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Vol. 2 Issue 13 38 Great Gadgets for Health and Beauty

50 24x7 Shopping!
53 Geek Goes Glam

Tech lends Wings to Couture Culture
Technology in Communication
73 Entertainment – When You Want It
74 Futuristic Wearable Technology
77 Redefining Kitchen Experience
5 Innovations that Changed Our Life
Access Total 24
Different Sites
contents 101 Tech in Vogue for lifestyle buffs

tech tip
to Suit Different
october 2009
62 My KidZui4: Safe Browsing for Kids

Ideas for Modern
Home Décor

63 Free International Calls from PokeTALK

64 Clerkdogs for Movie Recommendations
Net PC from Airtel
Touch up your Digital Photos
Internet @ 40
67 Generate a Virtual Credit Card
68 RBI Norms for Safe Shopping

Style IT
Embellish photos with
Finerday: Where families connect
71 Soundsnap: Explore the sound library
72 Bomomo: Art on Digital Canvas
Star Diary
how to Founder
Vishwa Nath (1917-2002)
106 Watch Multiple Computers through Netflix
Editor, Publisher & Printer
108 How to hide or show genius bar in iTunes8 Paresh Nath

110 Keyboard shortcuts for punctuation Editorial Office

E-3, Jhandewalan Estate,
Rani Jhansi Road, New Delhi-110055
marks in Kindle 2 Phones: 41398888, 23529557
112 Disable the rumble effect on Wii remote Advertisement Department
114 Capturing newborns with your lens E-3, Jhandewalan Estate,
Rani Jhansi Road, New Delhi-110055
Phones: 41398888, 23529557

De-print and print
spice IT
13 Buzz Byte
Classifieds Department
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peek & pick
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122 Profile - Sreelakshmi Suresh Lucknow: B-G/3, Sapru Marg,

125 8 GB USB Flash Drive & Luck now - 226001, Phone: 2618856

Personal Safety System for Women 130 Shopper’s Guide Mumbai: A 4, Shriram Industrial Estate,
Wadala - 400031,
126 Radio Control Helicopter & Car & 131 Q&A Phones: 65766302, 65766303

HP F2235 MFP Printer-Scanner-Copier 132 Glossary Patna: 111, Ashiana Towers,

Exhibition Road,
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127 Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Netbook
Secunderabad: 122, Chenoy Trade Centre,
128 Logitech 4 Port USB Hub & 116, Park Lane, Secunderabad - 500003,
Phone: 27841596
Mobile Express Card Reader
129 Citizen Body Fat Analyzer
15Care IT
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New Delhi - 110055, India.

From Editor’s Desk

IT for a trendy lifestyle
It’s been a year since we started out with our venture of bringing out a magazine that blended IT
and living for the modern contemporary woman. In many ways, Live IT was, in fact, an
experiment to bring IT closer to home and to the everyday user – one who was not interested in
learning the engineering behind the technology, but would rather focus on the use of IT in her
daily life.

Whether at school, college, workplace or at home, IT has become an inextricable part of our life.
And yet, many of us know so little about it beyond the basic uses.

Over the last year, therefore, in these pages of Live IT, we have tried to bring you closer to fast-
evolving technologies and make you more aware of the innumerable nuances of the digital
world – all of which can help us live a more wholesome life.

From travel to education, gaming to entertainment, nano technology to Web 2.0, our
endeavour has been to demystify the world of IT and present it to you in simple and lucid writing.

And now as we have completed the first year of Live IT, we bring to you a special issue
dedicated to the underlying philosophy behind the magazine, that of bringing together IT and
trendy living.

In this issue, we explore the various ways in which IT is seamlessly becoming a part of our
emerging fashionable lifestyle. Be it fashion, home décor, tech gadgets, shopping, health or
travel, through a curious mix of overt and covert ways, IT is seeping through all the different
aspects of what constitutes our trendy lifestyle.

This issue talks about the interesting ways that detail how our IT quotient can push up our chic
quotient, and what all one should look out for in the coming times from the digital world, which
would make for our smart living.

Hope you enjoy reading this special issue of Live IT and find some fascinating ideas that provide
a true blend of IT and lifestyle.

Anant Nath
Managing Editor

News compiled by Priyanka Dey

FLASH DRIVE glob al man ufac ture r and supplier of DRAM and Flash
products, has launched the Diwali edit
ion of
ly seems a
Kingma x, a lead ing the economic slow dow n, this
k Min i USB flash driv e (4 GB) to celebrate the festival of lights. After Gan esha key chai n.
Super Stic y is also gifting a Lord
to wish cons ume rs a bett er year . Along with the product, the compan Diw ali furth er, Kin gma x’s
nice way echo the spirit of
er Stic k Min i is wate rpro of and ensures high speed data transfer. To nesh a is the mos t
The Sup p of Lord Ganesha. “Ga
l firework package and a golden stam
design team has rolled out a colourfu mpl ishm ents, his ‘puja’ is a must,” stated Law
s of deit ies. To ensu re smo oth passage on the road to acco top thre e bran ds in India
auspiciou become one of the
Pres iden t of Kin gma x. “Wi th his blessings, we believe that our aim to
will become a reality.” 8 October ‘09

Microsoft has been trying for years and it is quite likely that they may taste
success by finally beating Apple at its own game
(16 GB) and
that started with the iPod. Microsoft’s wonderful Zune HD, priced at $219.99
$289.99 (32 GB), seems to be giving quite a
tough competition to the iPod touch. The
only disadvantage for the Zune HD is the
robust App Store. Otherwise, it flaunts a
beautiful touchscreen, a brilliant user
interface, HD radio and perhaps the best
browser since Apple’s mobile Safari.
While the Touch is the best PMP
available, the Zune HD comes quite close
and it is strongly recommended for those
who don’t want to use iTunes. The Zune
HD is definitely smaller, lighter and more
chic. Also, at the only capacity where the two
players overlap (32 GB), the Zune HD will
cost you $10 less.


Microsoft is certainly going great gun
s as it has launched the new Zune 4.0
improvements for Windows 7 based software with amazing features and
systems. What’s more, it is a must for a whole lot of
catalog will be available through the ente rtainment lovers as the Zune Marketp
browser. Just pay $14.99 (Rs. 720 app lace service
rox.) and you can access a vast library
of six million
songs for streaming. MS has also add
ed an Apps
Catalogue to download apps from the
Marketplace. Users can also stream
or download
audio as well as video podcasts from
There are more features to gladden
your heart
including the Smart DJ, which automat
creates a playlist from the music featu
red on your
system, PC library or even the online
Marketplace. All you need to do is to
right-click on
a song, artist or album and your Sma
rt DJ Mix will
be right there at your service. Once
the Smart DJ
Mix is up, music from your collection
, as well as
from the Zune Marketplace, will be
pulled for
playing. If you own a Zune Pass, song
s from Zune
Marketplace will appear as Suggested;
else they
will be greyed out. You can save the
Smart DJ Mix
queue as playlist. The software also
playback controls and Quickplay opti
on for
instant access to your favourite music.

October ‘09 9



Sonia Gandhi, chief of India’s ruling Congress
Party, recently inaugurated Infosys Global Educ
its world class training facility GEC-I. Sprawled ation Centre-II, the extension of
over 337 acres of land,
the Mysore campus has the capacity to
groom a total of 14,000 IT
professionals. Considering its
infrastructure and size of operations,
Infosys’ Global Education Center
seems to be the largest corporate
education centre in the world.
In fact, it is so impressive that Sonia
herself has been bowled over. After the
inauguration, she remarked in a lighter
vein that she wished to be with the
students for a few days. “This visit is
giving me the opportunity to bunk my
school of politics for a few hours. And
after I have done a tour of this campus
and admired its beautiful facilities, the
buildings, the environment, the trees,
the flowers, I honestly want to say that I
wish I could bunk a few days and stay
on here with you all,” she added.

For those using cell phon
es or dial-up connectio ns, op eni ng Fac
sio n
may not have been a ligh
cut s down on the graphical
tning-fast experience. So
clutter. And for the status
‘Li te’ ver
h a limited debut of its
Facebook has come up wit sque tagging twist. the slimmed-down versio
n. It
the soc ial net wo rki ng site is giving a Twitter-e eri menting with the looks of
updates, ers , is cur ren tly exp
n 250 million memb
Facebook, with more tha
, as it has
looks a bit heavy though
added a feature which is
with a much-hyped short
messaging service. Exper
ok Lite,
are, thus, on with Facebo
that has
a leaner-looking interface
gone live last month in the
sion has
and India. The ‘light’ ver
for those
been especially designed
parts of the world with
s is what
Internet speeds. Now thi the home page, including
the new-look Facebook
aims to
den pag es an d rem ove some toolbar areas from w lin ks to
d speed of graphics-la that sho
do: Increase the downloa normal Facebook pages
age s. Wh ite spa ce wil l dominate the areas of
and im
for status updates, links d advertising.
tio ns, vid eos & ph otos posted by friends an
applica 10 October ‘09

Amid the hurried annou
ncements of iTunes and
same cool gadget we had iPod last month, Apple qu
with buttons on it. Instea ietly retired the 1 GB iPo
both 2 GB and 4 GB cap d, Apple is focusing on the d shuffle. Yeah! It is the
acities. The company has tiny buttonless model, wh
along with the classic bla also rolled out the third- ich is now available in
ck and silver. In addition, generation shuffle in all
stainless steel. It is availab Apple is offering a specia new blue, green and pin
le in 4 GB only. Besides l edition version that is enc k,
generation iPod shuffle rem the pricing, new colour op ased in super shiny
ains the same. tio ns and the 2 GB capacity op
tion, the third-


On the occasion of Chrome’s first birthday, Google announced to kick off
a newer, more stable version of the browser and the
as well as some revamping of its
Web. Now that will mean significant speed improvements for the browser
most loved features.
“This release comes hot on the
heels of 51 developer, 21 beta and
15 stable updates and 3,505 bugfixes
in the past year,” Google wrote in a
Tuesday blog post.
According to Google, the new
release is faster, with a 25 per cent
increase in Javascript performance
over the last stable version.
The looks have also been worked
upon like that of the Tab page,
which takes on a sparser look.
Performance of the browser's
Omnibox URL/search field has also
been optimised, helping users
distinguish suggested sites from
search, bookmarks and browser
history. And then there’s the Themes
gallery, which makes the browser even
more customisable. I

October ‘09 11

Did You Know

aptop skins are resistant to tears, sunlight and water as with the press of a button. If this is not enough, hold your
L chemicals are injected into these skins to tackle radiation,
chemical corrosion and extreme heat and cold.
breath! The building will be 313 metres in height with
68 floors. What’s more, the building will be highly energy
efficient as it will be powered by wind and solar energy. Huh!
ut of the 160 billion e-mail messages sent out daily, Such a stunning tower should have some great designer
O 97% happen to be spam. behind it. And that designer is David Fisher.

acebook leads photo uploads by hosting more than he Bahrain World Trade Center is considered the largest
F 10 billion photographs while Flickr is a distant second
and hosts only 3 billion photographs.
T wind-powered design built into a huge building. It has
three massive wind turbines planted between its two towers
that form the main building. The towers are designed in such
uilding with plastic actually saves the environment a way that the air around accelerates each of the 80 ft
B because it is energy efficient. More than 50 plastic
varieties are used in the construction industry for different
turbines, thus generating enormous power supply.

purposes and nearly 20% of the plastic materials used in arth is surely facing some stiff competition
Europe are later utilised in building products. Second only to
transport, housing sector is one of the biggest energy
E from other planets. Virgin
Group and Google Inc.

consumers. But plastic products help increase energy

efficiency as they happen to be really good sealers and

insulators. They also help reduce the harmful CO2

emissions to a great extent. So all that is

plastic is not bad!

did U
total of 1.4 billion Apple iPhones were sold between
are launching Virgle Inc., a jointly owned
and managed project that will work on human
settlement on Mars. Virgle Inc. has a 100-year plan with
various short-team goals including Virgle pioneer
selection (2008-2010), the first journey of man to Mars
(2016), development of the first permanent Martian
municipality, the Virgle City (2050), and finally, the
creation of a self-sustaining Martian civilisation with a
A June and October, 2007. But there were 2,50,000
missing phones which were not activated to run on AT&T’s
population of more than one lakh (2108).

wireless network. It is believed that owners of these missing arlier, IMAX Adlabs in Mumbai was considered the
phones plan to unlock them so that they can be used on other
cellular networks.
E world’s largest screen. Now Prasad IMAX in Hyderabad
has been crowned the single most popular theatre in the
world. It features a 95 ft wide and 75 ft high screen with a
lthough Google uses around 15 billion kWh of 12,000 watt sound system and a seating capacity of 635.
A electricity every year, it generates a lot of power by
using solar panels for its operations.
Prasad IMAX came into the limelight when people crowded
the theatre to watch Spiderman and the Harry Potter series
on the giant screen.
ubai has been creating waves for its architectural
D breakthroughs like the Burj al-Arab (Tower of the
Arabs), which is the world’s tallest hotel. The next in row is I n 1968, IM David Levy challenged John McCarthy, a
researcher in Artificial Intelligence at Stanford, that the
the Rotating Tower, a bigger technical and structural wonder. former could win any computer-versus-human game for the
Thanks to some mind-blowing technologies, the floors of this next 10 years. And guess what? He won the game. Now that’s
tower will rotate continuously and the view can be changed a cool bet to win. I 12 October ‘09

Buzz Byte
Buzz Bytere you an Internet addict? Do you think that surfing the World Wide

A Web is the best possible way to dig up the information you need?
Well, if you are always glued to your system or checking online stuff on
your smartphone, chances are you are quite conversant with the Net
and its pros & cons. Here are SEVEN brain teasers to test how you work, play and
interact on the Net. Take this quiz and find out yourself.

Q are di gi tal ph otos with friends an

d family is to
The best way to sh
maintain an album
A. Print them and everyone.
em to e-m ail and send th toem
B. Atta th nd out the link.
to on lin e ph ot o sharing sites and se
C. Upload them ishing
if you land on a ph
What would you do
site while shopping
in detail.
A. Explore the site ping.
Q up grad e yo ur laptop/phone/
palm/mp3 pl ayer as
B. Cancel the page
C. Tell the administ
and continue shop
rator to block such
Do yo u
ions are available?
soon as newer vers
A. Not really.
B. Yes, but occasio
C. Yes, always. Q mpanies, suggestin
g new
Do you write to co to their products?
atures th at should be added
A. Not at all.
B. Sometimes.
C. Always.

Q application is Mee
What kind of Web
A. Online video sh
B. Online photo sh
C. Online instant

Q ultilingual?
Is Google Maps m
Q your tim e online spent in lookin
g at the latest
A. Diamonds and
Is most of ?
ts coming out soon B. Hearts and Spad
electronic produc
ub s
track of such things
. C. Hearts and Cl
A. No, I don’t keep
B. Yes, occasionally
I try to research more. Check out the next page to
C. Always, and see how well you scored!

October ‘09 13

Buzz Byte

You finished the quiz! Now, calculate your score. A carries 1,
B carries 2 and C carries 3 points. Did you check mostly A, B or C?

If your score is b-
ce w it h th e In ternet and We
Between 0-7 xperien . Learn about th
in n e r. Yo u h a ve very little e o n th e th e o ry
You are a beg you need to b
rush up
d se rv ic e s. M a y b e
e n joy in g the enormous so
ena b le
st y le te c h n o logies and st a rt
a lo t o f tip s a nd information
basics of life gives
e a n d offline. Live IT gies.
opportunit ie s o n lin
b out th e e v o lving technolo
now more a
that you may k

Between 8-15
You are compe
titive. Internet
explore so mu is a wonderful
ch. With the ad medium that a
vancing techn llows you to
you may need ologies and life
to learn more style applicatio
to learn them, of the tricks an ns,
you are sure to d tips. If you are
get to know m find a lot of reso keen
ore through Liv urces online. S
e IT articles. o

B etween 16-2
g a n d g e t th e best of it.
nerd! Enjoy su ls to harness th
Yep, you are a g e a n d sk il st a
Improve your
k nowle d
to re a d , w ri te, shop or po
ne tools. Log with lot more
powerful onli h e s o u r li v e s
hnology enric
comment. Tec
. Excel!
fun and magic 14 October ‘09

Care IT

diagnosis may be likely, as well as an opportunity to

communicate with and obtain information from other
patients who have had similar results in the past.
On the second visit to the doctor, the patient
may be referred to a specialist but before
he decides whom to consult, he will
have a chance to search for the views
of other patients regarding the
best specialist to go to.
The specialist will diagnose
him/her along with a
prognosis and potential
options for treatment. The
patient will now have the
opportunity to research
these treatment options and
take a more proactive role
in coming to a joint
decision with his/her
doctor. He/she can also
choose to submit more data
about the nature of illness,
such as through a personalised
genomics service, to identify any
risk factors that might improve or
Mehak Siddiqui worsen the prognosis. As treatment
commences, the patient can track
his/her health outcome through an
online data-sharing patient
community to determine whether
the treatment is having a positive
impact on them, and can stay up to
date on research opportunities and
clinical trials for their condition.
They will also have the social

hat do you do when you have a health complaint? support of interacting with other patients diagnosed with the
The most obvious answer would be that you go to a same condition throughout the world.
doctor, get tests done, if required, get diagnosed When it comes to evaluating the usefulness of this system,
and follow the prescribed treatment. But it has been estimated that nearly one-third of the 100
technology today – specifically the Internet – is revolutionising million Americans who have looked for health information
conventional approaches to medicine. One such concept is Health online say that they or the people they know have found the
2.0, a system that involves telemedicine, electronic medical reports sources on the Internet significantly useful, but this study
and the use of the Internet by patients through such avenues as only considers the broader use of the Internet for health
weblogs, message boards, RSS feeds, wikis, podcasts, etc. The management rather than Health 2.0 in particular. Little
general idea is to enable patients to have greater insight into, and empirical evidence exists to understand how much Web 2.0
control over, their medical information. is being used in general.
An example of this increased engagement of a patient in A study examining physician practice in the USA has
his/her treatment will be as follows: A patient visits a general suggested that a segment of 245,000 American doctors are using
physician. The doctor may make a diagnosis or send the patient Web 2.0 for their practice, indicating that the use of the system
for some tests. These test results will be transmitted directly to is beyond the early stages. In fact, as part of the provisions of
the patient’s individual electronic medical record, which will be President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and
accessible by him/her. Before a second appointment (in cases Reinvestment Act, physicians throughout the USA will be
where one is required), the patient will have time to research eligible for a payment of around $45,000 for increasing
(through the Internet) what the test results may mean and what adoption of electronic health records by 2014.

October ‘09 15

Care IT

It has been noted that the traditional model of healthcare, cooler chats” of yesteryear that allowed doctors to exchange
where physicians act as gatekeepers to patients’ information, knowledge across specialisations.
sharing their test results only when and if it was deemed Neil Seeman, who runs a health-strategy innovation group at the
necessary, operates relatively well in situations such as acute care, University of Toronto’s Massey College, says that “Health 2.0” is
where information about specific blood results will be of little important “because it reinvents how we identify opinion leaders
use to a lay person, or in general practice where results were and exploit disruptive innovation.” His research has shown that the
generally benign. But, in the case of complex chronic diseases, most active communities on social networks, such as MySpace,
psychiatric disorders, or diseases of unknown etiology, Health concentrate not on celebrity gossip or sport but on chronic illness –
2.0 proves more useful and allows the patient to seek greater especially stigmatised conditions like depression.
knowledge about his/her condition. In conclusion, the arrival of digital medicine in full force is
On a Website called PatientsLikeMe, members from across expected to serve as a vital tool in tackling the great healthcare
the globe swap stories about their ailments and discuss subjects challenges of this century. That is, dealing with the cost of chronic
like adverse drug interactions, dosing strategies, new drugs and care for the ageing population of the rich world and helping the
trials for more than a dozen diseases. A report by the California weak health systems in poor countries tackle deadly diseases.
Health Care Foundation, a think-tank, argues that in dealing
with multiple sclerosis, a neurological disorder for which there is Want to try Health 2.0?
no cure as yet, “the collective wisdom on this Website may rival There are a horde of Health 2.0 Websites available for use but
the body of information that any single medical school or some of them – the ones related to personal health records and
pharmaceutical company has assembled in the field.” financial services for healthcare – are restricted to use within the
However, it is easy to be sceptical about such online US and other countries. However, the following well-known
communities. A fatal illness will not be cured, for example, by health portals and communities are well worth a visit if you

Twittering about it. And for many people, nothing will replace would like to experience Health 2.0 for yourself.
the personal relationship between a
patient and his doctor. Health 2.0 Health portals
has also been criticised since the Patients are Helps you achieve
use of Google and other search your health and fitness goals, by making
engines as diagnostic tools may be going online to get you eat right, stay fit, track your progress
effective only for conditions with
unique symptoms and signs that
more information and stay motivated.
can easily be used as search terms.
Also, there are concerns over the
on their illness and Connect with your relatives to
record and track an accurate and
effects on patients obtaining to see what other up-to-date family health history. Find
information online, such as the out which health conditions run in
consumers think of

possibility of the patient delaying a your family.
visit to the doctor thinking that the
Net will help him self-diagnose and new medications. Connect with doctors online, join a live
treat the condition. There is also chat session with doctors if you have any
the question of how much of the user-generated information is health/medical/fitness problem or query.
factually accurate? One study has suggested that in certain
support groups only six per cent of the information is wrong and Healthcare communities
that only three per cent people reported that online advice had Network of patient
caused serious harm. Nonetheless, there is still a risk of communities, offering help and emotional support.
dangerous misdiagnoses. Provides online support groups
There are also issues regarding ownership and privacy of for various illnesses.
people’s personal information as well as loss of control over it. The oldest and largest mental
But, despite all this, it seems clear that patients are going health social network.
online to get more information on their illness and to see what Find health-related information and
other consumers think of new medications and to get emotional discussion in 733,263 member posts.
support from fellow sufferers.
Even doctors, who may seem to have the most to lose from Health advisory services
such patient-centred digital medicine, increasingly support the
move online. Many of them are keen users of secure medical
chat rooms. Thomas Lee of Partners Community Healthcare Remember, though, that these Websites are in no way an
thinks such social networking helps make up for the “water- alternative to consulting a medical professional. I 16 October ‘09


Letters to the Editor


When I saw your I enjoyed this month’s edition on Games.

September 2009 cover, All the articles were really good and
helpful. I would also like to congratulate
I was sure that the issue
IT magazine for the contemporary woman the makers of Live IT who had
was loaded with conceptualised the whole thing. I think this
gaming technologies magazine is spectacular and very helpful
INTELLIGENCE and the articles did not to anyone who is tech-savvy.
fail to excite. I Vedagiri
MOBILE GAMES experienced a Bangalore
‘PAN’ IN GAME complete gaming
session with the stories
MEDICAL SIMULATION I liked the article ‘Artificial Intelligence in
along with their Games’ by David Welch very much.
IN ACTION GAMES pictorial presentations. Thank you very much for this kind of
Kudos to Live IT! informative article. Keep going...
GAMING Sankar S Sushruthi
TECHNOLOGY Chennai Delhi

Please mail your comments/opinion to us at or write to us at:

E-3, Jhandewalan Estate, Rani Jhansi Road, New Delhi - 110055
Live IT or Leave IT

USB Heating Shoes

Pink or blue, just defrost it – it is what the USB Heating
Shoes tell you. Just plug the pair into your PC via the
USB or use a handy set of batteries. They will keep your
feet as cozy as can be, even in the winter. And yes, you
can be just warm or hotter, as you prefer. It comes in an
affordable range as well. Anyone game?

USB Mouse with

Infrared Heater
Get the hottest mouse in town and forget about the
blues of a cold room or a tired day. Once you plug it in
to the USB, the infrared generator inside the mouse
will heat it up to the comfortable warmth of 40°-45°C.
Once you are warm enough, you can regulate the
temperature and bring it to the required level.

USB Monkey Slipper

Getting cold feet? Or worried that your best pal
or a dear one is suffering from the same
syndrome? Here is a pair of lightweight slippers
that will keep your feet warm. You just need to
plug it in to the USB port of your computer and
here is your ready-made hearth. Add them to
your Christmas list! It comes in the right sizes.

Nap Shell
Take a break, get a power nap and take your Bugs Bunny
with you in this relaxation capsule. There is room for two;
there is air conditioning, an ergonomic mattress and
Dolby Surround. The bed is just right, whatever be your
height or body type. The Nap Shell is the result of
extensive research which guarantees a relaxing sleeping
position for both spine and back. Now you know how to
spend it when you have the next windfall. 18 October ‘09

USB Mouse Pad
It’s so chilly – you can feel it in your bones –
because the mercury has fallen to sub-zero
outside or because your cubicle-mate is a polar
bear. Get this mouse pad warmer and chase the
winter blues away. It’s compact, light and USB-
powered, and comes in two colours.

USB Hand Massager

Getting lethargic, tired or cold, and need a rub to feel better?
There is no need to make an appointment with your masseuse.
Plugged in to your computer’s USB, this hand massager can give
you immediate relief. Lightweight and compact, it comes with an
on/off button and helps you unwind as never before.

Magnetic Floating Bed

This is so cool and a great challenge to gravity! Dreaming
while you really float in the air and not giving a hoot even
if you weigh a hefty 400 pounds must be a tech wonder
to experience. It’s because the bed has enough magnets to
hold upto 900 kg in the air. Dubbed as one of the best
inventions of 2006 by ‘Time’, this bed can be used
indoors or outdoors. The hitch? You won’t find it locally
plus you need to shell out at least €1,200,000 even for the
basic model. But what the heck! You are going to own the
world’s “first non-gravity-based object” – a unique
possession that’s worth the price.

October ‘09 19

Live IT or Leave IT

Broadcaster Chopping Board

It’s solid and made from beech wood. It sets you singing the
minute you set your eyes on it. And, of course, you use it for a bit
of chopping. Wondering what is it? A guitar-shaped chopping
board made from an original Fender Telecaster/Broadcaster
guitar head. You don’t even need to put it into the dishwasher;
just wipe it clean with some soapy water and it’s done. An ideal
gift for a man-about-the-kitchen.

Cash Stash Key Chain

Forgot your wallet, your credit card is not working or you just got hit by a
pick-pocket? Looking for a portable piggy bank for emergency cash?
Shhhhhhhhhh! This is your very own running-out-of-money-proof key
chain. You can store an emergency fund in the capsule and no one will
even suspect it. And hey, don’t lose your keys!

Twilight Umbrellas
Plastic, polyester and aluminum – the lightest of
materials go into the making of these twilight umbrellas.
There is an automatic open button and the handle has
to be switched on to control the coloured lights. It’s
conveniently sized and requires three AAA batteries. 20 October ‘09

Sound Bomb Speaker
It’s portable and you can just plug it into the USB
port of your system. But don’t ever bring it on
board a flight or you might just be asked to stay
back and explain why you have a bomb on you.
Shaped like a bomb, this gadget works on a
quartet of batteries as well, and doesn’t bomb
your ears; it’s just the shape that is unusual.

Garlic Zoom
Tired of the garlic smell on your fingers? This little
gadget is just what you need, if you are long on
patience and short of knife skills. Just push peeled
garlic, one pod at a time, and hey presto, here is
what the chef ordered. It’s cute, easy to clean and
gets your food prep done without a crib.

USB Handbag
Flash Drives
Bored to death because of the same old
shape that flash drives come in? Here is
some variety to cheer you up. This handbag-
shaped USB Flash drive is made of silica gel
and barely weighs 15 grams. You just need
to plug in and play; it’s compatible to your
regular Windows, Linux, Mac or any other
new-generation operating system.

October ‘09 21


“When su rf in g, yo u ar e led from on
e page to
an o th
member all th
er th rough interest
e links?”
ing links.

el l d o yo u ar Biswal
How w Santosh Kum

Amisha Shah
Computer graphics
As most of my work is related
to computer graphics, I visit a
lot of related Websites. And
while browsing or
downloading data, I do find
some useful links as well.
Since I come across too many
Websites every day, I tend to
forget the page links. But if I
really like the pages and want
to visit them again, I simply
bookmark them. That’s easier
than remembering a long list.

Amrita Lalwani
Information analyst
Aarti Shah While browsing the Internet, I
Tarot reader don’t pay much attention to
other links except for the ones
If I am searching through
I am looking for. In case
Websites and come across
something is striking, I may
something interesting, I
check it out. But most of the
usually remember the links.
times, I don’t remember those
For example, if I come
links later.
across tarot or astrology-
related links, I will definitely
check them out. Otherwise,

“ Once, clicking
I click on the links that are
eye-catching and if the
landing Websites are useful,
I remember them. on a link led to the
installation of some

unwanted software
in my PC 22 October ‘09

If I really like the pag “
m again,
and want to visit the
I simply bookmark th

Ansy Austin
People browse the Net
much too frequently
and there is too much
content which one can
hardly remember. So I
just read the content
and move on to other
sites. I may remember
the page or bookmark it
if I need it for future

Sujata Garud
Management student
Priya Panwekar I had some bad experience,
MBA student thanks to some of those
If I am browsing the Internet interesting links. At times, when
during my free time, I also click I am waiting for the next page
on other links that I come to load, I get messages like
across. But once I had a bad “You have won” or “You have
experience. When I clicked a a good home-based work
link, it led to the installation of opportunity.” Initially, when I
some unwanted software in my was an amateur Internet user, I
PC. After that, I have been very fell for some of these links and
careful. As I surf the Web a lot, even ended up infecting my PC
I remember the regulars like the with some unknown virus. ad, Now, I just take note of the
ad, MTV Roadies etc. I often links that are reliable and useful
check these links as they help – like banking sites, movie
me understand branding which reviews, games, contests etc.
is a part of my studies.

