Sunday, December 30, 2007

Book : The Google Story

Finally I got hold on the book "The Google Story" by Devise Vise. I have
been hearing about this book for few months. And wanted to read it.

I ave not finished the book, but just started reading. After going
through Preface and few chapters, I am convinced that everyone should
read it. Specially people using internet, in IT field and students of
Computer Science it is a must read.

The book describes the story behind Google. How the technology and the
business model evolved and has become a successful one. Google is not
that old company. Just started in 1998 and has already become threat to
the monopoly of established players in the market in certain areas.

I will post some more interesting things form the book soon.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

BIOTIK : Software to identify tree species

Last week I got an opportunity to attend the release function of BIOTIK in Bangalore. BIOTIK stands for Biodiversity Informatics and co Operation in Taxonomy for Interactive shared Knowledge base.

A.K. Verma, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Karnataka state was the chief guest.

The software demo was given by Dr, B R Ramesh and team. The characters are entered interactively and without any taxonomically jargon. Everything has a simple and elegant user interface. I found the interface intuitive too. Narrowing down of 100% matching species gives a clear picture of how near are we in the search. The software works on PC and PDA for the tie being, but soon will be available on internet too. They have also promised to make it open source.

Users got opportunity to try the software on PDA and PC during the break. So far about 300 species data is available and ultimately by March 2008 full version with 600 species will be available for Western Ghats. Similar project is done in Lao.

Another highlight for me was meeting Dr. Pascal personally. Dr, Ramesh and Dr. Pascal are well known for the forest maps French Institute of Pondicherry (, which are used by most of the people working on Western Ghats data.

More info on BIOTIK here

and news in Hindu here

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Kerala Trip after Sabarimala

After the Sabarimala Pilgrim we visited two more places in Kerala, Adoor in Pattanathitta District and Attingal near Trivendrum. We visited a Rubber Estate in near Adoor. Where we got to see how Rubber sap is extracted from Trees and later processed into raw rubber sheets.

In the Rubber plantation, I observed few butterflies and Dragonflies and Damselflies.

After spending couple of hours there, we left for Attingal. In the evening we visited a beach in Varkala called Papanashani. It was a nice location with rock cliffs right next to sea. A well developed tourist place. Due to bad light conditions, I could not take any photographs there.

Next day morning we visited a nice temple premise of Sarkara in Chirayinkil. We could see afternoon procession after we finished darshana.

The temple premise was large, with several small temples around the main temple.

The entrance gate was spectacular too.

After that we went to yet another beach in Chirayinkil. This place is developing into a small port.

There is a scenic creek which has formed an Island.

There was a ferry transporting people across the creek to save distance.

Several fisher folks were busy working in creek as well as sea.

The sea water was clean and had a different greenish color.

The contrasting beach sand was adding to the color effect.

We also saw some brightly colored crabs and plants on the coast.

Houses on the banks were worth printing on picture postcards.

Some restoration work was going on one side of the beach

We interacted few fisher folks there.

Though we were not feeling like leaving, to catch the train back to Bangalore, we had to leave the beach.

Complete Album can be viewed Here with more pictures.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

e-ticketing everywhere

It’s everywhere and everyone’s doing it. Be it flying, traveling by train or going to a movie—e-ticketing is becoming the preferred mechanism.

For the record we thought that it would be interesting to rattle off some statistics that speak volumes about the growth of e-ticketing in transportation.

The online passenger reservation site of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd’s (IRCTC) sales from the Internet booking of train tickets in a single month (August 2007) totted up to a staggering 12,90,608 tickets generating revenues of Rs 110 crores. Direct online ticketing now accounts for 40 percent of the tickets sold at most airlines. Air Deccan does an average of Rs 30 million worth of transactions per day.

These are exciting times for Indian e-ticketing. Sales are robust and large corporations and enterprises are pulling out all the stops in their attempts to grow online sales. Online ticketing has caught on with high acceptance in the Indian market. There are many vendors who are trying to capture this space and large corporations are firmly behind online ticketing.


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Is web 3.0 really here ?

The transition from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 may seem to be a faster one than from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. The question remains, does this new version of the Web do anything for the end user?

