Thursday, 30 December 2010

As we close the year 2010, just to put the last 100 years in perspective ...

The year is 1910
One hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1910:


The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.

Fuel for this car was sold in drug stores only.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.

The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .

Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!   Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

The Five leading causes of death were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores.  Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health!"  (Shocking? DUH!)

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.!

I am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself.

From there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD - all in a matter of seconds!

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.


Source: My Grandaddy! Happy New Year!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Techtonic Shift - Greater Inequalities amongst handsets - the disappearing Middle Class

I had spoken earlier about how Smart Phones are now Personal Mobile Computers that can make calls as well.

Well, another 'tech'tonic shift is the Occam's Razor of pure economics, where we are seeing the rise of two distinctly different species originating from a common source the ubiquitous cellphone

Currently there appear to be two distinctions made when discussing mobile phones -

Smart Phones and Feature Phones 

(For us Sci-Fi Geeks, I would like to classify the Smart Phones as the Morlocks and Feature Phones as the Eloi of the "Genus Cellphone")

While I have discussed Smart Phones in several earlier posts starting here, I have been (and continue to be) biased and ignored the latter category of  Feature Phones .

The term "Feature" Phone has been coined as a distinguished term to avoid "dumb" phone ... the  economic fact that over 4 out of 5 (over 80%) of all mobile phones sold today are feature phones, is evidence enough that there is nothing dumb about these phones.

While Smart Phones are what raise the Standard, it is  Feature Phones that move the market

Here's a nice comScore graphic -

As the inforgraphic above shows how HUGE the Feature Phone  market itself is, now the semantics are getting even more complex 

1) High End Feature phones

2) Low Cost &

3) Ultra low cost Feature phones

The World's Leading Manufacturers earn their bread and butter from Feature Phones... yes, agreed the jam and sprinkles are with Smart Phones ... but no one can live on jam and sprinkles alone! (though Steve Jobs and the others, would have us think otherwise)!

End Note - Merry Christmas! AND Please Support Wikipedia!

Wikipedia - I donated to Keep it Free! 

Dear Aseem, 

Thank you for your gift of XXXX to the Wikimedia Foundation, received on November 26, 2010. I’m very grateful for your support. 
Your donation celebrates everything Wikipedia and its sister sites stand for: the power of information to help people live better lives, and the importance of sharing, freedom, learning and discovery. Thank you so much for helping to keep these projects freely available for their nearly 400 million monthly readers around the world. 

Your money supports technology and people. The Wikimedia Foundation develops and improves the technology behind Wikipedia and nine other projects, and sustains the infrastructure that keeps them up and running. The Foundation has a staff of about fifty, which provides technical, administrative, legal and outreach support for the global community of volunteers who write and edit Wikipedia. 
Many people love Wikipedia, but a surprising number don't know it's run by a non-profit. Please help us spread the word by telling a few of your friends. 

And again, thank you for supporting free knowledge. 

Sincerely Yours, 

Sue Gardner 
Executive Director 

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This letter can serve as a record for tax purposes. No goods or 
services were provided, in whole or in part, for this contribution. 
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Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Paradigm Shift from the Ear to the Eye

Unfortunately, we have yet to come to terms with the fact that smartphones, are no longer phones but personal, pocket computers, with computational capacities that rival supercomputers of a few decades ago - Gigahertz speed, Gigabit rates, Gigabyte memories have all become common in today's mobile phone

However, as the pace of technology follows the three irrefutable laws of computing-

1) Bandwidth Demand - Shall always increase
2) Moore's Law - massive miniaturization with doubling densities every 2 years
3) Metcalfe's Law - the multiplier effect of communication networks

So have Mobile communication usage patterns begun to witness a Paradigm Shift from the Ear (Audio) to the Eye (Video) - you all will recall this one...

One of the Cisco System's Ads

And we all have  used SkypeGoogle Talk & Yahoo! Messenger  and heard (read?) the Buzz on the Apple iPhone's Facetime -  SEE it Here -

The implications of this video-telephony technology go way beyond just entertainment, but have the potential to substantially improve society touching aspects of Education, Health, Agriculture and
 Micro-financemCommercemBanking) are among the most amenable areas that come to my mind....

What are your thoughts?


Sunday, 5 December 2010

My Phone, My Saviour

I Know I'm Plagiarizing ... This isn't the first... and I'm sure it won't be the last ... But this article from my newspaper fit so well into my Blog, I just had to have it here... so there!


My Phone, My Saviour

One morning, following my usual morning routine, i went into my studio and turned on my computer. The lines were down, however,and i was unable to log on to the Internet. 

So i did what many do. I picked up my smart phone. Within seconds i had checked local weather, the definition of antinomy, world news, the status of a UPS delivery, my email inbox, and i did a quick social network scan. All was well and i felt happy. My faithful phone had pulled me back from the brink of disconnection.

And it was then, at that moment, that epiphany struck and i realised how much i loved my phone. That the little electronic object cradled in my palm had evoked in me a very real human emotion. For a moment i saw my phone as a friend, even a saviour. 

Expression of human emotions therefore, even our most elevated ones, are not reserved for loved ones and God. They are evoked by anything that provides what loved ones and God provide: a greater sense of value and security. 

What if my loving my phone awakens the soul in my phone? What if my loving my Jeep or home awakens the soul in them, or the reverse? Does loving them awaken the soul in me? What if soul is not what we think it is, and its origin and purpose not what we believe its origin and purpose to be? 

Has anyone ever captured a soul-yeti of the afterlife? Examined one in a bottle or test tube? Do we have photographs or footprints of souls? By what measure can we state without doubt that souls exist, that our body comes with a soul when we are born; an appendage of necessity equal to that of our heart, lungs and brain? 

A now departed and very dear friend of mine once asserted that some people were born soulless and for this reason human life gives rise to vicious persons as well like dictators, cons, rapists and murderers. 

We are faced here with a frustrating antinomy: That we can neither prove nor disprove that a soul exists. The moot question is: Are we here? 
Right now you think you are reading these words in your present while i am here in my present writing them. Are we? How can we be certain we are human and have human vision? 

“But we are human,” you say. “We have bodies; a fleshy mass that shudders in the cold and sweats under the gaze of a noon day sun.” And i agree we do, we do feel these things but does being aware of our physical body constitute proof of the existence of that body? 

It is by human definition that we certify ourselves as human and living, but what of the bug’s point of view, or that of the stars, time, space and God? Is man by any other definition still a man? Descartes, stated “I think, therefore I am.” Perhaps all that we require to bring ourselves, our souls and God into existence is to think them.

In the end we are, or are not, what we think we are. And the importance of either – either matters, or it does not. Greater clarity would be helpful. Just a sec, let me check, there may be an app for that on my phone. 
The writer, Thomas M Easley, was artist-in-residence at The Times of India in the 1990s.