Friday, May 29, 2009

Open web platforms for developers to foster next wave of entrepreneurs in India

BANGALORE, INDIA: India today is arguably the land of the highest number of developer population in the world, said a recent study on the subject by Zinnov Management Consulting, a leading Management Consulting firm.

Over the next three to five years, over 50 percent of the developer population, across technologies and platforms in the world, will be based out of India.

Revealing numbers on how this segment of the industry is poised to grow, it read that India today is home to more than 500,000 members of Oracle's online developer community, has approximately 6,50,000 highly skilled JAVA developers and close to 70,000 Cisco Certified Professionals. Infact in 2004 alone, there were around 150,000 "Microsoft Certified Professionals" in India.

"With the advent of open-web platforms, a couple of years back, there has been a paradigm shift in software development. Proprietary software makers are now opening up platforms to commoditize their products/solutions to customers and increase reach and scale", said Chandramouli, Director - Advisory Services, Zinnov Management Consulting Pvt. Ltd.

With cloud computing gaining traction, not just consumer products but even enterprise product companies are embracing this route, for e.g., Salesforce, NetSuite etc., the report highlighted. Currently, out of the total number of 900 product companies in India, there are about 15-20 Indian companies that have created applications on open platforms like Orkut and Facebook (consumer focused).

Highlighting some classic examples, the study read that companies like Minglebox, Games2Win are some Indian companies which initially did start off as independent websites, but have now also started porting their applications onto open platforms such as Orkut. Several others like Chakpak, Lifeblob, Mycantos, Nautanki, Dhingana, Zoomtra are examples of some Indian startups making applications on open platforms.

Forecasting the trend on why this genre will foster the next wave of entrepreneurship in India, the study drew attention to a lot of reasons. It explained that in comparison to a conventional software product startups, which required on an average 12 to 18 months for product development effort, applications on open platforms require an average development time of two to three months.

Therefore, the cost involved with creating an application software product startup is much lower than creating proprietary software with the entire stake being recreated. Also, the ROI is greater for applications on open platforms, since the life cycle is limited to about only nine to 12 months.

Lastly, the sales and general administration costs of these companies are much lower than software product companies and thus require less funding in the initial stages.

Better audience reach is perceived to be the biggest benefit of open application platforms because the open web platform companies can leverage the customer base of platform players (very little investment required on GTM).

The leading open web-platforms globally have been Facebook, Myspace, Google (OpenSocial), while top open mobile platforms are Apple iPhone and Windows mobile. In fact, we see several players making an entry similar to Apple AppStore, such as RIM Blackberry App Store and Nokia's Ovi Store.

While the growth is expected to be robust, some challenges that might become a hindrance are the risk averse nature of Indian engineers in general, limited awareness of the opportunity available and realizing the potential to monetize.

Last but not the least, to ensure that the entire ecosystem evolves a strong involvement from the investment community is required.

The study very promptly highlighted that open web platforms (OWP) today are challenging the way products are developed and distributed. And the present state of economic crises has only emphasized the importance of open web platforms further. OWP are increasingly offering start-ups the opportunity to reduce product development times, extend distribution reach and enhance brand image.

"What began as entertainment and lifestyle applications for consumers some years back is gaining serious traction among enterprise software users today. Indian entrepreneurs now have tremendous opportunity to build product businesses worth millions of dollars and establish a niche for themselves like never before. It will be interesting to observe how the land of million software developers will ride upon this opportunity", added Chandramouli.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

IBM to make available $5 billion for financing IT initiatives in Europe, Apac

ARMONK, NEW YORK: IBM announced that it is making up to $3 billion available to finance IT initiatives in key economic stimulus projects in Europe and Asia-Pacific through IBM Global Financing, IBM’s lending and leasing business segment. The announcement follows the availability of up to $2 billion announced by IBM on April 30 to help jump start US economic stimulus programs.

Specifically, IBM will make available up to $2 billion in financing in Europe and up to approximately $1 billion in the Asia-Pacific region. IBM Global Financing also will extend its North American coverage to include financing for smart technology projects in Canada.

