actually has a logical sequence to it. If there’s news, there’s going to be reporting. If there’s reporting, there’s going to be a bit of exaggeration factor attached to it. So from this very exaggeration springs up hype.

Hence, whether you like it or not, media to a certain extent is definitely responsible for bloating and far stretching certain occurrences, with their expert panelists going on and on analyzing, arguing, counter arguing the same issues at hand endlessly, till a time comes when you actually begin to ask yourself, “hasn’t there been any other happening that might have occurred in the remotest corners of this vast country, or the larger world, and that which could have also made news and be reported about?” And then like a worn out viewer, one generally tends to do either do two things—keep on passively listening to the same analysis going on amongst the conversationalists of the news channel, or just switch off that TV to assimilate the news and go on with your life. Wonder whether going on and on with the same arguments and discussions does to anybody any good? It’s like mincing things over and over. So in a way, being over informed does to us no good.

And regarding the news wallas, well, isn’t it a part of their job to report fair and full? So let them do their job. After all, they’ve all climbed up the bandwagon of providing the latest, most recent, “as it happens” Breaking News, and they’ve all made a vow to help these Breaking News reach our LCDs and Laptops and Life. So be it.

They’re doing their fair share. Let us either sit through the heated debates they telecast, or let us just switch ourselves off from all of it, with a click of a button. The choice is ours. (And no, we won’t be labeled “apathetic” if we do choose the latter. We still remain the well informed lot).  It’s just that on one hand, we are  totally updated about things around, and on the other, somewhere, we’re still cut off because we chose to remain so.

Technology obsession

Mother of a 2 year child tweets as her son dies, sharing with her friends the news.   A couple in China exchanges their new born to new cool  Mobile phone,  58 % Australian young woman like their mobile phone than their boyfriends .  What is common to these recent news?  I think it is technology obsession.

After studying computer science and working as IT services professional,  I have been die hard fan of technology and it’s application to enhance lifestyles and  increase productivity.  No doubt millions of people have benefited due to changes  brought about by the impact of technology.  Ubiquity of internet, increasing penetration of mobile phones in India has no doubt changed life styles and helped immensely every section of society, rich and poor, urban or and rural.   So there is no doubt that it is needed.

Now a days,  however I have begun to wonder  if usage of technology for improvement is moving towards obsession or addiction that is impacting our lives negatively.  I often seen at parties,  most people instead of having fun together with people who are present are busy talking to other people on mobiles may be other parties.  Constant beeping of Blackberry has had tremendous impact on personal lives (and blood pressure)  of all working professionals and their families .  You are available and required all 24 hours of the day.

I remember the wonderful childhood I had when both parents  spent time with us most evenings.  We would cook together and eat meals together as a family .  We would walk to school together (my mother was a teacher)  and go on uninterrupted family vacations.  May be we did not have some of the what we call basic comforts today,  but in hindsight seems like we enjoyed childhood compared to the  kids today.  I definitely think kids today miss out seriously on all of these. Today family evenings are  spent parents either surfing TV, or working on their computers,  kids playing some online or video games,  teenager siblings on phone  or smsing, microwave  reheated dinners  in front of TV .

Emergence of web 2.0 suicide machine site, which helps to get rid of all social media “friends”  allows you to  get reality back and get away from Facebook, Twitter, Myspace et al.   We all know that social media were never meant to replace social life, but their purpose was to make it richer. However,  looking at the usage patterns and people constantly tweeting or broadcasting about every few minutes of their lives  and very personal information, to me it  seems very strange.

We all need to ponder,   where is this obsession leading us.

Thought share with you poetry about my Black berry addiction 🙂

My Blackberry addiction

We  were on our annual vacation, Traveling by train thru European nation

The train passed thru tiny little hamlets, Beds  of flowers yellows  and violets

Instead of  enjoying nature’s trail, I was busy browsing my mail

Little did I realize what I missed, Until little a child came by to hug and kiss

We went to see a famous movie to the nearby  theater, With absorbing story,  great lyrics and famous  actor

While every body  was enjoying the story of princes of Marvel, Every ten minutes, I  was  approving budgets  and travel

I was thinking of   meeting my SLAs and proud of being efficient, Without realizing that I’m  into syndrome attention  deficient

Then in no time  it  became worse, When I woke up in the night I looked at my BB first

I know  I am not alone paying this  price, Millions of us including president Obama has  this vice

Finally one day I  thought it may seem  be like a fiction, But I have to get over my  Blackberry addiction

So I switched off my Blackberry at the night, To find world still alive and kicking when it was bright

Then on it was easy, because I accepted that …

Even  5 years ago there was important and urgent  business

It got done,  with nobody having BBs , mail , IMs

Bonus to the whole thing is  now  I am happier at the my success

And my  team is empowered  &   progressing.

