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Is technology hyped or critical to success in our highly interconnected world?

Entrepreneurship - A blog  ››   Technology

6 blogs
  • 12 Dec 2017
    Appreciating more than 50% in just a couple of days, BitCoin climbed past $16,000 for the first time this week. CME Group, launched the first BitCoin futures contract on Dec 10, making it possible for BitCoin aspirants to trade in BitCoin or as one of the economist termed it - “Speculate with BitCoin”. BitCoin in 2013 saw a similar meteoric rise, hitting peak of over $1,100 in November and then plummeted to $300 in Dec 2014.  So why do we have this excitement again around the crypto-currency?   To understand this let us look at Blockchain, the underlying technology of BitCoin.  Blockchain is transformational as it allows decentralized transactions without the need for trust or for a central authority to manage it. So you can create digital contracts that are verified by the peers and settled by the system without any ambiguity and cost. With conventional central data storage, the central authority controls the underlying database or ledger. Consequently, it also controls what other entities are permitted to contribute. Blockchain allows this data to be held by multiple independent entities that are naturally permitted to contribute. All entities that participate in distributed data storage form a network of so-called nodes or peers. All nodes agree upon a common truth through a consensus mechanism. There are two types of technologies prevailing in the market – Permissionless and Permissioned. Permissionless, such as BitCoin are public ledgers whereas permissioned such as Hyperledger are private and restrictive. Blockchain also allows you to potentially transact in assets across categories.     “BitCoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate.” - Marc Andreessen   As in the statement above, BitCoin has become a term synonymous with its underlying technology and thus the momentum and speculation seen in the market today.  Roger Ver, CEO of BitCoin.com, said on CNBC's Fast Money, "I think in the short run it can run up a lot more, but it's no longer a crypt-currency. It's just a game of hot potato at this point, and games of hot potatoes can go on for a long time, and lots of people can pump a lot of money into it and it might go on for even decades. But as far as it being used as money, the developers behind that have destroyed that at this point."   One of the early investors in BitCoin, Roger, simply implies that the speculations are running high. The development of the technology and its parallels created in the industry will eventually see BitCoin competing for technology rather than its value as a currency. So Blockchain is the name of the game and that is why very smart people are focusing on it. Imagine all your land records, bank accounts, properties, stock trades and physical goods facilitated through Blockchain smart contracts. You will have billions and billions of dollars of efficiency gains creating value for everyone in the system.   A lot of proponents of the BitCoin claim, that BitCoin will make Central Banks redundant and that’s the genesis of it. The point that many of them forget is that Central Banks do not exist to print money, but to manage the monetary policy. Imagine yourself in 2007, at the middle of global economic crisis.  To create liquidity, would you allow BitCoin owners to pump more BitCoins into the global financial system? The moment BitCoin attempts to do something like that, we will likely see it being wiped off as a currency. Central banks have two mandates – (i) Control Inflation (ii) Manage Monetary factors (Interest rates & Liquidity) for growth. None of these can be achieved by any crypto-currency, unless Central Banks themselves are at the helm of the crypto-currency. Time has come for the Central Banks to look at Blockchain as a technology for managing the monetary policy.   We see a new virtual currency being announced every day and we will see many more coming before the global financial system transforms itself into Blockchain. The value creation for most such systems will be the transaction fees they charge in their native crypto- currencies to facilitate the Blockchain trades. Then we have the Crypto-currency Exchanges that facilitate trading of virtual currencies. If you are looking at investing, consider investing into either a Blockchain technology or a Crypto-currency Exchange, as the gains will likely be far more than investing in BitCoin or Ethers.