The financing will help organizations move ahead with IT projects in 2009, while awaiting government funding, to build the technological and environmental infrastructure of the 21st century.

“There is a great connectivity among nations,” said John Callies, General Manager of IBM Global Financing. “While the various stimulus packages in different countries were designed to keep their own economies on track, it is as joined economies that we can rise from this global downturn together. In this context, IBM Global Financing is extending its stimulus financing program to countries in Europe and Asia-Pacific to help global recovery.”

IBM has already been helping enterprises and local governments in these areas build their infrastructures to spur growth in key IT projects such as Smart Grid, Health Information Technology, and Smart Transportation. The financing will be targeted to companies and organizations in countries with government funding committed to help economic stimulus, create new industries and enable infrastructure improvements.

The bulk of the $5 billion will be for financing (where available based on local financing practices) for smart technology projects for credit-qualified clients. The financing could be in the form of:
* Low rates and flexible financing options.
* Deferred payment plans.
* Enterprise Financing facilities that offer structured lines of credit.
* Specialized project financing packages that allow clients to align payment streams to anticipated benefits throughout the project.

"The recession is going to drive many organizations, public and private, to make transformational changes in their IT environment. However, without access to the correct financing offerings, a significant set of opportunities will be lost and society-wide projects, like SmartGrid, will be substantially delayed.” David Mitchell, Senior Vice President, UK-based IT Research, Ovum. “This is a bold move by IBM to help accelerate stimulus benefits into the current time frame.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Web 2.0 gains momentum in Europe

Here is an interesting release put out by Frost & Sullivan! I don't know for sure how much we in India have adopted blogs and bloggers, and with it, Web 2.0 tools, though we all love to use Web 2.0 as a buzzword at all conferences.

Have we understood Web 2.0 enough? Some folks have even gone on to tout Web 3.0 as the next big thing! Have enterprises and SMBs in India made enough use of Web 2.0? Have they received measurable benefits out of those tools?

Well, do have a look at Frost's take on Web 2.0 in Europe!

LONDON, UK: The year 2008 and economic downturn have changed the way companies are going about their daily business. In response to the current recession in Europe, businesses are seeking new ways to stay productive while significantly cutting costs with the help of Web 2.0 solutions.

From lower-cost versions of enterprise applications, to utilising cloud computing, ‘crowd sourcing’ business owners are taking advantage of what Web 2.0 has to offer.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan: Web 2.0 Technologies in the Recession-hit Europe as a Solution for Small and Medium Businesses, finds that Web 2.0 will supplement both Web and Audio-web markets that were valued at $190 million in Europe in 2008 and are likely to grow to $860 million by the end of 2014.

“Web 2.0 solutions may be part of the cure for the recessionary headache that many European businesses are now experiencing; social networking sites, wikis, and blogs are just some of the more well-known examples of Web 2.0 technologies that can play an important role here,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Iwona Petruczynik.

“These solutions are becoming more prevalent in the European small and medium businesses (SMBs) arena, especially at a time like this, when workers are being forced to do more with less.”

There has been an increase in the usage of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and other Web 2.0 solutions like Blogger and WordPress. Until recently, they were primarily associated with consumer applications; however, currently, they are finding usage in more professional areas.

“As an interesting side note, social networking sites are gaining popularity in unexpected places, for instance, the world’s most popular online virtual reality, Second Life, was used by Sweden to open their ‘embassy’ in the virtual world to promote Sweden’s culture and image,” remarks Petruczynik. “In addition, Second Life is used in the Polish Ministry of Interior and Administration, where the Ministry has a room, which a person can visit to find out what the Ministry is doing and even ask the Minister questions.”

However, experts are unable to agree on one definition of Web 2.0 and this becomes a challenge in defining its market size. Yet, it is unlikely that Web 2.0 will become a standalone market, as it is a set of technologies and ideas driving the development of existing products and services.

The full potential influence of Web 2.0 is only now playing out, as the concepts and technologies are finding their use in manufacturing, customer service, product development and sales.

