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