Thursday, August 24, 2006

Indian Ocean Tsunami Detector

Is a really useful application written in PyS60 which according to the site:
".. is a tsunami prediction program that filters and analyses LIVE data from the United States Geological Surveys (USGS) Earthquake reading..."

update: mobihf and mobimol

Am happy to announce that the source of mobihf and mobimol have now been merged to PyQuante CVS, thanks to Rick.

Please see:

and the CVS:

all further updates will be made to the above CVS.

Friday, August 11, 2006

on OLPC: why indian policy makers should rethink?

Till my last post of the OLPC (one laptop per child) subject, I was wondering whether someone in India had experimented with the idea of providing access to computers for underprivileged or rural kids?

I was pleasantly surprised to find the "Hole-in-the-Wall" project being run by NIIT in coordination with International Finance Corporation.

From the hole-in-the-wall site:
"The acquisition of basic computing skills by any set of children can be achieved through incidental learning provided the learners are given access to a suitable computing facility, with entertaining and motivating content and some minimal (human) guidance."
is some thing we should seriously look at, rather than outright scrapping of OLPC in india.

Dr. Sugata Mitra, Chief Scientist at NIIT, who is toying with the idea of providing computer access to the kids since 1982, and allowing them to acquire the skills and education on their own is a prime example of why such projects are needed at a large scale in India. And with the GOI honoring Dr. Sugata with Dewang Mehta award for Innovation in Information Technology, the government probably itself recognizes the need for such work.

India could set an example on how to make technology accessible to the masses .... only if we think right and take right decisions.

PS. To know more about the "Hole-in-the-wall" project visit:

Monday, August 07, 2006

Lost mobile phones: can they be found?

Yesterday while travelling back home from pune railway station to viman nagar, some rouge stole a mobile (samsung) from an unsuspecting girl in an overcrowded bus.
After reporting the matter to the conductor, he offered to stop the bus immediately to get it checked, but as commonsense suggested, this wasn't feasible as the person who stole it would have already disappeared. In any case I found that the attitude of the people really disturbing: instead of suggesting ways what to do next people were finding faults like 'her bag was open', 'its her mistake', 'you cannot find a lost mobile' and all that: not a single attempt the calm down the crying looser!
Any way after waiting for some time, I couldn't resist but offered to call up the customer care center (fortunately it was airtel, same as my service). And also advised to file an FIR with the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number as early as possible. After few attempts i was able to get the a line to the customer care executive, to whom she spoke. To my surprise, in spite of giving all SIM details to the executive, she refused to block the SIM! and instead asked to call back after lodging an FIR! This was a real shocker for me.
In any case I am not aware of any other mechanism of tracking a lost mobile, than lodging an FIR and then asking the operator as well as the mobile manufacturer for blocking the stolen mobile.

I guess, with more of these thefts, we must device some way to track down these gadgets. And also people must realise that a lost mobile can be (and probably will be) used for unlawful activities. As law abiding citizens we must do all that is possible to avert such misuse. Thus, a theft of a communication device must be taken seriously.

In the end, i could not (and probably can't - at least for the time being) trace the lost mobile but at least brought a slender smile. :)