Innovative modes of interaction among workers, enabled by Web 2.0, contribute to company cohesion and employee retention. Telecommuting staff too can collaborate with each other speedily and effortlessly, outside of the formal e-mail stream.

Despite the evident advantages, some businesses are apprehensive about fully embracing Web 2.0 tools. The popularity of companies’ in-house intranet and concerns about security and confidential information leaks are just a few examples of the restraints faced by the European Web 2.0 market.

Moreover, a culture of ‘busyness’ retards the adoption of Web 2.0. If employees are not seen working all the time, they are assumed to be inefficient and unprofessional, when, in fact, they could be conducting their business through utilising solutions such as blogs or social networking sites, like Twitter or LinkedIn.

In addition, Europe tends to be more conservative in accepting new solutions. Therefore, the adoption rate of Web 2.0 in Europe is lower than that in the United States.

“In Europe, there is a common misconception that a true deliverable is measured in how many kilograms of paper one produces and hands over to a client,” explains Petruczynik. “This belief is hindering the adoption of Web 2.0 solutions, as more end products are being delivered in the form of a wiki or a blog.”

Moreover, the security concerns that many chief information officers (CIOs) face are equally important. Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), a programming technique used by Web 2.0 programmers, poses security risks that in the worst-case scenario include uploading malicious codes onto someone’s computer or hijacking an account.

According to the European Commission, small and medium businesses (SMBs) constitute 99 percent of all enterprises in Europe and provide almost 75 million jobs. With such significant market potential, Web 2.0 vendors should not have problems with deploying their solutions in the SMB sector.

“The best practice for those employing Web 2.0 solutions include creating and implementing clear and easy policies, describing how to use social media to avoid security risks, and leaks of confidential information, adapting their corporate culture to promote openness and collaboration, and educating employees on how to use Web 2.0 tools to become more productive and efficient,” concludes Petruczynik.

“On the other hand, Web 2.0 vendors should help in creating supportive policies, providing seamless integration with existing advanced corporate communication tools, and offering a variety of ‘a la carte’ Web 2.0 technologies.”

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Mathworks PolySpace products deliver enhanced checking support for JSF++ rules

BANGALORE, INDIA: The MathWorks announced that its PolySpace Client for C/C++ and PolySpace Server for C/C++ code verification products now support all checkable JSF++ rules for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Air Vehicle program, providing extensive and complete JSF++ rule checking capability.

The PolySpace JSF++ checker helps engineers comply with the Joint Strike Fighter Air Vehicle C++ coding standards (JSF++). These standards, developed by Lockheed Martin for the JSF program, are designed to improve the robustness and maintainability of C++ code.

The checker enables PolySpace software to generate messages when code does not comply with checkable JSF++ rules, including those related to overflow/underflow analysis, unreachable code identification, dereferencing null pointers, and initialization.

In addition to updated JSF++ checking capabilities, the checker provides engineers with the ability to integrate PolySpace as an Eclipse plug-in that will help software engineering teams working within the Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE). It can also be used with multicore computers to speed up the completion of the code verification process.

"The latest release of PolySpace tools will help engineers spend less time reviewing, debugging, and testing code and more time designing and developing next-generation aircrafts," said Jon Friedman, aerospace defense industry marketing manager at The MathWorks. "This capability adds to our ongoing commitment to provide engineers with tools that will improve the design process, reduce errors, and help lessen the costs of high-integrity aerospace systems."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Quite an eye opener! Since I've been on my own!!

Ever since I left CIOL and have been on my own, here in India, it has been quite an eye-opening experience!

First, and well, isn't it always so -- I've come face to face again with real friends! Those who really have best interests for me at heart, and those who care a lot about the technology industry!

As for the rest of the experience, oh well, just let it be! Those things happen, and well, will keep on happening, irrespective!

Interestingly, some folks have tried to tag along with me, for reasons best known to them! I don't claim to have a winning formula. However, let such people be cautioned that my path could be quite a difficult one -- they may face subjects that won't be that easy to fathom, and will require lot of hard work on their part.