    389 Posted by Expert Advisor
  • Appreciating more than 50% in just a couple of days, BitCoin climbed past $16,000 for the first time this week. CME Group, launched the first BitCoin futures contract on Dec 10, making it possible for BitCoin aspirants to trade in BitCoin or as one of the economist termed it - “Speculate with BitCoin”. BitCoin in 2013 saw a similar meteoric rise, hitting peak of over $1,100 in November and then plummeted to $300 in Dec 2014.  So why do we have this excitement again around the crypto-currency?   To understand this let us look at Blockchain, the underlying technology of BitCoin.  Blockchain is transformational as it allows decentralized transactions without the need for trust or for a central authority to manage it. So you can create digital contracts that are verified by the peers and settled by the system without any ambiguity and cost. With conventional central data storage, the central authority controls the underlying database or ledger. Consequently, it also controls what other entities are permitted to contribute. Blockchain allows this data to be held by multiple independent entities that are naturally permitted to contribute. All entities that participate in distributed data storage form a network of so-called nodes or peers. All nodes agree upon a common truth through a consensus mechanism. There are two types of technologies prevailing in the market – Permissionless and Permissioned. Permissionless, such as BitCoin are public ledgers whereas permissioned such as Hyperledger are private and restrictive. Blockchain also allows you to potentially transact in assets across categories.     “BitCoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate.” - Marc Andreessen   As in the statement above, BitCoin has become a term synonymous with its underlying technology and thus the momentum and speculation seen in the market today.  Roger Ver, CEO of BitCoin.com, said on CNBC's Fast Money, "I think in the short run it can run up a lot more, but it's no longer a crypt-currency. It's just a game of hot potato at this point, and games of hot potatoes can go on for a long time, and lots of people can pump a lot of money into it and it might go on for even decades. But as far as it being used as money, the developers behind that have destroyed that at this point."   One of the early investors in BitCoin, Roger, simply implies that the speculations are running high. The development of the technology and its parallels created in the industry will eventually see BitCoin competing for technology rather than its value as a currency. So Blockchain is the name of the game and that is why very smart people are focusing on it. Imagine all your land records, bank accounts, properties, stock trades and physical goods facilitated through Blockchain smart contracts. You will have billions and billions of dollars of efficiency gains creating value for everyone in the system.   A lot of proponents of the BitCoin claim, that BitCoin will make Central Banks redundant and that’s the genesis of it. The point that many of them forget is that Central Banks do not exist to print money, but to manage the monetary policy. Imagine yourself in 2007, at the middle of global economic crisis.  To create liquidity, would you allow BitCoin owners to pump more BitCoins into the global financial system? The moment BitCoin attempts to do something like that, we will likely see it being wiped off as a currency. Central banks have two mandates – (i) Control Inflation (ii) Manage Monetary factors (Interest rates & Liquidity) for growth. None of these can be achieved by any crypto-currency, unless Central Banks themselves are at the helm of the crypto-currency. Time has come for the Central Banks to look at Blockchain as a technology for managing the monetary policy.   We see a new virtual currency being announced every day and we will see many more coming before the global financial system transforms itself into Blockchain. The value creation for most such systems will be the transaction fees they charge in their native crypto- currencies to facilitate the Blockchain trades. Then we have the Crypto-currency Exchanges that facilitate trading of virtual currencies. If you are looking at investing, consider investing into either a Blockchain technology or a Crypto-currency Exchange, as the gains will likely be far more than investing in BitCoin or Ethers.
    Dec 12, 2017 389
  • 22 Jun 2017
    Ask someone remotely tracking technology about the next big thing that will reshape the world and most likely the answer will be “Artificial Intelligence”.  If your next question is – “You mean Machine Learning?” – You are likely to get a shot back – Aren’t they one and the same thing?  That’s precisely the status of the so called AI chat bots in the market today. The concept used is machine learning based on data warehouses and the flaw is a lack of understanding of human neural networks that lead to human mood swings and behavior changes. The absence of this inherent human intelligence gives them the reputation of being “Silly” – Remotely what “Artificial Intelligence” is destined to be. Most AI chat bots currently in the market are unsophisticated and repeat a set script dependent on what is typed into the chat boxes. As are the genuine advances, so is the hype, where almost 30,000 chat bots were launched soon after Facebook opened its messenger APIs.   The next rung of chat bots will move away from ‘forced flow’ to ‘recommended flow' and 'Spatial Intelligence'. They will recognize constraints and develop a solution most appropriate in the given circumstances. If a user is restricted to what you want him to do, and the way you want him to, he would quickly lose interest and in all probability, not come back to you again. Upcoming chatbots will be able to guide the user and indulge in human emotions. The recipe for success will be engaging and building trust by leveraging the power of conversations. This will be the first step for evolution of ‘Artificial Intelligence”.   So what exactly is Artificial Intelligence? Can it mimic all the functions of a human brain? What is the proper form of mathematics that may capture the operation of minds and brains? What about consciousness, sense of self & ethical conduct? Though the technology today is rudimentary, it is evolving fast to prepare the stage where machines will be “smart” with human IQ, EQ and HQ.   In 2015, AI became the next technological wave when Google paid US$400 million to acquire Deep Minds, a company working on training a machine to figure out natural language and instructions. Past two years have seen dozens of Artificial Intelligence startups in healthcare and education being acquired by global giants. The quest is to develop a blue print of the best of the human minds and the first step in this process of evolution is “conversation”- natural conversation. It requires a bot to combine its understanding of the conversation with its knowledge of the world to produce a new sentence that perfectly fits the situation and helps it achieve its goals. Natural conversations will help build the knowledge platform for the future of what I call as “Artificial Intelligence” with machines that can replace humans on any given task. That’s a process called “deep reinforcement learning” that will lead to what many call as second industrial revolution. Deep Reinforcement Learning will utilize a combination of neural networks, on open AI platforms, to devise an artificial human brain capable of undertaking complex tasks such as detecting the real intent of the person that it is speaking to.   As the AI technology evolves, its increased sophistication has been admitted to be a cause to both celebrate and worry. It is forecasted that by 2030, NY Times will be printed end to end by AI Bots.  Professor Stephen Hawking warns that the age of Terminators is coming, where machines will rise up and overtake humans in the evolutionary race.