WILL INDIA BECOME A DEVELOPED NATION BY 2050?

India of my dreams is a country without poverty. I want India of liberty, equality and fraternity. What is a country without freedom? What is a nation without equality? What is a land without brotherhood? India today is very far from becoming a developed nation. India has many loop holes in it until the loop holes are not filled India can never become a developed nation. This sentence can create anger and some readers but it is the truth, it can’t hide. India’s motto is “satyamev jayate” so there is no problem in telling the truth.

The first problem of India is corruption. In today’s India everything is on sale. From tables, chairs to government employees in many positions misusing their post. India has about 72 lakh crore black money deposited in the Swiss bank deposited by our prestigious politicians. 60% of the ministers have assets more than 100 crore and many have assets even more than 2000 crore as in the case of former CM of Jharkhand. Then how will India develop?

Next and the latest problem in India is lack of brotherhood. There is a very much decrease in brotherhood in present India. There is an old proverb in Hindi that before complaining about situations in other’s house in our neighborhood we should solve our own problems in our own house first. India is asking and warning Australian govt. that proper care should be taken to provide protection to Indian students and peoples of every community in Australia should live with brotherhood. But in India itself there is no brotherhood as in the case of MNS supporters of Maharashtra beating the people of Bihar.

We should avoid such problems in our own country first. India was living in brotherhood until 20TH century only but now the situation has changed.

Next problem in our country is not focusing on technology improvement. 70% of work in Indian govt. is done without the use of technology. Indian government spends very less money on technology, security etc. example: India spends 2% of its budget on railway security but U.S spends a whopping 30% on railway security. Our internet and broadband systems are of very basic nature.

Some people say that Indian engineers work in majority in many countries that’s why they are becoming developed nation but most of the great engineers are now working in India itself. In the 1950’s Russia first launched a rocket in the space as no Indian was involved in that technology. That was the technology created by Russians themselves.

But now India is creating great engineers and doctors through IIT’s, NIT’s. AIIMS and other institutions. But our education has many loop holes in our country. So our education system should be reformed. Our education system should follow the system depicted in the film “3 IDIOTS”.

Another problem is that youth are not participating in politics because age limit for joining the politics is high. Age limit should be reduced to 26. Because youths have a craze for technology, and more mature thinking than the old politicians.

So my conclusions are that until the above problems are solved India can’t become a developed nation even India steps into 2100. I love my country very much as you do and I am proud of it and I want to make a better India in the future and want to see India steps into the list of developed nation soon.

Thank you for reading and remember to post your comments, ideas, thoughts.

PRAVEEN

The Non Existent TalkTime!!!

It had been barely a month since Raghu was learning to be cell phone friendly. His elder sister Priya who lived in city had gifted him a sleek brand new cell phone, along with a SIM card of a popular cell phone service provider.

He couldn’t help but blush with joy with his new-found gift. He wasn’t very tech savvy though. He had hardly seen electronic gadgets so closely. After all, we are talking here of the time when cell phones hadn’t even entered semi rural markets big time.  Folks there were just getting to be cell phone friendly.

For one of his visit to Priya’s house in city, about two months since receiving the gift, she had instructed Raghu to carry his cell along, and so he had done as per her instructions. By then, he had begun using the cell phone, and had started getting familiar with the buttons and everything on the handset. She had also instructed him on how to recharge his cell phone, as he was a proud prepaid customer.

Now Raghu, just having entered city, stepped down from the bus and started hunting for rickshaw to take him to his sister’s house.  He was about to call up Priya to let her know that he had reached the bus stand and was heading home, when he realized that there was hardly any balance left in his prepaid card. He decided to recharge the cell from a nearby grocery store. And that itself was his first blunder. The grocery fellow asked him the amount of recharge which he wanted. Our simpleton didn’t know much about available talk times. He asked him to show the “talktime chart” for reference, but the grocery fellow didn’t have one. Now this was such a simple expectation of a customer, but it was long neglected by these service providers. Places where recharges are available do not always carry these kinds of handy charts, making the whole thing complicated.

So Raghu plainly and casually replied “ Give me Rs 100/- recharge”.

