Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Where is my mobile broadband?

A lot has been happening in the ICT4D (Information and Communication Technology for Development) sector around the world lately. It often takes me by surprise the leaps that some developing nations have taken in harnessing the potential of the all-powerful Internet and the ubiquitous mobile phone. Some of the most amazing and innovative ideas have come from the smaller nations of the world. Necessity really is the mother of invention (or innovation).

My job, until recently, required me to keep a close eye on what is happening in this sector around the globe. Though I am not in the same job at this point of time, I have always loved technology and the habit of keeping an eye on the ICT4D trends has now become a part of my everyday life.  I have been fortunate enough to have come into contact and learn from a lot of people who have dedicated their lives to the ICT revolution. There is a lot of excitement on the ground, and rightly so, there is a lot that we need to do.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Indian, Arranged Marriages: The e-way

Marriage is a very important institution among all traditional societies around the world and India is no different. We Indians go crazy at weddings, we splurge on every aspect of the ceremony and on everything related to it. There is a phrase that has been coined just for Indian Weddings and anyone familiar to the ceremonies will agree that, 'The Big Fat Indian Wedding' is apt for our weddings, a lot more apt as compared to, say Greek Weddings.

We love our weddings and we love them grand. But all grand things have very humble beginnings. The Indian wedding starts with, as with all marriages, the search for the suitable boy/ girl. Traditionally, that was the task of the parents, relatives, everyone and their dogs. But then why am I suddenly talking about weddings on Technosophy? I am not. I am talking about how The Big Fat Indian Wedding has also been influenced by technology, in this case, the Internet.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Poor Man's Computer : Simputer

One of the problems with a full-fledged computer is that it is can seem very complicated and intimidating to people who aren’t used to it. Secondly, though mainstream computing devices like desktop computers and laptops are still expensive they are not rugged enough for certain environments.

The Simputer is an Open Source Hardware handheld computer which has been designed specifically for environments where mainstream computing devices cannot be deployed due to limitations that are either monetary or pertain to the lack of reliable electric supply.

The Simputer is targeted as a shared computing device for a local community of users. A village panchayat or a village school can give this device to individuals for a specific period of time and later pass it on to other community members.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Social Media in Governance: Like It or Not, It's Here

Democracy is a system of governance that, simplistically put, gives power to the people. The power to decide the way their nation is run, the way it interacts with other nations in the world, the way it governs those who make it a nation.

Social Media gives the same power to the common netizens who, for years have only been the recipients of knowledge and information online. With the increasing proliferation of Social Media over the past few years it can safely be assumed that Social Media is here to stay. Social Media cannot be wished away as it will only evolve further as it has been doing over the past few years.

What started as initiatives from members of the public, like Tom Steinberg’s fixmystreet or EveryBlock Chicago has now steadily crept into the mainstream. With the UK government stepping into the Social Media sphere with twitter and friendfeed accounts for the Parliament and 10, Downing Street, Digital Britain and their High Commissions and Consulates around the world.

This is a realization that has dawned upon quite a few Government agencies around the world, the heaviest user of Social Media in Governance is the United States of America, predictably enough, considering the way the Internet has penetrated the lives and lifestyles of its citizens.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What the Zark is Cloud Computing? And why should I care about it?

(This post tries to explain in very simple terms, what this technology is, how it works, what its benefits and drawbacks are and the challenges and issues that need to be resolved before we are able to embrace this technology in the way that many of us have embraced mobile phones.)

The ever-changing ecosystem of the Internet has thrown up a plethora of new technologies and terms many of which take the world by storm turning us common mortals into acolytes of the technology and throwing the others into a state of confusion.

Cloud Computing is one such technology that has come up with the ubiquity of the Internet in our personal and professional lives.

But there are many among us who are wondering, what the Zark is Cloud Computing?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

HIV/AIDS awareness through YouTube

There is scope for using web 2.0 tools like photo sharing, video content and experiences using the Internet for creating awareness about HIV/AIDS. This post explores the initiatives on the net, especially on YouTube.

Founded in 2005, YouTube has emerged as the world's most popular online video community, allowing millions of people to watch and share original videos. YouTube allows people to easily upload and share video clips on and across the Internet through websites, mobile devices, blogs, and e-mail. This is a quality that has led to the creation of numerous similar websites all emulating the same principles of Web2.0 but none have been as successful as YouTube. Today, ten hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Introducing 'Technosophy'

Technosophy is about the idea that technology is deployed to make life easier for humans (and maybe someday for other creatures too). But does it always perform this function? Haven’t you been through those days when you bought a new gadget hoping to make your life easier but ended up pulling your hair out wondering how to get the damn thing to work. The instruction manuals are getting thicker by the day, so much so that including a ‘Quick Start Guide’ is de rigueur. Not that they really help but that is another story.

Looking at some of the instruction manuals reminds me of that scene from ‘Die Another Day’ when Q gives James the instruction manual of the new Aston Martin Vanquish (nee Vanish) and asks him to shoot through the manual, James promptly flings the book in the air letting the guided sub-machine guns to shoot through the manual. How many times have you felt like doing that?

This blog is run by a guy who is part dreamer, part idealist and completely crazy (about technology too). The blog is about his thoughts on technology and how it is changing our world and  perceptions.

I hope you enjoy my thoughts and rants. If you don’t, feel free to throw your brickbats at me; though I won't begrudge an occasional bouquet either :)