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