    625 Posted by Expert Advisor
  • Ask someone remotely tracking technology about the next big thing that will reshape the world and most likely the answer will be “Artificial Intelligence”.  If your next question is – “You mean Machine Learning?” – You are likely to get a shot back – Aren’t they one and the same thing?  That’s precisely the status of the so called AI chat bots in the market today. The concept used is machine learning based on data warehouses and the flaw is a lack of understanding of human neural networks that lead to human mood swings and behavior changes. The absence of this inherent human intelligence gives them the reputation of being “Silly” – Remotely what “Artificial Intelligence” is destined to be. Most AI chat bots currently in the market are unsophisticated and repeat a set script dependent on what is typed into the chat boxes. As are the genuine advances, so is the hype, where almost 30,000 chat bots were launched soon after Facebook opened its messenger APIs.   The next rung of chat bots will move away from ‘forced flow’ to ‘recommended flow' and 'Spatial Intelligence'. They will recognize constraints and develop a solution most appropriate in the given circumstances. If a user is restricted to what you want him to do, and the way you want him to, he would quickly lose interest and in all probability, not come back to you again. Upcoming chatbots will be able to guide the user and indulge in human emotions. The recipe for success will be engaging and building trust by leveraging the power of conversations. This will be the first step for evolution of ‘Artificial Intelligence”.   So what exactly is Artificial Intelligence? Can it mimic all the functions of a human brain? What is the proper form of mathematics that may capture the operation of minds and brains? What about consciousness, sense of self & ethical conduct? Though the technology today is rudimentary, it is evolving fast to prepare the stage where machines will be “smart” with human IQ, EQ and HQ.   In 2015, AI became the next technological wave when Google paid US$400 million to acquire Deep Minds, a company working on training a machine to figure out natural language and instructions. Past two years have seen dozens of Artificial Intelligence startups in healthcare and education being acquired by global giants. The quest is to develop a blue print of the best of the human minds and the first step in this process of evolution is “conversation”- natural conversation. It requires a bot to combine its understanding of the conversation with its knowledge of the world to produce a new sentence that perfectly fits the situation and helps it achieve its goals. Natural conversations will help build the knowledge platform for the future of what I call as “Artificial Intelligence” with machines that can replace humans on any given task. That’s a process called “deep reinforcement learning” that will lead to what many call as second industrial revolution. Deep Reinforcement Learning will utilize a combination of neural networks, on open AI platforms, to devise an artificial human brain capable of undertaking complex tasks such as detecting the real intent of the person that it is speaking to.   As the AI technology evolves, its increased sophistication has been admitted to be a cause to both celebrate and worry. It is forecasted that by 2030, NY Times will be printed end to end by AI Bots.  Professor Stephen Hawking warns that the age of Terminators is coming, where machines will rise up and overtake humans in the evolutionary race.