Do you use any video editing software to put together your audio & video files? Share your
experience with us. Send us your entries, with your photograph, to

October ‘09 23


Different Sites to
Suit Different Moods
Look at the right place to match your mood

hen we define the Internet as a veritable treasure airline or train reservations to hotel bookings, from hiring cabs
trove of information, it is a simple statement with a to finalising sightseeing itineraries. Even if armchair travelling is
world of meaning within. The World Wide Web more your style, these websites have descriptions and videos to
may be just a network of computers and servers satisfy your travel cravings without moving a muscle. Besides,
connected to each other. But today, it caters to the myriad needs you can locate a large number of booking agents and travel
of people from all walks of life. Let’s say, websites. Now there companies too. Bon voyage!
are websites to provide all the information that one can possibly
imagine. In fact, saying that there is a website available to satisfy
every possible human mood is not an exaggeration. More and
more people quite literally live online. Of course, the sheer size
of the Internet is daunting and using the power of the Web to
the maximum advantage appears difficult, to say the least. But
help, as usual, is at hand – because this is where we take you Looking forward to
through a few websites to satisfy each of your moods. A organising a party?
disclaimer is in order here. Although the list is as comprehensive Always envied that friend who is the
as possible, some websites and moods may have been missed out perfect hostess at perfectly planned and executed
simply owing to space constraint. parties? Well, the good ol’ Web is here to help. Take your pick
So, let’s begin a journey through our various moods and from any of the several websites that allow you to plan the best
websites that would suit them … so, what’s your mood today? parties ever. From venues to menus and recipes to catering
services, from setting a table and stocking the bar to renting
Try some of these for a gourmet experience crockery and cutlery and arranging games for all ages – the
You want to rustle up something great tasting for the family? complete whys and wherefores of parties are here to make you
We all love food, don’t we? It is a fact quite easily proved by the the best host ever!
plethora of cookery websites present on the Web. Search for a
specific recipe and not only will you get a list of websites giving
you the exact tried and tested versions complete with cooking
times, calorie counts et al., but you will also see several results
with videos and the history of the recipe. Also, there are websites
that give you a list of ingredients and terms used in cooking,
along with images, meanings and translations in different Get fit and healthy
languages. Do you have a medical problem and want to know more about it? Or have you recently vowed to cut out the fattening fried food you’ve forever indulged in and want to know how many calories that goody chocolate cake has? Or what the Atkins diet actually is? Maybe you want to know about aerobics and
Tai Chi. How about pictorials and
Travelling to that dream videos of some yoga exercises for that
destination of yours? backache? Or a comprehensive list of
Even as the world turns into a global village, home remedies for the common cold?
travelling, too, is getting easier and comfortable. Several websites Or some advice on dealing with
together allow you to plan your complete travel online – from morning sickness during pregnancy? 24 October ‘09

Maybe some basic advice on skin and hair care? All this and Develop your social/professional network
much more about health and fitness can be found on the Your daily routine involves going to office, coming
Internet. Of course, with medical websites, we need to be back, spending time with family, going to sleep – it goes
really careful. Never follow the advice blindly and always check on the same way, over and over again. But, at the end of
with your doctor before starting any fitness regime. it all, you crave to go back to your school or college
buddies. There’s absolutely no time to socialise and, of
Fitness-related websites course, your friends are scattered all over the world. Maybe you want to know more people in your professional sphere. Here’s where social networking sites come to your help. Several popular social and professional networking sites allow you to connect with people across the globe and effectively expand your social
and professional networks.
Pregnancy and child care
related websites Looking for some entertainment?
With work happening all the time and family commitments
Websites for home remedies draining your energy, you need to take a break once in a while. So what is it that refreshes you? The Web provides an array of options for relaxation. There are sites for gaming, music, renting movies, e-books – practically anything that you can think of
is all there on the Net.
Websites for the spiritually inclined Get the best of jokes here
Websites for medical terms For bookworms
Enhance your skills
So your formal education is complete and it is time to enhance Movie buffs can visit these
your professional skills. After all, a bit of upgrading is always
required to stay on track in your career. Maybe your new
project requires you to pick up some new technology. A short-
term online course or even a tutorial is just what you need.
The Internet provides a vast variety of online courses,
tutorials, e-books and newsletters to take your knowledge up a
couple of notches. For the music fanatic

October ‘09 25


Tying the knot? Entertain and teach your child

Marriage is a big step Websites for kids are among the most popular ones on the Net.
that one takes in life and in the Indian context, arranged From online activities, games, colouring pages to stories, poems,
marriages are still the norm. So once you do decide to get songs and even help with assignments and projects – the list is
married, searching for a partner who is perfect for you and almost endless. From toddlers to teenagers, there is a website for
acceptable to all in the family can be a daunting task! In the age everyone. Some of the popular ones are:
of the Internet, the first step is to register on one of the online
marriage bureaus, which have thousands of profiles – one of
those is sure to be the right one! Happy hunting! On a shopping spree/looking for stores
or services?
Looking for a job? A yellow pages or classifieds website
So you have finally decided to let go of the low-paying, stressful is the answer. These websites usually
job that you had been holding on for so long. Of course, getting provide a comprehensive search
a new one is not easy but job portals on the Web are very useful. facility by city and area, industry and
Besides job listings categorised by designation, location, industry price range. Customer ratings and reviews
and so on, these also offer services like resume preparation, are also provided. Many of these also link to the stores’ websites
newsletters and job offers via e-mail. and provide the best deals available. The kind of reach they have must be seen to be believed.
Planning your finances?
Money, they say, makes the world go Searching for information?
round. But managing money is a big cause An upcoming project or presentation requires you to look up
of stress for most people. Planning your money, some information. Or maybe you are a trivia aficionado.
investments, taxes – these are enough to make your head spin. Print encyclopaedias are available online – allowing you to
Several websites are very helpful though, with basics about money, save time, space and, of course, money. With search
finance, investments and taxation; even a novice can easily options and articles categorised by keywords and
understand the intricacies of financial planning and investment. alphabet, searching for information which is correct and up-to-date is very easy.
Get the latest news and views As mentioned before, there are
Online news portals provide news that updates faster than you websites to suit nearly every mood
can say ‘news’. From around the world, news on all topics is and requirement – it is all a
available 24x7. And that includes videos and images too. News question of looking at the right
channels regularly provide news updates on their websites. place. The Internet is a powerful
Several popular portals are also quick with publishing the news tool. If used correctly, it allows
as it happens. for a remarkable enhancement and improvement in the quality of life and saves time, money and energy. So what are you waiting for? Go on, use the Net to match your mood, view and need! I 26 October ‘09

Ideas for Modern
Home Décor Puja Goyal

n Englishman’s home is his castle, a private house is Tudor cottage on the Isle of Wight sends a Tweet or alert
the emblem of the American dream and home message if the energy or water usage goes up suddenly –
means much more than a mere abode in India – it is indicating that he may have left a light on or a tap running.
a part of one’s lifestyle and cultural heritage. As the But putting together a smart home also requires smart
market is flooded with latest technologies and high-end gadgets, thinking and the necessary installations and upgradations must
it is only natural for the upwardly mobile to look for housing be done with diligence. Splurging on trendy ideas – just because
options where the latest in technology use is, by far, the USP. your friends or neighbours have opted for the same – may not
Whether you are building or buying new-age homes or simply serve your purpose in the long run. Because new trends go out
upgrading the one you live in, integrating tech with home décor of style quickly and products need frequent upgrades, you have
will definitely cost you more than the traditional fitting- to learn the difference between what you like and what actually
furniture-furnishing. But the blueprints of future homes redefine works for you. Start small and cheap; test the gadget’s usability
our previous experiences and open up new horizons, never and gauge your own requirements. Buying the basic (and,
imagined before. therefore, less expensive) version can be a smart idea, if you do
Thanks to the technological evolution, there has been a not need all the add-on features right now. Most importantly,
holistic change in the construction and the home décor segments these technologies/gadgets should be user-friendly and must fit
during the recent years. Now you can plan a luxury escape to a into the scheme of the house.
rooftop swimming pool or squash court; install a mini Purchasing new gadgets and technologies for the house should
amphitheatre; opt for motion sensor-based lighting; build rooms be considered with great sagacity and integrated holistically.
without columns & beams and introduce modular fixtures for This not only enhances your lifestyle, but also brings down
design innovations. Most of your home gadgets can be operated unnecessary expenditure. Only integrate ideas and concepts
via your mobile while audio-visual and biometric systems keep a which are essential for a good life and meet your goals. Buying a
wary watch on your security. coffeemaker does not make much sense if you are not an avid
Owning a hi-tech, future-perfect home might have been on coffee drinker. On the other hand, if the concept suits your life
your wish-list for some time. It can be similar to the one owned and style, get it, by all means, and explore its untapped
by the IBM head of invention Andy Stanford-Clark who has potentials. It will be most exciting and also give you a rare sense
installed hundreds of sensors that inform him when the food is of self-fulfilment. Don’t hesitate to live Hi-Tech. Just tweak the
ready, a visitor is at the door or a mouse trap is triggered. His technology and make it your own!

October ‘09 27


Future of Hi-tech Homes

ack to the Future was a cult movie series of the 1980s. The

immediately taking to it. For home technologies to become
movie exhibited ideas in hi-tech lifestyle and living popular, consumers will need to see some practicality in the
which were beyond our imagination. The movie was applications. In other words, consumers probably don't want to
utterly fascinating which illustrated possibilities of a sit in front of the computer to turn the lights on. That said,
flying car, hi-tech security system in houses and television there are opportunities using the same technology to do useful
screens which allowed you to interact with individuals from the things, like saving energy or keeping people healthy for long.
future. Today, this remote possibility is likely to come true and it
won’t be long before we find these facilities in our homes. Applications which make sense
Some day, our mirrors could be giving us fashion advice when Energy Saving Devices: Tech-Savvy devices which allow the
we have to go all dressed up for a party, by scanning our user to adjust heating and cooling settings using a computer or a
wardrobes and accessories and creating make-over images cell phone are already available in the market. Leonardelli
before we get dressed up. We might hold our clothes up to our explains, “Homes also can be programmed so that if the security
bedroom mirror for a computer to scan instead of digging into system is disarmed, the system will turn on the lights.” GPS-
our closets. Using radio-frequency identification technology, our enabled cell phones may some day signal when we're getting
electronic fashion stylist would then offer suggestions based on close to home, and allow the home owner to signal the network
what's in our closet or pair up and create designs which will be to adjust heating, turn on lights and unlock a door.
up to the latest fashion tastes. Soon, home energy consumption could be monitored just as
Jonathan Cluts, director of strategic prototyping at Microsoft, we would in a hybrid car. Companies are already experimenting
said in an interview, “The technology required to do it is pretty and working on creating zero-energy homes or, even better,
much available today.” The feature can be seen in action at a homes that actually make more energy than they consume.
Microsoft concept home in Redmond, Wash, and a variation is in Networking Designs: While saving energy is a priority, in
a new prototype home in Disneyland. As time passes, we will see the near future we will have a large retired population which
more innovations and upgradations in technology which will be would require technological support. “New technologies will
included in our homes, experts say. These upgradations in our help people delay institutionalisation and allow them to live
homes will be dictated by our personal preferences and needs. independently for a longer time,” said Majd Alwan, director
The most important factor to initiate technological of the Washington-based Center for Aging Services
developments in creating a hi-tech home is networking. This will Technologies (
allow all electronic items like
computers and phones to be
connected, enabling them to
communicate with each other.
Networking will allow people to
manage their technological
equipment together from one master
unit. All music and movie files could
be fed onto one media server so they
can be heard or watched in any
connected room. Networking will
allow an individual to control the
security, lighting, thermostat and
windows, ovens, kitchen, etc. by
touching a button.
Ten years ago, this was the
domain of the rich. Wired and
wireless technologies are now
being considered by the average
home owner, as they become
cheaper. Even then, because the
price of home automation is slowly
declining, it doesn’t mean people are 28 October ‘09

The need for care-giving will rise as the cost of care goes up Smart design. That means a home built with industrial
for the retired population. Wearable fall-detectors are already on finish, and includes abundant natural light and air circulation,
the market, and researchers are working on floor sensors that plus the technological advances which allow tracking electricity
can tell if a person has fallen. These sensors can distinguish and controlling heat and cooling, among other features, effortless.
when a person, rather than some other object, hits the floor. “In Efficiency of Materials. The use of renewable and
the future, motion sensors may look for patterns of normal recycled materials will be prominent and it would include off-site
activity and report when movement isn't sensed for a certain prefabricated construction, which shortens building time.
period of time,” Alwan added. Energy efficiency. Use of solar-powered equipment and
other items which will help generate energy will be
The extras experimented and innovated with.
In the kitchen of the future, appliances could end up talking to Water efficiency. Features will include low-flow
each other and prepare meals for the family according to showerheads and dual-flush toilets that vary the amount of
schedules fed into the computer; just like in the movie water used and that rely on collected and reused "grey water"
Edward Scissorhands. from the sink. This will also allow recycling of water where
The living room could be decorated and designed with coffee homes will be equipped with facilities which will recycle home-
tables having touch screen facility and displaying family photo owners waste.
albums, and digital photo frames could be hung on walls with Healthy environment. The use of nontoxic materials will
security cameras. also be considered.
Basic hi-tech home décor will become a necessity to The main thought behind hi-tech home décor in the near
home owners who won’t be able to imagine their lives future will be designing big rather than building big. Designs will
without it, as they become more affordable and dependable be built to minimise space use and will focus on utility for the
in the near future. home owner while imbibing technological advancements within
But even then some basic points would have to be taken into them. This is something home owners can be excited about in
consideration as home-owners gear up for hi-tech homes. Here the near future, as dreams of living in a hi-tech home straight
are the points to ponder. from the movie Back to the Future comes true.

Convertibles: Fun forms

meet functionality
onvertibles were once considered a favourite of those thanks to the rapid progress in interior designing and relevant
unwilling to spend a fortune on furniture or home technologies. It is amazing how innovative convertibles can now
décor. But as human habitats get denser, real estate fit inside a standard luggage box, and can be arranged and
prices skyrocket and barring a privileged few, none rearranged as per requirements and convenience.
can actually afford sprawling villas or big town houses fitted with
colossal period pieces. ‘Beautility’ (beauty plus utility) is, Useful but not mundane
therefore, the present-day mantra at modern homes and opting Gone are the days when box-shaped wooden furniture crowded
for convertible furniture is the key to better space utilisation. our homes and anything on the ornamental side was considered
As the term suggests, convertibles are unique multifunctional an extravaganza. As modern urban living is all about beauty and
furniture pieces whose shapes and size can be changed instantly functionality, designers have become more innovative and
for various uses and efficient space management. It is, started thinking out of the box. Simple, minimal designs and
undoubtedly, the latest trend in furniture fashion and catching alluring shapes created in a wide array of colours ranging from
up fast due to severe space constraints in urban areas. The chic vibrant tints to neutral shades and stark white bestow an aura of
and experimental designs are aesthetically stunning and distinction to every piece of furniture that can easily convert
impressively practical as the furniture must be suitable for from one use to another and make better use of the space we
multitasking and must fit even in a pint-sized flat. Most common have. Simply put, funky forms meet functionality in these
examples of this genre are the expanding tables or the chunky elegant, well-engineered furniture items that can be easily
sofa-cum-beds, most popular for their dual use as a couch and a changed to fit the size of your work without sacrificing the style.
bed. Made of minimal and sustainable materials, convertibles In case you are longing to buy a convertible just now, please hold
today are sleek, portable and converts with amazing ease – your patience. There are more to it than you can ever imagine.

October ‘09 29


It’s green actually integrate standard or ‘mood lighting’ with the furniture
Eco-conscious consumers are keen to opt for green designs pieces in use – a never-before experience for most of us. Try the
where natural colours and plants are integrated into the ‘luminotherapy’ bed or chair that constantly changes colours or
furniture piece itself. This adds a twist to the otherwise normal you can just stick to the one of your choice. The unique piece
designs and leaves your guests amazed and wondering. comes with a remote so that you can control the colour and
Designing it ‘green’ does not mean keeping a plant or a rock change the home ambience at the touch of a button.
garden in a corner or displaying exquisite flowers in a vase. The furniture item, most commonly used for experimen-
Instead, creepers or such other plants can be grown inside tation, is the bed – the snooze island where you can relax, curl
transparent pieces of furniture which will look just great. up and fall asleep without a care. And the varieties on offer are
Similarly, coffee tables, kitchen furniture, or even washroom simply mind-boggling. From the more conventional foldable
appliances can be enmeshed or treated, thus adding green beds to well-hidden, fold-out wall beds and the futuristic
dimensions to your immediate surroundings. floaters – each concept has evolved from out-of-box thinking
Do you have enough time and patience when it comes to and stands in sharp contrast to your current boxy bedroom.
furniture shopping? If the answer is yes, ask your designer to Although hide-a-beds were not immediately popular, clever
shape living trees into exquisite furniture pieces like chairs, designing and great space-saving made them quite trendy.
tables or even mirror frames. If you are one of those who love to Home-owners today also opt for floating beds which are folded
relax in the garden – leaning against a tree and quietly reading a into ceiling space and rolled down for use. Instead of folding it
book – this grow-it-yourself, natural wood furniture concept out from the wall, the bed is pulled down from the ceiling but

might readily take root in your imagination. Best of all, you can still leaves enough room for the objects underneath – a rare feat
watch your favourite new seat grow right up from the ground in that most of the convertible couch-beds or similar bed designs
your backyard or on the patio/porch. cannot manage.

It’s innovative It’s hi-tech

Recycling is also in vogue and used items like crushed coke cans In case you are looking for a ‘bedroom experience’ with a
or battered cricket/baseball bats are used innovatively to create difference, there are provisions to bring all your favourite
exotic pieces of furniture that would surely wow your guests. Or if gadgets right into the bed with you – thus ensuring effective
you are a gizmo-lover and want to deck up the home with boys’ space-saving and amazing multi-functionality. These hi-tech
toys, go for bike/car-parts furniture – sink-in seats, stunning coffee beds are the latest buzz in the market as they integrate high-end
tables and much more. For example, get hold of the front technologies with comfort and aesthetics. The beds are like
headlights & grill of a car no longer in use and carefully fix a secret rooms that perfectly blend into an interior design scheme
sturdy glass shelf on it. You can now proudly display the signature and cut out on the gadget space, so that your favourite gizmos
piece (it will feature the manufacturer’s crest in the front) at home do not crowd your bedroom any more. Be ready to shell out
and the off-beat creation will breathe oodles of style. Even a used good money and you can buy a hi-tech bed with built-in reading
musical instrument can become a solid decoration item. lights, television (some times with a surround-sound speaker
Designers are now trying to push psychedelic concepts – a system to give you that home theatre kind of feeling), computer
perfect combination of innovation and creativity. One can with wireless Internet, iPod dock and gaming console. Quite 30 October ‘09

simply, the gadget-loaded bed is virtually an all-in-one, stand- features like temperature controls and anti-snoring devices.
alone room that caters to all your needs. Curious? Impressed? Eager to try out the new-age conver-
While a theatre screen can be pulled down for watching tibles? Think out of the box and get going today. Practical,
television or movies, an integrated personal computer ensures eco-friendly and elegant, they will transform your traditional
that you can work or surf from the comfort of your bed. Then home décor and help create incredible interiors!
there is the gaming console for the so-called addicts who love to
get lost in the virtual world of ‘Xtreme Ntertainment.’ Or you
may simply relax with your favourite book and read yourself to
sleep. Reading lights and shades are carefully integrated to
protect your eyes whenever you are awake or asleep. Hi-tech
beds are perfect furniture pieces for a cramped urban condo or a
compact studio apartment. And these are evolving fast too, as
companies across the globe are adding up more sophisticated

Deck it up, the sci-fi way

heme-based décor, stunning layout, futuristic floors, living Who needs a computer when you can load hundreds of pictures
walls – you name it and the ultra modern homes of the on to a photo frame and the images change periodically on their
new millennium have it. Instead of creating bland own? Just insert a compatible memory card in your digital photo
building blocks, innovations in the digital era has brought frame and you can get started without a hitch. The bigger the
to life many of our childhood fantasies – right from that memory card, the more number of pictures will be on display.
awesome ‘Star Trek’ consol (now you can find a similar control You can also choose the display mode (single photo or slide
panel at a wired home) to the sliding wall that reveals amazing show) and bring to life the cherished memories of another day.
treasure troves (it is easy to get one done to step into another
part of your house). Simply put, fantasy meets reality in today’s Flexi fridge
designer homes and the better imagination you have, the funkier The refrigerator is one of the biggest and heaviest appliances at
it will get. Here are a few out-of-the-box concepts for your out- home that stand tall and immobile. But thanks to design
of-the-world dream home. innovations, portable versions are now readily available in the
market. The easy-to-move flexi fridge is an offshoot of the
Moving floors and walls cooling appliances available in coffee shops where shop owners
If you have watched Jamiroquai’s ‘Virtual Insanity,’ the special keep their wares. While
effects might have left you quite stunned at times. In this widely a central pillar supports
popular music video, the floor appears to move while the rest of each level, cold air –
the room stays still and the interior changes even when the generated at the base – is
ceiling and floor are static. Did you ever wonder how it circulated upwards
happened and fervently wished to own a home straight out that through permeable
fantasy world? Well, some home owners have already decided to structural layers. Stylish
go jazzy and opted for the designer touch. Exquisite murals and to the core, these new-
bold colours make the once-drab flooring look like a piece of genre machines weigh
art. Best of all, one can also integrate lights, music and other much less than the
appliances to make the surface glow in the dark, create great traditional big-box
sound effects and change images. Although it sounds too fridges and also offer
futuristic and may cost quite a fortune, connoisseurs of designer great flexibility in terms
homes are not complaining. of storage space. So
collapse or expand them
Changing images at your will to
Have you noticed the billboards on city roads, with glittering accommodate your
and changing images? How would you feel if you can actually everyday requirements.
bring the billboards home? Instead of displaying just a few It will also save space for
paintings or photographs which seem to stay there forever, the studio apartment
latest trend is to showcase photo frames with changing images. dwellers.

October ‘09 31


Designed by Austrian student Stefan Buchberger, Flatshare is The ratchet furniture designed by Harry Hasson is the best
another terrific idea to keep food fresh and handy the way you example in this category. The pressure from the ratchet straps
want it. It features interlocking refrigerator sections, scalable up wrapped around the units is enough to keep them from falling apart,
to a full-size fridge and contains four stackable modules on the thus eliminating the need for other permanent fasteners, small
top of a base. Customisation is easy as you can choose your accessory pieces or complex metal hardware like nails, screws or
colours, patterns etc. and also include add-ons like bottle glue. So get creative and redesign your storage devices the way you
openers or a whiteboard. The refrigerator can be dragged want it to give your dream home a new look and feel. Your family
anywhere and its size can be manipulated according to your and friends cannot but appreciate all the efforts you have taken.
convenience. The Flatshare fridge was one of the nine finalists
in the Electrolux Design Lab contest.

Collapsible storage space

Modular furniture happened to be the next best idea after
modular kitchens. Now we can take it one step further and think
of modular storage space. It is the latest rage among people who
suffer from cramped space and require more storage area in
near future. If you have no space for heavy closets, wardrobes or
chest of drawers, try the collapsible or knock-down furniture
which can be designed and redesigned to suit your requirements.
Cheap yet robust and elegant, the units of modular furniture are
easy to assemble and disassemble. What’s more, some of these
can be collapsed and folded away, when not in use.

Living safe – The tech way

hat does it take to turn your home into a safe security remains the key concern of people – especially where
haven and a personal sanctuary? Check out these both spouses work and stay away from home for a considerable
‘intelligent’ gadgets which not only take care of period. Families now do all they can to ensure household safety
the security issues at home but also ensure your and next-generation technologies further pave the way to take
personal well-being. Are you ready to go with the global flow advantage of robust security measures.
and embrace the quirky ideas? Security systems vary in cost but these are no longer
exorbitant. Companies today instantly respond to popular
Security camera demands and often knock down prices to boost sales. Custom
There are many options available in the market if you want to packages are also on offer to meet individual requirements. As
incorporate a good security system and keep your home as safe new innovations flood the market, consumers are spoilt for
as possible. In India, the trend was not too popular though, even choice and take their pick from a wide range of security
a few years ago. But with crime rates on the rise across the globe, products. There are wireless technologies, televisions monitoring,
alarms and quick call-in to the police in case of a break-in – all
dedicated to ensure your personal safety and security.
A wireless security camera can scan your home and hearth
meticulously all day and all night. The wireless technology
allows these gadgets to be placed ‘discreetly’ where wired
cameras cannot reach out. Each system has a camera and a
DVR inside, and images are recorded on an SD card for easy
playback. Others systems can record videos and transmit it
directly to your computer. Some of the body-worn applications
have microphones too, for audio recording.
Packed with features, wireless colour cameras are
sophisticated equipment that can be used indoors or outdoors
for maximum flexibility. These are easy to set up,
weatherproof and some of the versions provide night vision. 32 October ‘09

What you get is a USB DVR wireless system that has four (based on infrared or radio waves) can be triggered by a portable
cameras. The hardware turns your computer into a global remote control and it can be installed inside a vehicle as well.
surveillance tool, allowing you to see what is going on from These devices are very popular for car/garage doors. Swipe
anywhere in the world. This means that you can be holidaying cards, too, are used to open and close automated doors and
in Spain and monitoring your home in India. these can also turn on and turn off lights. Then there are the
Installing a basic security system is easy and you can try the motion sensors that use low-power microwave radars and power-
latest IP/Network cameras which are sophisticated surveillance assisted doors for the act of pushing or pulling, thus triggering
equipment. The hi-tech device uses an IP address to transmit the open-and-close cycle.
the video recording through a network using Ethernet/CAT5 In addition to activation sensors, automatic doors are
cable. Just log in using any Internet connection available through generally fitted with safety sensors. These are usually an
a computer or a 3G phone and view or playback the video from infrared curtain or beam, but can be a pressure mat fitted on
anywhere in the world. the swing side of the door. Safety sensors prevent the door
Although baby monitors are routinely used in many homes, from colliding with an object in its path by stopping the door
some wireless and security cameras can also carry out the same or slowing its motion.
task. With the right setup, you can even hook up a wireless
camera to your iPhone to watch your baby sleeping. Hi-tech lights
Night lights: Night lights or power-failure lights are in vogue in
Automatic door European houses because they can be helpful for kids who are
These are electrically automated doors opened and closed by afraid of the dark and also provide essential back-up in case of
power, spring or both. Automated doors are activated by power failure. New-generation night lights for parents who like
various mechanisms and you can choose any one of these as high-tech gadgets include:
per your convenience.  Automatic night lights that go on at dusk and off at dawn.
Sensor-automated doors are activated by detecting traffic.  Motion-activated night lights, which are especially helpful
Sensors are triggered when there is a change in light or pressure when you have to get up and check on the kids in the middle
on certain switches that keep the door closed. A pressure sensor of the night.
works when it senses the pressure; for example, a floor mat  Power-failure night lights, which will only turn on when the
reacts to the pressure when someone steps on it. Some power goes out.
automated doors have an infrared curtain or beam which keeps Solar LED lights: Known to be most environment-friendly,
the invisible light focused on the sensors. If something or these hi-tech power tools featuring light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
someone blocks the beam, the door opens. A remote sensor have become immensely popular. Also, because these are solar,

there is simply nothing to plug in. Just expose the gadgets to the people glued to their laptops and working long hours. If you are
sun as long as possible and the solar energy will be stored in the burning the midnight oil for that all-important project but want
solar batteries. Fully charged solar lights can power up lighting to snatch a few minutes of sleep, here is the perfect solution. Just
for a maximum of 10 hours. These are increasingly used to light close your laptop and the pillow on the top of your laptop will be
up the exteriors, especially the big yards or garden space, as a filled with warm air. The iSleep is attached to the laptop’s
good number of lights are necessary to brighten up these areas. exhaust vent and the warm air inflates it to provide some nice
So tap the free & clean energy from the sun to light up your padding for your weary head. Not only is the pillow warm, but it
home and go green in the process. has an integrated speaker that will play music and lull you to
Wall sconces: They are coming back in vogue as sleep. And there is an alarm clock as well, to wake you up when
individuals want to marry technology with traditional look and needed. This can be an integral part of the iSleep or you may
feel. If you are renovating the house, it is the best time to install have to programme your laptop for the wake-up call. The
electric wall sconces. But sconces can be solar-powered too, if product will hit the market soon and provide a much-needed rest
they are used for outdoor lighting. Wall sconces are available in a zone for sleep-starved executives, married to their laptops.
wide choice of styles, colours, shapes and designs. There are
three basic points to consider here: lighting type, placement and Sensor garbage bin
style. The sconce can be a standalone unit used to light up dimly Sensor garbage bins are 100% hands-free, wireless and lidded
lit areas like hallways. And how you place them can actually waste disposal systems. There is a built-in artificial intelligent
determine how well they can light up a room. (AI) smart chip which knows when you need to open the trash
For general lighting, sconces should not be placed lower than can, and will do all the openings and closings for you.
5.5 ft from the ground. The actual height will depend on the Invisible infrared technology (harmless, of course) is used to
overall room height and the height of the users, of course. For make these motion sensor trash cans. When anything comes
higher ceilings, move the sconces up to get reflection from the within six inches of the infrared sensor placed near the lid,
ceiling, but not so high that the down light is lost. Another position the lid opens up instantly. Dispose of the garbage fast as the
can be along the wall where sconces are placed in pairs or more. lid closes automatically after three seconds. There are two
front buttons to open and close the lid manually and an
Sensor pillow on/off switch at the back of the trash can. The automated
Sensor pillows happen to be the ultimate in luxury and utility in garbage bin is a welcome relief as it helps maintain a germ-
a gadget-rich bedroom. They not only provide great comfort, free, odour-free environment. It is hygienic too, as you need
but also act as doctors, play music and help minimise snoring. As not touch any part of the trash can. I
scientists and manufacturers try to incorporate innovative
technologies and ensure better relaxation for the human body,
new gadgets with better offerings come up every day. Pillows to
measure sleep quality have been manufactured in Japan (Loft)
and are quite a rage. They record the depth and quality of your
sleep by measuring the movements of your head. It stands on
the theory that the less you fidget, the better you sleep.
The latest version in this range is i-sleep, a soft and comfortable
pillow attached to your laptop. Currently designed by Ivonne
Dippmann, this i-pillow aims to improve the sleep quality of 34 October ‘09


1 2

It’s time to look East and rejoice! Now West

Bengal is coming up with technology
‘firsts’ and ‘Durga Puja’ celebrations are
turning ‘green.’ Come with us on a journey
of discovery this festive season…
Viny Velayudhan

1 Airport city in West Bengal

Durgapur, the industrial region of West Bengal, is all
set to get India’s first privately owned airport. Known as the
West Bengal Greenfield Project, it is managed by the Bengal
Aerotropolis Project Ltd. (BAPL). Changi Airport
International, a partner of BAPL, will take care of overall
planning, construction and training of the airport staff. The
airport will be located at Andal, 190 km from Burdwan district, 5
and it will be India’s first airport city or aerotropolis. Besides
other facilities, the aerotropolis will feature an IT park, an
industrial zone and a well-developed township.
3 Puja celebrations go green
Bengalis are famous for their pompous celebration of
2 First ever exclusive ship design base
West Bengal will soon have a unique design centre set
the Durga Puja festival. But this time, it is also proved that they
care for the environment. In fact, the ‘purohits’ (priests) have
up by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd strongly insisted upon eco-friendly measures during the
(GRSE), a PSU under the Defence Ministry. GRSE, along with celebrations and many of the organisers have toed the line.
a private French firm and a domestic IT firm, will give shape to Thanks to their eco-friendly gesture, the focus is now on using
a first-of-its-kind design centre in India that will provide bio-degradable products for decorations and plastic in any
detailed ship-design solutions. form or shape is given a wide berth. For years, the priests’ body
This public-private joint venture will leverage the expertise of have been pleading not to use plastic as it leads to unbridled
each partner to ensure the very best in terms of service. The pollution and may cause major fire incidents. A ban has been
ship designing and engineering services will be handled by the slapped on the use of candles and wax as well, since these
centre while the French company will contribute its designing contain paraffin – another harmful ingredient. Thanks to the
expertise. Hardware, manpower and other solutions will be increasing awareness among the masses, it seems we are set for
taken care of by the domestic IT firm. ‘green Pujas’ in the years to come. 36 October ‘09

3 4

5 India to set up certification facility

In a bid to counter growing cyber crimes in the
country, the Union Ministry of Communications and IT has
decided to set up India’s first certification facility for software
security products. The project will be located in Kolkata, the
capital city of West Bengal. A government testing centre is
already there in the city but this facility will help create
security zones for a variety of e-governance applications and
help enhance cyber safety.
Indian firms developing security products will also benefit
from this initiative as they need not spend time and money to
get their software programmes validated by overseas
organisations. Now their products will be tested and
6 accredited in India – thus reducing costs and time to market.

