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