Wordless Thursday – India Corruption Economy

This definitely is a proud pleasure to present India’s first info graphic. Although I think that the info graphic is a little bad on design but its a start nevertheless. It manages to put together a set of what seems like excel graphs that are maybe undercooked design wise, but are great in terms of the data that is held in it.

This infographic draws our attention to all the money that we Indian’s are loosing to the greed of fellow Indian politicians. I think its about time we retweet this over and over to get into a position where we get the politicians learn about the awareness that is slowly creeping into the minds of the Indian people. An approximate 6.9% of the income from each and every person goes into someone else’s pocket due to a scam. Indian Corruption Economy for sure.

Facebook the new face of revolution

A few weeks ago a colleague in the office spoke of a mass revolution that was being planned on Facebook, and at that time I jokingly mentioned that the only revolution on Facebook would be all the girls complaining about the stalking guys and the girls might just leave, but funnily the entire story of Egypt and the people’s revolution has actually shut the mouths of many like me.

This however is not the first time that the social media network has been used for the purpose of uniting people in towards a cause, we will all remember the time when the famous “Pink Chaddi” campaign happened in India. If you have been unfortunate to have not heard it, the “Pink Chaddi” campaign was aimed at the anti-valentines day political party from south India, where scores of youngsters posted, couriered, dropped off a pink chaddi in protest of their protest. The group that decided to run the campaign made use of the young population of India who were on Facebook to send a strong message to the hindu extremist party, Sri Ram Sena. At that time I truly believed that Facebook is enabling to provide an awesome platform to collaborate ideas like these, however I remained skeptical of the success in a larger nation wide, political struggle. Once again I have been proven wrong.

Tunisia first and now Egypt, Facebook has been central in connecting the masses and providing upto date information about protest locations, government movements, street videos to provide situation analysis and at the end even regrouping tools. It is unbelievable, that a social networking site can help provide such a unified platform. After the protests began last month, the government began blocking critical news sites and Facebook pages created by protesters.They even went in to phishing to hack profiles to change or close them. Eventually the revolution has happened and is successful, with two countries having success using the platform, there is always going to be more, Sudan is looking to repeat the model along with other Arabic nations.

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Terming these revolutions “Facebook Revolutions” are not really fair, the revolution is by the people and for the people, what Facebook is able to achieve is a right platform for the true principles of democracy, by the people, for the people and to the people. You might very soon see t-shirts of Mark replacing the ones from Che, which is the current face of revolution and freedom.

This might be one of the biggest Facebook Revolutions of our times, but definitely not the last. And this beings me to question the authority of such a service, eventually when Facebook grows from 600 Million to maybe 1 Billion engulfing each and every member of the online world in its app wielding, stalking and revolutionizing platform, it is definitely going to give the likes of Mark Zukerberg the power of a Bond Villain, whether he will use it wisely and be a hero is completely up to him.  What do you guys think ?

World’s best Presentations – 2010

Slideshare.net which was one of my most frequented websites a couple of years back to learn everything from Social Media to well Green Awareness campaigns, hosts every year a competition for the world’s best PowerPoint presentations. And believe you me, these presentations are nothing less than a feat themselves, to be picked out of over 5000 presentations which include presentation guru’s like Seth Godin and Garr Reynolds, is an honor by itself.

For those of you who have not yet looked at slideshare.net this is good time to do so. To cure the world from death by PowerPoint, it is really important to start using some really interesting techniques that are mentioned in various presentations on the site. If you look at them carefully, there are at least three elements common among all the winning entries – the use of large fonts, there’s very little amount of text used in slides and you’ll find no more than one picture in each slide and it often fills up the entire space.

In fact, you can also slowly be able to present as elegantly as Steve Jobs. Well I understand that there are many different faucets to his presentations, however the actual slides can be as good as what he does.

Getting back to the Presentations that are really outstanding, presentations that have been picked as the World’s best from the visitors and the Judges alike, here are the 3 best :

Apart from these if you would still want to check on my world’s best presentations, you can check out my share of presentations on Slideshare.net, you can check it out here.

Save the Tiger – Augmented Reality Campaign

One of the most fascinating and magnificent cats of all of the animal kingdom is the Tiger. However, we all know that this beautiful beast is on the verge of getting pushed into the extremely endangered species list. Tigers world wide are facing precarious conditions when it come to basic survival. In this effect it was quite apt when NDTV and Aircel in India launched an awesome campaign to try and save the tiger. We have gone down to only 1411 tigers in the country and no amount of campaigns and public support is enough to bring this species back.

What was even more saddening was a friend of mine had an opportunity to visit a home of someone high up the social ladder in UAE; the person was also a UAE national who had immense wealth.  Interestingly, the person had along with his collection of gazillion expensive cars, and other collectibles; Indian Tigers, both white and the normal ones, a few lions, some hippos and even some alligators. My first reaction was this is depressing, then I thought that they are at least keeping these beasts safe. My next reaction was also that of depression thinking what has the world come to, if tigers need to be caged in other countries to keep them safe from us. Not to mention that its really utterly and completely wrong.

I started looking at the campaigns of “Save the Tiger” and although there has been a lot of progress with a lot of people signing up to getting up  and doing something for the campaign, it was imperative that the feeling of loosing these tigers be bought to the foreground. They worked on amazing commercials which were aired on TV, but still had that one element missing. The efforts need to be absolutely increased, these ads are just not enough. Have a look at some of them here below :

So after the campaign in India, I thought it might be worthwhile checking out the other efforts. And I stumbled on the second campaign this time with the cousin of the Indian Tiger, the Siberian Tiger. The campaign of the Siberian Tiger went to technology to be able to achieve the punch factor in the campaigns, not only have they made the campaign interesting but also really powerful, with the power of guerrilla marketing. And we all know how good the guerrilla marketing techniques work.