4 India's first green-lighted factory

West Bengal’s G.P. Tronics, an industrial unit based in
6 Monorail project gets German expertise
The Rs. 1200 crore light monorail project on the
Salt Lake, has become India's first green-lighted factory. The Budge Budge-Taratala stretch in West Bengal has been
entire 5500 sq. ft. factory area is now lit up with LEDs. Binay bagged by Kolkata firm Andromeda Technologies. And now
Opto Electronics, in charge of this unique and landmark project, the company will have experienced German partners who
has turned the factory 100 per cent green-lighted using only will provide international expertise. German firms
solar energy with zero carbon emission. Fernmeldewerk Munchen Aubing and Derap AG &
As a matter of fact, the entire lighting system of G.P. Tronics Helbling Technik will provide support for the signalling
consumes only 1200 Watts as compared to the originally system and contribute to the technologies involved.
envisaged 4200 Watts consumed by traditional CFLs. The The project will also introduce LPG-based feeder
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) considers a lighting load limit buses along with the monorail construction. It is a part
of maximum 11.5 Watts/sq. ft. as energy efficient and the LED of the Rs. 6000 crore, first-of-its-kind light rail transit
Lighting Project has proved its energy efficiency by achieving a system in West Bengal. The company plans to use LPG
fabulous 3 Watts/sq. ft. for running monorail in the future and the system will be
built accordingly. I

October ‘09 37

& beauty
Suneetha B.

n old days, our ancestors
feasted on food rich in fat
and carbs, and then went out
to hunt wild game or work
on the farmland all day long. A
nice cycle of calorie-burning, a
win-win situation – you have to
agree. But it is not possible any
more to retain that strategy.
Thanks to our sedentary, time-
strapped lifestyle, it is actually
becoming tougher to follow a regular
fitness regime. Either you are too tired to
go to gym everyday or you hate to go
jogging because of crowd and pollution.
The only other option left can only be
enjoyed by a privileged few. Because it
is expensive and time-consuming to
visit a spa or a salon on a regular basis. This is
exactly where fitness gadgets come in – keeping you
healthy and beautiful without costing a fortune. Here
is a list of products and reviews that will have you
rushing to work out and thus pamper your body! 38 October ‘09

For that radiant look… Crowning glory and more…
If the face is the mirror of the soul, most of us are really rotten Mankind’s crowning beauty is no longer low-maintenance. With
inside. Or, we have really bad facial skin, thanks to unhealthy a billion-dollar industry backing it up, every day, hair trends
eating habits, pollution and UV rays (let’s not forget stress and change and new looks emerge, calling for digital gadgets to meet
hereditary factors). Thankfully, there are some sophisticated the demand.
gadgets out there that can offer remedy to age-old woes like
stubborn blackheads or sagging skin. Chic locks
It’s official. The sleek, straight hair is here to stay and a boon to
Acne cure those with kinky and unruly hair.
Acne is a much serious condition that occurs when impurities The hair straightener or, as it is
clog the pores too long. ThermaClear is an acne treatment commonly called, a flat iron, is
device that applies thermal pulse technology to clear pimples almost a must-have for every
fast. It is an easy-to-use and FDA-cleared handheld medical woman’s beauty closet. Go for ionic irons
device for the treatment of mild-to-moderate inflammatory which also have infra-red technology to seal the
acne. The device uses a very short, controlled hair moisture. The latest entry, Nano Hair
burst of heat to treat individual acne lesions, Straightener, helps sterilize the plates and eliminate bacteria
neutralising the underlying bacteria that cause from appliances to promote a germ-free zone for the health and
acne and zits. The healing thermal energy safety of stylists and clients. Phillips, Sedu and Solia are
helps accelerate acne cure, reduces excellent brands, which have variable temperature controls and
inflammation and clears pimples faster. come with several years’ guarantee.
ThermaClear is most effective at the earliest
sign of a pimple. Unwanted fuzzy
Removing unwanted hair has now gone
Skin elasticity techno. An epilator removes them by
Light therapy is a recent grasping multiple hairs simultaneously and
technology which is used pulling them out. The way the epilators do
to cure blemished skin. it is similar to waxing, although unlike
LightStim is a patent- waxing, they do not remove the cells of
pending LED the epidermis. Epilation can be painful at
photo-rejuvenation light times as it involves pulling the hair out of its root. Because of
therapy device that decreases fine lines and improves skin this, some people prefer to have the area professionally waxed
elasticity. The basic concept is that it provides LED light to the first and then use the epilator to remove regrowth. Give the
epidermis (the skin layer below the sweat glands) in order to BRUAN silk-epil a go – it is gentle and easy to use with three
stimulate cell activity, which may promote the production of heads, two speed settings, ice pack (that you probably won’t ever
collagen and elastin. LightStim™ is a device that features 72 use) and a smart light to spot every single hair.
LED lights per unit and delivers certain wavelengths of light to
the skin surface, based on the idea that this will promote A head full of hair
healthier skin. From unwanted hair to much-wanted hair, laser combs
promise tantalising results to millions of people who suffer
Wrinkle eraser from hair loss. If price is not an issue, check out HairMax
So who is the fairest of them all, with no wrinkles at all? LaserCombs, made in USA. They work on the principle that
Safetox® Beauty is an electronic device that acts on the root living cells thrive in light and the human hair is no different.
causes of wrinkles at a muscular level. The skin is merely the The laser comb utilises the scientific principle of light therapy
superficial covering of the real mechanisms that lie further and photo-bio stimulation that progressively improve the
down, in the muscular tissues. Certain muscles close up the face appearance of your hair. Lauded as
and cause wrinkles. Safetox Beauty relaxes these muscles, the “Inventions of the Year” by the
thereby altering the muscular ‘Time’ magazine, LaserComb claims
balance in favour of the muscles at to be the only medical device
the rear of the head which open up clinically proven to promote hair
the face and lift the skin. A five- growth. For best results, use the
minute session each day for a few LaserComb three times a week for
weeks should be enough to restore 10-15 minutes. Positive results are
the muscular dynamics of a supposed to be noticeable in
youthful face. approximately 8-16 weeks.

October ‘09 39


Ahhhh! The divine pressure Workng out

How many of us have sore feet or back ache at the end of the
day? Nothing can be better than an old-fashioned rub by your Count your feet
favourite masseuse or your significant other, of course. But there For healthy limbs and
is some stuff that comes mighty close. With the following body, 10,000 steps a day
gadgets, you can say good bye to pain and welcome bliss. is recommended. If that
figure makes your jaw
Foot help drop, fear not – the
Foot massagers these days offer heated, vibrating, water and pedometer will help you
rolling massages. Some foot massagers focus on your feet alone achieve your goal.
while others do the calves and lower leg muscles as well, giving Inexpensive and unobtrusive enough to be tucked into your
you a complete and thorough massage. The whole idea is to take wallet, this little device will tell you how many steps you take each
all the weight off your feet and relax the muscles and bones that day. The best pedometers can calculate and display other
support your body all day. The HoMedics FM-CR Foot Pleaser interesting statistics such as distance, calories burned, speed,
Foot Massager ranks as the most popular, with features like elapsed time and steps per minute. They also act like a stopwatch
counter-rotational massage heads and soothing infrared heat. and alarm. Some pedometers have fancy features such as talking,
The product looks like a 14 inch plastic brick with two red playing music or reading your heart rate. Check out Omron and
circles on top. You sit in a chair with your feet on top of the Sportline brands, available online and at leading stores.
massager and the rotating balls massage as the circles spin.
Step up a notch
Face massagers If you do not want to run up and down the communal
Face massagers offer relaxation, reduce facial staircase, an electronic stepper is the solution. Choose a
cellulite (double chin, any one?) and cleanse the skin stepper that is affordable, light-weight and compact enough to
too. The Ultrasonic Face and Body Massager is store at home or at work. Stamina’s InStride Plus Electronic
portable, more effective and affordable – handling Mini-Stepper is a good bet. Featuring a battery-operated
aging skin with the latest ultrasonic technology. monitor displaying steps-per-minute, total steps, workout time
Sending cyclic sound waves of 1 MHz/second and and calories burned, this portable stepping machine provides
emitting frictional heat, the massager penetrates a complete cardiovascular workout while also offering elastic
deep into your skin to smooth out wrinkles and bands for toning back, arms, shoulders and torso during a
dissolve fat deposits. The ultrasonic heat stimulates workout. Made
skin tissue, revive cell tissue, excrete skin wastes and of steel, the
facilitate skin metabolism. It can be applied to most parts of the frame carries a
body including your face, neck, arms, breasts, belly, waist, hips, five-year
buttocks and legs. warranty
against defects,
Full body massage with parts
If you want to go the whole way, get a massage chair to make warranted
your whole body relax. A 15-minute session before bed, with against defects
kneading, rolling, vibrating and heated tapping, is enough to for 90 days.
make you look forward to a deep sleep. However, massage
chairs are not the one-size-fits-all type of gadget. Every Fitness console
person is unique with different health concerns. It is, Wii Sports brought home snow-bowling and tennis. Now
therefore, important to research and find the right chair for Nintendo turns the living room into a fitness centre with Wii
your specific needs. A Shiatsu massage chair is most sought Fit. Lean to block soccer balls, swivel hips to power hoop
after, as it applies acupressure. HoMedics is well known for its twirls or balance to hold the perfect yoga pose. Family
affordable massage products like massage chairs, back members get a “core” workout, compare their results and
massagers, monitor progress on a new channel on the Wii Menu.
handheld Because keeping fit is an ongoing process, Wii Fit also tracks
massagers and foot the activities you do the most and puts them into your
& calf massagers. Favourites category. Players can also note down exercises
Elite and and activities in which they excel, as well as areas that need
Panasonic are to be improve. Wii Fit comes with the Wii Balance Board
other great options and requires a Wii console to play. Wii console is
for your body. sold separately.I 40 October ‘09

Best of

style it Glam

We live in an age of convergence –

convergence of devices and technologies.
Technologies that connect our myriad devices
with each other and to the Internet, and help
reduce costs and power consumption with
more integrated features on smaller chips. We
all love gadgets. Whenever we want to buy a
gift for our loved ones, a list of latest electronic
gadgets usually comes to our mind. It is
because we believe that these gadgets and
technologies would surely enhance our lifestyle.
Don’t you agree that electronics play a
significant role in changing the way we live?
Gadgets and gizmos are ever evolving at a
rapid pace and innovations today are
churning out newer models and versions that
totally change our lifestyle. Advances in
technology have already changed the way
we communicate, think and see the world as a
global village. Cool devices are literally
flooding the markets faster than we can keep
up. Even during a short trip, we carry an iPod for
music, a Blackberry or a smart phone for talking
and e-mailing, a laptop for work, a
digicam/camcorder for an exclusive shoot and
portable gaming/multimedia gadgets for fun
and excitement on the go.
Live IT presents here cool techno
indispensables – a range of gadgets that are
already wedded to fashion and showcase the
powerful fusion of style and technology. Take a
look at what some giants have to offer and you
are sure to be floored by the chic and dazzle
of their products.

October ‘09 41

Style IT

Nokia 5800
Take home this music and
entertainment device
complemented by a touch
interface. The phone features
a ‘Media Bar’, a handy drop-
down menu that provides
direct access to music,
entertainment, the Web and
online sharing. Besides, you
get all the music essentials,
including a graphic equalizer,
8 GB memory, built-in surround
sound and a 3.5 mm jack.
Bluetooth Stereo &
This is a completely wireless
Bluetooth-enabled, hands-free
headphone. Take calls and also
listen to music in just one go. It
can be easily connected to any
Bluetooth-enabled device
including mobile phone, PC,
MP3 player, and many more.
Combines great look with reallly
cool sound quality.
Style IT

Sony DCR-DVD 710 E

Get a powerful zoom lens and an
extraordinary surround sound
recording with DCR-DVD 710E.
This one’s something really special!
Airport Express
A simplified and
compact device, which
allows up to ten network
users and includes a new
feature called AirTunes.
With the blazing 802.11n,
the affordable AirPort
Express is powerful enough
to run a home Wi-Fi
network. It is compatible
with both Mac and PC. Its
small design and light
weight makes it extremely
portable and stylish.
Style IT

VAIO-P (Pocket
Style PC)
Surf the web or play
songs quickly in ‘instant
mode’, video chat and
blog on the go. Once
you are done, just shut it
off and keep it in your
back pocket. As they
say, it’s truly a small
S3-MP3 Player
Carry music, videos, text,
and games in this
portable MP3 player from
Samsung. This is simply
stylish and comes with
amazing features like
three screen savers, five
flashy colours, and five in-
built games that will keep
you engaged always.
Style IT

Optical Mouse
This is a three-button optical
mouse with transparent body
and retractable cable, 800
dpi , best suited for laptops.
What’s more, it sports a stylish
USB as well. It requires no
cleaning or a mouse pad
and its magic roller button lets
you assign various features like
easy jump, auto planning and
zoom in & out functions.
Enjoy beautiful picture quality and
unparalled sound with the sedating
new Scarlet – one of the thinnest LCD
TVs in the world. It is an appeal to
viewers who want a TV that is
attractive to look at as well as to
watch. Available in four different sizes,
Scarlet includes intelligent sensor
technology which detects the
surrounding light level and provides
just the perfect picture.

orldwide recession might have hit swanky G 24x7 facility: The changing lifestyle and immense work
shopping malls across the globe. But shopaholics pressure often leave us little time for family and friends. E-
are still on a buying spree, although on a different shopping is open 24x7 which means you are not time-bound
platform, and online shopping sites are making to carry out this chore. Shop at your leisure and free up quality
fast bucks as never before. According to a MasterCard time – so that you can spend time with your family, visit
Worldwide survey, shoppers shopped more frequently through people, pursue a hobby or simply relax after a hard day’s work.
online portals in the last quarter of 2008 than in 2007. And the G One-stop shopping: Several e-commerce sites offer
average frequency of online purchases in India increased to 2.9 multiple products such as clothes, jewellery, accessories,
per cent in Q4, as against 2.6 per cent in 2007. gadgets, home appliances books, CD’s and much more.
Shopping online offers several pluses like variety, convenience, Then there are the virtual malls (some even boast 3D effects)
speed and, best of all, the advantage of price comparison. Just a where you can buy what you want, choose from multiple
few clicks of your mouse and the shopping cart are loaded with brands, compare the pricing and read reviews to ensure best
your choice products, all set for the final way out – the payment value for money.
process. In a few days, the goods are delivered at your doorstep For those looking for more resources or a shopping 2.0
(you can track their movement throughout) and the shipping costs experience, there are the social shopping Websites like

24x7 Shopp
Advantages of e-shopping in a nutshell
are minimal, too. Simply put, Internet shopping is easy and fun, ProductWiki, Kaboodle, MyItThings, Zebo or Iliketotallyloveit.
especially if you want to break free from the traditional shopping These dynamic sites not only highlight the latest and the most
done at brick-and-mortar stores. So let us take a close look at e- popular products but also feature tips, reviews, polls, ratings,
shopping advantages before you embark on festival shopping. purchase displays and product discussions with other social
G It’s convenient: The very idea grabs your attention and shoppers. In short, it is a virtual world where you can hang out
gets you going! When you shop online, you can avoid with friends in real time, hunt for best deals, interact with other
chaotic traffic and long queues at the supermarket counters shoppers and catch up on the latest gossip.
or shopping malls – thus saving on time and travelling G Money-saver: Shopping online is also about saving money in
expenses. Online shops are particularly a boon for those not this period of economic slowdown. As everything else takes a
residing in the metros as people from tier II cities, small backseat to price, retailers now come up with steep discounts,
towns or rural areas seldom have access to vast varieties of special promotional offers and free gifts – those which are
products. E-shopping is also time-saving because you don’t generally not available in regular shops. Joby John, a busy
have to roam from shop to shop till you find your choice professional who often shops online, says, “I shop online
product. Shopping at your convenience and from the safety because it offers the best deals. Instead of going to a shop and
& comfort of your home exactly fit the bill if you are hard-
pressed for time and want to avoid the bustling crowd.
Dorai Thodla, CTO at iMorph Inc., says, “Some times
it is easier to shop on the Internet. Here, you can
easily search for a wide selection of merchandise
such as books and music. Real shops, on the other
hand, tend to be a bit disorganised. If you know
what you want and can wait for a couple of days,
e-shopping always beats real shopping. But for
certain items, like clothes, e-shopping is obviously
not that great.” 50 October ‘09

buying it from there, you get to compare with multiple stores
and get the best offer instantly. My sister and I must have spent
more than $7000 till now through the American online stores.”

Be alert, shop safe

Online shopping is the ‘in’ thing to do and most of us are on
cloud nine when we manage to find the perfect item at the
perfect price from the comfort of our living rooms. However,
there are quite a few fellow-shoppers who have overlooked the
pitfalls and fallen prey to unscrupulous practices.
Safety is of key importance when you shop
online. If you are not careful, you may lose
money, get a wrong product (or a product of
inferior quality) and, in extreme cases, may fall
a victim of identity theft. If your debit

Resmi Jaimon

card/credit card data or any

other personal information fall
into the wrong hands, it may take a
long time to recover from the
financial/legal mess.
Anuradha, a regular e-shopper visiting both
Indian and foreign sites, prefer the latter as they have better
policies and readily admit their mistakes, in case of a mix-up. Those
sites are also willing to offer discounts or compensate the customer in
one way or the other, in case there is a genuine mistake on their part.

October ‘09 51


“I have made my purchases from quite a few “secure shopping G Try to maintain a separate credit card for online shopping.
sites” in India and ended up losing my money,” she complains G Do not respond to any e-mail message asking you to confirm
bitterly. “Most of the times, we don’t get the product we have account details, personal information etc. It can be a ploy
ordered. And when asked to clarify, the person at the other end for identity theft.
says that it is out of stock and an alternative has been sent. G Keep separate passwords for logging on to your
Another time, I was trying to send a birthday gift to a friend and Internet/network, shopping, banking etc. Never
a day after the scheduled delivery, I found out that the order had share passwords with anyone and change them at
not been confirmed. When questioned, the e-shop team said regular intervals.
that the gift had not been delivered but they would send it the G Last but not the least, trust your gut feeling. If something
next day. What’s the point in sending a gift two days after the somewhere seems wrong, try and check with your family,
D-day?” she asks. friends and colleagues who may help you out.
Although e-shopping glitches exist and may affect Net Now enjoy your online shopping (with caution)! I
shoppers, a simple checklist containing a few safety rules can
actually shield you against any online fraud. So here are 15 ‘dos
and don’ts’ before you start online shopping.
G Secure your PC with a firewall, anti-virus protection
and spam protection. Make sure that these are on and
up to date.
G Choose your shopping site wisely and look for trust marks
such as VeriSign or Secured Seal. Colour-coded address
bars are a part of the EV SSL certificates,
which ensure site authenticity.
G Beware if you are asked too many
questions. You only need to give your
name, shipping address, billing address,
credit card type, credit card number, PIN, CVV
number and expiration date. Do not provide any
information about your PAN card, bank account
numbers, driving license numbers or your mother’s
maiden name.
G Shop only from known and reputable vendors.
Check the seller’s rating, if possible, as well as
customer’s feedback (many of the sites carry
this information).
G Be extra careful when you buy expensive items such
as high-end gadgets, jewellery, designer brands etc.
G Read the terms & conditions, privacy policy,
warranties, return policy and other related information
before you start shopping. If you don’t feel comfortable,
opt for another site.
G Read carefully the shipping methods, rates, carrier details,
tracking procedure and insurance policy. Also try to find out
whether goods are sent from outside the country as this will
incur custom duty and may result into delayed delivery.
G Choose a secure method of payment. Opt for COD (cash
on delivery) if possible.
G Type the URL of the payment service manually in the
address bar.
G The shopping site should use secure technology. When you
enter crucial information (credit card details or other
personal information), make sure that the Web address of
the page begins with https and not http.
G Check for the locked padlock icon in the browser
window frame. 52 October ‘09

Giselle Jhunjhnuwala
Lead Designer, USB Jewel
USB Jewel introduces its new line of flash drive necklaces and
key chains. Making it possible to be both tech-savvy and fashion-
conscious, these USB drives feature built-in storage with a stylish,
unassuming package.
Available online at, the USB jewellery can be
purchased in a variety of models. The most popular shells include
the locket-inspired Wood Heart Pendant ($65.00), the ultra sleek
Abalone Rectangular Pendant ($59.99) and the sophisticated,
diamond-shaped Crackled Shell Key Chain ($59.99).
USB Jewel is a division of Everon Time Company which features
these functional yet fashionable pendant necklaces and key chains.
Products are available online at or can be
ordered at

here is a fickle, teasing Goddess – fantastic in her
tastes, playful in adornment, who at every season
seems to flee, return and rise again. Proteus was her
father, her name is Fashion.”
Since fashion mantra is bound to change every season as the
famous Voltaire quotation so rightly indicates, fashionistas across
the globe passionately hunt for all that is new and trendy. The
dictates of the vibrant fashion market are much too demanding
than meet the eye. And even star designers spend sleepless nights to
come up with new creations that will wow all.
India’s burgeoning fashion industry is already creating waves
in the international market while top designers like Ritu Kumar,
Rina Dhaka, Rohit Bal, Manish Arora, and Ritu Beri are in
great demand all over the world. Most importantly, our textile
varieties, ethnic styling, exotic patterns, vibrant dyes and age-old
craft & cultural heritage play a key role in

making India a fashion powerhouse. But
like any other field, haute couture has gone Designers are
hi-tech and the latest fusion of information getting tech-savvy
technology (IT) and fashion gets you better
to ensure better
results at the click of a mouse.
Fashion designers today make optimum
use of IT in various aspects of garment
output and greater

and apparel designing. Thanks to latest efficiency
technologies and software programmes,
they can visualise designs and surface treatments; choose cuts
and patterns; select colours and fabrics; and quickly come up
with a virtual edition of the final output.
Then, there are other areas of the fashion industry, like e-sourcing,
mass customisation and e-retailing, which require a robust IT

Tech lends wings to

couture culture Ranjana Pandiar
backbone. Almost all IT CAD/CAM companies offer Web-based
product data management (PDM) systems for efficient product firm inroads into this highly creative profession and designers are
management and effective B2B communication. Online retail has getting tech-savvy to ensure better output and greater efficiency.
flourished too, as cutting-edge software like E3 actually provides a
virtual try-on to enhance the shopping experience. The outfit in A bouquet of creative tools
question can be viewed from different angles to judge the look, Designing is the backbone of the fashion industry – a crucial task
colour combination and the fit before it is purchased. Hairstyles, hair that entails visualising the outfit in totality. There is the proverbial
colours and skin tones of the model can be adjusted as well, to give CAD (Computer Aided Designing), of course, the perfect tool for
the customer a fair idea about the overall impact. Many such capturing ideas and quickly turning them into precise, finished
innovations are coming up every day but simply put, IT has made designs. With CAD in action, professionals can easily create 3D 56 October ‘09

Here we will list a few more for the enthusiastic and the initiated.
CorelDraw 13 X3, Photoshop CS 2 and CS 3, Illustrator 9.0
and Indesign are there in the market but only
Indesign is widely used nowadays.
 For pattern designing and textiles selection, Tuka-

Tech is commonly used.

 Lactra and Gerber Garment Technology (GGT) are

used for pattern and layout making. The tool helps

in custom-made fabric cutting and designing
according to pre-fed data. However, Delhi-based
designer Neeta Bhargava feels that Lactra and
GGT are more useful for those into mass
production and export business.
 The Animator PRO can be effectively used

to create product slideshows. It is an excellent

drawing programme for creating and editing
image type graphics. The colour palette in
Animator also offers a wide range.
 C-Design Fashion® can be used to create

garments and accessories quickly by adding

colour, fabric, print and special effects.
Developed by a Paris-based firm, the one-stop
software package also helps with size
specification, measurement, labelling and
sewing commands. Built on CorelDraw,
C-Design is available in multiple
languages including English, French and
Spanish. It supports bitmaps and vector
graphic formats, and offers a database
of more than 18,000 existing
garments, shapes and
samples and forget about detailing.
preparing sheets and sheets of drafts till
the final design is approved. The software
maintains the geometric relationship among
design elements so that one can modify a design
without redrawing it and also test the suitability of various  E-cataloguing is used to create online catalogues containing
fabrics on a specific design. vast libraries of colours, fabrics and styles – mixed and
CAD includes a bunch of applications that cater to every matched to feature all possible combinations.
aspect of designing, fabric simulation, catalogue creation and  UK-based design and development company Cre8tiv has
merchandising. It also empowers a designer to sell his/her ideas come up with a free software development kit (SDK) for
to clients through sophisticated mapping and drawing functions, their interactive, Web-based 3Di software. As 3Di can
photo libraries, quick cataloguing and presentation software. Its manipulate the original digital image by adding
unique ‘show and sell’ programme enables professionals to images/textures, it is often used to view different fabrics,
showcase their designs worldwide and reach out to interested patterns or colours which are not part of the original image.
buyers. With multimedia fashion shows, video collections and
virtual catwalks crowding the Internet almost every day, such a Tech props up mass customisation
tool certainly ensures great marketing opportunities as designers In today’s ready-to-wear fashion market, mass customisation is a
can feature their products with style and élan. boon to those seeking a competitive edge. It is a totally new business
Besides CAD, there are other interesting and popular software paradigm that uses information technology to produce customised
applications used for fashion designing. For example, there is EG goods at minimal cost. The concept is all the more appealing in the
Vision which is both quick and inexpensive. It is a desktop scanner fashion industry since only a privileged few can afford to go for
that helps import motifs and ideas straight from the desktop while high-end designer brands. With mass customisation emerging as an
Vision Design is expressly created for textile and surface designing. established business practice, people can still opt for ‘exclusive’

October ‘09 57


outfits and accessories without paying an astronomical sum. opportunity to work with popular international brands – an
In this new business model, manufacturers link the individual advantage that gives them enough exposure. So how do our
customer with the production line and employ an extensive range designers react to the hi-tech environment that may soon
of IT tools to produce ‘bespoke’ suits. With the help of computer- dominate our couture culture?
controlled manufacturing, companies can easily change the size, “Indian designers are slowly moving towards the hi-tech
design, colour and fabric of any ‘standard’ outfit as per the culture but we still have to go a long way,” says Neeta Bhargava,
consumer’s choice and requirements. The best thing about the IT- a Delhi-based professional. “We only have five or six fashion
powered production system is that you can be based anywhere weeks a year. So there’s not much scope to think of innovations.”
across the globe and still get the same kind of personal attention According to Bhargava, the designer fraternity gets
from your ‘virtual’ designer that you used to get from your tailor. tremendous support from the government in countries like
If we consider the entire process from pre-production through to Japan, England and France. “The Indian government has now
cutting, the ‘made-to-measure’ stage most certainly demands high- come forward to support the fashion industry in every respect
end technologies for the success of the concept. Non-contact, but designers are still waiting for their big lot. However, our
three-dimensional body scanners such as Cyberware or Hammatin, brands can easily compete with the international counterparts.”
Wicks and Wilson or Telmath are used to measure customers and Neeta Malhotra, a professor at NIFD, feels that Indian
the body measurements are recorded in seconds. The software then professionals catering to the domestic market rely less on
converts the data into readable format and transmits the same to technology as on-the-spot design changes have to be made
the factory. Markers can be produced automatically on these sometimes. “High-end technology are more suited for export
measurements and the fabric is cut, using a single ply cutter. orders as these are sold in bulk, are standardised and require little
Once the measurement is taken, the computer can choose the alteration,” she says.
design and the style from the menu. Here the customer gets an option
to change the fabric and colour as per his/her choice. The
manufacturer then checks the fabric availability (online or offline) and
the status is instantly conveyed to the customer. In case the material is
not available, the customer can choose another alternative.
Fabric cutting can also be automated, carried out by a
computer-controlled machine. For instance, the Macpi Group
company, Ima, has created a quick-change cradle feed system for
cloth roll management and coupled it to a computer-controlled
static spreading machine, which is integrated on to a conveyorised
table that feeds any automatic single ply cutter. However,
information control lies at the core of this system as it is required to
interface with Mainframe, CAD, cloth ware and other subsystems.
The Mainframe receives work orders, CAD does prior checking of
marker availability and relative length, cloth ware is for fabric
availability and roll selection. The data are then fed and co-
ordinated together to make it a well-integrated production process. Designer Payal Jain seconds Malhotra. “Although we use tech
Since computer-controlled designing and cutting have been tools for some of our work, we prefer to do the sketching and
introduced in the fashion world, digital fabric printing is touted designing manually. Switching from hand sketching to CAD is
to be the most revolutionary technology of the day. In this definitely a big leap for the entire fashion industry. But the new
method, no screens, plates or films are used. Instead, designs are software programmes are expensive and not all of us can use them.”
directly printed on to the cloth by inkjet or other printer by Designer Kavita Bhartia sounds a bit sceptical, though. “We
using the digital method. This system of fabric printing was first are certainly using applications like Photoshop, CorelDraw and
used in 1995 by Stork Textiles Printing Group of Holland. The Illustrator for the designing part and Flash for the final
new technology has gained in popularity as it is more flexible, presentation. But when it comes to dyeing or embroidery, it must
cheaper and faster than the traditional printing methods. The be handmade. That is why Indian products are so valued here
method is simple, though. Any design, photograph or picture and abroad. Plus, there is a catch when it comes to using hi-tech
can be scanned into a computer and the colour, design, etc. can tools. Most of the advanced software used by international
be changed, if required, before printing it on the desired fabric. fashion fraternity are yet to reach India.”
Leading designer Ritu Kumar is, however, happy with the
IT enhances fashion … or does it? growth of the Indian fashion industry. “Bridging the gap
Judging by the current trends, it seems that we will soon require a between Europe and India would take some time since our
chain of application stores brimming with cutting-edge tools at par industry is quite young. But India is catching up well in every
with the global studios. Also, young Indian designers are getting an respect and it will only get better,” she concludes. I 58 October ‘09


Technology in
Communication Sai Narasimhan
The newest ways of communication to stay in touch

echnology is the practical application of scientific evening television news anchors giggled nervously and he was
advancement in an effort to 'improve' our lives. We use the butt end of many a late-night comedian's jokes. What no
technology all the time and don't even realise it. When one seemed to realise was that he was right (and I am no
you turn a tap and get running water, you are using apologist for the former President of the USA, even less so for
technology. When your alarm wakes you up, you are using his Vice-President, Dan Quayle).
technology. And when you cannot fall asleep and pop a pill, you Just the act of swiping a bar code using lasers (two volumes on
are using technology. In fact, every time you simply turn on the Optics, one volume on Mechanics), translating the bar code into
light, you are using technology. numbers (IC chip at the check-out counter doing real-time
But here we are talking about all technologies together. It translation of the bar code into binary transistors – one volume),
would take a few books and thousands of trees to get something integrated circuitry and chip making (a few bookshelves),
like that printed. This is about technology as we see it around us transmitting the bar code to a central system (data transmission
and how it affects our daily life. There are cell phones, TCP/IP – two books), electricity (one volume), having the price
televisions and interactive booths – high-end technology of the item retrieved from the system (databases – two volumes)
applications that attempt to simplify our life. and sending it back to the scanning device to be displayed on the
To digress a little, I remember when George H.W. Bush went screen (LED or LCD technology – a few volumes) – we have
to a grocery store and was wonderstruck at the technology being already filled quite a few shelves with just the science of how this
used while checking out his purchases. The news media laughed, works. The technology part is not even scratched.

