Archive | December, 2007

Dark Side Of Outsourcing

NEW DELHI, India (AP) — The job came with a good salary, and good perks. But, 26-year-old Vaibhav Vats will tell you, it was doing him no good. His weight had grown to 265 pounds and he was missing out on social life as he worked long overnight hours at a call center. Eventually, he quit.

“You are making nice money. But the tradeoff is also big,” said Vats, who spent nearly two years at IBM Corp.’s call center arm in India, answering customer calls from the United States.

Call centers and other outsourced businesses such as software writing, medical transcription and back-office work employ more than 1.6 million young men and women in India, mostly in their 20s and 30s, who make much more than their contemporaries in most other professions.

They are, however, facing sleep disorders, heart disease, depression and family discord, according to doctors and several industry surveys.

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Posted in India7 Comments

GPS Comes To Town

(Pic: Nokia 6110 Navigator, courtesy unwiredview)

It is the latest acronym to invade the mobile world. And after a rickety start, it seems to be making itself right at home in India too! We are talking of the Global Positioning System, or GPS as it is popularly known as. Basically a tool that helps users find their way by plotting their locations using satellites, GPS has of late become a standard feature of high-end phones and could be making its way to the mid-segment too.

Why GPS rocks

For the uninitiated, GPS is a technology that pinpoints the location of a person on a map. What one needs for this is a GPS-enabled device that can communicate directly with satellites , which do the actual pinpointing and then show the result on the device. So if you are using a GPS-enabled phone (say), you will be able to see yourself as a dot marked on a map of your present location.

And if you happen to have the right kind of software loaded on to your device, you could look up the most convenient way of travelling from one place to another-and even watch yourself doing so on the map! Add to that features like turn-by-turn instructions (in voice and text), information about traffic congestions as well as alternate routes, the ability to search for landmarks, and you can understand why GPS was considered invaluable for travellers who loved technology.

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Posted in Gadgets1 Comment

Indian IT – Free Fallin?

– The Economist

Most foreigners visit Mysore to see its many
palaces, testaments to bygone royal splendor. But the city, south of
Bangalore, is also a good place to observe monuments to India’s modern

One of its suburbs contains a lush campus with a collection of
futuristic buildings: the Global Education Center, one of the world’s
largest corporate-training facilities, operated by Infosys, a leading
Indian information-technology services firm.

Visiting the center, you would think that for India’s IT businesses,
the sky is the limit. Rarely has an industry grown so rapidly for so
long. It has boasted annual growth rates of nearly 30 percent in the
past 10 years, with revenues now nearing $50 billion, about 5.4 percent
of India’s GDP.

But some in India are starting to worry that the industry is heading
for a fall. At the very least, analysts say, the industry’s leading
firms — Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro, to name
only the three largest — need to do more to adapt their business
models as the industry matures.

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Posted in Economy, India169 Comments

FORBES Announces Its Web Celeb List

Forbes has came out with a list of 25 folks who made it big in the online world.

There were some whose blogs I hit up almost daily and some which although quite popular as per Technocrati – Doshdosh, Problogger, Johnchow – but were missing from the list. Apparently have not yet won approval from the critics.

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook was the youngest to be profiled at 23.

The Web Celeb 25

1. Perez Hilton

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Posted in Companies0 Comments

Hacker Uses Networked ‘Crazy’ Toaster To Hack PC


The more paranoid among us have long been wary of the possibility that networked fridges might spontaneously turn off, perhaps after becoming infected with a computer virus, ruining milk in the process. Other networked appliances might also pose a danger of sorts, security boffins have shown.

A security expert from Check Point demonstrated at the recent ClubHACK 2007 conference in India how a networked toaster might be used to hack a computer. The party piece, carried out by Check Point’s Dror Shalev, turns the more conventional use of computers in vending machines and computerised household appliances (such as DVD players) on its head.

Shalev said he developed the networked toaster hack in response to a statement from a senior scientist from Google that there was no need to be afraid of a toaster at home. “But as a hacker, I came up with a toaster that could actually hack a computer,” Shalev explained. “I call it a ‘Crazy Toaster’.”

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Posted in Hacking73 Comments

Call Center Women To Be Armed With Pepper Spray

BANGALORE, India (AFP) — Several Indian information-technology companies are ordering cans of pepper spray for their female call centre employees to use against possible attackers, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The move follows the rape-murder last month of a 22-year-old call centre employee in the western city of Pune by a company driver, leading to fears of safety in an industry that employs 1.6 million people.

A similar incident took place in this southern Indian city, the hub of the 50 billion dollar IT industry, in December 2005.

“Several companies have approached us asking us to deliver the product,” the Bangalore Mirror quoted Rana Singh, an executive at a company that makes a self-defence pepper spray, as saying.

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Posted in India19 Comments

Dude, Where’s The Prof?!

— Sufia Tippu

The shortage of engineering teachers in India is even more dire than U.S. observers are aware, Indian academics report. “Unfortunately, if you talk about it, you are dubbed a bad guy, so most of us have stopped talking about it,” said Sowmyanarayanan S. Sadagopan, a professor and founding director of International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT-Bangalore).

The past decade has seen an exponential growth in the number of engineering institutions in India. Today, there are about 1,700 engineering colleges and 1,300 polytechnics, or schools designed to produce technicians. Although it is difficult to ascertain the total number of teachers in India, the shortage is said to be in the range of 30 to 35 percent.

Indian academics cite two main reasons for the gap between engineering students and teachers: a dearth of PhDs and rock-bottom university pay scales.

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Posted in India0 Comments

The Emergent Indian Entrepreneurs


THOUSANDS OF GRADUATES OF INDIA’S top engineering, science, medical and management institutes come to the U.S. each year to pursue advanced degrees. On completing their studies, they typically don’t go home, but instead work for businesses in the U.S.

American companies hire these foreigners because they’re relatively cheap to employ and are likely to stay with the employer, irrespective of working conditions, for the five or so years it takes to be sponsored for a permanent work visa. The migrants want higher incomes, a more comfortable lifestyle and better career prospects than they find in India.

And through their work in the U.S., some Indian professionals gain enough confidence to risk setting up their own enterprises — an event far less likely to occur in India due to institutional obstacles to raising capital for new entrepreneurs, despite the robust growth of the Indian stock market in recent years.

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Posted in India225 Comments

The Most Favorite’d Blogs On The Web

(Pic: 3/5 of Boing Boing. Courtesy – Laughing Squid)

Blogs which created the biggest splash in the webdom. These are the rock and roll guys of the blog world.

Don’t like any of these blogs or if one you really like got left out, let us know in the comments section.

# 1. Boing Boing

Boing Boing is a weblog of cultural curiosities and interesting technologies. It’s the most popular blog in the world, as ranked by, and won the Lifetime Achievement and Best Group Blog awards at the 2006 Bloggies ceremony.

* By Mark Frauenfelder
* 3,165 members have made this a Favorite

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Posted in Startups6 Comments

Industry Leader See Rupee At 35 To A Dollar

The Indian industry should brace itself for a strong rupee, as the currency could strengthen by Re 1 to Rs 2 against the US dollar, and must diversify its revenue base, ICICI Bank [Get Quote] chief executive officer K V Kamath has said.

“The strengthening of the rupee is a long-run challenge. Rather than fight it, corporate India should prepare for the day,” Kamath, who was named the Forbes Asia Businessman of the Year, said on Wednesday.

The banker, who has been credited for ICICI’s growth, felt the industry should not wait for the government to step in.

“My message is: Prepare for a strong rupee, the industry has to help itself and cannot keep relying on others to help,” Kamath said.

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Posted in Uncategorized0 Comments