Trying to make a point, the WWF Tiger T-Shirt shows what it is to be hunted down by poachers like the Siberian tiger. Incredibly graphic, it relies on an augmented reality to show you what it would be like to be shot. Reaching to Augmented Reality to achieve the effect, the campaigners provided T-Shirts to a lot of people which triggerd a shooting animation (complete with blood) when worn in front of a special mirror.  The campaign was launched with collaboration of WWF and Lookatme.ru. Check out the website at lookatme.ru/tiger.

I think we need to start looking at bringing this campaign to India.

Gaming going through a dimensional change

Just a few days back I was at Dubai Festival City and had the opportunity of visiting the awesome pavilion set up by Sony and Microsoft for the launch of their answer to a common enemy  – The Nintendo Wii. The Wii not only revolutionised gaming in terms of bringing movement to the games literally, they also made video gamers have physical exercise, which they so called “cool” guys craved for and had stayed away from previous gaming experiences with the Xbox 360 or the Play Station 2/3.

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Video games have come a long way from the original PacMan or the Prince of Persia that we remember playing with the TV and cartridge based games. Games have now made us engross in ways we cannot imagine, and now they are to surprise us more, within the next five years any firm concepts of what constitutes a computer game will require radical revision. In fact, in time for this Christmas, there is the launch of new motion control systems for Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 consoles.

Although the Nintendo Wii has used motion tracking for four years, the new devices are noticeably more sophisticated: PlayStation Move still involves a hand-held controller, but a player’s movements can now be tracked in 3D space with incredible precision using its own “Eye” camera placed near the screen. The Xbox Kinect is a wholly hands-free device that employs a camera and infrared depth sensors, translating any movement into game action. Both systems also feature microphones that allow voice input. I did an intro of the three types of controllers and you can check it here.

In this future, there will be detective games in which players verbally interrogate computer-controlled characters who themselves respond differently to an aggressive tone or placating physical gestures. Realistic relationships in games will emerge, with players having to charm intelligent artificial beings. I saw this kid playing with a lion cub on screen that was really interesting and I would have loved to do it as a kid.

The more games that I started seeing that were on display, the more I started to love the Microsoft Kinetic. I am an avid PlayStation fan with the graphics on the cell processor of the Playstation 3, the range of game titles and all of the experience totally. But in the world of motion based games, not holding on to anything beats holding to a black stick with a red globe at the top to track. I am really unhappy that Playstation did not come up with something as cool as the Kinetic, even more unhappy that I have to sell my Playstation for an XBox in order to use the Kinetic. Damn, the older you grow the harder the decisions in life seem to get.

Facebook Criminals ! A sign of things to come ?

Previously, I did bring up the issue of weather we are taking Facebook and Twitter too far, especially in relation to Facebook Places, where I mentioned that its not the best way to actually use the Social Network and included a video showing how to disable it. For all those of you who thought that I was just kidding and you don’t need to disable this feature, this one should come as a surprise.

Three guys have just been arrested in the United States for robbery, these guys used the Status Updates of users on Facebook to target them to steal from. This isn’t the first warning about what should and shouldn’t be posted on Facebook, but I find it important to remind Facebook users from time to time that leaving information about what you’re doing as “public status updates” can be dangerous on the social network.

Continue reading Facebook Criminals ! A sign of things to come ?

India first victim of Global Warming ?

We technically I should say India – Bangladesh. Global Warming, one of the symptoms of which is rising water levels. Water levels rising is an issue of concern for mostly islands and India does have a fair few. Island nations like Mauritius and Maldives are on the forefront of the fight against global warming. And a lot needs to be done to “save the world” from this BIG problem. In what seems to be a preview of things to come, Moore Island off the coast of India has just disappeared off the face of the planet.

Continue reading India first victim of Global Warming ?

The fate of your gadgets when you dispose them

Considering that the Cell Phone, computer, Television, radio etc have been around for over a decade, it’s no surprise that a lot of people in the developed countries actually have gone through more than one of these gadgets. In countries like India, the older electronics either go as hand me downs to your relative or are sold off to someone else looking for them for cheap. However, eventually they end up somewhere in the dump. In more economically advanced countries, the cycle from being a new gadget to the dump is fairly quick. And this is something that is becoming a growing concern for countries.

For the west it seems to be an issue with trying to properly dispose off of these gadgets, for the east the issue seems to be straight off something of managing the garbage of the east. Meaning, the west is transporting all their electronic waste to countries like India and China. The new addition to these seem to be Africa. Africa is fast growing as the dump site of the world, where cars, electronics or any unusable goods seem to be going to. Why is this such a big problem ? You have to see it for yourself. In today’s Post I want to highlight the problems that people in these countries are facing mainly India / China and many in Africa like Ghana.

Continue reading The fate of your gadgets when you dispose them

India Report Card for Technology 2010 – Part 2

In my previous post I tried to show some of the posts that I had done in relation to India, Innovation and overall progress. I would like to continue down the line on some of the amazing innovations in the sub continent for this year that I have not written about. And the look of the improvements in technology is reaching far more than just the shores of India but also abroad. The so called “sleeping Tiger” from India is awakening, and putting aside the likes of Notion Ink Adam, and PI, there are many more innovations coming out of the sub continent worth mentioning.

In part 1 of the report card I highlighted most of the advancements that I reported in this blog. In part 2 we will look at the other part. The focus here is the government and how they have been instrumental in the introduction of new technology in the Indian Industry. When the government wakes, the country will be much stronger, but alas the government is waking like a guy with hangover not knowing what to do, without direction and focus. But what is heartening to see is that there is a change and the government is responding.

Continue reading India Report Card for Technology 2010 – Part 2