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