October ‘09 59


Let’s take PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants). This was a term of luxury car manufacturers offering iDocks as options
invented by John Sculley in the 1980s (Yeah, I know. But it’s available in their cars.
been a long time for most of today's readers). He was then the So is it all accolades all the way? Not really. The iPod ties you
CEO of Apple, having ousted Steve Jobs and taken over his down in more ways that most fans would like to admit. The
post. He believed that he had found the next idea that would prime example is the way you are 'forced' to use iTunes to do
light a fire under Apple's stock – and the invention was called anything meaningful with your music collection. Don't get me
the Newton. These days, no one even remembers it. But that wrong – iTunes is a great application. But to be tied down to it
Newton was the genesis of today's iPhone and BlackBerry. really irritates me. It may be good enough for the end-user. But
The Newton PDA was revolutionary for its time. You may also the DRM (Digital Rights Management) that is implicitly added
say that it was ahead of its time in many ways. The key things to your collection is unsettling. I prefer to have no one poking
that a PDA was supposed to do were to a) store (and retrieve) their noses on my PC. And, God forbid that you have an OS
information for a person about other people; b) store other than Windows or the Mac's! You have no help! You cannot
information about places; c) provide a calendar that could be purchase anything from the iTunes store. And your iTunes
used to associate people and/or places with times; d) provide collection cannot be synced with a Linux PC. This is sad.
small utilities like a calculator, scratch pad, drawing utilities and Okay, now let us move on to the iPhone – the NEXT big
sync itself up with a desktop computer. The Newton PDA did thing from Apple. The iPhone in its latest avatar – the iPhone
this admirably – but the cost was battery life and the weight. It 3GS – is set to blow your socks off. What? You don't think
was simply too much, too soon. there is any difference compared to the older iPhone 3G? Well,
It was followed by the Palm Pilot, the Sharp Zaurus and how about the added memory? 32 GB is plenty and enough to
numerous other variants. All of them provided the user with keep you going for some time. The performance is noticeably
similar applications and touted various incremental changes in faster compared to the older model. Consequently, the gaming
technology – sharper screens, better resolution, better contrast, experience is peppy. Simple things like map redrawing
better battery life, more memory and better applications. proceeds at a much faster pace, making the browsing
But these changes did little to redeem the geeky image of a experience more realistic.
PDA. The variants of the PDA were in two broad categories. The higher pixelled camera also makes the pictures better
You had the touchscreen interface of the Palm Pilot and (three megapixels). As always, the iPhone's photo editing makes
Windows CE based PDA (Sony's Clie is a great example of such it such a pleasure to use that you hardly realise you are using
a device). The other was one with a keyboard attached – and some software – it just seems too natural! And yes – you can now
here is where the BlackBerry shines. shoot videos (VGA – 640x480) with your iPhone and also edit
But the category killer came in the form of a mind-blowing the videos right on the iPhone itself. But beware of making the
piece of innovation from Apple – the iPod. The iPod has come edits! It is a one-way street, with no 'undo' and no way to save a
to epitomise everything – from the touch and feel (smooth and copy of the original. There are applications galore and this
cold all over) to headphone colour and the interface. It started article would replicate a book if you see a list of them here along
off as a music device and it still serves as the workhorse that has with their features.
moved us away from the Sony Walkman to the next mobile The iPhone is the logical extension of the iPod. This is true
entertainment device. even though the iTouch has been touted by Apple as the
The iPod has become the electronic item that can also make a extension of the iPod! From a practical point of view, the
fashion statement. Although launched nearly eight years ago, it iTouch is similar to the iPod in that its primary purpose is to let
still looks cool. How many accessories can say that even six you listen to music. But once you see that the OS is the same as
months post-launch? that of the iPhone and so is the look and feel, and the
The iPod has a few things going for it. It has the charisma of applications carry over, it becomes obvious that the iTouch is
being an Apple product. It has the simplicity that makes only a crippled iPhone.
everyone feel like a genius. And it has looks to die for. The next With the iPhone, the user continues to make a fashion
best example is a bunch of also-rans including Microsoft's Zune statement. Once again, the touch is smooth. The interface is so
and the Sansa. The clunkiness of the competition makes the intuitive that anyone can pick one up and begin to use it right
iPod look like pure perfection. away. When you see where Steve Jobs is coming from, the
The iPod has evolved into a sub-industry of its own and has Macintosh, the NeXT computer and the iPod, it becomes
spawned a mini-ecosystem around itself (the New York Times obvious that usability is the primary and most critical element
categorised it that way). As of 2006, for every $3 spent on an in the design of any new Apple product. It will probably
iPod, $1 was being spent on an accessory. Whether it is the remain the same in the not-too-distant future as well, when the
iDock or additional mini speakers for the iPod, the industry next widget comes from Apple – whether it is a book reader or
around it proves the market dominance of the product. Even a net book or a tablet or even the next 'newspaper' using e-
the Sony Walkman, the next comparable product, didn't have paper – it will be the most usable kind of technical gadget that
such a fan following. The ultimate statement came in the form you can ever imagine. 60 October ‘09

The iPhone 3GS comes with many applications. These into hacking my 'widgets' if I am comfortable enough with them
include the ever-popular e-mail, browser to surf the Net from and the warranty can be covered by me.
wherever you are and a map application that pinpoints your The Nokia N97 was talked of as the closest thing that can
location. An intriguing application is the ability to use another challenge the status of the iPhone as a ‘must-have’ device. There
computer to locate your iPhone. And it can even beep to let is one great feature that has me rooting for it. This is the
you know where it is (as long as it has sufficient battery disappearing keyboard. And I am talking about a full Qwerty
power). It also has over 50,000 applications available for keyboard – like the BlackBerry or the Palm Pre. The keyboard
purchase from the Apple iPhone store. And then there are slides out and the screen is tilted just right to help you tap out e-
non-approved applications available. Caution: These may mail and messages while the screen does not reflect the ambient
invalidate any warranty that the iPhone comes with. So be light – a nice feature. Then there is the WiFi and BlueTooth
very careful before loading non-Apple-approved applications standard plus 32 GB memory (expandable by 16 GB).
on your precious iPhone. The N97 boasts that its built-in GPS will ensure that the user's
Much like the iPod, it has also spawned a mini-industry current location can be shared via social networks like Twitter,
around itself that is almost self-sustaining, as long as Apple Facebook and MySpace. You have heard about them, haven't
doesn't change the design too much. This synergy between the you? You can also use Nokia's Ovi service to stream music, video
third-party providers will last only as long as Apple keeps them etc. to your device. Don't like the headphones with wires? No
in the loop for any changes that are forthcoming. But Apple is problem. Use a Bluetooth-enabled stereo headset and enjoy the
known to play its cards close to its chest. Hence, many of the freedom! Add to this the multitasking offered by the Symbian
accessories usable with one version of the iPhone may not be operating system, a feature that is sorely lacking on the iPhone,
usable with the next one. Also, sometimes Apple may and you are almost carrying a laptop in your pocket. Not to
incorporate a new feature that renders the accessory obsolete. mention that it costs as much as a laptop too!
But those are the realities of life. Personally, I like to live with the The camera is five megapixel – sufficiently high in resolution
native applications and not hack any of my machines. But if you to use all the onboard memory as well as the expansion! And for
look at my basement, it is quite another story – with PCs lying those craving names, the optics is by Carl Zeiss.
around with no boxes (easy access to the innards) and old PDAs, You also have the N97 mini, the latest entrant from Nokia, set
etc. I do build my own PCs. So let me rephrase that. I only get to be released by the end of 2009, which is a tad smaller in all
dimensions, has ‘only’ 8 GB memory and still gives you most of
the features that the regular one carries.
So which one should you choose? For me, the iPhone wins
hands down. It has all the features I would ever dream of
wanting in a PDA, the applications that keep on growing (MIT
media labs has just released an application
09-09-03 that can show you where the latest outbreaks of H1N1
and any other more 'popular' diseases are breaking out).
And when Apple leads, can MS be far behind? Sony Ericsson
Xperia X1 was released late last year and X2 will be out soon.
Last year, the X1 did everything that iPhone 3GS is doing this
year. But it loses out on the oomph and the Brand Apple factor.
Note: I still do not own an iPod. I am not an Apple fan and
believe in keeping my desktop and accessories as free of DRM
as possible. But the iPod phenomenon is something that has me
fascinated. So many otherwise rational people are simply
hooked on to the Apple bandwagon. There must be something
to it. Maybe I should buy an iPhone3Gs. Or will it be the N97?
Well. Let's see who gives me the best breaks. I

October ‘09 61

My KidZui4
Tech Tips by Anoop Verma
or those who have a young kid growing up in their

F family, the KidZui browser must come as a dream

come true. This browser, designed specifically with kids
in mind, uses a ‘Zooming User Interface’ paradigm to
make browsing easier. Search results appear as scaled down
images of websites, videos, and pictures that children click on to
zoom in and see content. It is also possible for children to browse
by category without typing search terms. But the best thing
about the KidZui browser is that it does not allow open access to
the big bad world of Internet.
That should come as a relief to many parents whose primary material that they need to help with schoolwork, by themselves.
concern revolve around their child being exposed to adult This browser is also capable of tracking the Internet usage of
material readily available on the web. The KidZui browser the children and sending a weekly report to their parents on
works by maintaining a database of URLs that have been what their kids looked for online. If anything, this kind of
approved by teachers and parents. As of now, this browser is procedure eliminates the need of parents to constantly breathe
geared to provide access to over 2 million child-friendly games, over their kids’ shoulder when they are online. The product can
websites, pictures, and YouTube videos that have been reviewed be downloaded for free by pointing your browser to
by parents. That is enough material to turn your computer into If you are using
a veritable playground for your kid. Kids can make searches for Firefox browser then you can download from this link:
load/firefox. Once this
browser is safely installed in
your computer, your child will
have a safe, easy and
entertaining access to the
world of Internet.
The company behind
KidZui is relatively young.
KidZui came into being in
2006 when Vidar Vignisson
was trying to figure out a safe
and easy way for his own
children to use the Internet. He
decided to come up with a
product himself and teamed
up with Cliff Boro and
Thomas Broadhead. The beta
testing for the product with kids
began in 2006 itself. Finally, it
was released to public in 2008.
Since then, there have been
many reviews from parents and
kids alike in favour of the
KidZui browser. I 62 October ‘09

Make Free International Calls
with PokeTALK
Connect to any part of the world with ease!

or those who just can’t do without their share of talking on the phone, a free calling facility
to any part of the world must seem like a nirvana of some kind. Too bad, such facility is
still far from becoming a reality. But PokeTALK, with its absurdly low rates, does come
very close to being almost free. To indulge in PokeTALK, you have to begin by opening
an account at By the way, this website offers the facility of calling over
70 per cent of the world for free. But the problem is that India does not figure in the list;
we belong to the other 30 per cent who have to pay a small amount of fee.
To make a call using PokeTALK, you have to enter your number and the number you
want to call, and then wait for few moments for the website to connect you. But before
that, you have to sign up. The process is simple. All you need to do is to enter your e-
mail, your full name and from a drop-down list, you have to select the name of your
nation; another drop-down list lets you enter your time zone. You also have to enter your
occupation, date of birth and other minor details. After that, you can click on the sign
up button to be awarded a lifetime license to talk for free or at very low prices.
As of now, calls originating from 15 countries in North America and Western
Europe and going to a list of another 55 countries are free. India is not there in

the list, so the desi users have no other option but to take recourse to the
PokeTALK Pro version. When you click on the PokeTALK Pro button,
you are immediately transferred to a page that has a rate calculator. Let’s
say, you want to make a call from India to the UK. The rate calculator
answers within moments that you have got to pay $0.0402 per minute for
making this type of call.
Similarly, you can find out the rates for making calls to the USA, to Sweden or any
other country. The rates are not very high, but as the payment has to be made in
dollars, you will have to pay by your international credit card and that will entail some
kind of currency conversion charges. So you might end up paying more than the rate
that PokeTALK is advertising. Despite these small glitches, this is a really interesting
website and one can only hope that sooner or later, India will start featuring in the list
of countries that can make and receive free PokeTALK calls. I

October ‘09 63

Tech Tip

Use Clerkdogs to get

personal movie recommendations
Get info on the movies of your choice
ithout any exaggeration it can be said that movie this system, there is very little chance of your ending up with an

W buffs can’t do without Clerkdogs.

This is a website that dishes out to its users
recommendations from actual video store clerks.
Now you must have guessed how the name Clerkdogs comes
into being. Well, the thing is that a video store clerk does have
incorrect movie recommendation.
In order to start using Clerkdogs, the first thing you need to do is
point your browser at Here you can
open your account for free and then you can be on your way to get
introduced with movies of your choice. In the centre of the screen
the ability to make good recommendations as he/she is more there is a box that says ‘Get Recommendations’. Fill the name of
exposed to the world of newly released and old movies. By using your favourite movie and click on the button that says, ‘Match’. A list
of matching movies
will appear at the
bottom of the
screen; pick up the
one that you like.
For example,
when I entered the
name of the movie
‘Desperado’ in the
box and tried to
match it, I got
movies like ‘Hang
em’ High,’ ‘Kill
Bill,’ ‘No Country
for Old Men,’
‘Once Upon a
Time in Mexico’
and a few others in
the result. That is
pretty close, closer
than what you
would get if you
requested any
acquaintance to
come up with
This website also
gives you info on
the movies of
your choice. You
can check out
their IMBD
credentials and
the DVD price
on Amazon.I 64 October ‘09

Net PC
A user-friendly OS to
connect to the Net

ow about a PC that costs just Rs. 7999! You can have video games. But on the positive side, a Net PC consumes only 5-

H such a PC installed at home by making one phone call

to Airtel. So why does this Net PC cost so less? The
truth is that this is not a full-fledged PC, simply because
it does not have a CPU. No CPU, no CD drive, no Hard Drive.
But who needs such paraphernalia when it is possible for you to
10 watts of energy. Currently, Airtel is providing 10 GB of space
at its central server where users can store documents, photos and
presentations. You can put all worries regarding data loss to rest,
since all the data are 100% guaranteed by Airtel and has a back
up in NivioGrid in real time.
take care of all your computing needs in the ‘cloud’. The Net PC You can sign up for the Net PC under three different schemes.
is based on a plug-and-play technology and is powered by Nivio There is the Home Pack, under which you pay Rs. 699 per
Companion, which enables it to get connected to a backend month and have an Airtel broadband connection at 256 Kbps
Linux-run server for storage and applications. There is also a speed with 3 GB data transfer plus an online desktop service
user-friendly OS with Windows-based online desktop. Software with 10 GB storage and MS Office standard. But if you opt for
upgrades are not required, since the globally distributed the Profession Pack, which comes at Rs. 899 per month, you can
NivioGrid provides the computing power. avail of MS Office standard with Admin rights. Those who go in
The hardware in an Airtel Net PC consists of an LCD for the Business Pack, at Rs. 1199 per month, will have online
monitor, a keyboard, a mouse and a modem by which the system access to MS Office Premium with Admin rights. So the only
can be connected to the Internet. Once the power is switched on, difference between the three packs being offered lies in the type
the system boots instantly, as a CPU with a plethora of software of Microsoft Office that you get access to.
doesn’t plague it. But there is one small drawback – the computer The Net PC comes equipped with few extra USB ports that
can’t be used unless you are connected to the Internet. Also, you can be used to connect the system to a printer or to download
can’t use it for downloading software or playing graphic-rich files to a flash drive or a portable HardDrive. I

October ‘09 65

Software for doing makeup
directly on your photos Input by Priyanka Dey

Enhance your pictures at the click of a mouse

ow about touching up those digital photos a bit? And how? Enter MakeUpPilot from the ensemble of Two Pilots. It is
basically an image editing software, which can be used to touch up your photos. So, you can happily bid adieu to the small
defects on your cherished pictures.
Sounds good? Here’s more. MakeUpPilot can be used as an image correction tool to get rid of minor skin blemishes and other
defects from digital photographs. The programme is extremely simple to use, mostly due to the fact that it lacks any options or
configurations – just point the cursor at the blemishes and click to remove them, one by one. There are options that enable you to
touch up skin imperfection, whiten teeth, apply make-up and rouge and also enhance or change eye colour. What’s more, you can
even try your hand at image resising, cropping and brightness/contrast adjustments.
You ‘play’ with a palette of tools to get the desired result, anything from a light smoothing out to complete coverage. Even
‘applying’ makeup is a breeze. And, whenever you have the slightest difficulty, demonstration examples are there to walk you
through. If you need to, nothing is easier than returning to a previous stage and redoing your corrections; you can even revise your
corrections in a small part of the picture only using your ‘undo brush.’
The programme works on Windows 98/ME/2000/XP platforms and it can be installed as standalone and a plug-in as well.
MakeUpPilot costs $29.95 for a single-user license. But there’s a trial version too, which you can always use before you shell out the
money for the real stuff. More information about MakeUpPilot can be obtained from
So, don’t be too upset next time your skin doesn’t look perfect on a photo. If you have the MakeUpPilot programme, you can be
sure your pictures will eventually look better. I 66 October ‘09

Generate a
Virtual Credit Card
Fix your credit limit for every purchase

f you are really paranoid about your credit card details getting offering Visa cards in virtual format, but Master and Amex virtual
stolen while you are indulging in online shopping, you can cards are also in the pipeline. Another private sector credit card
decide to opt for a virtual credit card with flexi-limit. issuer, HDFC bank, is also offering virtual cards. The HDFC
Currently, ICICI Bank, India’s biggest issuer of credit cards, is virtual card is called NetSafe. It enables you to generate a unique
offering a virtual credit card to its customers. If you have a physical virtual card number by using your physical Visa or MasterCard
credit card from ICICI Bank, you are already eligible for a virtual debit or credit card. Unlike the ICICI bank virtual card, the
one. The main advantage of this kind of virtual credit card is that NetSafe cards from HDFC are temporary.
it allows you to do online shopping without having to divulge the This means that for each new transaction that you wish to make
details of your original credit card, whose credit limit must be online, you have to generate a new virtual card. For example, if you
much higher. wish to make a purchase of Rs. 2000, you will have to log in to the
Let’s say, you wish to make an online purchase of around HDFC bank website and generate a virtual card of Rs. 2000 only.
Rs. 4000. You can set the limit of your virtual credit card for And if you fail to use your newly generated NetSafe card for some
Rs. 5000 only and do your shopping. Even if your credit card reason, the card will fade away automatically in 24 hours and the
details get stolen, which is extremely unlikely unless you have been money will return to your primary credit card. On a single day, you
very careless, you will lose a very small amount of money as can generate up to five NetSafe cards at HDFC bank website. And
compared to what you will lose if your primary card details get the best part? These cards are free of cost. I
compromised. You don’t have to fill up a new form, or call
customer care in order to get hold of a new virtual credit card. All
you need is to log in to your credit card account. Here you will find
a link that says, “Click here to apply for Virtual Credit Card.”
On clicking this link, you will be taken to a page that has an
online application form. Out here, you have to enter your existing
credit card number, your e-mail ID, your mobile number and,
finally, your Internet banking transaction password. Click Submit.
Your online card will get generated within two working days and it
will exist only in the cyberspace. You will have its number, its CVV
number and its expiry date. You can then log in to your ICICI
bank account to set the credit limit of this new credit card
according to your need.
The credit limit, as set by you, will be restored during every
billing cycle irrespective of the payment made, subject to the
overall limit on your primary card. As of now, ICICI bank is only
RBI Norms for
Safe Shopping
fraud protection policies that a
Security tips for online shopping credit card usually has.

f you prefer to shop online, you have a reason to cheer. RBI While placing your order, you should not divulge more
has now come up with a new set of guidelines that have made 5 information than is absolutely necessary.
online shopping with your credit or debit card much safer Visit only reputed sites that are being run by authentic
than it ever was. Now users have to input some additional 6 companies which enjoy impeccable reputation. You
information that is not mentioned on their credit card to have should check online ratings and reviews from other customers
their transactions cleared. The additional information could be and take red flags seriously.
in the form of a password, your home address, or a PAM Never select the ‘remember my password’ option and
(Personal Assurance Message). With such a foolproof system in 7 avoid saving your password on your PC; it is the first
place, it is definitely time for you to start splurging online. thing a hacker will target. Malware can be used to search your
Here are some tips that will make your online shopping PC for stored passwords. Avoid using the same password on
experience really safe and fruitful: multiple sites or writing it down on a post-it note or scrap of
Make sure that the browser you are using is the latest paper that can be easily intercepted. Finally, change all your
1 version. If you are using Firefox, you have to update it to passwords every two to three months.
the latest version. In case of Internet Explorer, it is the IE8 that Clean your computer of all kind of spyware and
happens to be the latest version. 8 malware that you might have accumulated during the
The address of the website where you intend to do your course of browsing.
2 shopping should begin with an ‘https’. There is an extra Do not open e-mail attachments or download links unless
‘s’ out here that indicates that there is an encrypted connection 9 you are absolutely sure about the sender’s credentials.
between your browser and the website. If the website’s URL Never pay bills, bank, shop or conduct financial transactions
does not have an “https”, you should not enter your credit card 10 on a public or shared computer or over a public wireless
details in it. network. If you do log on to public computers, look for computers
You should also look out for the ‘padlock sign’ in the status on networks that require a password, which increases security.
3 bar. The ‘padlock sign’ indicates that the site is secure. Review your credit card and bank account details every
Preferably you should do your shopping with a credit 11 month. If you notice any discrepancy, inform the
4 card. Because a debit card does not have the kind of customer care immediately. I 68 October ‘09

Embellish your digital photos with

re you still wondering how to embellish your digital each pixel is allowed to have. Inverting colours can lead to very
photographs with some kind of special effects? It is time interesting results. But the greatest fun is to use the ‘Artistic’
you made a voyage of discovery at This 1.3 options where you can change your photo to look like an ink
MB feature-rich image editing software doesn’t cost a drawing, a pencil drawing or an oil pastel. You can rotate and
single rupee and it can be downloaded from http://www.paint. resize your images. The entire interface is embellished with
net. If you are conversant with Photoshop, you can start using the clear, well-sized buttons that provide access to a wide range of
software directly. But if that is not the case, then you may have to options without looking cluttered or messy.
spend a few hours going through the detailed help document that But the best thing about is the open source
comes with the software. In any case, the interface is extremely community that supports it. They are really passionate about
intuitive and it is easy for anyone to master. developing new add-ons and improvements. One thing is for
All the basic things that most amateur photographers need to sure – is far more advanced than Microsoft Paint,
correct in their photos can be done very easily by using this which most of us have been using till now. It is definitely a
software. For instance, Red-Eye removal is a breeze. You can must have for anyone who needs to improve the quality of
adjust the depth of every shade; you can also modify the colour his images. I
range of an image.
The brightness and
contrast can be
tampered with. The
hue and saturation
can be modified. The
software has an
efficient cloning tool
with which you can
remove slight
imperfections in any
photo. Then there
are the wonderful
colour editing tools
that are easy to use
and are completely
geared to improve
the visual quality of
any picture.
You can turn your
picture into a black &
white image at the
click of a mouse. You
can give it a sepia
rendering or you can
posterise it by
decreasing the
number of colours

October ‘09 69

A social utility for your entire family
the senior citizens in any family. In order to
register for the service, you just need to fill in
some basic details, which include your first
name, your last name, the name of your
country, your birthday and your e-mail ID.
You also have to create a user ID of your
choice and a password. Once the registration

ocial networking is clearly the big thing on the Internet process is complete, you can start inviting other members of your
these days. Entities like MySpace and Facebook have family. There is no limit to the number of persons you can invite.
already made a huge mark on the networking scene and Once the family is united on the Finerday interface, the website’s
they boast of millions of users from all over the world. So, systems can be used to send e-mail, text messages or even to make
where was the need for another networking site? But the truth is a video call to anyone. If anything, the system is replete with
that Finerday is a networking site with a difference. Rather than options that make it quite convenient for people to keep in touch
targeting at individuals, something what Facebook and MySpace with each other. Now it is time to pop up the important question –
are doing, Finerday targets families. who are the founders of this innovative service? Two people, Lilla
You can check out this networking site by pointing your Harris, a qualified nurse, and Howard Bashford, an executive with
browser at This service was launched on 4th a technology company, are the main force behind Finerday.
July 2008 and it already has a substantial number of members Both of them say that while starting Finerday, they have been
to its credit. The purported aim of Finerday is to link all of your motivated by the desire to make a difference in the lives of numerous
family, whatever be their age. The interface of the website is older people. So, if you want to make a real difference to the life of
neatly designed, with several enlarged icons to help less frequent your grandpa and grandma, who might not be that Internet savvy,
users of keyboards and mouse keep up with their more you can take a leaf out of the ideas promoted by these two
computer-savvy younger family members. entrepreneurs. Just introduce them to the online world of Finerday
Basically, this is something that can prove more beneficial to and make it a step easier for them to be in touch with you. I 70 October ‘09

Soundsnap An online sound library

to the search bar that is placed at the top of the website’s

ouTube videos are clearly in vogue; everyone who is
well versed with doing things the digital way is out homepage and choose between MP3, WAV or AIF. To listen to
there creating them. But one problem often a sound before downloading it, just click on the orange/grey
encountered is the lack of right kind of sound effects. player on the left. The good thing is that merely listening to the
Let’s say, you are creating a video on ghosts and you need really sounds is not going to affect your download counter.
eerie kind of sounds to run in the background. One way out is And if you want to go in for a Soundsnap Pro membership,
that you and your friends can caterwaul and scream, but that you can use your credit card or PayPal account for the signup
might not lend a realistic touch to it, something that will impress process. The price for the membership usually starts from
the global audience. Enter SoundSnap – a repository of sound around $29 per month. However, after getting the sound from
effects from all over the world. Soundsnap, you are not allowed to copy them on a CD and
This community-driven online sound library boasts of more resell them. That would constitute a gross violation of the terms
than 100,000 high quality sound effects and music loops from of the contract. So, now you have learned about a good way of
Hollywood sound designers and cutting-edge music producers. spicing up your videos, games, applications or just making the
Alas, the website is not totally free. What should warm the system alerts a little more hilarious by downloading sound effects
cockles of your heart is the fact that you are allowed to from this fabulous website.
download five free sounds every month, but thereafter you have By the way, this website also offers an incredible way of
to pay by signing up for the Soundsnap Pro membership. The making some extra money on the side. If you own some sounds,
sounds that are available on the website are royalty free, which you can try to upload them to this website and every time your
means that you can use them in commercial or non-commercial sounds get downloaded by other users, Soundsnap is going to
applications without any problem. pay you a commission. But Soundsnap is only interested in the
In order to download the sounds, you have to be a registered best sounds, music loops and sound art out there, and so the
user. The signup is free. All you need to create an account is screening process is quite tough. You should not try to upload
come up with a suitable user name and password. Once this is sounds that are not recorded with pro equipment and that are
done, you can be on your way to download the five free sounds not mastered or edited properly, because this website believes in
that you are entitled to. In order to search for sounds, you can go taking only the best. I

October ‘09 71

Bom mo Bring out your imagination on the digital canvas

o you think that modern art with its vast array of floating circles into conjuring a different kind of design. Press
flamboyant lines and shapes is incomprehensible? any button and then place your cursor on the area of the screen
You will be bound to change your opinion if you where the floating circles are located. Press the shift key and start
can churn out your own modern art. The good moving the cursor in the manner of creating a design. The
thing about the digital age is that you don’t need paint, circles will start moving on the screen and in their wake, they
brush or canvas in order to churn out modern art. All you will leave delightful designs.
need is a PC connected to the Internet. Point your browser The designs that pop up on the screen first look exceedingly
to and you will find yourself looking at a intriguing but with some practice, you may even be able to make
starkly bare screen, which looks suspiciously like an artist’s sense out of it. Few artists around the world are using
empty canvas. Bomomo to come up with designs for modernistic
In the middle of this empty digital canvas, there are few wallpapers, wrapping papers and many other objects. So, if
round circles floating. At the bottom of it, there are 20 you are planning to change the wallpaper in your house,
buttons. Each one of these buttons is geared to inspire the then you can turn to Bomomo for inspiration. Good luck! I 72 October ‘09


Entertainment –
When you
want it Priyanka Dey

e often don’t have ‘time’ even for the simple television in the living room’ kind of a system, there are often
pleasures in life. With so much happening to keep brawls and tensions among the family members as to who gets to
us occupied, there’s hardly any space left for control the television.
leisure. From taking the children to the school, Many of us have also been stuck in situations where you can
preparing drafts for the office presentation noon to making only view the last few minutes of your favourite soap opera,
arrangements for your parents’ wedding anniversary considering the erratic schedules in which most of us function.
celebrations – we have to do it all. We live and work in a fast- This hoopla definitely raises a cause for concern and given a
paced world carrying the new age mantra up our sleeves where chance, we will do anything for our right on the television.
‘time is money and money is time’. Fortunately, in this digital era, science and technology play a
Talking about leisure and the simple joys of life, as much as we decisive role in solving most of our woes. One such provision in
would love to deny it, most of us dig our television sets in our the market is the DTH industry that has made quite an impact
leisure time. Call it the idiot box or the information source for the on television viewing.
knowledge hungry, watching television is still regarded as one of It is not just the homemaker who has reason to rejoice but also
the favourite past times for many. Whether it’s watching that the working woman. With Tata Sky, there is a discernible shift in
romantic comedy on a lazy Sunday afternoon or screaming with Indian television viewing. Quips Tara Sehgal, 27, Client
joy at India winning that crucial cricket match, television is Servicing with an advertising agency, “I generally come home
certainly an integral part of our lives! But, as they say, everything very late and end up missing most of my favourite shows. With
has a catch to it and television viewing is no exception. Tata Sky+ installed, I can now record my favourite soaps and
For a long time now, women are known to spend more time movie flicks. No matter how late I come back, I know I can
glued to the idiot box and are more likely to fight over the catch up on my favourite shows and unwind myself completely. I
remote control with their significant others. So much so that can watch it all at my own time and convenience. It’s a great
women at times get into short-term depression if any of their stress buster for me.”
saas-bhau episode is missed out. As most houses have ‘one One more on the list is Namrata Sharma who works for an
FMCG company. “My husband and I both are working
professionals who come home late. As a result, we end up
missing out on most of our shows. Not just that, there are
times when we have third world wars on who will take
charge of the remote. But from the time we have started
using the Tata Sky+, things have definitely taken a positive
turn. Now there are no meaningless fights between me and
my hubby as the innovative product helps me record my
shows while I am still away at work. This way, I can watch
my favourite shows at my leisure.
With all this transition, one can only claim without any doubt
that television viewing in India has recorded a sea change. With
Direct-to-Home services like Tata Sky+, entertainment is round-
the-clock, at your service. So get ready to experience the world
of entertainment like never before. I

October ‘09 73


have long been fascinated at the rate at

I which computer chips, memory, storage and

all things electronic have been shrinking.
Moore's law, as it is popularly known, says
that computing power roughly doubles every 24
months or so for a given physical size. Gordon
Moore, founder of Intel, had made that
prediction in the 1965 issue of ‘Electronics
Magazine,’ a British industry rag. This
prediction has lived on and is expected to
continue for the next couple of years.
‘Whatever does that mumbo-jumbo mean?’