Now here’s the catch. There wasn’t any talk time of Rs. 100/- recharge available!. Yet the grocery fellow went ahead and recharged the poor guy’s cell, only for him to realize that he hadn’t got any recharge successful SMS even after waiting for 45 minutes. He waited and waited; but it was getting useless. He asked the grocery guy to refund his Rs 100/-, but that chap was stubborn and argued that from his end, he had recharged the cell.

Hoping against hope, Raghu reached Priya’s place and narrated his cell phone saga. She immediately got to work, and frantically tried calling up the customer service centre number of the service provider. When despite of this correct approach of putting through customer complaint, things weren’t getting done, the bro-sis duo straight away knocked the doors of the relationship centre located nearby. The customer relationship manager there gave them a patient hearing and handed over the email id of the western zone regional customer relationship head.

Smart Priya, who had very well gelled with city life, barged into a cyber café and typed out a blunt letter to the concerned authority about the flaws in the service provider’s prepaid recharge system. She wrote that if a customer is new to the cell phone technology, and is not aware about the various recharge talk time options, shouldn’t the recharge kiosks which have mushroomed at every nook and corner of cities, own up the responsibility of passing on the right information to the customer?

Since Raghu didn’t have his own email id, all the correspondence was routed through Priya. Ten days down the line there was a reassuring mail in Priya’s inbox from the concerned authority. The flaws were duly accepted, and the fellow’s cell phone number was granted recharge of Rs. 120/. Apologies accepted, the email read.

And so, this is how our straight out from small town place guy had his initial pangs of cell phone blues, as he was stumbling and learning to get cell phone friendly.

But he and Priya were fighters; real fighters. They fought their quiet battle through right channels, and got themselves justice. It wasn’t the question of Rs. 100/. The amount was immaterial. It is the spirit with which the folks handled the situation.

Perhaps it is these small town people who teach us urbanites a lesson or two sometimes. Had we polished, educated guys been in their shoes; perhaps we might not have followed up the matter so extensively. We would say,”Oh! It’s just a matter of Rs. 100/-. Why to bother for a meager amount like this”?

But they jolly well knew that they wanted to fight for every penny; especially so because the amount had totally gone in the pockets of the undeserved, without the practical benefit of it reaching to them.

….Today Raghu is a wiser man. His cell phone blues finally seem to be over. He learnt it all a different way, but today his confidence level is more than what it was the day he got down that dusty red bus which carried him to the city………And more importantly, today he runs a Cell Phone Recharge Kiosk in the quaint small town where he hailed from. Needless to say, he not only keeps a “Talk Time Chart” handy in his kiosk, but he has the recharge talktimes perfectly by-hearted for every service provider’s that he deals with. After all, did he not have first handed experience the bouts of Non Existent TalkTime!?

Now that’s what we say “ Building on one’s past mistakes, picking up and moving ahead”. Kudos Raghu!

facebook revamped….

Facebook has recently been testing a redesign of its user interface and has already rolled out the changes to a small number of users. Although subtle they are quite significant and make browsing more convenient.

Some of the tweaks that are prominent in the new design are :

  • The navigation elements that currently rest at the bottom of the screen have been moved to the left sidebar.
  • Your profile picture and status appear on the homepage which contains your feeds.

  • The search has been moved to the centre, just above the News Feed from its earlier position in the upper right corner. Also, it is now bigger than it was earlier by about 50% as you can see in the comparison shown below.

facebook new search

  • And lastly, in the upper left of the top navigation bar there are now three icons for your invitations, inbox, and notifications. These will show a small red badge whenever you have a new message. This gives you access to your most recent updates without leaving the homepage directly from a drop-down box as shown.

Apart from being appealing, these changes also improve the functionality by simplifying the design. The added emphasis on search is because facebook had recently improved its search in August but few have noticed and used the new features.  Also facebook wants more people to start using it because search has been a prominent and useful feature of other competitive services – like Twitter’s realtime search.

Remember, facebook is still testing this design and the actual changes might look different.

Save Yourself From Being Hacked

Earlier this year the Google Apps account of my other domain was hacked. Though I got it back in a few hours with help of some mails to Google but still it feels sad when an IT professional who brags so much about network security could not get to his account.

Here are some tips to save you from the same fate.

