Sunday, May 24, 2009

Time Out

I won't be posting till June 2nd or so, leaving for Tirunelveli today and will be back only on June 2nd.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Indian Elections

"No doubt Indian democracy is far from perfect. The ordinary citizen’s participation in governance is largely restricted to periodic elections of his representatives with little control over the latter’s performance. But Pakistanis will do well to appreciate a poor Indian’s feeling of fulfillment when he recalls that it was he who threw out prime ministers or reinstated the discarded ones, that he has been part of the process of change. It is this heady feeling that enables the ordinary Indian citizen to own the state and to be proud of it in spite of all his grievances about being neglected, abandoned and exploited."

For the full article in Pakistani newspaper The Dawn, please go to

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Data Data Everywhere

I came across this interesting news item recently:

The world's store of digital content is now the equivalent of one full top-of-the-range iPod for every two people on the planet, following the explosion of social networking sites, internet-enabled mobile phones and government surveillance.

At 487bn gigabytes (GB), if the world's rapidly expanding digital content were printed and bound into books it would form a stack that would stretch from Earth to Pluto 10 times. As more people join the digital tribe – increasingly through internet-enabled mobile phones – the world's digital output is increasing at such a rate that those stacks of books are rising quicker than Nasa's fastest space rocket.

The large files from digital cameras and the world's burgeoning army of surveillance cameras account for a significant proportion of the digital universe. The rapid increase in so-called machine to machine communications – such as when an Oyster card is touched on a reader or a satellite navigation system requests information about its location – has seen the number of individual digital creation events balloon, despite the economic recession.

The digital universe is expected to double in size over the next 18 months, according to the latest research from technology consultancy IDC and sponsored by IT firm EMC, fuelled by a rise in the number of mobile phones. At the time of their first Digital Universe report in 2007, the pair reckoned the world's total digital content was 161bn gigabytes.

About 70% of the information in the digital universe is created by individuals and includes phone calls, emails, photos, online banking transactions or postings on social networking sites, including Twitter. "Devices such as camera phones, and the web 2.0 services like social networking sites have created a nation of digital hoarders," according to Mike Altendorf, managing director of EMC Consulting.

But the responsibility for protecting – and hosting – the vast majority of this content lies with corporations and organisations. More than 30% of the information created today, from patient care records to personal financial information, already requires high standards of protection and IDC/EMC reckon that will grow to roughly 45% by 2012.

Companies are seeing digital storage needs increase as a result of tightening regulation following the financial meltdown last year. The amount of information that must be retained to comply with rules and regulations is expected to grow from 25% of the digital universe last year to 35% in 2012.

IDC/EMC estimate that the cost of the computers, networks and storage facilities that drive the digital universe is about $6tn. Add in medical equipment, entertainment and content creation and the figure is more than double that.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

NDTV Hindu - II

Today, The Hindu came out with a colorful pullout announcing the launch of its free-to-air TV channel in collaboration with NDTV. NDTV HINDU is to go on air from today (16th May, 2009).

“We firmly believe that the future of news is in going local. The Hindu Group, with its impeccable credentials, has been a household name for generations in Chennai, and this partnership will help NDTV HINDU capitalise on the brand strengths and journalistic values of both the media houses,” NDTV chairman Prannoy Roy said.

Hope the synergy of two dynamic organizations works out well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Touch of Faith

A monk asked Tozan, "How can we escape the cold and heat?". Tozan replied, "Why not go where there is no cold and heat?". "Is there such a place?" the monk asked Tozan. Tozan commented, "When cold, be thoroughly cold, when hot, be hot through and through."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NDTV Hindu

A year or so back I had posted about the proposed launch of NDTV Hindu English news channel, which is Chennai city specific and yesterday when flipping channels, chanced upon this channel. I don't know when the channel was officially launched, I do not recollect reading anything on it in the The Hindu daily newspaper. All programs are in English and at the outset looked quite good.