I can hear some grumbling in the background.
Let me try to explain with a few examples.
As common people, we have seen the advent
of the PDA as a brick, then shimmying down in
size to something that can sit in a shirt pocket
while increasing its functionality.
We have seen luggable computers with Sai Narasimhan
monitors that were a mere 4 inches
diagonally, and processors so large that they
weighed a neat 20 kg. And now we have
netbooks that have more computing power
than most early computers – put together. I
don’t even want to mention earlier computers
that occupied entire floors. I should know. I
have worked with mainframes that had less
computing power than today’s wrist watch
and were used to process inventory, payroll
and other such documents.
Then we saw the compaction of the spool
tapes, to LP records, to audio cassettes, to CDs
to DVDs and then to MP4 players. Never mind
the loss in fidelity – people seem to like
portability more than anything else. I will try to
dwell on this particular trend in a future column.

Televisions have
increased in resolution, Computing
moved from analogue
to digital and
power roughly
increased in size as doubles every
well. They have also
become WiFi aware,
providing us with a
24 months or so
for a given

variety of input and physical size
turning us into addicts.
Moreover, we have moved from broadcast channels, to cable Telephones have moved from land lines (which took decades
channels, to a veritable infinitude of channels beamed to us to get installed) to brick-sized cellular phones to pocket-sized cell
directly from space. And, finally, we are able to record television phones that can be bought and activated within minutes.
programmes and view them at our convenience. We can now Streaming video onto cell phones appears to be the present and
pause ‘live’ TV, rewind it, watch multiple channels on a single the future – nearly guaranteeing more accidents while people
screen at one time, remotely set up devices to record live watch and drive.
programmes and then view them from either home or from an We are communicating in unprecedented ways. It is the norm,
entirely different location. these days, to communicate what is going on from moment to 74 October ‘09

moment. Twitter is the name of this game, publishing cell phone
text messages (SMS) the Web and allowing people to follow your
thoughts. It is certainly tantalising and simply whets our appetite
for excitement.
From a medical perspective, it has been long known that
having a pacemaker is good for the wearer’s weak heart – it
ensures that any arrhythmia is quickly diagnosed and the
heart is shocked back into a healthy rhythm. It is taken so
much for granted that we recently saw a Vice-President in
the USA with a pacemaker in his body that governed for all
eight years!
And this is the next frontier of computing. Wearable
computers. What do we mean by that? How about seeing the
iPod Nano? That is a wearable MP3 player. You can see
people wearing it while working out, going to work or even
while relaxing. technology. Do the devices speak TCP/IP? Hmmm. That has
Researchers at the boundaries of technology tell us of the not been solved yet!
possibilities – and many of the technologies look like sheer We also have something called Vital Jacket® (and yes, that is
magic. We will go through some of the revolutions that are trademarked). This is something that you wear next to your skin
happening as this article is being written. Be aware though, that and it monitors your vital signs. What signs you ask? Your heart
many of these changes are fleeting and may die an ignominious rate, for one. The jacket can transmit the data and store it on a
death, while others live on in modified form, never to be data card in your pocket or even send it to other devices – let’s
recognised as a standalone achievement. say, your iPhone. Hospitals and doctors can be clamouring for
The iPod and iPhone have spun off innumerable accessories this device, making patients wear them so that they can see the
that can fall into this category. But the best example is the pattern of heart beats and the ranges. It can also warn if the
collaboration between Nike and Apple that allows the rate goes below or above the thresholds.
specialised Nike shoes to ‘talk’ to the iPod, based on the workout From a simple fashion statement point of view, the ideal
being done. This has been around since 2006. The basic idea is technology will be one that blends directly into one’s
to put something inside one of the shoes and a receiver on your clothing. And that is certainly something that is being
iPod Nano. Every second of your workout is sent to the Nano worked on. Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic have started
and you can see details of your workout on your Nano screen. thinking about electronic textiles. They call these, naturally,
You can have playlists and also have a ‘Power Song’ that kicks in e-textiles. That is until Apple produces a line, and then it will
when you need the ‘kick’ to push you. Although this is a fun way be called iTextiles (you heard it here first). These e-textiles
of doing things, it is not particularly different from the sensors will provide a more fashionable way to do things that Vital
you strap onto your chest while your ‘smart’ wrist watch keeps Jackets do. However, these are extensible because the wiring
track of your health and workout. But it is definitely more fun has already been incorporated into the fabric. All that is
… and more profitable for the companies concerned. needed are the sensors. Need to do more? Add more
But the real frontiers of wearable computing lie in the future. processors and sensors. It is as if you are wearing a computer
The bare beginning has been revealed – by Levis. They that can be upgraded as needed.
produced the RedWire™ DLX Jeans that have been available
for the past couple of years. There is an iPod docking cradle
built into the jeans. Special joystick remote control is available
in the pocket that can be used to control the iPod. And the
headphone unit is retractable – tangle free! Is this all we can do?
Is this what wearable technology is all about?
Not really. Take a look at
index.shtml. They have a whole range of clothing that helps
create a PAN – a Personal Area Network – which can be used to
help personal devices talk to each other. Thus, you can connect
your PDA to your phone or your MP3 player and have
headphones wired to just one place and be able to use it with
any device. The wiring is discreetly built into the clothing. You
can also connect your digital camera, portable keyboard – only
your imagination is the limit. And they work with today's

October ‘09 75


Head-mounted displays are eye-opening – or should I say Again, when the wearer meets someone, the camera uses its
head opening? And I am not talking about the stuff that gamers face recognition software to identify the person and projects the
go ga-ga over. Although you could say that it had its origins information. Suddenly you have someone whispering who the
person is in front of you! For the absent-minded lot, this will be
a gift from heaven.
And what if you wanted to ‘touch’ something that was
projected in front of you? Simple! Use your fingers – and the
touch is conveyed to the software. Want to know the time?
Simply draw a circle on the wrist and you see an image of a
clock with the current time.
As you may imagine, the possibilities are endless. And the cost
of all this magic? Pranav Mistry revealed that this is doable
today and all the pieces cost about $350. How about that for a
technology that is alive, here and now?
Let us look at the way things have progressed. We used to
need keyboards to control computers. These soon gave way to
mouse. Close on its heels followed the touch pad, the touch
screen, voice commands and now, gestures in mid air. But these
require muscles to move them! With some enhancements, eye
gestures can be used to control computers.
But the next frontier is direct brain manipulation of
computers. Well, so far this has been impeded by the
requirement that electrodes be placed on the skull. This requires
shaving the head – at least in parts. You can use a gel to directly
there. The concept is as follows: projecting maps in front of you connect the head, without requiring shaving – but try telling that
so that you are ‘immersed’ into the environment being to the hairstyle crazy youth of today! A company called Emotiv
projected. When you start interacting with it, you are, effectively, claims that its headset can detect the brain waves of smiles,
on a Star Trek holodeck! Such experiences can be delivered
today. With such displays, where pictures are projected in front
of you (virtually), you can have a ‘mashup’ of the real world
with data which have been gathered by (say) intelligence and
known data of friendly forces to see. Streets will suddenly have
names on them. This is where such technologies will be first put
to use. But soon after, we can imagine the same technology
being used in cars to project directions in front of you – the
heads-up display mode – so that you know where to go without
ever having to let your eyes stray from the road ahead.
I am sure you must have at least heard of the ‘sixth sense’
demonstration at this year’s TED conference. If not, that is one
presentation that is a must-see. Here is the link
pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html. If it doesn’t blow your Pranav Mistry
mind, I am sure you already have a workable sixth sense.
To those who haven’t seen the demo, allow me to plug away. winks and other expressions. These can help gamers’ avatars
The wearer has a camera on his tie, a small projector and a interact perfectly with their counterparts in their games.
small cell phone (probably an iPhone). At this time the wearer There has also been the case of a researcher ‘tweeting’ his
also has to wear different coloured stickers on the finger-tips so thoughts using, well, just his thoughts. You can read further at
that the computer can recognise those.
When the wearer is in front of a product (for example, tissue archer-updates-his-twitter-feed-using-only-brainwaves/
paper box), the camera scans the bar code, goes online using the On the whole, we are living in exciting times, where
cell phone’s Web connection, gets the best prices and lets you technology is changing quicker than people can keep up with.
know what will be a good price. This information is projected on Live it up and enjoy it. Because a lot of it may be extinct before
any surface in front of the wearer. Voila! The same thing is done your children grow up. I wonder how we will be able to keep this
with a book. It can also bring up reviews, ratings and a host of knowledge for posterity? Maybe that is fodder for another
additional information that you might be looking for. column. Until next time, this is Sai! I 76 October ‘09

What’s Cooking –
Redefining the Kitchen
Chandana Banerjee

or ages, the kitchen has been the very heart of one’s of course, quick,” quips Meera Arvind, a busy interior designer
home; but nowadays you can easily say that it is the jewel and a gadget gal, who loves to rustle up healthy meals for her
in the crown. A new-age kitchen with modular fittings, family. She spent a fortune getting a high-end modular kitchen
hi-tech gadgets, chic cookware and beautiful tableware is and all the accessories and kitchen appliances that money could
the pride of the owner and a work of art. buy. Meera is not the only one who believes in redefining the
“I have a modular kitchen with all the high-end gadgets and kitchen experience; a lot of men and women are busting up big
cookware to make the process of cooking more enjoyable and, bucks to keep their kitchen up-to-date on the technology front.

Cookware: Gone are the days when women toiled for long the kitchen without my food processor, microwave and thermo
hours, cooking every meal from scratch in black-bottomed woks. pot,” gushes Maya Nair, an HR Executive, who likes to cook for
The ancient brass, copper and aluminium pots and pans have her family, but on budget time. Quick, simple-to-use and
been stowed away and in their place, titanium pots, non-stick reliable, these appliances are the best kitchen mates that a
pans and stainless steel tableware gleam from the kitchen shelves. cooking enthusiast can ask for.
There are plenty of good companies that manufacture an You don’t have to depend on your domestic help to turn up on
array of non-stick cookware. From big woks for cooking a feast time to help you chop the vegetables or grind the spices. Just turn
to small pans for rustling up an omelette, cook-and-serve pots to on your food processor and get together all the raw materials you
slotted spoons and spatulas – the non-stick range has a lot to need for your meal. With the microwave in your kitchen, you
offer if you are cooking at home. The best part about non-stick don’t have to spend hours near to the stove – heating or cooking
cookware is that you can cook with minimum oil and do not a meal. Just pop a dish into the microwave, press the right buttons
have to worry about scraping the food off the base while you are and dig into the meal within a few minutes. You can even make
preparing a dish. Give your cookware a little TLC and you can optimum use of other features and cook an entire meal from
happily use it for quite some time. scratch in a microwave. And, of course, the next time you want
Apart from the Teflon-coated version, there’s the titanium to eat homemade cookies, cakes, buns or biscuits, use the
range with glittering accolades to its credit. “It is tougher, rust- convection mode to make some in your own kitchen.
proof, and does not form toxic salts by reacting with food,” says There are other kitchen appliances that you can drool over. The
Kaveri Mahajan, a homemaker, who swears by her titanium cook- cooking range with gas and electric options is ideal for the prolific
and-serve utensils. Titanium cookware has a plethora of other cook. You can cook, grill or bake with one of these high-tech
advantages – it is strong yet lightweight; it is healthy and safe since appliances. Some of the other appliances that are popular with
it is non-porous; it has non-stick properties; and, you need less high-tech home cooks are blenders, warming drawers, sophisticated
water to cook your food as the vegetables will cook in their own
juices. Your food will taste more delicious, and the utensils will be
more durable. Titanium cookware is available in a large variety.
From sauté pans to grill pans, stockpots to saucepans, skillet pans
to frying pans, there is a whole range of cookware to choose from.
There are also other enamel-coated cook-and-serve dishes, Pyrex
baking bowls and an assortment of microwave-proof cookware that
can make cooking fast, fun and aesthetically appealing.

Kitchen appliances: Once you’ve got your cookware in

place, it’s time to take a look at all those amazing kitchen
gadgets and home appliances that can turn that chore
called cooking into a fun activity. “I can’t function in
cook tops, speed cooking ovens and chimneys and venting systems.
Instant cookers, mixer and grinders, as well as thermo pots (to heat
water for soups, hot beverages and cooking needs), are some of the
key appliances that find a place in modern kitchens. And, of course,
how can we ever forget the refrigerator? It doesn’t cook for us but
then, it is just as important. With improved technology, food (raw or
cooked) remains fresh for a longer time. We don’t have to worry
about defrosting it every now and then, or about food odours and
mould-covered foods. The new age refrigerator is built for the
modern woman (and man). You can store food for a week or more
and even cook for the week ahead. Store it in neat containers to
save time. Well, that was about cooking and storing. What about indicator on the surface to let you know when the pan is hot
washing up? In this age, you don’t really have to hire the truant enough for browning or searing. Then there’s Cybernox from
neighbourhood ‘bai’ to cook and even clean. Stack up those dirty Sitram, a line of skillets with an interior cooking surface made of
dishes into a dish washer and see them coming out squeaky clean. unique stainless steel that makes it stick-resistant.
Cooking and cleaning have never been so easy! Even for those who Still not satiated? Then try the digital kitchen scale, dripless
are total amateurs in the field, household chores can be a breeze basting brush, Chop Wizard, Rotato Express and the range of
with all the appliances available. slow cookers to turn into a kitchen magician. Scour the websites
“I’ve seen my mother toiling in the kitchen and spending hours of gadget manufacturers in India and abroad, and you’ll find an
to prepare a single meal. That had put me off cooking for a while. entire treasure trove of hi-tech kitchen trinkets that can
But with all these appliances and gadgets, I can cook in a jiffy and absolutely change your cooking and kitchen experience. The
now quite enjoy the experience,” pipes in Nandini Kumar, who gadgets are up there, available at a mouse click! Log on to the
spends less than an hour in the kitchen and manages to juggle her Internet and just find what you want and fancy.
freelance writing career with the kitchen chores.
For every type of kitchen appliance, there is a whole range of Tableware: Speaking about an enhanced kitchen experience,
options regarding style, facilities and energy usage. Once you how about adding tableware to the list? Research &
know what you want to buy and which company you want to go development, improved technology and great design bring us
to, you can look at the options and zero down on one that suits the kind of tableware that we would love to flaunt. The Art
your kitchen, requirements and budget. d’Inox range of stainless steel tableware can surely add chutzpah
to a hi-tech dining experience. Sleek, and with a subtle, silvery
Gadgets: We can’t do without kitchen gadgets, can we? With sheen, and clear designs, the tableware just makes everything
today’s advanced technology, a plethora of kitchen gadgets are look so modern and new age.
being introduced into the market. There are tonnes of darlings to
die for. But some of the kitchen gadgets that are all-time Modular and luxury kitchens: While we’re on the topic of
favourites with cooking aficionados include the garlic press enhanced kitchen experience, we can’t help but mention the
machine that can help you peel, crush and slice without your fabulous modular as well as the high-end luxury kitchens that woo
hands getting messy and smelly; food thermometers that can people with excellent space management and style quotient. In a
check if a dish needs more cooking, if the food has gone bad or if modular kitchen, the modules are put together as per the space
the dish is ready to be served; and finally, there is the Mandoline, available and your requirements. So even if you have a matchbox
which can cut and slice vegetables for you. Alligator choppers, of a kitchen at home, you can cook, clean, manage and maintain
knife sharpeners, slotted spoons and salad spinners are some of everything easily and efficiently. It looks good and the heart of
the other gadgets that win hands down. Ah! And how can we your home is actually a masterpiece that you can flaunt.
forget the cool new kitchen-safe digital recipe reader? This And if you have the moolah, you just might like to go in for a
gadget is for the amateur cook or for anyone who likes to try out luxury kitchen. “I have a Veneta Cucine luxury kitchen and even
new recipes. The SmartShopper will take down your grocery though I spend minimum time there, I just wanted something
notes as you dictate; the TMIO Intelligent Oven can be sleek and state-of-the-art,” says Kavita Krishnan, a successful
controlled via cell phone or Internet when you’re not around; the businesswoman. For Romilla M., a luxury kitchen is a way to
Nutritional Scale can track the nutritional value of your food, make her favourite space look savvy, chic and beautiful. “I love to
from calories and sugar level to protein and carbohydrates. And if cook and as I’m a cooking teacher and writer, this is something
that’s not enough, the Electrolux Inspiro is an intelligent oven that makes me happy – personally and professionally.”
that will calculate the amount of heat you need to cook and A great kitchen studded with hi-tech gadgets, kitchen
prevent your food from getting singed. appliances and cookware can change the way you feel about
The Thermospot non-stick cookware is another cooking, and even the way you eat. Here’s to the new-age
interesting piece of kitchen ‘gadget’ that has a visual heat kitchen experience! I

October ‘09 79


he car flew through the cloud-laden sky. Manjula “We are going to be home in a couple of minutes,” Manjula said.

T Sharma, perched on the front seat, was returning home

after picking up her four-year-old girl, Sita, from her
school. An LCD screen fixed to the dashboard was
showing a new Disney movie that had been just released. The
car was fully automatic, as all flying cars in the year AD 2050
“Cool!” ejaculated Sita. “I plan to get wet in the rain once we
are out of the car.”
The car had now started descending and slowly it came to a
halt in the designated landing area in front of a colorful house
that seemed to be a new construction. A look of complete
were, and Manjula was free to watch the movie with her surprise dawned on Manjula’s face. She checked the guidance
daughter. Sita laughed incessantly at the antics of the cartoon system on the flying car. Everything seemed to be working
characters on the screen. Her mother laughed with her. properly. But this was not her house. Even four-year-old Sita
They were still in air when the movie got over. It was could notice that. “This isn’t our house,” she said sharply.
raining outside. “I think our car has made a mistake in bringing us to a wrong
“It has been raining since we took off from the ground,” house,” said Manjula. She pressed her finger on the LCD screen,
mused Manjula. which was touch-sensitive, and picked up the option of “Voice
“Mom, can we open the car’s window. I want to feel the rain.” Communication.” Now she could verbally communicate with her
“You know the rules. The windows can’t be opened during car. “speed champ, where have you brought us? This is not our
the period that the car is in air. This is in interest of safety of home,” she said. speed champ was nickname that she had given
the passengers, replied Manjula sternly.” to her car.

De-print and print

“Alright,” sighed Sita. Alongside their car, there were many “Yes it is. The coordinates of this place exactly match the
other cars of all shapes and sizes that were flying. Soon they coordinates of your house,” said the metallic feminine voice
reached a large roundabout that was stationary in the air and emanating from a speaker installed in the car’s control panel. “I
on top of it a police control tower for flying vehicles was have brought you to the right place.”
built. Robotic cops could be seen standing around the “But this is not our home,” cried Sita.
roundabout; it was their job to ensure a smooth flow of Manjula, however, was confused. Every other thing on the street
traffic through the air. Just because the cars had taken to the looked familiar. The only thing that had changed was her house.
air, it didn’t mean that they could fly erratically. They were But she had left her house only four hours ago. How could they
expected to fly within the stipulated speed limit, and maintain change an entire house in just four hours? Who could have done it?
a strict lane discipline. “Mom, look,” Sita, who had followed her mother out of the
After navigating the roundabout, the car carrying Manjula car, said excitedly pointing in one direction. “Bunty and Monica
and Sita took the lane that led to the locality where they lived. are skating on the sidewalk.” 80 October ‘09

Manjula looked at the two kids of her neighbours, but she was feel much comfortable in the new house that we have created for
too shocked to say anything. Sita could easily read the tension in you.” The note had been signed by an executive from Hi-Tech
her mother’s mind. “Should I ask them where our house has Builders, named Ruby Bhatia.
gone?” she said. Monica nodded quietly. “This is ridiculous,” Manjula murmured by herself. “They have
But Bunty and Monica had already started skating towards no right to de-print my old house and create a new one in its place
them. “Your new house looks cool,” announced Bunty, when he without my permission.” She pushed at the door, which opened
was close enough. directly to reveal a starkly bare hall. Now Manjula could sense her
“Yes,” repeated Monika enthusiastically. worse fears coming true. While de-printing, the employees of
Hearing the words of praise for the new house from her Hi-Tech Builders had de-printed everything that was inside her
friends, Sita was suddenly enthused. “Mom, I think this new old house. All her furniture, curtains, cutlery, the artefacts that she
house looks good,” she said taking her mother’s hand. “Let’s go had collected during her various tours, her collection of books,
and check how it looks from the inside.” everything that they had in their house was now gone. It was
But Manjula had other things in her mind. “Did any one of almost as if they had de-printed her entire past life.
you see who built this house in place of our old house?” Tears welled up in her eyes. But Sita had not noticed the grief
“Of course, we did,” said Monica eagerly. “They bought a that her mother was reeling under. She ran inside the house
number of house printing machines and made a new house followed by her two friends, Bunty and Monica. “This is our
for you.” new house,” she announced proudly.

your house Anoop Verma

“First, they de-printed the old house and then printed a new The hammering, sawing, drilling and bricklaying that once
house in its place,” Bunty added. upon a time had been entailed in the process of building a
“And may I ask who were they?” Manjula snapped. house, had in the year 2050 been replaced by giant room sized
“I have no idea,” said Monica. “But my mom would know. printers that used rapid prototyping techniques to print walls,
Should I call her?” complete with brick, plaster, windows, insulation and conduits
But Manjula would not wait. With hurried steps she started for wires and pipes. The technique was used to make the walls
marching towards the entrance of the new house. On the door stronger and functional. It also vastly speeded up the process of
there lay a large bouquet of flowers to which a gaily printed construction. These days it was quite normal for state-of-the-art
note was attached. Hurriedly Manjula opened the note. It said, printers to create a new two- or three-storey house with many
“Congratulations for your new home. For Hi-Tech Builders it rooms within a couple of hours. In cases where an old house
has been a great pleasure to de-print your old house and print a had to be pulled down and a new one built in its place, the
new version in its place. We hope that you and your family will de-printers entered the scene first.

October ‘09 81


These de-printers worked by breaking the house into small about the large hall. It was not as if the house was poorly
nano-particles that would be sucked inside their storage constructed; the exterior design was good and the interiors, too,
chamber by means of sophisticated vacuum pumps. Four or five seemed to be tastefully done. The floor was made out of white
de-printers could clear a three-storey house in less than 30 marble, the walls had pleasant wallpaper on them, and the roof
minutes without causing even a speck of the debris to fall in the had a bewitching chandelier dropping from it. But in order to
surrounding area. Once the area was cleared of the old house, build this new fashionable house, they had obliterated everything
few printers would move in and they operated by squeezing out that was stored in her old house. Who gave them the right to
drops of moist toothpaste-like building material in a manner destroy every bit of clothing that her family possessed? Her
similar to that of a large ink-jet printer. The toothpaste-like daughter’s toys were gone. Her husband’s collection of old
material would be designed to harden within moments in the air stamps, his books, everything that he had kept in this house was
and turn into strong walls, floor and roof of a house where gone. Everything de-printed!
people could live safely and securely. This system had become Now she needed to inform her husband about what had
very popular, because it was much cheaper, it saved time, and it happened. She quickly pulled out her mobile phone from her
had very little environmental impact. pocket and dialed her husband’s number. He picked up instantly.
After her first peek inside the starkly empty indoors of the “Hey, are you back? Have you picked up Sita?” Aditya checked
house, Manjula stepped out into the small garden. She could with his wife.
hear the sound of the three kids cheering as they scampered “Yeah, I came back a few minutes ago. Listen, I wanted to tell
you something important.”
“Is something wrong?”
“It is. Our house is gone.”
“What do you mean by our house
is gone?”
“When I left about four hours
ago, to do some shopping and pick
up Sita from her school, our old
house was still standing there. But
when I returned, I found a new,
much bigger house, standing in its
place. It seems a crew from Hi-Tech
Builders was here; they de-printed
our old house and printed a new
one in its place.”
“But how is that possible,” Aditya
sounded absolutely shocked. “What
about the things that we had inside
our house? I hope they had the
sense to remove our things.”
“Everything has been de-
printed,” Manjula replied tersely.
“And where is Sita?”
“She is playing inside the house
with her friends. She is too young to
understand the terrible wrong that
has been done to us.”
“Ok, I will be there in a few
minutes. We have to get to the
bottom of this. Whoever has de-
printed our old house, is going to
pay a heavy price. I will see to it.”
With these words, Aditya
disconnected the line. Manjula
could not bring herself to even
enter the house; she simply did
not empathize with this new 82 October ‘09

building. Her eyes regarded it furiously and blamed it for In the year 2050, a food printer had become a necessity for
standing in the place where her own house stood until a few most households. No one ever cooked their food these days, and
hours ago. eating fruits and vegetables that were grown naturally on trees
Sita emerged from the house. “Mom, where are my toys?” and plants was completely out of fashion. People preferred the
she asked. “All the rooms are empty. I can’t find any of them.” food printer to take care of all their dietary needs. Food from
Manjula knew her daughter would be heart-broken if she told such gizmos was completely free of germs; it was also
her that all her toys and clothes had been de-printed. “Don’t worry, incorporated with all kinds of proteins, vitamins and useful
honey,” she said consolingly, “we will buy new toys for you.” drugs that were necessary to keep a human being healthy – all
“But I want to play with my teddy bear,” Sita almost cried. this retaining the perfect taste. But the best thing about this type
Just then, a flying car arrived out of nowhere and circled of food was that it was absurdly easy to create.
briefly at the top of the house before settling down in the lawn The latest model of food printer, the type that Aditya and
next to Manjula’s flying car. “Papa is back; now we can go Manjula used to have in their old house, could print any fruit in
shopping for toys,” said Sita and she rushed towards the car. just 7 seconds. It could print a loaf of bread in 5 seconds. The
The car’s door opened, and Aditya Sharma stepped out. He creation of a pot full of vegetables took mere 9 seconds. Moving
glared at the new house that had been created by de-printing his beyond the normal food items, the food printer could also be
old house, and hissed, “This is unbelievable. They don’t have the used to print chocolates, cold drinks, and ice creams.
right to do this without our permission. In any case, who is going Meanwhile, Manjula had told Aditya about the note that
to pay for this new house that they have printed?” she had found attached to the welcoming bouquet, which the
Meanwhile, Sita had wrapped herself to her dad’s legs and staff from Hi-Tech Builders had left for them outside the
was clamouring for new toys to be bought. Manjula huriedly door of the new house. They decided to call Hi-Tech
walked up to her husband. “I was shocked too when I saw this Builders and tell them about the terrible mistake that they
new house,” she said out of frustration. “There is no way we are had made by de-printing their old house with all their things
going to pay for this.” inside it. Aditya dialed the number from his mobile. From the
“Have they really de-printed everything that was inside our other end of the airwave there came a well-modulated female
old house?” asked Aditya. voice, “Welcome to Hi-Tech Builders. For English press one,
“Everything! They have left nothing at all.” Hindi ke liya do dabaiyen.”
“Even my toys are gone,” Sita injected with anticipation. The phone had its speaker on, so Manjula could also listen to
“Can we buy some new toys now?” the response from the other side. As Aditya preferred to speak in
“Not now,” said Aditya looking down at his daughter, “your English, he pressed one. Promptly the modulated female voice
mother and I have an important business to attend to. Why said, “If you’re an existing Hi-Tech Builders customer, press
don’t you play with your friends for a while?” one. If you want to have a new house printed, press two; if you
“Listen to your dad, Sita. Go and play with Monica and want to de-print an old house, press three; to go back to the
Bunty,” Manjula added. This time Sita got the message; in previous menu, press four.”
any case, playing with her friends in a starkly empty house “We are going to waste too much time stuck on their menu
was an enticing prospect – one that she would not want to system,” Manjula murmured with anger.
miss. She ran off to join Bunty and Monica who were waiting “I think we will have to press one,” said Aditya.
for her in the verandah and together they disappeared inside “Why?” Manjula asked.
the house. “They have already created a new house for us, so even if
“I think we should consult a lawyer,” said Aditya. we don’t want it to be so, we are their existing customers,”
“A police report will also have to be filed,” said Manjula. Aditya pressed one. Once again they were directed back to
“I will sue them. I will drive them into bankruptcy.” the menu system.
“Even the new food printer that we had purchased has been “For any construction-related fault in your house, press one; if
de-printed,” Manjula announced angrily. you want to de-print your house and create a new house, press
“How are we going to manage without it?” Aditya snapped. two; if you want to have renovations printed to your house, press
A food printer was a device that could print all kinds of cooked three. For any complaints and suggestions, press four.”
or uncooked food. It could be used to print ripe bananas, Hissing with frustration at the long wait, Aditya pressed four.
apples, mangoes, salad of any kind, leafy vegetables, etc. It “Please hold the line while we transfer your call to our
could also be used to print cooked dishes based on many kinds customer service representative.”
of recipes. A food printer worked in a same way that a house “At last, we can talk to a human being,” sighed Aditya. “I
printer did, in the sense that it used rapid prototyping would really like to give this person a piece of my mind.”
techniques to create different kinds of food. The food printer “Don’t be too sure about a human being picking up the
that Manjula and Aditya used to have in their old home was phone,” rejoined Manjula. “It is more likely that the reception
capable of creating 50,000 kinds of dishes. It could also create desk at Hi-Tech Builders will be manned by a cyborg or even a
1000 types of fruits and vegetables. hundred per cent robot.”