    Jun 22, 2017 625
  • 27 Apr 2017
    While mobile wallets are a buzz among start-ups in financial industry, HipBar has innovated a new concept in the food & beverage industry. Founded by Prasanna Natarajan , Prashant Adurty , Aprup Seth  and Anshul Seth;  the company is changing the way liquor industry operated in the past. Each one of the founder brings extensive experience in either hospitality or consulting and considering the growth potential of the market, their innovation is proving to be a game changer. The Hipbar app runs India’s first RBI-approved mobile wallet for adult beverages. Their app, HipBar, allows liquor connoisseurs to buy full bottles of their favourite booze and later redeem it in a network of restaurants or hotel across the country. It is an innovation that helps liquor companies promote their brands without being present at the point of sales. How does it work? Suppose you buy a bottle of expensive whisky for INR 5000 on Hipbar app, you can consume a small portion of, say, 30 ml in any bar. The hotel or bar will then charge you a portion of bottle consumed through the app. The app will immediately reflect a reduction in the volume of the bottle. The bottle of whisky that was purchased will stand as a prepaid instrument and its value will diminish as the customer opts to consume the whisky later on. Possibilities? Now when you buy a bottle on the app, brands can compete by offering direct discounts. True power of technology would reflect when people can offer you a drink in any pub across the country and pay through their app, without being physically present at the location. Treat your friend with his favourite drink at the location of his choice in New Delhi on his Birthday party, while you are driving car to the office in the city of New York. Sounds Exciting, isn’t it?   India has 150 million people who have the resources to purchase Liquor. However, 49% of this number are below the legal drinking age. The consumption patterns of people entering the legal purchasing age has been identified as the single most important driver of growth for the industry, and MNCs are hoping to reap the demographic dividends by putting India on top of the list. India’s earning population (over 25 years of age) is expected to grow from 40% of the total population to 55% of the total population by 2020. India is also the second-biggest smartphone market in the world and has surpassed USA in late 2015. The government of India is extremely supportive and pushing through legislation towards making India a ‘cash-less’ society. The number of young, upwardly mobile tech-savvy Indians with rising earnings potential and disposable incomes is increasing at a rapid pace. This group is digitally savvy, adopts to trends early and embraces modern technology with ease. All this adds to the potential that Hipbar or similar businesses have in the future. Currently, In Bengaluru, HipBar has over 50 retail stores and around 30 bars as part of its network. The HipBar app has witnessed daily bookings worth Rs. 1.5-2 lakh on weekdays which rises sharply during weekends. The app, however, undergoes strict KYC (Know Your Customer) details of users for age validation purpose. If the app captures even 5% of the Market share in major cities of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Goa, it can generate a revenue of over INR 10 Crores ( Commission)  in less than a year. If this expands to pan India, they could be rolling close to 100 Crores in less than 3 years and the potential globally is mind boggling. It is one start up that makes me wonder the potential of internet and digitization in general and blockchain in particular. Can we have something similar for everything that we consume today. If we do, you will be able to barter your physical holdings of Item A with that of Item B without requiring transaction of a single rupee. Look at the cost savings it will offer in terms of placing something on sale, finding a potential customer or transportation and logistics. Even more, central banks will save on printing currencies and banks will only manage the net holding of money with money as just another form of personal holding.
    328 Posted by Suresh Kumar
  • While mobile wallets are a buzz among start-ups in financial industry, HipBar has innovated a new concept in the food & beverage industry. Founded by Prasanna Natarajan , Prashant Adurty , Aprup Seth  and Anshul Seth;  the company is changing the way liquor industry operated in the past. Each one of the founder brings extensive experience in either hospitality or consulting and considering the growth potential of the market, their innovation is proving to be a game changer. The Hipbar app runs India’s first RBI-approved mobile wallet for adult beverages. Their app, HipBar, allows liquor connoisseurs to buy full bottles of their favourite booze and later redeem it in a network of restaurants or hotel across the country. It is an innovation that helps liquor companies promote their brands without being present at the point of sales. How does it work? Suppose you buy a bottle of expensive whisky for INR 5000 on Hipbar app, you can consume a small portion of, say, 30 ml in any bar. The hotel or bar will then charge you a portion of bottle consumed through the app. The app will immediately reflect a reduction in the volume of the bottle. The bottle of whisky that was purchased will stand as a prepaid instrument and its value will diminish as the customer opts to consume the whisky later on. Possibilities? Now when you buy a bottle on the app, brands can compete by offering direct discounts. True power of technology would reflect when people can offer you a drink in any pub across the country and pay through their app, without being physically present at the location. Treat your friend with his favourite drink at the location of his choice in New Delhi on his Birthday party, while you are driving car to the office in the city of New York. Sounds Exciting, isn’t it?   