  • Use different passwords for different accounts. Everybody knows this but nobody cares to follow this. I know remembering a dozen cryptic passwords is very difficult but still I will suggest you to use different passwords for the accounts having sensitive information.
  • Associate your account with with your mobile phone. I don’t know about others but Gmail allows you to do so. You just need to login into your Google account and click the link in Personal Settings > Security > Change password recovery options. You’ll be asked to verify your Google password. On the “Recovering your password” page the add phone details. This way if your password gets reset you’ll get a sms instantly.
  • Check out your IP Address. Gmail and several other mail service providers tell you the last IP from which your account was accessed. If you see any funny IPs, change your password right away. If you don’t know your IP, go to ipmango.
  • If Possible take regular backups of your mails. You can use any desktop mail client to download the mails and keep in your computer or you can online backup services like BackupMy. BackupMy can create a snapshot of your mails, twitter accounts, photos, blogs etc. at a very nominal price. You can get a trial for free though.
  • Do not use your administrator account for day-to-day work. This tip applies for Google Apps users and of course to other app users as well. Admins should never use their administrative account for general mailing and other work. Instead create a normal user account and use it for regular work.
  • Use https instead of http. If your mails carry very sensitive data then I will suggest you to switch to https. This will encrypt your mail protecting it from packet sniffers.
  • Check your Security Question. Usually people keep some cryptic password but their security question is too simple to guess. For example, many people keep the security question as the name of their pet or first school. These thing can be easily known by your friends and relatives. If you are an active person on internet these details can be provided by Google itself.

If you are hacked, contact the support immediately otherwise there is a risk that your other accounts might be compromised.

Nexus One Vs Droid What To Expect…

bgrgn-2

You are either living under a rock or have taken a sabbatical from the internet for a long time if you haven’t heard about Google’s proposed upcoming latest offering to the smartphone world. Only a handful of pictures have seen the light of day of this “Game Changer” phone that reports have called “Nexus One” which seems a strange at first but you start understanding the significance in time.

The Nexus One reportedly features a phone designed by HTC but with complete manufacturing decisions and every other decision related to the phone being taken by Google. It is going to be branded as a Google Phone. It features a new Android which insiders are calling the real Android (wonder what it is that we have seen till now). A tweet called it “an iPhone on beautifying steroids.” How does it stack up against the reigning Android smartphone at present “Droid” let us see.
The following comparison chart gives a good idea of what to expect.

As of right now Google has reportedly only given these phones to their employees for testing. And reports are indicating a January 5th release date.

Lets see what happens…

Pranav Mistry Takes Sixth Sense Open Source…

sixthsense04Pranav Mistry, the genius MIT grad had decided to go the open source way with his “Sixth Sense” project. Sixth sense is the closest we have got to realising the awesome coolness of Tom Cruise in Minority Report flicking away screens with his fingers using gestures . Sixth Sense is the “in laymans terms” the combination of Micrsoft Surface with take anywhere capability. It consists of a projector and a mirror connected to a cell phone or any device connected to the Internet. The beauty of this wearable computer is the fact that it can utilize any surface as a screen. If you have a wall in front of you, it can project the screen onto the wall. Any surface right from your hand to a person standing in front of you can be used as a surface for the projection. Imagine a future when all you have to do to say “take a picture” is make a hand sign (not maybe the hand sign you had in mind, you would look stupid making that sign to take a picture), or say you are meeting a person for the first time, the computer can scour the net for information on that person and display that info on the persons shirt. Forgot your watch?? Just draw a circle on your hand and the time displayed watch style on your hand, pick up a book and it displays it’s Amazon rating and user reviews right in rhe book in the book store. without you having to do anything. This makes endless possibilities possible.

Amazing Ways of Tracing Location of a Cell Phone Number

cell phone cartoonIt is difficult to trace cell phone numbers because they are usually not listed in phone books. Cell phone numbers can’t even be found out using the dialing information. But there is good news. You can now trace cell phone numbers free of cost. This is possible with the help of internet. Internet is a vast place. You can take help of this and get what you want.

There are many reasons why you might want to trace a cell phone number and its location. May be you want to find out the location of your friends and relatives when you are not around, may be you want to track a child or something like that. Cell phone number location also helps in finding shops and restaurants located nearby.  This facility is mainly used by the employers who want to keep a track of employee and his location.

Try Free Tracing Websites: A few websites provide you this information. You must try at reverse look up sites which provide you cell phone number tracing facility at no cost. However, you will have to submit your name, address and contact details to these sites. But the only drawback that you will face is the repeat calls of sales people and marketing executives once you submit your contact details. But still, that’s not a big deal when you really want to find out the location of a cell phone number.