October ‘09 83


And she was right. It was indeed a

cyborg who picked up the phone. To
be more precise, it was female
cyborg. “Good afternoon, thank you
for calling Hi-Tech Builders,” came
a female voice from other end of the
line. “My name is Richa, I am a
50% robot and 50% human, and
that makes me a cyborg. How can I
be of help to you?”
By now Aditya’s mind was in the
grip of immense frustration; he was
certainly not in mood for practicing
verbal niceties with this cyborg
receptionist. Without any
preliminaries, he shouted, “You de-
printed my house without my
permission. You destroyed
everything that was stored in my
house. I am going to sue you. Where
is the owner of Hi-Tech builders?
Connect me to him, I wish to talk to
him directly.”
“Please calm down sir. I am here
to help you. Please tell me what the
problem is.”
“You already heard what I said. I,
my wife and our four-year-old
daughter were out of the house
when your men arrived with their
machines. They de-printed our old
house with everything inside it and
printed a new house in its place. You had no right to tear our old “Sir, I have just been authorized by the company management
house apart. We never gave you the permission to print a new to tell you that as your old house has been de-printed by mistake,
house for us. Now you have to compensate us for the financial you can keep the new house that has been printed for free. This
loss and the mental trauma that we have suffered because of should really be a great news for you, as you can now start living
you,” Aditya reeled off with anger. in a much bigger and modern house without having to pay a
“Please hold on sir while I check your details.” single penny for it.”
“You better get back to me, because I am not going to hold “Who the hell wants to live in a bigger and more modern
on forever.” house!” now it was Manjula who snarled into the phone. “We
“I will be back quickly sir, please hold on,” said the cyborg want our old house back. We had so many personal things in it.
receptionist in an even tone. Everything inside our old house has been de-printed. How can
In less than two minutes, the cyborg receptionist was back. “It you take this so casually? Because of your mistake we have lost
seems that there has been a computer error on our end, because everything that we owned.”
of which a wrong house got de-printed and a new one printed in Before the cyborg receptionist could say anything further,
its place,” she said sheepishly. “Our crew was supposed to de- Aditya disconnected the phone. “There is no point in wasting
print and print a house at some other plot, but due to computer time talking to her. We have to file a lawsuit against them to
error they landed up at your house. We really apologize for the make them pay for their mistake.”
inconvenience that has been caused to you.” Sita and the two neighbourhood kids were playing contentedly
That is all Aditya needed to hear for flaring up with anger. “I inside the house. The empty hall was proving to be a good
am surprised to hear that a computer error can cause your crew playground for them. Aditya and Manjula left the kids to their
to come and de-print an entire house with which so many of our games and rushed to the lawn where their cars were parked.
memories were associated. People who are managing your Physical courts had ceased to exist in the year 2050. The
organization should be arrested and send to jail.” system of getting justice had gone completely online. There 84 October ‘09

were digital courts that existed solely in the cyberspace. was to have their old house, with all their things back, but
These courts were manned by digital judges who had all the that was simply not possible and so they had to contend
nitty-gritties of the law coded into their systems. There were themselves with the million dollars and the new house that
digital lawyers to debate all angles of any issue or crime, and they had got. The truth was that even in year 2050, a million
help the digital judges arrive at the right decision. Nano-cops, dollars was a lot of money and they would face no financial
who worked at molecular level and were capable of issues in getting their brand new house equipped with
conducting forensic examination at the speed light, were everything that they and their daughter might need to feel
usually relied upon to collect the evidence. If there were any comfortable and happy. They were already engaged in
testimonies from human beings or cyborgs who might have placing orders for many brand new things.
been witness to any crime, these got recorded online through They ordered a food printer, which was much larger and
a system of video conferencing. advanced than their old food printer. It was capable of printing
This system of online digital courts proved to be quite 10,000 types of natural fruits and vegetables and more than one
efficient, and in most cases a judgement got delivered in a million kinds of dishes. They ordered a furniture printer to
matter of hours. But a secure video conferencing system was a create different types of furniture that they needed in their
must for accessing the digital courts. Manjula and Aditya did house. They also ordered an appliance printer to print out the
possess a state-of-the-art video conferencing system, but that had myriad appliances like refrigerator, microwave, TV, computers,
got de-printed with their old house. So now they were forced to video games, air conditioning systems and much else that they
use one that was installed in Manjula’s car. They quickly got in needed. A Utensil Printer was ordered to create the pots, pans,
the car and switched on the video conferencing system; through plates, glasses, forks, knives, spoons that the family needed for
it, they got connected to the digital court that handled disputes their day-to-day use. A latest wardrobe printer, which was
and crimes in their area. A digital attorney got hired at the click updated with latest fashion trends for men, women and children,
of a button and soon they were recording their grievance to him was ordered to print out clothes that the family would wear at
by speaking into the microphone. It took them about an hour or different times of the day.
so to get their complaint fully registered and a moment later In less than an hour the different printers that had been
their attorney, working at the speed of light, placed their case ordered arrived loaded on different flying vehicles. The
before a digital judge. furniture printer and the appliance printer were really large
An online summons was sent to the Hi-Tech Builders and and so they arrived on a flying vehicle that was as large as a
in a matter of moments their attorney appeared before the truck. The other printers were of manageable size, meant to
digital court and confessed that the company did not have a be installed inside the house, so they arrived on smaller
mandate from the owners to de-print their house and print a vehicles. An army of robots arrived with each printer to install
new one at its place. It was a computer error that was to be it inside the house or to operate it to create new things. The
blamed for what had happened. The attorney hired by robots that had arrived with the furniture printer and the
Manjula and Aditya demanded a large financial appliance printer got busy churning out goods according to
compensation from Hi-Tech Builders for the mistake that the specifications given by Manjula and Aditya. The separate
they had made. He talked passionately about the emotional pieces of a stylish sofa-set that was covered with blue velvet
trauma that his clients had suffered. took about 2 minutes to print. A large bed took 3 minutes to
After hearing the arguments of both the digital attorneys, print. A four-door refrigerator could be printed in 2 minutes
the digital judge was ready to deliver his judgement. He and 30 seconds. A microwave in just 30 seconds. Chandeliers
declared that since the Hi-Tech builders carried out the de- took 50 seconds.
printing and printing work at the house without a legally As these items came out of the printers, the army of robots
binding authorization from the owners, they had clearly carried them inside the house and installed them in places
made a mistake. So they would not be paid for the new house indicated by Manjula and Aditya. Sita started clamoring for her
that they had printed. And they would also pay Manjula and toys, so her parents decided to order a small toy printer for her
Aditya a sum of one million dollars to compensate for the that she could keep in her room and use to create toys of her
loss of their personal things. But he refused to send any of choice. This printer too arrived shortly to Sita’s immense
the Hi-Tech Builders executives to jail, as there was no delight. By the time the sun started settling in the horizon
evidence that they had worked with any criminal intention. indicating that the day was over, the new house was fully
What happened was the result of a rather unfortunate furnished with everything that the this family of three could ever
computer error. The judge advised Hi-Tech Builders to need. There was now no trace of tension and frustration on the
improve the efficiency of their computer systems so that such faces of Manjula and Aditya, as had been the case earlier in the
mistakes could be avoided in future. day, now they were enjoying themselves in their new home. Sita
Within few minutes of the judgment being delivered, a sum was feeling happy too and for a good reason - now she had a
of one million dollars got deposited in the joint account that new toy printer for herself that she could use to print all the toys
Manjula and Aditya were operating. What they really wanted that she could ever think of. I

October ‘09 85


Imagine life without the Internet. It may well be an isolated existence without the instant
connectivity that keeps you linked to the rest of the world. Considering the role(s) Internet
plays to make life simpler, easier and a little more than comfortable, it will be a tad difficult
to think of living without it. From bill payment to banking and shopping, and from data
hunting and e-communication to virtual officing and online dating, there’s no area of our
life that remains untouched by the Internet. In brief, just like the Industrial Revolution 200
years ago, the Digital Revolution called the Internet and its all-embracing reach-out have
changed our life beyond recognition.

Internet @
Fascinating past, amazing future
Sanghamitra Mandal

ore than a billion users worldwide are connected research on packet switching – the network communication method
today – but just 40 years ago, global network of transferring data by splitting it up into small chunks. As the USA
connections were simply non-existent. Efforts were had no packet switching network working at that time, Arpa agreed
on to create an open network for exchanging to provide the basic Arpanet hardware and fund a transatlantic link
information. The US government was all too enthusiastic about to Norway if the UK could pay for a line. On their part, although
the potential outcome and Leonard Kleinrock, along with his the British research funding council refused to fund the project and
colleagues, was asked to develop the Advanced Research Projects the Department of Trade and Industry demanded business
Agency Network (Arpanet), an experimental military network. involvement, UCL computer scientist Peter Kirstein decided to go
On September 2, 1969, two computers at the University of ahead and the link went live, via Norway, in July 1973.
California, Los Angeles, exchanged data in the first test of So far, the history of the Internet remains an unbelievable
Arpanet. But real success was met with on October 29 when feat of physics and industry that has been holding true for the
Kleinrock managed to send a message from UCLA to the last 40 years. In 1971, Ray Tomlinson, an engineer with BBN
second node at Stanford Research Institute Menlo Park, Technologies, sent the first network e-mail, choosing the
California. It was an extremely brief communication, though, as @ symbol to separate the user’s name from the host computer.
Kleinrock tried to type ‘logon’ and the network crashed after the But why so? “Mostly because it seemed like a neat idea,” he
first two letters were written. But it “was the first breath of life later commented.
the Internet ever took,” according to Kleinroc. But with the computer networking evolving on a global scale,
more innovations were required to draw up even the basic
Global flourish specifications to swap data across different types of networks. So
In 1970, the Arpanet expanded further and got the East Coast in 1973-74, Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf at Arpanet came up
node at Bolt, Beranek and Newman in Cambridge. However, with the Transmission Control Protocol and the Internet
only universities with connections to the US Department of Protocol (TCPIP) that would allow seamless integration of
Defense had access to it. As the cutting-edge advantages of multiple networks, thus creating a true Internet. After years of
computer networking became apparent, other universities began intense testing and some tough competition from rival network
developing their own networks. The exclusive US phenomenon languages, the concept has split into the TCP/IP that powers the
ultimately took the shape of an international network in July Net to this day. In 1983, another important feature, namely, the
1973, when the University College London (UCL) and Norway’s domain name system, was also proposed. Creation of suffixes
National Defence Research Establishment joined via dedicated such as .com, .gov and .edu came a year later.
phone lines, running at a mighty 9.6 kilobits per second.
The transatlantic link happened as a result of discussions between Internet comes live, first worm crawls
Larry Roberts, the driving force behind the Arpanet, and British The online experience became more intriguing when
scientist Donald Davies. The latter had already done pioneering CompuServe and The Source offered Internet services for the 86 October ‘09

first time in 1979. Users paid an initial fee and then hourly accessed documents using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and
charges to browse through news and data. CB Simulator, the opted for the Usenet as a means to express themselves. One such
first online chat, was introduced a year later – bringing about a popular technology was known as gopher, which was also
never-before digital revolution and bridging all physical divides. released in 1991. The initial few years recorded a significant
As the advantages of networking became clear, the demand high in gopher traffic. But things changed dramatically when
for a truly global network, instant connectivity and free access to Marc Andreessen and his colleagues at University of Illinois
created Mosaic in 1993 – the first web browser to combine text
and graphics on a single page. The user-friendly interface

certainly made the W3 more acceptable to the world.

Now ... Web 3.0 and beyond?

The Web has undergone sea change but what does the future
hold? According to technology expert and entrepreneur Nova
Spivack, the development of the Web moves in 10-year cycles.
Experts in the field now talk about a semantic Web, quite
different from the earlier versions. Although it is difficult to
define Web 1.0, most users feel that the earliest version happens
to be a huge data bank containing information about almost
everything under the sun. However, the websites falling under
this category were static and non-interactive, which led to the
much-needed upgrade – popularly known as Web 2.0.
information became a reality that sounded too good to be true. Simply put, the Web is now a platform used to design rich
Consequently, the pioneering Arpanet slowly gave way to user experience. But keeping in mind the average visitor, the
broader and more efficient networks like CSNET and NSFNET. interface is kept very simple and the services offered are
Regional networks like MIDnet, SURAnet and NYSERnet uncomplicated and well streamlined. The most important aspect
followed soon. By the end of 1988, NFSnet had gone global and is, of course, Web democratisation – so that people can share
worked across major countries like Canada, Denmark, France, information and contribute as well. Wikis and blogging are great
Ireland, Norway and Sweden. examples in this respect while smart tools like tagging and search
The year 1988 also witnessed the earliest form of cyber threat engines are used to harness, classify and find collective
when Robert T. Morris, a graduate student at Cornell, intelligence in a hassle-free manner.
unleashed the first widely known computer ‘worm’ or virus that So when it comes to Web 3.0, people may actually wonder
crippled thousands of computers. According to Morris, it was a what additional benefits are there in store? According to Net
benign experiment gone awry but prosecutors claimed it to have luminaries, Web 3.0 is a concept that focuses on an intelligent
caused massive financial losses due to lost productivity. Morris aggregation of data, completely customised for your
was sentenced to three years’ probation, community service and requirements. With Web 3.0 at your fingertips, you need not
a fine of $10,000 plus legal costs. spend so much time querying the search engines or manually
integrate data from a huge pile of documents. The third-
On the wings of the World Wide Web generation intelligent Web will do that for you.
Although used interchangeably, the Internet and the WWW are But how will Web 3.0 do this? One way is to turn the Web
actually not synonymous. The term was coined by Sir Tim into one huge database, make content accessible by non-browser
Berners-Lee, a British scientist, who had devised the application as applications and leverage the best of artificial intelligence
a way to organise, address and link information on the Internet. technologies, the Semantic Web or the Geospatial Web.
In August 1991, Berners-Lee developed a system where There are further talks of a Web 4.0 era, which will be a three-
hypertext was gelled with the Internet. The documents were dimensional environment to which users will remain connected
formatted in a markup language called HTML (HyperText 24x7 via multiple applications (not just your notebook or cell,
Markup Language) that supported links to other documents, as they sound so dated). As of now, it is too early to say whether all
well as graphics, audio and video files. This meant surfers could these future versions of the Web will take place or not. At present
jump from one document to another simply by clicking on the they may sound like weird sci-fi. But, according to Tim O’Reilly,
hot spots. Not all Internet servers are part of the World Wide founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, the Internet and the Web
Web, though. Several applications called web browsers make it happen to be the “most profound change since the advent of
easy to access the World Wide Web – two of the most popular literacy. And it’s bigger than the industrial revolution. We are on
being the Netscape Navigator and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. the front of a new renaissance.” And in such a case, netizens
In spite of its mass appeal, W3 had quite a few competitors as across the globe will surely have amazing innovations coming up
many other technologies did a similar job. In fact, many people their way. Internet is just the beginning of the journey. I

October ‘09 87


5 innovations that
Connectivity – unlimited
It is an age and time when insignificance is the new
significance. So letting the world know what you have for

changed our life breakfast is as important as proclaiming your political leaning.

Welcome to the world of social networking. And, well, if your
life is a reality show, it is because you want it to be.
Preeth The genesis of the social networking phenomenon dates

f you have ever flown on Emirates, you would know that the back to the mid-1990s. The idea was simple enough –
company is a class apart when it comes to offering a great travel bringing like-minded people on to a common platform. But
experience. But apart from being a fantastic air carrier, it is also the foresight and novelty of the concept notwithstanding,
known for some brilliant advertising campaigns. The firm’s most early ventures like failed miserably. It was not
catchy commercial says: When was the last time you did something until 2002 when bootstrapping on the increasing number of
for the first time? The message is simple, effective and thought- Internet users, sites like Facebook, Myspace, Orkut, Tagged
provoking. So when I ponder over the Internet spin-offs that have and Twitter became an integral part of our daily life. Today, if
changed our life, I cannot help remembering that tagline. you don’t scrap a friend in some obscure land, check your
I still remember the day when the first television came home. neighbours’ photo albums or play a round of Farmville before
It was a momentous incident. Soon after, our lives started hitting the sack, the day is very much incomplete.
revolving around the television. Then again, consider the
excitement that the first telephone evoked. The very ringing of Internet on the go
the phone sent our pulse racing to such an extent that it did not Imagine the twist in Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’ if the hero
matter who was at the other end. were marooned on the island with a mobile phone. Crusoe could
Today, amazing innovations are churned out almost every day have used GPRS on his handset to figure out his co-ordinates and
and the technology frontier is being constantly pushed as zealous made a call to someone on the mainland about his whereabouts. A
entrepreneurs at the coalface wait for the next big thing. So it is steamer would find him a day later, waving his white shirt and the
now really difficult to come up with a laundry list of five things credits would roll as he made his way back to civilisation. One
which have changed the way we work, socialise and live. But I thing is for sure, we would never have had an interesting piece of
will try, nevertheless, and here we go. literature if Crusoe had a cell phone. 88 October ‘09

When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in
1876, communication was made possible. The invention of
radio by Nikolai Tesla (and presented later by Marconi in
1894) set the foundation for wireless technology. It was only a
matter of time before these two technologies would converge
to present a path-breaking offering. It did and the mobile
phone was born.
However, your smart phone now does much more than just
making calls. Technical wonders like the iPhone 3GS is a GSM
cell phone that is also an iPod, a video camera and a mobile
Internet device with e-mail and GPS maps. It is a veritable
pocket computer as you can surf the Internet from practically
anywhere and also share the 3G connection on your iPhone with
your Mac notebook or PC laptop. But, most importantly, the
rapidly developing wireless technology has helped create a new
Internet communication infrastructure minus the ‘hassles’ of auditory resolution ability of human beings. So they simply
owning a regular computer. In brief, your cell phone has actually dropped these data points and still achieved a faithful
become a world-leading personal Internet device (PID) – reproduction of the original sound. And lo and behold, music
opening up new horizons for futuristic innovations. is now compressed.
So, you must have realised how it has changed the way you live.
Search and thou shalt find That is precisely why digitised music has made it to our list.
If you were to teach someone a language, you would start with
the alphabets. In a similar vein, if you were to introduce Checked your mail today?
someone to the Internet, you would probably start with Google. E-mails are the last, but perhaps the most important, tech
It is the Holy Grail of information search and one which we innovation that has changed the way we communicate in this
cannot do without at work or at home. digital era. Let us do a small thought experiment to prove the
An Internet search market share of nearly 80%, an official point. How many of you have felt the compulsive need to check
English language word status in 2006 – all these sound your mail while on a vacation? If you are mumbling a ‘yes’, well,
impressive enough. Yet, it was nothing more than a research we are afraid, you are probably a ‘tech’ addict. But then again, if
project of two Stanford blokes, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. it is any solace, most of us are.
With a PageRank algorithm that the two developed, the E-mail, as we popularly call it, dates back to the Apranet days.
philosophy behind the concept was fairly simple. Nicknamed In fact, an e-mail message sent in the early 1970s pretty much
Backrub and written in Java and Python, the project developed a looked like the ones we send today. While the Arpanet used the
ranking scheme for all web pages. The higher the page rank, the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to accomplish mail transfer, today
more sought after the information – the creators believed. And the same is achieved by a much more robust Simple Mail
out of that belief, came Google in 1998. History is testimony Transfer Protocol (SMTP).
that it has changed their lives. And ours, too. Other search While the benefits of electronic mail are beyond debate, many
engines and search directories are up there on the Internet. But have questioned the information overload paradigm. The sheer
even brands like Yahoo! and Bing appear pale before Google’s volume and usefulness of mail that we receive today is, at times,
awesome success. questionable; so much so that a ‘New York Times’ blog post
cited e-mail as the bane of an individual’s professional life and
For your ears only! went on to call it a ‘$650 billion drag on the economy.’ But bane
Whether you are in a tube in Central London or taking the or boon, e-mail has certainly changed the way we communicate
office shuttle somewhere in Bangalore, there is one thing that and, hence, rightfully makes its way to this list.
you probably have not noticed; or may have noticed but have
not spare it a thought. Just look around and you will realise Epilogue
that most of the people have their earphones on and are Think of the last time you attended a meeting of the philately
listening intently to personalised music. The truth is – the era club; think of the day when you went to office leaving your
of digitised music is here to stay. The advent of MPEG-1 mobile phone back at home; think of the last time you wanted
Audio Layer 3 technology (popularly known as MP3 information and headed to the nearest public library; think of
technology) makes it possible to store 1000 or more songs on the last time you travelled with only a book for company and not
your chic and sleek cell phone. The idea developed by a team music; think of the last time when you waited for the postman.
of engineers at Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) If the answer is a faded memory, just blame it on
makes use of the fact that certain sound parts are beyond the new-age technology. I

October ‘09 89

Access Total
Accounts to
control the Control entry and exit
of products

cash box
protect your account document, go to the Tools menu, select
ith Access Total, it is possible to create a Security and define password for the database. In the security
database in an easy manner so that one has tab, the user can also choose to opt between user’s account or
complete control over his/her accounts. In this group and cryptographer.
manner, companies or businesses can have an The calculations effected in the consultation are not stored
estimate of how much to invest or can make a detailed in the base table.
assessment of their expenses. To control accounts in any field, Access uses a formula
A rigid control over expenditure gives businesses the which uses updated values. The formulas used to create an
opportunity to become more competitive in the market. automatic function are similar to those used in Microsoft
While starting the account, it is important that the database has Excel. However, if VBA is used as the function
a starting balance or an existing balance in the account before the constructor, they may be a little different. It is possible to
current day begins. At the end of the day, one has to enter the create boxes of errors or a function that does not allow
value of incoming and outgoing figures for the calculation of the database continuity, if the inserted value is not formatted
final balance to be done automatically by the programme. correctly. Personalised calculations allow accounts to
In order to prevent intruders from accessing this document, acquire all the figures involved, dates and texts, taking as
the software allows you to save it with a password. To password base one or more fields.

1 - Open the software. In case it is the first time you are using 2 - Following this, a window called New Database File will
it, click on the option Create a new file. A window will appear which will give you the option to save the data. Insert a
appear similar to the image above, in which you will select the name for the file (in this case Control of accounts) and click
option Blank Access database. on Create. 90 October ‘09

3 - In the Database box, choose the object Tables. The 4 - Write the name of the field in the first column. In the
next step will be to select the option Create table in the second, select the type of data and, in the third, write the
structure mode. function of field so that data are not lost when entered.

5 - Save the table by clicking on the X symbol to the right 6 - Double-click on the file created that should be listed in the
of the screen (option that is also used to close) or select Tables field. The table with fields that you have created will be
File menu, Save. Now choose a name for the file and opened. Enter the day, opening balance, receipts and outgoings.
click on OK. Save it and close the file.

7 - Go to the initial database screen, click on the Worksheet. 8 - In the window Assistant of simple data, select
The next step is to click on the option Create datasheet available fields and move them to Selected Fields, with
using the assistant. the help of the arrow. Click on Continue.

October ‘09 91

9 - In this window, you can opt to have entries with details 10 - Name your entry and make sure that the option
or summary. Select the option Detail so that each field of Open the entry to view information is selected. Now
the register is shown. Click on Continue. click on Finish.

11 - Double-click on the entry file that has been created. 12 - Select the button with the icon pencil and setsquare
Maximise it for better visualisation. named View and click on the Structure Mode option.

13 - In the field on the expenditure side, write the 14 - It is now time to create the formula. For this, select
formula: Final Balance: [Starting Balance] + the object formula and click on Create formula using
[Receipts] - [Expenditure] and select the checkbox the assistant.
(square located in the line View). Save it and close the file. 92 October ‘09

Access Total

15 - In the Tables/Entries option, select the created 16 - Insert new fields available in the square for Selected
entry that has the formula of Final Balance. fields. Click on the Continue button.

17 - In this new window, it is possible to select the type of 18 - Now, you will have the option to choose the style that you
layout that you prefer. For this type of database, it is prefer: there are 10 alternative styles for the database
recommended that you choose the tab Column and click background. Choose one and click on Continue.
on Continue.

19 - Name the formula and verify if the option Open 20 - Double-click on the formula created and verify that
the formula to view or to insert information is the formula is functioning. Create a formula for each
selected. Click on Finish. month to have total control over your accounts.

October ‘09 93

Access allows the use of databases for
creating customised labels

eed to send e-mail messages to all your clients but not fields of a record (for example, the main data of each
sure how to create labels? Access, just like Word, allows business client).
you to create them with ease, using the wizard that To create labels, read the next few pages and follow the
helps both in level creation and formatting. step-by-step guide. Remember that in this tutorial, we have
Gone are the days when you had to write out clients’ taken into consideration that you do not possess a database
addresses, one by one, or type them out on an old typewriter. with all your client information. Nevertheless, it is possible to
now you can create a species of special report, in the form of use a database with your client data. To do this, just start the
a label, used for identifying envelopes, product packages, etc. tutorial from Step 6.
On creating labels from a table or a query, one can We also assume that you have the basic ability and minimum
easily obtain a series of labels, each with a part or all the knowledge of Microsoft Word in order to edit the labels.

Other ways of creating

labels in Access
1 - On opening the programme, click
on the option Create Table by
inserting specifications.

2 - Now just insert the data directly

into the table.

3 - You can also use the option

Create Table in Design view.

4 - Choose the best way to insert the

data and continue this step-by-step
tutorial. 94 October ‘09

Access Total
Creating Labels
1st Step 2nd Step
Open the programme, accessing the Start menu, Programs, Now you must attribute a name to the file and then click
Microsoft Access. In the window that appears, select the Create. In our example, we shall use the name ‘Label.’
option Blank Access Database and click OK.

3rd Step 4th Step

Now the database which will contain the information for In Business, select the option Clients. In the table opposite,
label creation will be created. In the screen that appears, click select the options: Name of contact, Billing Address and
the option Create Table by using wizard. Postcode (Zip) and click Finish.

5th Step 6th Step

Now you must fill in the table with client data. Remember Once the table has been filled with client data, close it. In the
that it is possible to use a previously created table containing window that appears, click the option Reports and then click
client information. the button New. Select Label wizard.

October ‘09 95

7th Step 8th Step
Indicate the table or query from which the labels must be In this next stage, you will be able to choose the label
created. Here, choose the table Clients. In the screen that pops configurations such as the font to be used. Click Next. In the next
up, choose the type of labels. Click Next. window, you can indicate the fields to be included in the label.

9th Step 10th Step

To insert text in the labels, just type it and then use the arrow To finalise the use of label creation wizard, name the report and
to indicate the field. In the following screen, choose the order click Finish. You can print them by clicking the button Print, or
of data classification which will comprise the label. even edit them, should you not be happy with the result.

