Friday, December 23, 2011

Minimizing cellphone radiation impact

Newspapers and online reports have been see-sawing when it came to concluding on whether mobile radiation is harmful to the human body or not. Every successive report concluded contrary to the previous one.

However now with the Indian government mandating that all mobile phones should carry a radiation tag, it is but an implicit admission that the government believes in the threat that mobile radiation poses to the masses.
Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) and Radio Frequency (RF) waves are two sources of radiation from mobile devices. While exposure to EMR radiation can be minimized by usage of hands free devices, RF radiation is more pervasive. Current international norms prescribe an upper limit of 1.6 watts/kg. Termed SAR – Specific Absorption Rate, a measurement for the rate at which body tissue absorbs RF radiation, the new government mandate requires all new mobile phones sold in India to
  1. Mention the SAR for the handset in the mobile phone and accompanying manual
  2. Provide hands free sets along with the mobile phones compulsorily.

It is commendable that the government is bringing in some regulation into the massive mobile phones market; especially regulation that will have a direct bearing on the health of millions of Indians for whom mobile communication has altered lifestyles like nothing before.  This is so also in light of the fact that advanced economies like USA have had problems converting something as simple as this into law – Read the tussle between San Francisco and CTIA (Cellular Telephone Industries Association)

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Skype comes with Facebook integration

Arranging for a school reunion can be an uphill task. However with technology, a lot of it has been simplified.

Everyone is on Facebook and getting the message across is quick and simple. Publishing an event on Facebook and creating an event page to generate the necessary conversations and hence the build up to the event is naturally taken care of. Top of mind recall is ensured when members “Like” or “Share” comments. Photo sharing, file sharing are all enabled.

One thing that came up was the request by section of buddies who could not attend in person but nonetheless wanted to interact with the rest of the gang who had gathered at the venue. We decided to go with video chat session to enable this and were pleasantly surprised that Skype, the tool we choose now allows you to integrate with Facebook friends. Perfect complement to our event organization tools on the same site.

Now this should get you back to using Skype if you had shifted briefly to other tools, including Google+ Hangouts.

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Blogger and Google+ unite

Google has decided to unite Blogger and Google+ profiles. When I logged into my Blogger profile today, I had a message at the top of the page asking me if I wish to combine my Blogger profile with Google+. This would enable Google+ to automatically pick up my updates on the blogger blogs and broadcast them to my circles. However, 30 days into this option, my blogger profile would get deleted and the Google+ profile would become the de-facto profile for Blogger too.

While I signed up to see the effect of this union, I am not yet sure if I would crave for a separate blogger profile…Only time will tell

What has been your experience?
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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Karnataka CM goes Live

In a first in India, Karnataka CM Mr. Sadananda Gowda has installed cameras at both his office and home workplace which will stream live video to the web viewable from this link.

The facility would be extended to the offices of ministers in a phased manner as many of his Cabinet colleagues had shown interest in adopting the technology to bring in transparency. Presently, people can only watch the video of his offices. The plan is to make audio and video available over smart phones too.

Currently being one way, the initiative intended to promote transparency will only be a live darshan of the politicians. While commendable, this is not going to serve any meaningful purpose. The next versions would have to be to promote live video enabled chats through this system to address citizen concerns. Fixed slots in a week would enable people join the chat from their homes, look at responses posted to other people’s queries, raise questions, get assurances, etc. I would even like to see the BangaloreOne centers across the city to double up as the hotspots from where people without access to the Internet or the ones on the move should be able to join in one of these frequent sessions. Steps like these would redefine transparency.

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