However, the best thing that's happened is: all of a sudden, I've been inundated with a variety of requests -- especially for blogs on a variety of topics. I have managed to roll out some of them, and as for the others, I can't commit as yet! What is evidently clear is that there is a crying need for information, portals or web sites that deal in-depth, that dig deep, rather than focus more on the surface. That's encouraging!

The nature of other requests are quite interesting -- starting from helping with finding jobs, to selling stuff, career counselling, building PR, and so on!

Another nice thing -- and although I've always enjoyed this freedom right through my career -- I can now pick and choose the stories and topics I'd like to do!

Another revelation -- I am simply overwhelmed and humbled by the variety and the number of folks -- from different parts of India and the world -- who have approached me for various activities. I am trying to do some of those!

Friends, if you have the self belief and confidence to go on your own -- do give it a try! It is always better to fail while making an honest attempt to succeed, rather than fail without even making any sort of attempt! The experience will make you sronger, and hopefully, tolerant and better!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

NASSCOM statement on election results

NEW DELHI, INDIA: NASSCOM welcomes the results of the election, which are indicative of a stable government at the Centre. In the current global economic environment, it is important that India has a stable and progressive political environment that can focus on long-term policies for the sustainable development of the country, even as it takes decisive steps to immediately put the economy back on a high-growth trajectory.

The Indian IT-BPO sector is both an engine and a catalyst for the development of the Indian economy and we are confident that the government will continue to partner with this sector for leveraging the benefits of IT for India’s domestic economy and through international trade.

We also look forward to working with the government to promote inclusive growth and social benefits through the innovative use of IT. It is noteworthy that the biggest electoral process in the world – the globally-admired Indian elections –- is through the use of EVMs, itself symbolic of the significance of IT for the country.

Some of the immediate priorities that NASSCOM would suggest for the consideration of the government include:

* Specific policy initiatives to sustain industry’s growth through extension of tax benefits, particularly for SMEs; removal of inequities and multiplicity of taxes on issues like FBT, Service Tax and overall uniform policy environment to enhance India’s competitiveness and attract foreign investment.

* Develop public-private partnerships to accelerate implementation of the already-approved e-governance programs and evolve appropriate new programs; increase government IT budgets so as to provide a strong stimulus to the IT-BPO industry and to the economy.

* Partner with the industry to implement unique identity card for each citizen using IT, as mentioned in the manifesto.

* Implement the nation-wide skill development program and leverage IT expertise both for enabling education and imparting employable skills that can be deployed in the industry.

* Leverage international relations and build perspectives with key developed nations for continued bilateral trade development with no deviations on protectionist moves through visas and taxation.

* Continue and expand infrastructure development programs across the country and build integrated IT-BPO townships; provide fiscal incentives for growth of the IT-BPO industry in Tier II and III towns.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

India's General Elections 2009: UPA to continue in government: Advantage reforms and development!

NEW DELHI & LONDON, UK: The verdict of the people in the General Elections for the 15th Lok Sabha or the House of the People, in favour of the Indian National Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is an affirmation of its economic policies of continued liberalization.

The results so far indicate that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) will likely form the government. The outcome will usher a new wave of confidence globally in the Indian economy with expected ramp up in economic activity, brought about by the urgent need to develop world class infrastructure, globally competitive pharmaceutical sector, telecom and augmentation of power generation.

“The government will have its task cut out with more than $700 billion worth of investments to be channeled in to India’s infrastructure, power, telecom and pharma sectors over the next five years to provide the country a strong foundation to achieve the aspirational growth of 10 percent.” says Bundeep Singh Rangar, Chairman, IndusView Advisors Ltd, the India-focused cross-border advisory firm.

The General Elections this time witnessed a three-way contest between the Indian National Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Third Front, comprising of the Communist Parties and smaller regional parties, attempting to offer another alternative.