11th Step 12th Step

To edit the labels, click the button Office Link, located in the toolbar. Note that the client data are all on one line. Organise
Your labels are ready. You can print them by clicking the button individual clients so that they appear one after another. On
Print, or even edit them, should you not be happy with the result. finishing the formatting, click on Print and save the document. 96 October ‘09

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Tech in vogue for

lifestyle buffs
Partha Mukherjee f you are born in India and hail from a

Itraditional family, you must have seen your

mom, grand moms and aunts working
their heart out at home and much too
overburdened with domestic drudgery.
Those gruelling hours spent on cooking,
washing, scrubbing and dusting left
them literally exhausted with no time to
focus on their life or career.
Times have changed since then and
so has our socio-economic structure.
As women enter the professional world
in droves and prove that they are as
competent, creative and
productive as men, a new
work-life balance becomes
absolutely essential. But in
spite of numerous
achievements in myriad
fields, they still spend
double the time on
household chores than
their male partners do.
The fair sex has learnt
to work smart though,
and invents many a
way to convert those
‘gruelling’ household
hours into
blissful moments.

chores made
easy …
Women today no longer
believe in waging the battle
against domestic odds.
Thanks to a wide range of
kitchen and home
appliances from global
brands like Phillips, LG,
Samsung, Videocon and

October ‘09 101


many more, domestic duties consume less time now and one can competition – to prove her worth. But once there, she realises
actually opt for some effective multitasking. Think about fitting the need for self-grooming – to make her presence felt. She must
up a workstation next to the kitchen space and preparing that have a glowing appearance; her pearly smile should exude
all-important presentation while the mutton is in the microwave. confidence and her silky tresses should be as shining and smooth
Or you can simply relax and listen to your favourite music while as Rapunzel’s. Woman today needs the physique of a warrior, as
the laundry is being taken care of (by your fully automated many a battle awaits her in the professional field, and she must
washing machine). shed that roundness to gain the agility of a tigress. Yet, her
Kitchen gadgets today are quick, energy-saving and easy to warm nature and graceful behaviour should please all. If you
use – designed and developed to give you maximum satisfaction. find that a tall order, help is at hand. There is a plethora of
Combination steam ovens, integrated microwaves, ceramic and beauty gizmos which will add that ‘extra’ shine to your life. All
induction hobs, deep fryers and griddles, refrigerators and you need to do is to get into the right frame of mind and pick up
freezers, hot & cold drinks processors, built-in laundry the right gadget that meets your requirements.
equipment and labour-saving dishwashers are often found in the
modern kitchens nowadays. So let us have a look at these Her skin should
fantastic items that will help you out at home. shine ...
A face can launch a thousand
ships and a little care goes a
Refrigerator long way to keep you looking
Imagine a fridge, a freezer and everything else
in between. forever young. If you are too
busy to maintain an elaborate
beauty regime, it is time to
Cooking range opt for Baby Quasar, a small-
Complete your kitchen with a sized gadget that rejuvenates
range that delivers three-fan the skin without any hassle. Baby Quasar was originally
true convection cooking, introduced to overcome such skin problems as acne and aging. It
SteamQuick™ technology for is the first light-therapy device, designed to provide flawless
speedy cleaning, 5.9 cubic feet beauty to home-based users. Recommended by renowned
of space and even a warmer dermatologists, Baby Quasar uses four wavelengths of natural
drawer to keep food at just the light to treat aging, acne, skin shrink and enlarged pores.
right temperature. Use it and feel the difference it makes in terms of glowing,
healthy skin.
Pic and information courtesy:

Washer & dryer Her limbs should glow …

Silvercare technology can keep your
laundry clean and germ free. Ice, ice, baby: The Philips Ice Epilator makes painful
plucking outdated.
All women love to show off satin-
smooth skin but you need not pay
Microwave the price in pain. Forget the
Over-the-range microwaves make food outdated shaving or waxing (ouch!),
preparation quick and easy. thanks to the ultra fast, clean and
perfect epilation available
nowadays. But if you think that it is
a modern-day beauty treatment,
here is a piece of news for you. Did
Dishwasher you know that tweezers and razors
Do your dishes in peace and quiet with were unearthed from ancient graves
our advanced insulation system.
and Queen Cleopatra bared it all in
Information courtesy: http:/
a book she wrote on the best-kept
beauty secrets of the era? The
legendary queen of Egypt bathed in milk and honey to keep her
‘Wow’ beauty gizmos skin glowing. Ancient Egyptians also used fresh incenses and
Now that she has managed her home and family quite perfumes as cure for body odour which was a sign of impurity.
efficiently, the woman steps into the new world – the cauldron of Pic and information courtesy: 102 October ‘09

She has to shed the fat … swoon over fancy thingamajigs and stylish accessories. So if
It is not the glamour alone that matters in real life. Women must you are a female between eight and 80, keen to build a ‘haute
rediscover their core strength – health, fitness and focus. It does couture’ gadget wardrobe, just keep on reading! And here is a
not call for a regular visit to gym, spa or health salon. Regular small piece of advice for men. If you really want to win her
workout at home for just a few minutes should do wonders. heart, buy her the most exquisite gizmo this festive season
Tone-at-home fitness equipment can power women through instead of some expensive piece of jewellery. Geek is now cool
different exercises and cater to their specific needs. Any salon and she will surely appreciate it.
quality home exercise system can help you with the right kind of
workout according to your weight – thus strengthening your Time to own a digital clutch
muscles and enhancing your flexibility & endurance. Laptops are a great invention – to be carried and used almost
Information courtesy: anywhere, be it a small café, a speeding car or even on board an
aircraft. But limited by routine shapes and monochrome casing,
Her crowning glory should be shining they often lack that charming personal touch that most women
Gone are those days when women spent leisurely afternoons love to flaunt. In tune with the trendy women on the go, market
sitting in the sun and drying their luxuriant locks. But if you are leaders have come up with new look digital clutches that are
bored with your old-fashioned hairdryer, here is something sleek, colourful and virtually weightless. Laptops for women fuse
sizzling to hot things up. Nodaya, a Japanese company, has come high fashion, small form factor and innovative functions –
up with a gun-shaped hairdryer, so different from others. All you transforming the personal computer from a necessity to a
have to do is to put the gun to your head (Hubbies! Don’t panic!) sophisticated lifestyle product. What’s more, these are easy to
and pull the trigger mildly. Lo and behold! A stream of balmy carry and mostly fit inside a handbag-sized case.
air will caress your curly tresses. And soon, you (or your X2 StyleBook and Tulip E-Go happen to be the best laptop
hairstyle) will be the talk of the town. models for women in terms of style, beauty and technology.
Information courtesy: Another great choice is the Sony Vaio VGN-T350. This little
bizarre-gadgets-for-women/ beauty is slim, chic and as light as can be (only 3.1 pounds) – so
If the ‘gun’ taints the image of your otherwise affable dressing that one can carry it simply anywhere.
table, there are the mild-mannered hair dryers within your reach Colourful and stunning, women’s laptops come with
(nor would your husband shriek at their sight). The model magnificent, matching bags and fabulous accessories. Here are a
displayed below is sure to work wonders on your frizzy and selected few which are bound to wow every woman, thanks to
tangled mane. Phillips India is ready with their vast range of their glam looks, futuristic functions and feathery weight.
dryers to take care of your hairdo. Information courtesy:
Information courtesy:
Intel and HP have presented seven unique laptop models
Her smile should ooze confidence specifically designed for women. While developing these
with grace ... notebooks, designers were hell-bent on finding an answer to the
New model sonic toothbrush with integrated UV toothbrush million-dollar question: What’s the perfect laptop for the fair
sanitiser, three brushing modes and auto timer. Specially sex? And judging by the market response, they seemed to have
designed for people with sensitive teeth and gums, it ensures hit the right direction!
maximum cleaning and massages the gums to stimulate them.
HP Perfume
Enjoy music while you brush your teeth! HP Perfume is an ode to
This is the only toothbrush that plays tunes in your mouth. The a woman’s love for fine
new ‘Tooth Tunes’ brush from Hasbro is designed to entice oral- fragrances. The laptop
hygiene-shy kiddies (and grown-ups too) to brush their ivories features a built-in
with some music bribery. reservoir filled with
concentrates of basic
Lifestyle gizmos fragrances. Users can
The Times They Are a-Changin… And there is more to download a fragrance
life now besides sound health or stunning looks. Today’s from the Web and the laptop generates the smell in the
women are on par with their male counterparts and their fraction of a second.
requirements for high-end gadgets and innovative
technologies are just as crucial. To empower the fair sex with HP Fitness
proper accoutrement, renowned companies have come up As the name suggests, the multifunctional HP Fitness has been
with a large bouquet of brand new lifestyle gizmos which are designed for the health-conscious and the fitness freak women of
simply breath-taking. Hit hard by the tech fever, women now the digital era. Enclosed in a hard casing, it features a scale at

October ‘09 103


the back. The gadget can weigh the user and analyse the data to Motorola Red SLVR cell phone for women
make a nutrition schedule and choose on a diet. The slender, lightweight SLVR set in trendy ‘loud’ colours is the
prefect pick for the woman sporting a distinct fashion statement.
HP Chameleon The Motorola Red SLVR cell phone for women is designed to
It’s an amazing model that can change its colour to match the hue enhance entertainment and make the most of cutting-edge
of the user’s dress. Two built-in cameras scan the colour of the customisation options.
user’s clothes and the laptop colour automatically changes to flaunt Motorola Red SLVR offers iTunes functionality – the ability
the same tint. To live up to its name, the gadget is scaled like the to carry up to seven hours of music or 100 songs. Like its
chameleon’s skin. The surface feels like velveteen – soft and plush predecessor, the SLVR Black, the Red SLVR is less than half-an-
to the touch. Before coming up with this lifestyle gadget, the inch thick and weighs only 3.5 ounces.
designers of HP Chameleon had actually interacted and worked
with women – common users whose unique creativity and great Siemens CL75 for women
sense of humour went a long way to make this a fabulous product. The Siemens CL75 is one of the few cell phones that combine
elegance and technology. One version of the Siemens clamshell
mobile sports a colourful floral motif on the case. On the inside, a
Try out trendy watches large color display doubles as a pocket mirror (makeup not included).
With fashion getting so glitzy, simple timepieces have given way
to personal style statements. Current trends indicate a perfect The camera connection
combo of innovation, beauty and functionality – so that there is Weighing in at 90 grams, this chic Siemens phone comes with a
a wrist watch out there for every personality, mood or occasion. built-in digital camera for clicking snaps or video recording. The
A stylish bracelet watch strikes the right balance between mobile camera has been a great hit among women but there is
everyday utility wear and exquisite evening showpiece. Fitted in reason enough.
a matching bracelet instead of sporting the traditional leather or According to M:Metrics, 25 per cent women own camera
metal strap, these phones in the USA as compared to 21 per cent men. And 60 per
attractive watches cent women use their camera feature occasionally or frequently
are an ideal choice while only 40 per cent men use it that often.
for the fashion-
conscious lady. Nokia fashion collections: ‘Distinctly bold’
Get, set and go The Distinctly Bold Collection features a set of high-fashion
with these Nokia cell phones for women. The ensemble includes four
ravishing bracelet currently available handsets – Nokia 7610, Nokia 7280, Nokia
watches (there are 7270 and Nokia 6170, all with cameras, stylish straps and
bejewelled ones carrying pouches.
and designer
brands as well, which none can resist). Modern-day women The L’Amour collection
can no longer afford to sit idle or while away the time. So one It is another unique bouquet of fashion phones for women –
can easily tune in to these luxurious time trackers and never from the House of Nokia. The collection features Nokia 7370
go off-target again. Also, what’s more precious than spending and Nokia 7380 cell phones, plus three new fashion phones.
some quality time with the special people in your life? The
new line of lifestyle watches will gently guide you towards a Samsung SGH-E530
heady work-life concoction so that you can make the most of for women
today and live your dreams. Perhaps the most feature-rich cell
phone for women, Samsung’s
It’s talk time, baby! SGH-E530 combines image, style
Motorola H500 Bluetooth headset in pink and functionality in a fashionable
To complement the Motorola SLVR L7 Pink Phone in colour handset which is launched in the
and functionality, the company has designed the H500 Pink Middle East.
Bluetooth Headset. When paired with a Bluetooth-enabled The E530 is a digital-zoom
mobile like the Motorola SLVR, the Motorola H500 Pink helps camera phone in a sleek clamshell
ensure hassle-proof, hands-free communication. body loaded with some of the latest
Weighing less than 17 grams, the H500 Pink Bluetooth Headset features – MP3 player, MPEG4
is one of the lightest in the industry. It features up to eight hours video recorder, multimedia
of talk time or 200 hours of standby time, allowing users to messaging, 64 polyphonic ring tones
connect even when they are 30 ft away from their mobiles. and Bluetooth. I 104 October ‘09

How To

Watch Multiple
etflix is the ‘real’
thing for movie buffs.
Those who use it will
swear by the
quickness and quality of
entertainment it offers. But for
those who have just heard of
Netflix and want to know more,
here is more to chew. Netflix is
one of the world’s largest online
movie rental services that
satiates the entertainment thirst
of more than 10 million
members. According to
Netflix, it “ships an average of
2.2 million DVDs to their
members” across the USA.
Netflix was first established in
1997 and since then, the
collection has gone up to
100,000 titles. The company
has about 100 shipping points
in the country and several
members receive their videos
within one business day.

The ‘Watch Now’ feature

Members can just point and click
to add TV episodes and movies
to their list. They can also get
DVDs by mail or avail the Watch
Now option to enjoy TV
episodes and movies on their PC
or Mac. Movies can be streamed
instantly from Netflix to your
television through a Netflix
ready device.
To avail the ‘Watch Now’ or
Watch Instantly feature, you
need to be a member of Netflix.
Subscribers can use this feature
to stream proprietary Microsoft 106 October ‘09

Chandana Banerjee

through Netflix
VC-1 videos. There are more than 12,000 titles available
through this service.

System requirements: To watch movies instantly

on your PC or Mac, your computer must have
Windows XP or Mac OS X as well as an active
broadband connection.

How to enable ‘Watch Now’ on more than three

computers: You can take a backup of your Netflix
Watch Now key and enable Watch Now features on more
than three computers. However, remember that you will
not be able to use all three computers at once, but any one
of the three. We will give you a step-by-step guide of how
to do so in Vista and XP’s Internet Explorer.
There are a few things that you need to know
before we get on with the process. The Watch Now
streaming service uses a code that gets assigned to the
first three computers in which you install the Watch
Now plugin. But if you install and use this feature on
a fourth computer, you will, in most probability, get
an error saying that you must call the customer
service to get a new key.
Let us explain how you can export the Netflix registry
key and then import it into your registry on more than
four computers after installing the Watch Now viewer.
Install the Netflix Watch Now plugin in a computer.
Gotto the Start Menu > Run (alternatively hold WIN+R).
After that type in regedit.
Then browse to this location: HKEY_CURRENT_
USER\Software\Netflix\Movie Viewer\
On the right-hand side, you can see the Key, ID. This is
the code used by Netflix to identify that you are watching
a movie on the first of the three computers’ where you
have installed the Watch Now viewer.
Then click on the Moview Viewer folder and go to
File > Export. You can now export the entry to a file
and then save it. This will be the backup of your Netflix
Watch Now code.
Tip: Remember that the code is specific to your OS. If
your code is from an XP machine, it will not work on a
computer with Vista and vice-versa. I

October ‘09 107

How To

How to HIDE or SHOW

iTunes8 Chandana Banerjee 108 October ‘09

What’s iTunes, for heaven’s sake?

ho doesn’t love listening to music?
Let’s face it; music is the essence of For those who are still not familiar with iTunes, here’s
life. There are soft numbers we like to information to dig. This is a free application from
play at work; jazz or rock when we Apple for PC and MAC users, for playing digital
want to let our hair down and enjoy; instrumental for music and video. It syncs content to your iPod, iPhone
a candle light dinner or meditation; and peppy and Apple TV. So, in a nutshell, you can turn to
numbers for partying. Some of us play music while on iTunes for all your entertainment needs, at any time
the go, or when exercising, working, studying and and from anywhere.
partying. For such music aficionados, iTunes will be With iTunes, you don’t have to rifle through the piles
manna from heaven! of CDs or surf channels as you get your entire video
and music collection at the click of a button. You can
spend the rest of your time playing, browsing and
organising songs from your MAC or PC. Find out what
you can do with iTunes:
G You can browse through your library by rating, year,
episode, album or artist. Save on precious hours by
searching quickly through your collection.
G Turn your favourite CD collection into digital music
and import them to iTunes. You can then organise
your collection with custom playlists.
G Shuffle songs from other computers on your network
or play videos using onscreen controls.
G Sync videos, music, contacts and calendars on your
iPhone or iPod. And guess what? Wireless syncing
to Apple TV puts music and video from your
iTunes library on the big screen. So with iTunes,
you’ve got all the entertainment you want, right at
your fingertips.

Genius Playlists
As if this isn’t enough, the ‘Genius’ feature lets you create
that perfect playlist. Just select a song and click the
Genius button. iTunes will generate a playlist from your
library that goes great with the song. Choose the number
of songs you want on this playlist, and voila! You have
the results.

Genius Sidebar
iTunes8 has something called a ‘genius sidebar’ that
will show you the music in the iTunes store – the
songs will be similar to the tunes or songs you have
selected. You may want to hide or show the bar. In
such a case, don’t fret the small stuff because it just
requires a small step and half a second to do so. Here
is how it works.

How to hide/show the genius bar in iTunes8

There’s a button with an arrow icon on the right-hand
side of the bar. Just press the icon to contract or expand
the genius sidebar.

Now, that looks simple, doesn’t it? I

October ‘09 109

How To

his is for all you voracious readers, who like to cart bathroom, a few crammed inside your leather tote and a few
around a stack of books, wherever you go. You have to latest titles in your drawer at your workstation. You just have to
have a towering pile of novels on your bedside table, pick up the latest titles from the corner bookshop, and for you,
half-a-dozen more books and periodicals in the an ideal weekend is one where you get to spend endless hours

Keyboard shortcuts
for punctuation marks
in Kindle 2
Chandana Banerjee
browsing in your favourite bookstore. Books mean the world to turning buttons are on both sides, letting you to read and turn
you, and you love to read in every spare moment that you have. pages comfortably with one hand from any position. Also,’s Kindle 2 is just for such readers, who need to these buttons flex inward to prevent any accidental page turns
have books every moment that they breathe. that can happen while picking up or handling Kindle. It also
has a new easy-to-use 5-way controller, enabling precise on-
What is Kindle 2? screen navigation for selecting text to highlight or looking
It is a software and hardware platform developed by Amazon, up words.
Kindle 2 can be used to read e-books and other digital media. And now we come to the meaty part – the part about the
It’s absolutely portable at 8” x 5.3” x 0.36” and weighs just 10.2 books that you can carry around with you in this 10.2 ounce
ounces. You don’t need a computer to use this, and can store ‘book holder.’ Well, just carry along your entire collection or
about 2GB of content. Once charged, you can read for almost even your library if you desire. You can not only cart around
four days with the wireless on. And sans the wireless? Read on more than 1,500 books, but can also download more anytime. A
for two weeks. copy of every book you have bought from the Kindle Store has
Another striking feature about Kindle 2 is that it is lighter an online backup at - just in case you ever need to
than a paperback, and as slim as a magazine. You can carry it download it again. You can wirelessly re-download books for
around wherever you go and read your books on the move. free any time.
Ah! You don’t have to worry about eye strain or anything that Another feature that makes Kindle 2 so popular with avid
you associate with reading e-books on the computer. Kindle 2 readers is the paper-like quality of the screen. The 6” screen is
has been designed with long-form reading in mind. The page- crisp black and white, and looks as well as reads like printed
paper. You don’t have worry about backlight or glare, and can
read just as naturally as you do when you pick up hard copies of
books. The images are sharper, with 16 shades of gray. You can
even read your books in the sun, without worrying about glare
or other readability issues.
With just a push of a button you can adjust the font size, and
if you wish, you can use the new text-to-speech feature to let
Kindle read books, blogs, magazines and newspapers for you.
And when you use the QWERTY keyboard, you can add
annotations to the text (‘write in the margins’ sort of thing). The
5-way controller lets you highlight and clip passages and
bookmark pages for future use. The built-in dictionary, wireless
access to Wikipedia, and search features, make reading through
Kindle an overall enriching experience.

How to use symbol shortcuts for punctuation

marks in Kindle 2:
Well, if you wish to jot down your notes, you can use the SYM
button to insert punctuation marks and special symbols. But
this can make for slow typing when you are using normal
punctuation. So if you are looking for a quicker way to type
out the common punctuation marks like question marks,
double quotes, colons, apostrophes, and commas, use simple
keyboard shortcuts. Here are keyboard shortcuts for the
following punctuation marks:

G ? (question mark): ALT+6

G , (comma): ALT+7

G : (colon): ALT+8

G ” (double quotes): ALT+9

G ‘ (apostrophe): ALT+0

Armed with these tips, you can jot down your notes in a jiffy
and get back to your reading quickly. I

October ‘09 111

How To
is all that is required to spend a whole weekend glued to one’s seat.

one are the days when children would skip out to play
hide-and-seek and hopscotch. Today, they prefer to Wii has revolutionised the gaming experience, and most game
get hold of their gaming consoles and play buffs will ask you to try it yourself to understand the magic of it all.
technologically designed games to their hearts’ And these games are not just for children or moody teenagers;
content. But why kids, even grown-ups like us enjoy Wii games these can be relished by the whole family – from busy moms and
more than a game of lawn tennis or croquet. It is because we don’t dads to feisty grandmas. All you need is a Wii Remote and
need to step out of the house or drive to the club for our gaming Nunchuk (which are quite simple to use) to enjoy this social gaming
experience. Just a gaming console and a stack of interesting games experience with your friends and loved ones.

How to disable
the Rumble Effect
on Wii Remote Chandana Banerjee 112 October ‘09

Once you get a hang of it, you can choose from an array of However, some users may find this rumble effect distracting and
games that Wii offers. The choices range from Nintendo franchises may want to disable the function, which will require the
like Mario, Zelda and Metroid, to the all-new classics like Wii following few steps:
Sports and Wii Play. You can also create your own Mii character to G When you are on the Wii Menu screen, click on the Home
star in Wii games. You can play games with your friends online button on the Wii Remote.
over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection or use the Internet Channel to
surf the Net from your couch. If you wish, you can also download G When the Home Menu appears, move your cursor to the
classic Nintendo games through the Wii Shop Channel.
bottom of the screen and then choose the Wii Remote
Now we come to the Wii Remote, nicknamed ‘Wiimote’. This
remote is the main controller for Nintendo’s Wii console. The
Wii Remote is so popular with users because of its motion
sensing capability – you can manipulate items on the screen or G Go to rumble and select the ‘off ’ button.
interact via gesture recognition and pointing through the use of
accelerometer and optical sensor technology. The Nunchuk, G Move your cursor to the bottom of the screen and choose
which is an attachment bundled with the Wii console, also Close Wii Remote Settings.
complements the Wii Remote by making functions similar to
those in gamepad controllers, accessible to users. G Now click on the Wii Menu button in the centre of the
How to disable the rumble effect on Wii Remote? You will be asked if you want to return to the Wii Menu.
When using the Wii Remote to play games, it allows you to feel Click Yes.
rumbles or vibrations on certain titles. This adds a sense of This will turn off the rumble effect and you can continue to
realism to the game and enhances the game playing experience. play your games without getting distracted. I
with your
Zahid H. Javali
A few easy steps can go a long way …
Many of us might not have too many pictures of our just-born days. But today technology
allows you to record every physical move of the baby not only on your digital camera but also
on your camera phone. But whether you have a digicam or a camera phone, there are ways to
capture the age of innocence for posterity. Since newborns do not move much in their first few
months, here are three great tips that should get you going. Best of luck!

Turn them into models

If truth be told, newborns can’t even move to save their lives. So how can they model? Well, the
beauty is in their daily regimen. Remember, they sleep most of the time. So you need to do most
of the posing for them. And how? Simple. It all depends on where you place the sleeping baby.
It can be a basket, a giant cushioned hat or anything else you fancy. The pose does make a
difference if you want an exclusive snapshot.

Have patience
This works best if time is not an issue and if the parents do not mind the brandishing camera.
Newborns tend to have their own timetables and needs. So when the shoot gets interrupted
because the baby’s diaper needs to be changed or it needs to be fed, you can continue to shoot if
the parents have no objections. Wrap the mom and the baby with a soft blanket and prop them
up with a pillow. Now you can snap a few pictures of the mother and the baby peeping out of
the blanket. However, if the parents and the baby need their time, it’s best to refrain from
shooting rather than compel them to have their private lives documented.

Be creative
Baby shops are filled with stuff that you can use as great props for your
photography – from those fancy-looking danglers on trolleys to divert the
baby’s attention, to fancy clothes, caps, wigs, sunglasses and even bedsheets
and shawls. Also, find fun props that you can use to hide diapers. Try and
get disposable changing pads ready for the newborn in case certain fluids
come out while props are being changed.

Plan ahead
Sometimes, it’s best to plan ahead. This can be done by meeting the parents
first and understanding the baby’s eating, sleeping and maybe crying and
laughing habits. Once you have a fair idea of what to expect, you can plan
your shoot accordingly. It’s important to have the mother around during all
your shoots, since the baby needs to be taken care of and there should be
a familiar face around to whom it can relate. I
Tech Career

magine a day without your laptop. Think of a day when the the cumulative annual growth rate in the number of professionals
World Wide Web stops working. How about sending your boss joining the field being 23.6%. With employers like Wipro and Infosys
those vital files via post, which might take a week’s time? What if on the list, the figures are sure to go higher up.
there is nothing called cellular connectivity? If you call this The nitty-gritties of the highly complicated systems are often
nightmarish gibberish, let me tell you my friend that such was our befuddling enough for their users. Their proper maintenance
world only a few decades back. Technology has become such an necessitates specialized attention and hence a group of hardware
indispensable part of modern existence that it might seem quite specialists and mechanics came into being. The 2008 Nasscom
hard to believe that we could ever manage a fair living without it. reports suggest an immediate requirement of more than four lakh
Whether machine has made man mechanical or whether it is man professionals to join this field. As V. Rishi Kumar, CEO and
who has succeeded in making machine humane is a rather Managing director, Aptech Limited suggested in one of his
contentious issue, but be it sending an important document across interviews that the country’s hardware industry has the potentials
borders within a few seconds or a refreshing chitchat over the cell to reach a whooping $62 million mark by the next year. That this
phone at the end of a day’s work; a life away from technology growing industry needs human resource is perhaps needless to say.
seems as bizarre as living in a cave for today’s folks. The extensive use of technology has also made fields like BPO,
The change has been rather networking and animations also

drastic in India. The last two feasible. Geographical realities
decades witnessed a radical make- have been severely challenged.
over of the entire scenario. The Working for an organisation with
nineties ushered in computers. By its headquarters at New York City
1995 BSNL brought in Internet to while staying in Bangalore is not
the country. Typewriters and fax far-fetched to believe anymore,
machines were now obsolete. Fast courtesy, outsourcing. Prince
communication was a prerequisite
for the global village to run smooth.
Kentucky and Calcutta were just
minutes away. With informations
to the Monteiro, a 21-year-old commerce
graduate from Kolkata is presently
one amongst the BPO workforce
from the country. Prince points out

T e
from around the globe now being while it could have been difficult
readily accessible life would never be for a man to earn well only with a
the same again. The easy going graduate degree a few years back,
Indians took to a jet set lifestyle and outsourcing has made it possible
what was a country known for its for him to take home an impressive
blasé and blissful nonchalance salary at the end of the month.
became a smart IT hub with A consistent growth of the
professionals on their toes only over Indian IT industry is now a matter
a few years’ time. Technology of getting the right people to join
brought along with it job prospects the workforce; the more the
in a rich galore. While some found
Priyanka Mukherjee number of specially qualified
both lucre and joy in further technical advancement, others were experts stepping into the arena, the higher the prospects of the
happy applying technology to their own work field. industry to reach further expansion. Proper training to groom the
The tech boom created work opportunities primarily in three upcoming joiners of the field is a pressing need of the time. While
forms: While some work towards further technical development, many complain that IT education in India is yet to come out of its
some others found their jobs in the maintenance of the systems, and infancy, initiatives have been taken by both the public and the
last but not the least is the huge pool of professionals applying private sector in the recent past to compensate for the lack. The
technology to their specific fields of work. The need for a steady Department of Youth Affairs, Government of India has come up
technological improvement made a vast array of jobs available before with various plans to extend computer education amongst the
the skilled techies, who with their knack for innovation and brains for youth across different social strata. Private institutes like Aptech,
scientific precision could come up with ideas for further NIIT, Arena and various others also introduced various courses to
improvisations in using technology. The technical requirements across suit different requirements and budgets. These courses are tailor-
different disciplines had to be looked after and thus came in the need made to meet the demands of the students who wish to specialize
for software developers who would take care to prepare software in a specific area.
suited for professionals from different arenas of work. Nasscom or With companies such as IBM, Tata Consultancy Services or
National Association of Software and Service companies reports that TCS, Cognizant and Polaris, the IT industry of India carries the
it was by the fiscal year of 2004-05 that the indigenous IT industry potential of creating ample recruitment opportunities for
crossed the benchmark of employing one million software experts, thousands in a year. The BPOs and the KPOs received a blow as 116 October ‘09

the worldwide recession struck but with time the industry has come technically-equipped sub-editors can do it quite easily with the use
in terms with the initial shocks. Moreover, as this technology finds of page layout software. Almost all leading dailies run a Web
application across a varied range of fields, no jolt can be hard version and demand for newsmen with an edge over technology,
enough to shake its base. The most sought-after techies in India at especially with the use of Internet. Quick communication made
this moment are the software analysts, domain specialists, possible via e-mails has made it convenient for freelancers to work
information security experts, integration specialists, database for publications from abroad. Subhajoy Roy, a Kolkata-based
administrators, network specialists and communication engineers, freelancer, tells us, “I’ve been contributing for news magazines
software programmers, designing and architecture experts, and from around the globe for the past two years. With the Internet at
data warehousing and semi-conductor design specialists. Some of your service, this is as easy as writing for a local daily. My editors
the areas where manpower is rather scanty are e-supply chain are just clicks away from me.” With growing numbers of Internet
management or eSCM, data warehousing, bioinformatics, e- surfers in the country, working for the different news portals on the
pharma and nanotechnology. These are highly specialized areas Web is also a career option for many.
and are ready to offer jobs to people with the required expertise. Information technology has found specialized application in the
Most of the new entrants to these sectors are strained through field of health care as well. Knowledge Process Outsourcing has
campus selection and then further tutored to suit the specific made it feasible for many Indian medicos to work for overseas
requirements. While those who wish to join a specialized arena organisations and, thereby, earn a few extra bucks while staying
must be accordingly qualified with either a MCA or an M.Tech within the country. Use of computers in the advancement of
degree, there are others who, geared with their basic technical health care has been effectual in cutting down the costs
know-how, can get an edge over their peers be it whichever field. remarkably; errors in treatment have been reduced, leading to
Be it the entertainment industry or media or even health care for qualitative improvement and has also made it accessible to a wider
that matter, IT has become a crucial requisite to almost all the mass. The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, a US
arenas of work. While the use of software in making animations based organization has been in the forefront in taking initiatives in
and creating special effects for movies is almost known to all, this regard. Automated hospital information systems often help in
information technology has also found use in the music industry, providing better services to the patients. CAS or Computer
where jobs such as sound mixing and recording are now done with Assisted Surgery is often the way out in case of patients with
much élan and the processes have become both time saving and multiple complications. Here, 3D animation has found use in
cost effective. Knowledge of software such as Adobe Flash, creating a virtual image of the patient, which is then subjected to
Anim8or or Reallusion can make a great animator out of a person detailed analysis to reach a conclusive diagnosis of the problems,
with the heart of an artist and the brains of a techy. Those who which need immediate medical attention. The eighties saw the use
remember Harry Porter flying on his broomstick or Spiderman of ‘Telemanipulators’ in neurosurgery and ever since then various
swinging from one skyscraper to another in a jiffy with utter CAS systems have been developed. The first surgical robot named
bewilderment must also be aware of software such as Impactplus5 Aesop received the required approvals in 1993. APACHE or Acute
and Wondertouch that were used to create the effects. For those of Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation has made a proper
you who are still looking for answers how that scene in ‘Matrix,’ assessment of the Intensive Care Units of a health centre doable.
where Keanu Reeves is shown rotating in the air, was made These highly complex technical equipment require skilled handling
possible, here is the trick: It was with the use of some morphing and, hence, job opportunities have opened for those with
software that the slow motion effect was created as these software knowledge in both anatomy and technology.
enable the directors to keep the speed of an action under their Fields as rigid as the education industry have also experienced
control. The sequence was shot with multiple cameras against a the advent of technology. PowerPoint presentations often make
green-screen background. It was only later that the computer- lessons taught at schools and colleges more interesting and thus the
generated background was superimposed. A 3D computer model bleak days of blackboards and chalks have been bade a happy
of the scene was specially prepared for the purpose. If computers adieu. Online tutorials and e-books have made education available
have found use in creating visuals so have they in creating audio to a larger section of the society. The Uganda Connectivity Project
tracks. Software like MixPad Audio Mixer allow the present breed initiated by Daniel and Lisa Stern is one such program, which
of music professionals to create remixes, which are extensively intends to extend primary education via the Internet to the
popular. Names to reckon with in the Indian music industry such children in Uganda, where schools are scanty and often too
as A.R. Rahman and Kavita Krishnamurthy highly favour tools expensive. The educationists at home can also take up such
such as Logic Pro9 and Logic Pro8 for creating power-packed projects to encourage an interest in learning. While such ventures
tunes. Professionals with the necessary knowledge of these shall prove to be beneficial for those who shall get to learn, teachers
technical tools and a musical acumen are bound to make it big in with knowledge of the Internet can hope to earn well also.
the present entertainment scenario. With more and more takers of the Internet in a fast growing
Technical knowledge has also become a ‘must have’ for those nation like ours, technology is sure to spread more. The right
aspiring to join media. Designing the newspaper with the news attitude towards work and expertise in the use of tech tools relevant
stories properly arranged would earlier take up hours, but now the to one’s field of work is surely the key to a prosperous future ahead. I

October ‘09 117

Star Diary

Amrita Rao
The cute Bollywood actress who first came to notice in ‘Ishq Vishq’ and later tasted big commercial suc-
cess with ‘Vivah’, requested an e-mail interview on her love for tech rather than chatting with ‘Live IT’ on
the phone. And she started her mail with the following message: Technicism will ultimately allow humanity
to control the entirety of existence using technology. Some day, human beings will be able to master all
problems and may even control the future with the help of technology. In many societies, technology has
helped develop today’s global economy and has allowed the rise of a leisure class.” And now, we come
to our Q&A session that reveals her love for tech, along with a balanced approach.
Are you a tech junkie or a novice? Phones and computers crash often. How would you
Neither. I have a balanced approach. While I appreciate and deal with a catastrophe like data loss?
understand tech, I am not addicted to it. I generally keep a backup on pen drives and DVD’s. So a
catastrophe like that wouldn’t mean much. Moreover, a
Is technology a man’s thing? maintenance executive comes regularly to keep them shipshape.
Technology is definitely unisex. With the economy getting a
boost once again, women are now open to experimenting with Which sites do you frequently visit on the World
hi-tech gadgets. Moreover, technology is topical and directly Wide Web?
related to one’s personal choice. I and my sister Preeta research a lot on Google during our spare
time. Otherwise, there are Style Kandy, Rediff, e-Bay, MSN,
What’s the most expensive tech toy that you have Yahoo and FTV for my daily updates.
purchased till date?
It is the Osim Uspace with seven in-built massage routines for Your take on Facebook and the social networking
the body and heated seats with sensors that automatically detect phenomena – is it a boon or a bane?
the acupressure points of the body. It’s an imported system and Well, I must admit that I have joined Facebook and Twitter quite
an industry friend gave it to me to celebrate the success of recently so that my friends and fans can keep track of my day-to-
‘Perfect Bride’, a reality show on ‘Star Plus’ (she currently judges day activities instead of getting it all wrong from source-generated
the show). It has been gifted to me so that I can unwind at home stories. I think such social networking sites are a fantastic way of
after my hectic day trips to Karjat where the shooting takes keeping in touch with folks around the globe in real time. They
place. It is easier this way instead of paying a visit to the beauty have great privacy features, too, and you can block users who seem
spa. The whole thing costs around Rs. 4 lakh. to be fraudulent. Also, fans can connect with their favourite stars
via the blogs. It’s basically an electronic version of fan mail.

