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