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The sea- saw battle continues... GM Technology at last! The Jan Dhan bonanza An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... CII projects higher growth… IPL type auction for VCs? More tributes to GR A professional at the helm of IRDA... Shale gas and its shallow future Cutting the nose to spite the face Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities EVM is tamper-proof R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership A more liberated TN… Revive development banks... Mu Sigma – is no more Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Shanti and Sadhana through Music Rahman at CIC Noble nonagenarians... Another Indian music maestro at the UN China invests in India An enemy’s enemy is a friend Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Engineering seats go abegging Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Haul over the coal TGS- The king storyteller Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Tatas moving out of urea production... Road development slows down Which side are you, Montek? Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! No Maha Koottani in TN... Recognition to role of NBFCs.... A glass full of corruption IAS invades NDDB... Discoms deserve better… Preserving for the future Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Boy, can you beat these? Build close rapport with business leaders A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ TELANGANA at last…BUT Modi and the lady Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet A friendly business group Fuel for thought Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Solar, solar everywhere … The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Funding the un-funded ONGC at KG Basin Kinetic Karnataka The why of tax incentives Breaththrough in malaria control The star of Spencers is no more EEC at the National Media Centre Moily’s bold thrust A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science TIAM turns a full cycle When online building permits work…. All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Auto components surge… Mersal magnified He continues the focus on social amelioration Nuclear power at the nucleus Of course, Gujarat is vibrant When Ratan Tata visited SRM Convulsions in The Hindu Plummeting profits of PSBs Quality silica from Neyveli B H Kothari - a tribute He saved millions from starvation... Cement prices continue to rise… Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Gay abandon in pricing Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Secularism and anti-Hinduism This scant respect for Law Editor's Says CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Delhi is distant… When nations steal growth from one another… Tatas moving out of urea production... …and of a popular trade leader A proud Madrasi Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Why land prices zoom in TN? Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Align crops to agro climate endowments… Demise of a media baron... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more The few handicaps... IPL - no surprise this scam The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu The brown list of Venkitaramanan An inexplicable neglect Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Kulandai was a giant How Air-India loses customs... Editor's Notes SoA @ 80 Readers' Mail Delhi returns to BJP Airlines in India: cost and space Gas is the way forward Intellectual of rare qualities Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Welcome focus on core competence Contrarian cousins More heat than light Make standards certification mandatory... Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist PC’s preference for professionals Put expensive assets created to use... Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Towards speedy justice L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles West Bengal: mindless malignancy Computation of GDP – conundrums continue PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Paytm karo... The power-full Hindujas Valli, they are more marginalised Delhi is distant Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Streamlining mandatory third party cover Fortune 500 review Tax agriculture MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Silver Years of Madras Musings London, London Narayan Wise Presidents Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked A think tank for Chennai Small units prefers to remain small... Strengthen the base... When the President was rendered homeless… A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Multi-faceted Venkat Maximising the micro pricing … The rise and rise of KCP Tribute – M V Murugappan Fortune for Indian Airlines For whom the bell tolls? Should we change the official year? Kudos to NDTV... Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! The nuclear option Solar thermal shines… Sweeter prospects for sugar Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Welcome GST Come elections, come advertisements... Permanent secretariat for TN GIM CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Adharma of opposition politics When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Making ‘my Amaravati’... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Tough task taking states together Increasing non co-operation of state leaders CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Parliament in paralysis... TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Wanted: a second airport for Chennai For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Modi storms Silicon Valley Why this malaise in medical education? Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research No engine for this car Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Telangana in top gear… Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Banning booze... Muffled voices for merit… Robber barons everywhere Sweet news for TN sugar mills More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Things happen by accident and not by design... Quality education through the PPP mode Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School When small is no larger beautiful.. Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Sri Lanka votes for change Return to king coal for urea... A welcome initiative by the judiciary Roaring Ro-Ro facility Poor quality of university VCs New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... The Swadeshi Trump F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing The Gulf aviation boom Pharma – overdose of copying The rise and fall of Annamalai University Waning interest in public discussions… Excel Generators provide the vital back-up to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Protest masters... Vibrant Gujarat Tribute Where a state respects its litterateurs… Revving up the manufacturing sector Delhi Chalo... Polls and promises No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Medical costs hit the roof... Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Russi Mody – a tribute Shipping woes of Chennai companies Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... GNS - 100: our first subscriber Building loyalty through the stomach Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Music happens More Shakthi to Das’ elbow A yen for wastage… Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Five star activism stalls development activity Where is Rajaji? The balancing act There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner!
 
Alexa – Talking Wikipedia

Soon after landing in the US on a recent visit, I was struck by an innovation that has become ubiquitous, the Alexa voice-activated, always-on, internet-enabled Assistant. The moment I entered my daughter’s home in New Jersey, my six-year-old grandson sprang a surprise: he commanded Alexa to play a piece sung by M S Subbulakshmi.  In less than a couple of seconds, Alexa complied with soulful music by MS!

Alexa, a product of Amazon.com, is diminutive: a 3” wide cylindrical gadget that is just 8” tall. Alexa is among the latest wonder devices that have taken the power of Internet search and added a layer of voice activation to it. You can just talk to it in your normal voice and the always-on microphone converts your voice into a digitised format to go to the Internet and reconvert that to a voice that provides the answer. Imagine, if you will, call it  a “talking Wikipedia.”

Not only can it instantly answer how high Mount Everest is or what is the square root of 3969 but newer skills over the past year have made Alexa a lot more intelligent. It can now play word games with you, control home lighting and temperature through voice commands, organise shopping lists and find your misplaced phone by making it ring.

Voice-activated technology certainly has come a long way. Alexa doesn’t even require any ‘voice training.’ It can recognise almost any accent and diction. The challenge now is for the parents to stay one step smarter than their kids who can always seek answers about pretty much anything from Alexa!

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