Both the Congress and BJP led governments have successfully accelerated India’s GDP growth rate to about 7 percent today from 1.4 percent in 1991-92. This momentum peaked at 9.7 percent in the fiscal year 2006-07 before slowing down on account of the worldwide recession.

“The Government would be best served if it continued and augmented the ‘India Shining’ policies that currently sustain a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of more than 7 percent as India continues to defy negative GDP growth seen in many Western economies.” says Rangar.

Investment in energy
India’s power deficit entails an estimated investment of up to $150 billion by 2012. To meet the growing demand, the government plans to add 90GW over the same period to its existing generation capacity of 145GW.

“India will become a lucrative market for nuclear energy equipment makers as soon as The United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006 between India and the US starts to show the benefits of investments coming in to the country.” says Rangar

Nuclear energy makes up only 3 percent of total installed capacity in India and its domestic uranium reserves are also limited. India’s Atomic Energy Commission estimates that domestic resources could support only 10 GW of installed nuclear capacity, signifying the potential of a multifold ramp-up.

Favourable policy initiatives could see global energy companies such as Areva SA, Alstom SA and √Člectricit√© de France (EDF) of France; the US-based General Electric Co., Russia's state-owned nuclear company Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corp. and Toshiba Corp., a diversified Japanese conglomerate, among others vying to enter India’s nuclear energy market.

Infrastructure: Foundation of growth
India's challenge is not only to augment its antiquated infrastructure, but also to build new infrastructure to keep up with its $1 trillion economy and the aspirations of its 1.2 billion population that grows by 16 million people each year.

Recognising that good infrastructure are a vital pre-requisite to build a strong nation, infrastructure development has been accorded key priority for the 11th Five-Year-Plan for the years 2007-2012 and the 12th plan period 2012-2017 with projected investment requirement of $500 billion and $1.5 trillion respectively by the Prime Minister's Committee on Infrastructure.

“The Interim Budget for the financial year 2009-10 announced in February by the Finance Minister of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), focused on infrastructure development, easing of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) norms and economic stimulus packages announced last year had set the ground for how the alliance was approaching the General Elections.” said Rangar.

The government’s spotlight on Infrastructure Development heralds the importance it attaches to the sector as a means to counter the prevailing economic woes. The minster responded to an urgent demand for new infrastructure, announcing that 9 percent of the country’s GDP will be spent on infrastructure by 2014, from the current 5 percent. Estimates suggest that a third of this investment will come from private companies, paving the way for unprecedented investment opportunity.

Telecom: Dial India for growth
“India’s mobile telecommunication services sector has defied the economic recession. The incumbent mobile telecommunication service providers collectively add about 10 million new subscribers a month, which is more than the population of Finland, home country of largest mobile handset manufacturer Nokia Corp., taking the country’s total tally of wireless subscribers to 362 million.” explains Rangar.

To ensure quality service to match the growing subscriber base and achieve the target of 45 percent teledensity, the telecom sector is estimated to need about $73 billion during the next five years.

The world's fastest-growing mobile telecom services market estimated to reach a subscriber base of about 650 million by 2012, exposes the growth potential for global mobile telecom service providers who are not yet present in India.

Such service providers are missing out on opportunities to grab a share of the projected mobile services revenues of more than $37 billion by 2012 growing at a CAGR of 18 percent, while the profitability of their operations in saturated developed markets continue to be under pressure.

Of significance is the fact that the government has granted new licenses and spectrum to aspiring operators such as Datacom Solutions a subsidiary of one of India’s leading consumer durables company Videocon Industries Ltd; Loop Telecom, a BPL Mobile Communications group company; S Tel Ltd, joint venture between Skycity Foundations and Telecom Investments (Mauritius) Ltd; among others, which are likely targets -– but within the regulatory purview as an overseas entity’s stake in the domestic company cannot exceed 74 percent.

Indian pharma: Prescription for growth
The Indian Pharmaceutical sector is positioning itself to be among the top five centres of global innovation as the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Government of India outlines its roadmap for the sector up to the year 2020 (Vision 2020). It foresees investments of about $2 billion annually, under the public-private partnership model.

