All posts filed under: Tech

The Yahoo! Big Thinkers India series 2009

Started in 2007, this is a series of quarterly lectures this year on science, technology and the internet in India. The lectures, under the banner of the Yahoo! Big Thinkers India series, bring together academia, scientists, the corporate world and the media. The speakers are acclaimed experts from the Yahoo! International team. They bring with them the expertise and global perspective of the constantly changing world of technology, online products & communities and the internet space in general. This time the topic is: Sociotechnical Design and Engineering: Putting People First The speaker is Elizabeth F Churchill, a Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo! Research, where she manages the research area of Internet Experiences. A psychologist by training, for the past 15 years she has drawn on diverse areas to consider how to design effective communication situations both face to face and technologically mediated. Applications developed and/or evaluated include cell phone interfaces, textual and 3d graphical environments, interactive digital posterboards and animated interface personas. Abstract: Sociotechnical design is concerned with understanding how users and technologies shape each …

A day (and night) on a houseboat

The weather was hot and balmy. It was our last day in Kerala and we were looking forward to spending the night on a houseboat.

On my previous trips to Kerala, I’ve only gotten within drooling distance of a houseboat. It’s a rather expensive proposition. There was one time when Steph was down from Switzerland and we did some sightseeing on a small boat, and then went around in a little canoe (that was fun!).


I was out last evening and it was pretty late when I was catching up on my tweets when I saw a post about blasts in Mumbai. After that, there was no sleep for a couple of hours as I was following the reports coming in from different folks. It’s been numbing to say the least. Every time something like this happens I am seized by different reactions – sadness, anger, frustration, and helplessness to various degrees. And I am sure that must be the case with a majority of people. To be so vulnerable to attacks in the spate of a year is extremely scary a situation. Imagine how powerless our Intelligence must be to not have a CLUE about the blasts / attacks coming to any of the cities this year. I hope all of you readers/bloggers from Mumbai are safe and sound. I’ve already called the few people I know there and everyone is shell shocked and depressed. I am lost for words. Really. Meanwhile, the folks in Mumbai have revived the …

Connected at last!

After several failed attempts at getting Airtel (no ports), Sify (no connectivity in my area), Hathway (no response), I finally settled on Tata Wi-Max (VSNL) who got back to me very promptly saying they could give me a connection. Surprisingly, the folks at TI were super efficient. Not only was my connection okayed in a couple of days, they were ready to install it a day after I had signed the dotted line. I wasn’t in town and had to wait for a while to do it. They came over, installed an antenna on my roof and in about 15 minutes I was connected and ready to go. After several months tearing my hair out with a super slow Reliance Data card connection : I get about 2 bars as signal (out of 6) anywhere in my house – this new connection seems like a life changing experience. Really. Not only that, the Indicom folks called a few times checking on my connection, gave me tips on how to check the speed and making sure …