Not very long ago, we were talking about the evolution of Web 2.0 and here we are already discussing another new term, viz., Web 3.0. To many, it may sound like another marketing gimmick while others may feel that it is just another name for upcoming Web 2.0 applications. To add to the confusion, major players in the Internet space themselves believe that there is no clear definition of Web 3.0. One thing is for sure; there is a new age of the Web that is about to place its foot in the mainstream and perhaps be the future of the Web.


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Thursday, December 13, 2007

More women to board IT bus

Indias booming IT and IT-enabled services industry is a favourite destination of job-seeking women, whose employment in the industry is set to rise dramatically to 45 percent in 2010 from the current 30 percent, says an industry survey.

A survey by National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), the representative organisation of the Indian software firms, says this is due to the inclusive human resource policies of Indian IT firms, which recruit, train, retain and promote women employees as a strategic business plan.

Ratio to improve

“As the IT-ITeS sector moves up the value chain, more women are joining the industry. The male-female ratio is expected to improve to 65:35 by this year-end from 76:24 in 2005,” outgoing Nasscom president Kiran Karnik said here on Wednesday.

“For empowering the women workforce and creating conducive environment to grow equally at their workplace, we have commissioned Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to conduct a fresh study on the status of women employees in the IT industry and avenues for their growth in the value chain,” Karnik told about 300 women delegates participating in the Nasscom-IT Women Leadership Summit 2007.

The study is likely to be completed in the next five-six weeks. “It is a survey of what the IT industry does and can do in terms of attitude, perception and practices for an inclusive growth,” Karnik pointed out.

The study will also quiz women employees across the industry to ascertain their assessment of the existing HR policies, work conditions, how sensitive their male counterparts were towards them, and scope for professional advancement in their respective organisations.

“The study is being conducted on various parameters to assess the growth prospects of women workforce in the industry. For instance, the penetration of women at the management level is still inadequate. Even at top levels, women representation is disproportionate,” Karnik noted.

As the nature of their occupation, which includes looking after domestic chores, is burdensome, the study will explore prospects of employing women with flexi-timing so that they could divide their work between office and home.


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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sabarimala Pilgrim

Dear All,

Just returned from Sabarimalai Pilgrim last evening. Here is a brief report.

I started along with two friends Manu and Ajith on 5th December evening bu bus for Adoor. Ajith's in laws say in Addor, where we performed Pooja and put the Mala for the pilgrim. We have to make a kit called Erumudi for it. This contains pooja material like Coconut, Rice, Haldi, Kumkum, Ghee etc. packed in a cloth bag to be held on head. We haired a Car and we three plus Ajith's Parnets-in-laws joined us. Most of the people were black shirt, black Lungi and black Pancha.

We reached the Pamba village, through which the Pumba river flows. We have to walk barefoot form this location about 6 km till the temple through forest. Facilities like drinking water and hotels are available. We started with a dip in the shallow river at about 3:30 pm.

The climb is steep in the beginning. The path is cemented till midway. Hot sun was making us tired, so we had some lemon soda on the way. Medicinal Hot Water was served free of charge on the way. And the volunteers serving the water were really polite and helping. Till midway the path of people going upwards and descending runs parallel. All the people keep on chanting "Swami Sharanam Ayyappa Sharanam" and some other rhyming slogans like we use for Ganesh festival.

After mid way, the slope was gradual, but the path is not cemented. So for people like me, who are not used to walking barefoot, it was bit difficult. Withing a kilometer distance, queue started. There was more rush due to security checking with metal detectors at several places. It took almost 4 hours for us to reach the temple premise through the queue.

The temple premise is beautiful. Initially we need to break a coconut from the Erumudi and then climb 18 steps. These 18 steps are very sacred. There are devasthana personnel to help people to climb and control crowd there. After that we have to take a round in long elevated gallery around the main temple and get the darshan. This time I got a very nice and peaceful darshan of Lord Ayyappa. After that we visited a series of temples in the premises, and performed pooja with Haladi, Bhasma etc.

In one temple, you do the Parikrama with a coconut rolling on the ground with your right hand. This was very interesting. After doing the ghree abhishekam, we went to get Prasad. We exchanges the packet of rice from Erumudi for rice and pickle was served on that. We also got some sweet rice. Looking at the long queues for Aravana Prasad, we dropped the plan and decided to return.

On return we had light dinner of Kanji and Tapioca and reached back Pamba at 12:00 in the night. The pilgrim was enjoyable due to nice Darsha of Lord.

I will write about the trivendrum tour soon.

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