The initiative will open avenues of growth for global pharmaceuticals companies and fuel the next wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in a market where consumer spending on healthcare increased to 7 percent in 2007 from 4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1995, and is likely to rise to 13 percent of GDP by 2015.

India also offers the benefits of low cost R&D, a domain in which it is estimated to capture about 10-20 percent share of the world’s R&D business by 2020 from less than 1 percent currently.

Expansion by global pharmaceutical companies in to emerging markets like India becomes imperative as about $103 billion worth of patented drugs will go off patent in the next few years. This will further hit the already sagging fortunes of global pharma companies which are trying to augment their revenues by acquiring or aligning with companies in the generics business.

With such sectoral growth indicators, the need of the hour is to take existing initiatives to the next level of implementation and completion, with enough scope of ramping up and innovation.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Clouds gather over Google with Hulbee launch?

SWITZERLAND: Leading Swiss software company, Grossbay AG, has launched its new search application http://hulbee.com to challenge the dominance of Google by providing users with a more intelligent search capability.

Based on the Hulbee knowledge management programme developed by Grossbay to assist companies in managing their knowledge databases, Hulbee provides the first truly “intelligent search” facility, allowing users to access information intuitively via a data cloud.

Users searching via http://hulbee.com will not get the normal long list of pages containing their search words, but will instead get a data cloud containing a number of other key words that will help the user define their search in a more natural way.

This new way of searching narrows results by searching for thematic connected keywords, which are then displayed as a data cloud. This enables the user to see the complete context of a search term, which otherwise would still be hidden in long lists of results.

Hulbee uses knowledge management software, originally developed to assist enterprises in managing their information by proposing related topics when a search word or term is entered, therefore narrowing the results. Hulbee builds on the comprehensive search indexing provided by its partner company, Yahoo!

If you carry out a topical search for “swine flu symptoms” on http://hulbee.com, you would see a data cloud as a result (see visual below). From that cloud you are then able to refine your search more easily without having to open up endless websites hoping to find the information you want.

Andreas Wiebe, CEO of Grossbay, said: “Searching for information on the internet is taking too long: there is just too much. Hulbee reduces search times by presenting information in a manageable list. It’s intuitive so everyone will find it easy to use.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hulbee adds to the search engines list

If you thought you'd had enough of search engines, wait, there's a new one on the block -- HULBEE! In fact, my attention was drawn toward Hulbee via a discussion forum on one of my groups on LinkedIn.

Interestingly, the discussion was started by a gentleman who calls himself Mr Hulbee, Owner, Hulbee, from Ireland, with the question: can it change the way we search?

Quite interested, I headed for Hulbee!

In its 'About' page, Hulbee states: "Hulbee is a new search solution empowered by Grossbay map technology. Hulbee has high-usable intuitive interface and is using Yahoo API. With Hulbee building of search query is a matter of a few clicks.
Now there is no need of puzzling over query exact wording because Hulbee offers a set of suitable words to pick." There's much more on the page, if you care to read.

Currently, Hulbee has a very low Alexa ranking, so it seems to be a brand new search engine that few have heard about! So, it will take time to catch on.

On the home page, there's a search block, followed by a tag cloud -- perhaps, of the key words that people have been searching on Hulbee. Or maybe, those are popular words, according to the site. Either way, I am not sure.

I did check the search engine and received good results. The search works quite fast too! Along with the search results, it also throws up interesting tag clouds with the related search. Maybe, you should check Hulbee out as well! Happy searching!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Now, Google's Internet Bus in Karnataka!

I received this release announcing that Google India's 'Internet Bus' will now tour Karnataka. Starting its journey from Bangalore, the bus will travel through 15 towns in the next 50 days.

This campaign is aimed at people with limited knowledge and exposure to the Internet and the experience has been designed to create awareness of the benefits of this powerful medium.