Search on the Internet: You must search the cell phone number concerned on any leading search engine. This can be the easiest way to trace a number free of cost. Well, it is not always the most reliable source. But you never know. Internet world is vast and large. You may get the number mainly because, for some reasons it is listed there on the internet. Even if the cell phone number is listed on any networking site or anywhere else, it will pop up while you are searching. In case, if even after typing the cell number you don’t get information, put the area code or write the city name or any such combination.

Check out Online Cell Phone Directory: You will be surprised to know that there are many cell phone directories available online too. Normally, you get limited information from these directories. But it is a good way to start off. You will at least find out the city registered and the cell phone number’s carrier.

Paid Sites for tracing Cell Phone Number: If there is some urgent need for tracing any particular cell phone number then try out the paid sites. These sites charge you some money but you will get apt information. However, you can’t expect to get all the details of the cell phone number on the internet. But still, something is better than nothing.

Cell Phone Number Locater:

Hi-end technology has made it really easy to trace the cell phone number. You can try out cell phone locater. This service works by gathering information from a telecom company.

There are so many options for you. You can use any one way or combinations thereof.

I don’t carry a BlackBerry….!!

blackberry-pearlThe split second pace at which world today is changing, and the ruthless microsecond breakneck speed at which technology is progressing, it really leaves me out of breath. I mean, Updating oneself with the latest gizmos and Outdating yesterday’s gadgets, dumping them hard to make way for newer versions is the order of the day—- and if you end up not following this rule of thumb— you’re nicknamed an outcast in this nerve wracking, tooth- nail technology race.

One fine day, you (By “You”, I mean some Non-Tech Savvy Persons) open your eyes and gather that a new so and so, so and so software has hit the market, you survey with friends and decide to buy the software for its practical to buy it for your PC, hence you end up overpaying the plush electronics retail store and get yourself that software. And then, just 5 months down the line you hear it from the Gadget-Gurus that the particular software you purchased has long been replaced by a newer, lesser space occupying, better system compatible software package!…….Your previous judgment to buy the earlier version goes in a toss!…….

And you who aren’t so very tech savvy, end up coaxing yourself, “What the heck!”. “Why did I have to be in a hurry to purchase the earlier version? Couldn’t have I waited for 5 more months?”

But the fact is that in the electronics and computer age today, Those Who Wait Now, Forever End Up Waiting………….Those Who Wait, Invariably End Up Missing the Bus Somehow……”……….This is Strange— but true.

I’d have simply loved to get into one particular job in the technology world today—- Research & Development.

I’m like “Hats Off” to those who work in the R&D, and Design departments of these hi-tech companies. They must be so very busy—inventing some version today, dumping it the next day, making way for a still polished, better version of the technology tomorrow, and then dumping that too the next day, again hopping onto a new invention bandwagon…….Their work is almost cyclical.

When I see magazines and journals like PC World, or watch programmes like Gadget Guru or such other similar varieties, I get dumbfound. I literally sit speechless, simply flipping through those colorful pages in it, trying to assimilate the vocabulary therein. And finally when I’m on the last page of the magazine, I feel like I’m back from some “out of the world experience”! I feel bemused like I’ve come from some different planet, or may be those who’ve published that magazine have emerged from some far away planet. There’s so much (almost everything!!!) written in those magazines that is beyond my level of understanding. Yet, I end up browsing such magazines, because it is my way of getting to know some tech related concepts and products- an over the top effort to make myself Tech-Friendly!

Nowadays, whenever I move around with my cell phone, I feel like a miniature, like I’m some kind of an ant in a jungle full of robust heavy duty flashing sleek creatures. And just when this miniature kind of feeling crawled upon me one day, I happened to read about Black Berries— Yeah! Not those fruits, but those smart phone devices which have hit the markets with a big bang. They are those all in one multiskilled varieties with software that enables access to a variety of data and communication services. They are those smartphones with everything loaded in their nervous systems! — email access, phone, organiser, applications, games, Internet, multimedia, camera— You name it and BlackBerry has it!

So when I chanced upon one in a hyper market store, I took one pitied look at my Nokia and a sudden, natural reaction which hit my mind was——

“I don’t carry        a BlackBerry.”

“I simply eat a piece of cake

I can’t afford    the Cherry”!!!

Few years down the line, many more gadgets and technologies down the drain, I’m sure something astonishingly innovative and mind blowing will adore our electronic markets.

Till then, let me wait for that golden moment when I’d no longer say “I don’t carry a BlackBerry”…….

Let me sit and work out the mathematics of how to afford owning one!!!!