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