The Karnataka leg of Google's Internet Bus will continue to focus on four themes -- information, communication, entertainment and education. The video driven content will showcase how even with basic knowledge of the Internet people can make their everyday lives simpler. The content will also provide familiarization on using services like search, email, social networking, online maps and mobile. All this information will be available in English and Kannada.

Dr. Prasad Ram, Head of Google R&D, India, said: "Tamil Nadu was a big learning for us and it was inspiring to see that people wanted to know about the internet and share their needs with us. This experience has reinforced our belief that awareness is the key challenge in the growth of the Internet in India and we are excited about bringing this campaign to yet another state. In this phase besides popular services like email, search and videos, we will be focusing on how mobile phones can be used to access useful local information even without data plans. Access to the Internet in local languages will continue to be a focus area."

The success of the Internet Bus in Tamil Nadu was evident from the number of interesting stories that followed each time the bus visited a city. In Krishnagiri, an elderly couple came on board the Google Internet Bus and, after experiencing Gmail, decided to buy a computer and use it to communicate with their son who was abroad.

A young businessman who dropped out of high school said that "since visiting the Google Internet Bus, I have found a way to improve my knowledge of the stock market." In Coimbatore, a young boy, who sold flowers for a living and had never been exposed to the Internet managed to learn about Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Search in Tamil, his mother tongue.

Users across India will be able to follow the bus through its journey, see pictures and videos and join online communities.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Download YouTube videos, movies via Tube2Keep

While browsing the Internet, I came across an interesting story titled Tube2Keep - Easily Download YouTube Videos And YouTube Movies!

On visiting Tube2Keep, the site does say that it allows easy video download from your favorite sites -- such as YouTube, Google Video, DailyMotion, CollegeHumor, Break.com, Blip.tv, RedTube, etc., using this site's bookmarklet.

Now, I haven't tried this out, largely because I am not such a big fan of online videos, unless those are really of interest. Am more happy if I can instead watch the same video on a TV screen!

Surely, you should try this out, given that YouTube has a high ranking of 3 on Alexa, which means, lots of folks visit that site. Therefore, lots of friends out there may be interested in downloading videos. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Celebrating World Press Freedom Day!

May 3 happens to be the World Press Freedom Day. It is annually observed to inform the international community that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental.

Like most fellow bloggers, I wholeheartedly support the freedom of the press. Like most of my fellow bloggers, I too am a member of Bloggers Unite!

We do get to hear a lot of news about journalists being badly treated, captured, even killed, in the line of action. Such things need to stop. If folks try to curtail the freedom of expression, what's the fun left in reporting? Or for that matter, blogging?

One main reason that blogs have become popular is that bloggers have more or less expressed their opinions freely. Now, they say, there should be a code of conduct for bloggers!

Why? If you don't like someone's blog, simply don't read it! Not everything written about everything else in this world would be rosy!! At least, learn to appreciate the written word. Writing itself isn't an easy job, and engaging text, quite a task!

On our part, definitely, the press, we also need to be careful sometimes not to step on someone else's shoes! Not that the press enjoys doing this, deliberately!

I've seen on many occasions, why fellow members of the press have had to go overboard! And, they have valid reasons for doing so! They were simply provoked! I personally don't believe anyone ever has the intention of giving someone else a bad name through the press. That's not what press and journalism's all about! Is it?

Curtailing bloggers' rights, and suppressing freedom of speech and press is similar to censorship. That should not happen! Otherwise, how will you, the reader, get to know the inside stuff on a whole lot of things happening around the world?

As the famous BeeGees song goes: "Its only words and words are all I have, to take your heart away..."

Please respect and applaud the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression! The world needs it!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Freelance jobs available on Twitter

I didn't know there were a whole lot of jobs out there on Twitter, till I bumped into this site, thanks to one of my fellow Tweeter.

One of the tweets you can follow is right here -- freelance jobs on Twitter!

There is yet another site, which lists 50 people on Twitter that job seekers should follow!

Then, there is also the Freelance Supermarket!

Right then folks! Here are three links that you may find useful. I haven't tried any so far, and therefore, look forward to your feedback.

Good luck with your search for freelance jobs!