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