How has technology helped you in your

professional work?
My BlackBerry keeps me connected 24x7 with my business
manager, publicist, media and other industry friends. I distinctly
remember the time when I had no Internet connection for almost
a week. Luckily, I had the smartphone with me and managed to
contact my costume designer for a special appearance in a film
sequence. Else, I would have lost that work. I
with a touch
HTC India chief Ajay Sharma opens up to
ZAHID H. JAVALI on PDAs and smartphones
geared at making life more comfortable.

ruth matters, but the best way to get at truth is to allow an
open contest of ideas. That’s why we need freedom of speech.
And that’s precisely how Ajay Sharma has managed his sales
teams over the years. “I believe in freestyle execution and
don’t force my sales team to do something if they are happy doing
something else if the deliveries are in place.” says the 51-year-old.
Today, Sharma has crossed many sales channels and only developed new markets in Turkey, Spain, Poland and Greece within a
emerged stronger every time. As the country head of HTC India span of four years. The next engagement was also one of his longest
that manufactures and markets its own brand of PDAs, – from 1994 to 2003. And he had worked for the leather export
smartphones and touchscreen devices, he has, indeed, come a long division – procuring and exporting garments, bags and accessories.
way. From pump sets to fuel injection equipment, pistons and rings, Just when the telecom industry was booming in India, Sharma’s
electric fans, mixer grinders, electric irons, detergent powders, company decided to launch its own brand of mobile phones. So,
shaving creams and leather products – Sharma can sell just about as the senior general manager of Usha Lexus Electronics, he
anything with his kind of selling expertise. However, corporate entered a completely new domain for three years. In the middle
honchos are often pushed to a corner where they are left with only of 2006, Sharma decided to move to a new company – Dopod
two options: hit back or let the pressure go. “I just lie down and International Corp. – a brand selling high-end PDAs and
close my eyes,” he says with great candour. “It doesn’t matter if the smartphones. But in May, 2007, the company was acquired by
TV is at full volume. I am able to separate myself and take it to Taiwan’s High Tech Computer Corp. Since then, Sharma has
another level of consciousness.” been a part of HTC. His job involves setting up India operations
What’s the mark of a good salesman? A person who can sell including sales team hiring, service operations implementation,
umbrellas to Eskimos? With Sharma, it goes beyond that. Armed distribution and other related functions.
with an MBA with specialisation in marketing, Sharma joined the Today, he has more than 29 years of experience in sales and
Shriram Group as a trainee sales officer in 1980. His job was to sell marketing. His valuable exposure at home and abroad has helped
Usha pump sets in Rajasthan. him evolve as a great visionary and motivator. At least that is what his
“It was straining, both physically and mentally,” he recalls. “Right colleagues at HTC think. “People value innovation, so our business is
from lead generation and tracking potential customer to file all about innovation,” he says, sitting at his wood-and-glass-panelled
processing, meeting the banker, getting the files approved, getting the Delhi office that overlooks one of the five star hotels in Saket – The
diesel engine ready and closing the deal – it was a long and tedious Sheraton. On Sharma’s work desk lie his three-year-old Toshiba
process. There was no ready-made customer hawking. You had to laptop and magazines on the mobile phone industry while his
find your customer every day, which meant travelling to remote areas drawers are filled with key samples of HTC devices. On the white
and meeting people in their farms.” board, there are action items to be done in the next couple of days.
After various stints in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Sharma However, work at HTC is more than just a 9–5 routine for
was absorbed by General Sales (Usha Intercontinental) as senior Sharma. It’s about building relationships and retaining those. The
export manager. Says he: “From domestic, I had moved to exports reason HTC is able to offer more and more innovative offerings to
where my job was to execute orders for detergent powders, shaving customers is due to its co-partners. “We value partners – distributors,
creams, dyes and dye intermediates. My responsibilities included mobile operators, software vendors … the list is pretty extensive,”
handling order executions, price negotiations, ensuring quality says Sharma. “We tend to carry our relationship one step ahead. We
standards and timely product delivery.” keep our customers and partners with us as much as possible.” True,
That’s when the USSR broke up and the CIS came into existence. indeed. Since its inception, HTC Taiwan has led the smartphone
The political upheaval also changed the business focus of the market through partnerships with Microsoft, Intel, Texas
company where Sharma worked. “We ventured out to general Instruments, Qualcomm, Orange, 02, T-Mobile, Vodafone,
currency markets. I was assigned to find new markets for dyes and Cingular, Verizon, Sprint, NTT DoCoMo, Palm and HP.
dye-intermediates (required for making dyes) used in the textile, The company has a rich heritage of device ‘firsts’. They
leather and paper industries.” In his new avatar, Sharma had developed the first colour palm-size PC way back in 1999 and the 120 October ‘09

first Microsoft Pocket PC a year later. These are followed by the first tremendous when it comes to developing your overall personality,”
Microsoft Wireless Pocket PC (2002), Microsoft-powered he says. “I always believe if your foundation is strong, you can run
Smartphone (2002), Microsoft Smart Music Phone (2004), Microsoft 100 metres and still not burn out. You need not always be a sprinter
3G Phone (2005), Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 Platform Phone because they don’t have a long life.”
(2005), Microsoft Tri-band UMTS 3G Device (2006), Microsoft What makes him tick is his never-say-die enthusiasm. “It’s all
Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone (2006) and Windows Mobile 6 about the excitement you bring to your work. I am still thinking that
Smartphone (2007). Not to mention, the first intuitive touchscreen to I am in my learning phase,” he admits. “When you look at a
allow fingertip navigation in June 2007 and the first mobile to run on customer, you should be able to understand what he wants; you
the Android platform in September 2008. “We try to take the lead in should come down to his level. Their requirements are many and
everything,” says Sharma. “Unless you try to be the first and take the they look at things from different perspectives. But you should be
lead in offering the newest and the best, you would never get noticed. able to equate with them.
That is the key differentiator for HTC and that is why it is doing so “A customer’s position and expectations are different from yours.
well in India.” But he should be able to see you as a real person who understands
The innovation and the ‘be there first’ strategy seem to have his needs. You should not be a mere company representative when
worked like a charm. HTC is one of the fastest growing companies you meet your client. The underlying idea should be that you know
in the mobile sector and is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. what your customer wants and you are able to support him.”
‘Business Week’ ranked HTC as the second best-performing Managing a sales team is much more difficult but experience has
technology company in Asia in 2007. The year 2008 had been a taught Sharma to deal with it. “I lead by example,” he says.
landmark year for HTC – it registered a growth of over 300 per cent “Human beings are different; so each should be approached in a
on a year-on-year basis and managed to carve a niche in the different manner. Their market analysis may be right but their
smartphone segment by garnering 20 per cent market share in the experience is limited. Here is where I use my expertise to challenge
category of devices above the Rs. 10,000 price point. that situation and look beyond. I take a long-term view of things
“It was largely due to the path-breaking changes and value adds whereas the youngsters go for a more tactical approach. This clearly
that we have been introducing since HTC’s inception. India is a very differentiates me from them.”
advanced country; Indians are totally aware of what’s happening in So what has experience taught him? “Learn the art of saying
the world, especially the young customers. Normally, companies ‘no’,” he begins. “A good salesman should be honest with himself

treat India as a second-rung market, but we and to the customer because you can’t take a
treat it as a first-rung market and the result is short-term strategy and tell untruths,
there for you to see.” Unless you try to be especially when companies today are
So what’s so path-breaking about HTC? the first and take the lead holding on to their customers. Secondly, you
“Everything. HTC has always been a in offering the newest and need to be optimistic. You will have good
trendsetter,” affirms Sharma. “We are and bad times. In the end, what counts is

10,000-strong and one-fourth of the staff is
the best, you would never how you steel your nerve. You need to be
engaged in research and development. Our get noticed true to yourself. If you tried your best, that
people are learning about what people on should be consolation enough. Third, hold
the other side want. Our R&D team translates that into devices on to your customer and your sales team. When it gets difficult, lead
which are user-friendly and interesting.” from the front. If pressures are too high and you feel your team
Agreed. Sample the HTC Touch Diamond 2. You will find that cannot do it, take it upon yourself. Otherwise, the team will break.”
e-mail messages and sms-es from one person will be in one place, His way of de-stressing is simple – spending time with wife & kids
like a threaded conversation. So how does this help a go-getting and reading fictions & management books. “I read books like ‘Men
CEO of a multinational? He only has to ask the person on the of Steel’ to try and see what has been the differentiator for others
smartphone to hang on, press the e-mail icon on the phone’s and how they achieved so much success so quickly,” says Sharma.
keypad, access all his e-mail and give him an answer right away. He vacations also, twice a year. And his favourite haunts are the hills
The feedback time has reduced compared to those days when he of North India and the East countries like Malaysia, Thailand,
had to disconnect the phone, search his inbox for the specific mail, Singapore and Taiwan. But while at home, he is much too happy
read it and then call back. watching Discovery, Animal Planet and slapstick TV programmes.
With so much available right now, what’s going to be the future That’s not all. “I play some funny board games with kids including
like? “Once the 3G technology sweeps India in a big way, it will snakes & ladders and ludo. I just go back to the basics and it helps,”
make your life even simpler,” says Sharma. “For example, if you says Sharma. “I run through old pictures of mine. It de-stresses me a
turn the phone upside down, the phone will stop ringing. It will be lot. I also call up old friends to check what they are up to. It gives you
little things like these that will make the consumer experience more a good feeling. You start feeling younger after that phone call.”
simple, easy, interesting and enjoyable at the same time.” So what tops his phone wish list? “I wish I could control my home
Do great cooks memorise countless recipes? No. They have a with the help of my cell phone. Or access my CCTV camera via cell
grasp of basic ingredients and the ratios of ingredients that make to find out if the door lock is in place.”
great food. A similar principle works with Sharma. He owes much Who knows, HTC might achieve this feat soon. After all, HTC is
of this acumen, thanks to his early days at Usha. “The company is a master of tech innovations. And Sharma is its India captain. I

October ‘09 121


The Young
Web Designer
Resmi Jaimon

ozens of accredits at a very young age can sound like Now, the eleven-year-old Aquarian is eagerly persuing her
a distant dream for a young child but Sreelakshmi passion for designing websites like a true professional.
Suresh has proved that through hard work, one can Sreelakshmi’s stint with the computer started when she was
achieve success early. At the tender age of eight, she just two or three year old. Her father would let her sit on his
held record for being the youngest Web designer in the world. lap and work on Microsoft Paint. To start with Suresh, 122 October ‘09

Sreelakshmi’s father taught her to draw circles, rectangles optimistic about its success. Many companies have already
and fill colour in objects. Next, she learnt to draw ‘Smilies.’ added their logos to the website,” adds Sreelakshmi.
Her English alphabet learning started later as she typed runs in partnership with Sainul Abideen’s
‘ABCD’ in Microsoft Word. “I continued to practice on the Cybrosys Techno Solutions, a company known worldwide for
computer at fixed schedules and there was no break in- his rainbow technology in digital data storage.
between,” says Sreelakshmi.
Today, many kids browse the Net and are familiar with the Recognition
World Wide Web. However, passion for creating websites comes The youngest ever member of the Association of American
from within, in addition to motivation and support from family. Webmasters, Sreelakshmi has over 26 national and
Sreelakshmi was in the third standard when her father international honours to her credit, including the
introduced her to a website designed by Ajay Puri. He wanted prestigious Global Internet Directories Gold Award and
Sreelakshmi to create something similar all by herself. So he Golden Web Award. Ask her how recognition has made a
began to give her lessons on the basics of web designing, first in difference and she is quick to say, “Recognition has made
Microsoft Word and later in FrontPage. me conscious about the quality of my work. Today I know
“My father encouraged me to design a website for my several Web experts and they keep sending tips on
school. Initially, I lacked the courage and confidence so I maintaining the quality in my work. They made me realise
asked him to take the permission of the headmistress. The that my sites may look good and work fine, but there are
very next morning she asked me to for the details of the many technical errors. I hope to do away with all defects
project,” reminisces Sreelakshmi. Convinced with the little one by one,” says Sreelakshmi.
girl’s capabilities, the headmistress and Sr. Justina prepared
the content for the website and handed it to Sreelakshmi. “I Studies, work and leisure
took six months to complete the work. Once I was done, I At an age when students complain of lack of time to study, play
was asked to do it again before a panel of experts appointed or even for extra-curricular activities, how does Sreelakshmi
by the school authorities. Upon their report, the school manage? “I am very particular (may be due to the strict

decided to launch the website. My instruction from my father) that I
parents, teachers as well as my complete all my school work before
friends motivated me enough to Recognition starting with designing work. Once I
complete the project succesfully,” finish my homework, I spend time doing
says Sreelakshmi. The website was
has made me other things comfortably. Usually I spent
conscious about the

formally launched on January 15, around two hours a day for work, but on
2007. She describes the day as “the holidays I get more time to work on my
proudest day” of her life.
quality of my work websites.” Sreelakshmi is the only child of
In the last one-and-a-half years, she Suresh Menon, an advocate by profession,
has designed ten websites and is currently working on three. and Viju Suresh, a mathematics teacher in a local government
However, Sreelakshmi’s prime focus remains her studies. school. Sreelakshmi is passionate about travelling but with
Which is perhaps why she is not taking extra effort to market Suresh’s rigorous schedule, her holidays have usually been
her services. restricted to two- to three-days’ break.
Like other girls of her age, she digs on cartoons and loves
Latest projects to play with her friends. Growing up, she hopes to become a
Sreelakashmi recently launched her project software engineer. She is also studying animation and hopes The website gives important to create her personalized animated character some day. One
information about the state of Kerala. There is a “World of her poem, “Rain,” was published in the school magazine.
Malayali Directory” where Keralites can add their name and She is currently attempting her hand at glass painting too.
details free of cost. For content, she depends on periodicals
and other websites. Prominent figures like Kiran Ravindran Challenges
(film director) and Srinath Girish are some of her esteemed Sounds easy though but it isn’t easy for her to make difference
contributors. Famous cartoonist, Sadanandan (of ‘Balarama’ between the real and fake mails, related to enquiries about web
and ‘Manorama’ fame) has agreed to do ‘cartoon of the designing charges. “I am too young to differentiate between
week’ strip. what is real and what is fake. Sometimes, I do lose out on serious
She is also working on her next venture – enquiries,” she says candidly. Another problem she faces is in – is a logo-based search engine where all preparation of content and she depends on her clients to
companies or firms are permitted to upload their logo with a provide content for the site.
profile page. The website provides searching for brands Overcoming the odds, the young Sreelakshmi sails on with her
according to category. “It is an experiment but I am web design projects and is enjoting every bit of her journey. 

October ‘09 123

Peek & Pick

Product Reviews: Anoop Verma

Magic Keyboard
Want to carry your favourite keyboard wherever you go? You
can do that with a little bit of magic. That’s the Magic
Keyboard. It is foldable, washable, cleanable and dust-resistant.
So, the next time you depart on a vacation or on an office tour,
don’t forget to take your folding keyboard along. Working on it
feels much better than tapping on those clunky laptop keys.

Available at:

Price: Rs. 875 124 October ‘09

Amkette Robusto 8 GB
USB Flash Drive
If you like to tug lots of files around
whenever you are on the go, it would be
perhaps a good idea to go in for
Amkette Robusto 8 GB USB Flash
Drive. Its driverless design provides
maximum convenience and enjoyment
in mobile data exchange. The device is
compatible with XP, Vista and the soon-
to-be-launched Windows 7.

Available at:
Price: Rs. 1099

Personal Safety
System for Women
In this big bad world, where purse-snatchers are lurking at
every corner, safety of one’s belongings is always a key
issue. Your attention wavers for a moment and a hoodlum
gets a chance to run away with your purse. Such a
scenario is too common everywhere. But there is one nifty
way to protect your belongings. It comes in the form of a
‘Personal Safety System’ that can be worn around your
neck for easy access when you are shopping, jogging or
travelling all alone. In a theft attempt, the activated alarm
stays attached to the stolen item and calls attention to
the thief.

Available at:

Price: Rs. 436

October ‘09 125

Peek & Pick

Radio Control
Helicopter & Car
For families who have young kids growing up,
toys like the radio-controlled helicopter and
car can be good entertainment option. The
infrared-controlled helicopter is embellished
with a unique rotor-blade mechanism that
provides strong and steady lifting power for
flying. Its sophisticated design on rudder
mechanism enables it to hover steadily in the
air. The remote control car is naturally the
dream of every young child.

Available at:

Price: Rs. 1099

If you are looking for a cheap and feature-

rich printer, then here is a host of incredible
options from HP. There is HP F2235 MFP
Inkjet Printer, for instance, that is capable of
taking care of all your printing, scanning
and copying needs. The input tray can take
up to 100 sheets, up to 10 envelopes and the
output tray stores up to 50 sheets. The
printing speed ranges from 14 PPM for
black and white prints, and for colour
printing, it is around 10 PPM. When it
comes to scanning and copying, this gizmo
proves to be just as versatile.

Available at:

Price: Rs. 3899

HP F2235 MFP Inkjet

Printer-Scanner-Copier 126 October ‘09
Dell Inspiron
Mini 10 Netbook

The truth is that these days everyone is addicted to the

Internet. We need to keep connected anytime, everywhere
and that is precisely the reason behind the rising
popularity of netbooks. The new Inspiron Mini 10
Netbook from the ensemble of Dell has just about
everything that you may want from your mobile
companion. In its petite body, it packs a surprising amount
of fun. The bright 10.1 inch screen of this gizmo is
designed to present websites without too much of left-right
scrolling, as well as with a smoother line of sight. It is
powered by Intel Atom Z530 (1.60GHz), has a RAM of 1
GB and a hard disk of 160 GB.

Available at:

Price: Rs. 22,500

October ‘09 127

Peek & Pick

Logitech 4 Port USB Hub

These days, the USB port has transmogrified into a panacea for every type of
connection that a notebook or PC may require. Most of the gizmos and accessories
can be connected to your system by using the USB port. And, if there aren’t enough
of those ports in your PC, you can face some amount of inconvenience. This is where
Logitech 4 Port USB Hub comes into action. With this gizmo, you can subdivide a
single USB port in your PC into four different hubs; each one of which is capable of
delivering reliable, high-speed connectivity.

Available at:

Price: Rs. 945

Mobile Express
Card Reader Everyday we meet a number of
people. With some we exchange
business cards and over a period of
time, we manage to gather a plethora
of cards. Now, keeping them all
together is the first concern. Enter the
Mobile Express Card Reader. This
device is uniquely capable of taking
down all the data from any business
card and storing it for your further
reference. So, there’s absolutely no
need to gather cards; you can now let
your reader do the job for you.

Available at:

Price: Rs. 179 128 October ‘09

Citizen Body
Fat Analyzer If you happen to be a health-conscious individual, you
need to keep a tab on the fat your body has accumulated.
The Body Fat Analyzer from the ensemble of Citizen is
an excellent option for this. It allows you to easily
measure your body fat percentage without undergoing
any costly test. All you need to do is to input the settings,
keep your hands on the machine and press the measure
button. Up to 15 people can be registered on each

Available at:

Price: Rs. 1650

Dell XPS One

If you are of the opinion that too many devices are
cluttering your home, bring in a change by going in
for an all-in-one workhorse like the Dell XPS One.
Powered by lightening fast Intel® CoreTM i7
processors, the XPS One can serve the purpose of a
PC, a HDTV and a DVD player. Watching movies or
playing high-definition video games on this
computer’s 20 inch and 24 inch HD screens can be
an experience by itself. Now, here is a good way to use
the same station to work to the limit and to get
entertained as well.

Available at:

Price: Rs. 71,900

October ‘09 129

Shopper’s Guide

Live IT provides you the following shopping guide which should

The surf shop

help to get you started on a fabulous online shopping spree. Call
it an easy finder or a quick search, the list compiles all the gadgets
and gizmos featured in this issue with appropriate links of the
best possible places for you to shop wisely and browse coolly!

Live IT or Leave IT USB Handbag Flash Drives Style IT

(pages 18-21) Buy online: (pages 41-49)
USB Heating Shoes prod_detail.php?prod_id=00675% Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
Buy online: 253Cbr%2520/%2520target Buy online:
heating-shoes_p00731c050d015.html Price: USD 36.00 find-a-store/retail-store-locator
Price: USD 29.00 Price: Rs. 21,839.00
Cash Stash Keychain
Magnetic Floating Bed Buy online: Philips Bluetooth Stereo & Hands-free
Buy online: Buy: Philips Electronics India Ltd Cash-Stash-Keychain?aff=512&awc= DLF Cyber City, DLF Phase 3, Gurgaon
Magnetic_Floating_Bed/ 550_1248108836_a2b29a79df22f7ad0bc0
Price: USD 1.53 million (available Price: Euros 83.60
only through subscription at Price: £4.99
Universe Architecture) Sony DCR – DVD 710E Handycam
Buy online:
Ice Orb
Nap Shell Price: Rs. 14,750.00
Buy online:
Buy online:
Fusionbrands-Silicone-Vertical-Cube- Scarlet 47” LH70
shellcom-aktuell-278993 Buy online:
Price: On request Price: USD 15.95
Price: 47” Rs. 99,990.00; 42”
USB Mouse Pad Warmer Garlic Zoom
Rs. 79,990.00; 32” Rs. 49,990.00
Buy online: Buy online: Chefn-GZM-CDU12-Garlic-
Sony Viao Pocket Style PC
gs/246783079/USB_warmer_USB_ Zoom/dp/B000ZM7CV8
Buy online:
mouse_pad_warmer.html Price: USD 9.95
Price: USD 14.50 Price: Rs. 64,990.00
Broadcaster Chopping Board
USB Mouse with Infrared Heater Buy online: Samsung S3 MP3 Player
Buy online: Buy online:
index_eproduct_view.php? 2459/The-Broadcaster?itc= Price: Rs. 6400.00
products_id=633 181&src_t= nwt&src_id=262
Price: USD 16.99 Price: £29.99 Optical Mouse SSD OM 320
Buy: Shree Sagarmatha
USB Hand Massager Twilight Umbrellas Distributors Pvt Ltd
Buy online: 202, Mansarovar Building,
Buy online:
Hello-Kitty-USB-Portable-Hand-Held- 90, Nehru Place
Massager_W0QQitemZ300339791103Q New Delhi 110 019
QcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDom Price: Rs. 249.00
Price: USD 31 to 43
Airport Express
Price: USD 12.00
Sound Bomb Speaker Buy online:
Buy online: http://www.coolest- Price: USD 99.00
USB Monkey Slipper
Buy online:
prod_detail.php?prod_id=00564 sound-bomb-speaker/ (Note: Prices may vary or discounts may be
Price: USD 25.00 Price: £24.95 available on some products.) I 130 October ‘09


Q. How to get rid of temporary product key with the tool available at this link:
Internet files?
Every browser that stores temporary Internet The last option is to format your PC. You can
files or cache has options to delete the same. consult your computer dealer if your PC is
For Internet Explorer 7.0, go to Tools> still under warranty.
Internet Options>General>Browsing History
>Settings. Here you can modify the temp file Q. I have downloaded some
settings. In order to delete temp files, just click YouTube videos but when I try to
‘delete’ under the ‘browsing history’ tab. play them, they don’t work. What
For Firefox, go to Tools>Options>Privacy should I do?
>Private Data>Settings. Again, here you can Most of the YouTube videos that are
modify the settings as per your needs. Click downloaded are in FLV format. So you can
‘clear now’ under the ‘private data tab’ to only play these videos using an FLV player.
delete temp files. VLC, GOM or Moyea are some of the media
players that let you play all kinds of videos.
Q. Are deleted files erased Klite Codec Pack is also a good package to
completely? install and play flv, as well as other video
Any data in the recycle bin can be restored. types. Otherwise you need to convert them
Any data that you delete even from the recycle into .avi or .mpg to play those on your media
bin can be traced easily with the right player. Some Websites or Firefox plug-ins let
software. The data that get deleted remain you to download the converted videos directly
hidden in the hard drive in such a way that but they are very heavy files and take a lot of
the PC cannot search for it. Basically, the time to download.
computer loses the file hierarchy to find such a
file in the system. But in order to erase data Q. When I try to login to a
completely without leaving a trace, it has to be Website, I get the following
overwritten. The computer eventually error message: Login failed:
overwrites these files completely when it fails Could not connect to server.
to find the hierarchy for a long time and space How can I connect?
is needed to write new data. File-erasing Try logging in again after some time and see if
software applications are also available that you can connect. In case you cannot, try out
overwrite the deleted data. the following:
 Check your Internet connection and find
Q. I am getting this error out if it is working or not.
message every time I start my  If you have recently installed an anti-virus
Windows XP: You may be victim programme or a firewall, it might be
of software counterfeiting. My blocking the access. Change the settings of
task manager is disabled as well. your security software if access to the
I have administrator rights but Website is blocked.
the system still asks for the  If P2P software is open, it can also create
administrator when I press sudden disconnections.
Alt+Ctrl+Del. What should I do?  If you are connected through a proxy server
This may be happening because you are which only allows HTTP data, it can be the
using an illegal copy of the software or you root cause. In such a case, you need to
may not have activated the software. On it configure the proxy server. If you are
might have been caused by a virus or unable to make changes, contact your ISP
spyware. You can run a full system scan or an for help. I
anti-spyware scan. Also, run the Windows
genuine copy validation tool (available at: If you have any queries, write to us at: genuine/) to
check your Windows authenticity. If the
or mail your queries to
validation fails, you may have to purchase a
Live IT,
legal copy of the Windows XP. If you have
E-3, Jhandewala Estate, New Delhi - 110055
the Windows serial key, you can change the

October ‘09 131

Glossar y
THE Raster Graphic
All digital images made Bandwidth
up of pixels are raster images.

The amount of data
And most of the pictures on your that can be sent through
computer screen are raster a network or modem
API (Application graphics. More number of pixels will connection. The bigger the
Program Interface) ensure better image quality. But bandwidth is, the greater the
Refers to a set of commands, larger images definitely consume amount of data will be that
protocols and functions used more disk space. The image gets can be transferred within
by programmers to build distorted when it is scaled to a a stipulated time.
software for specific operating bigger size and to avoid such
systems. The end user is also situations, vector graphics
benefited as programmes are used.
using the same API will Similar to a CD or
have a similar user DVD, these are discs used
interface. to record or playback high
Short for ‘Completely
Automated Public Turing definition (HD) video and a
Test to Tell Computers and huge chunk of data. A single
Blended Threat Humans Apart.’ It is a blu-ray disc can store 25GB of
It is a huge attack caused programme used to verify data while a dual-layered
by a combination of Trojan whether a computer or a blu-ray disc can store a
horses, viruses, worms and whopping 50 GB.
human is entering the data in
malicious codes that can
order to avoid automated
severely damage a
computer. programmes that fill
online forms.
Web Hosting
It is a service that provides
Open Source server space and Web services
Refers to software tools
to people or companies who
Any audio, video or text
that allow the end user to wish to lease Web presence
content that can be
modify them as per their without maintaining their own
shared on the Internet
requirements. Many of these servers. Internet Service
comes under open media.
applications come for free. Also, Providers (ISPs) usually provide
The software applications
higher versions or patches are Web hosting services.
are usually distributed
usually created by end users who under GPL or Creative
work on open source Commons licenses
applications and upgrade
the same for better Authenticity
efficiency. Laptop Skin Describes authentic
Short for Fax
Stickers used to certifications or in
over Internet
customise your laptop social media, real
Protocol. You
Trojan Horse body. The adhesive layer people showing
can transmit fax
These are viruses ensures that the laptop skin online presence via
messages over a
posing as utility stays fastened onto the laptop blogs or social
VoIP line with this
applications. But when cover. Usually, a good networking
installed or run on a adhesive layer will allow for profiles.
computer, the Trojan easy and clean removal
Horse can definitely of the skin from the
damage your surface.