India has 150 million people who have the resources to purchase Liquor. However, 49% of this number are below the legal drinking age. The consumption patterns of people entering the legal purchasing age has been identified as the single most important driver of growth for the industry, and MNCs are hoping to reap the demographic dividends by putting India on top of the list. India’s earning population (over 25 years of age) is expected to grow from 40% of the total population to 55% of the total population by 2020. India is also the second-biggest smartphone market in the world and has surpassed USA in late 2015. The government of India is extremely supportive and pushing through legislation towards making India a ‘cash-less’ society. The number of young, upwardly mobile tech-savvy Indians with rising earnings potential and disposable incomes is increasing at a rapid pace. This group is digitally savvy, adopts to trends early and embraces modern technology with ease. All this adds to the potential that Hipbar or similar businesses have in the future. Currently, In Bengaluru, HipBar has over 50 retail stores and around 30 bars as part of its network. The HipBar app has witnessed daily bookings worth Rs. 1.5-2 lakh on weekdays which rises sharply during weekends. The app, however, undergoes strict KYC (Know Your Customer) details of users for age validation purpose. If the app captures even 5% of the Market share in major cities of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Goa, it can generate a revenue of over INR 10 Crores ( Commission)  in less than a year. If this expands to pan India, they could be rolling close to 100 Crores in less than 3 years and the potential globally is mind boggling. It is one start up that makes me wonder the potential of internet and digitization in general and blockchain in particular. Can we have something similar for everything that we consume today. If we do, you will be able to barter your physical holdings of Item A with that of Item B without requiring transaction of a single rupee. Look at the cost savings it will offer in terms of placing something on sale, finding a potential customer or transportation and logistics. Even more, central banks will save on printing currencies and banks will only manage the net holding of money with money as just another form of personal holding.
    Apr 27, 2017 328
  • 24 Apr 2017
    Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.   Virtual Reality environment can be experienced through VR Headsets which were released in the last two years. Such headsets are offered in high and low-end pricing differentiated based on quality, detail, power and the device of use.   The face of VR headsets have been the more powerful ones like Oculus Rift which is now owned by Facebook and PlayStation VR owned by Sony. HTC in collaboration with the PC games giant Valve, released HTC Vive which is better than both in a few features and is proving to be a tough competitor. Even Microsoft is expected to come up with a headset named Windows 10 VR in the second half of 2017 priced between $300 and $400.   Its current competitors Rift, PlayStation VR and Vive are priced at $599, $399 and $799 respectively.   According to a New York Times interview in last month, PlayStation VR has had the most success and has sold 915,000 units in four months from its listing. Sony is on the track to beat its initial sales estimates of 1 million in six months. This success can be attributed to the low price as well as its alignment with the PlayStation 4, which is already owned by a lot of consumers. Whereas Rift and Vive, which are already pricier require a high-specification PC which involves high additional expenditure from the point of view of a consumer plus the unavailability of enough VR content on PCs makes doesn’t make the expense worthwhile.             Source: SuperData However, inexpensive VR headsets meant for experiencing VR in smartphones dominated the market with Samsung Gear accounting for more than 70% of the total VR headsets sold or 5 million units in 2016. Google DayDream view and Google Cardboard are the other headsets in this category. Daydream performed admirably as it sold 260,000 units even after being released in late 2016.   Gear VR, Google DayDream view and Google Cardboard are priced at $99, $79 and $15 respectively.   Smartphone-powered VR headsets are the most accessible on the market and will be the first category to see significant adoption. That's because they rely on a smartphone docked within the headset to power the experience, rather than PCs or consoles.  This segment accounted for roughly 66% of total VR shipments in 2016, according to BI Intelligence estimates.  These headsets have been the first point of engagement for the VR curious consumers as they get to try the technology without spending much.   Successful trial of such low-end VR headsets and the gradual reduction in the price of more immersive headsets may lead to adoption of the more expensive and sophisticated ones, as expected by the industry.   Developing better content for smartphone-powered headsets will be key in maintaining this growth over time as the more immersive headsets have had an increasing amount of content.   VR headsets hold potential in terms of usage in industries such as military, healthcare and others where more detailed and interactive simulations are required. 2016 saw for the first time the use of the technology for surgery and in a courtroom.
    295 Posted by Abhishek Kwatra
  • Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.   Virtual Reality environment can be experienced through VR Headsets which were released in the last two years. Such headsets are offered in high and low-end pricing differentiated based on quality, detail, power and the device of use.   The face of VR headsets have been the more powerful ones like Oculus Rift which is now owned by Facebook and PlayStation VR owned by Sony. HTC in collaboration with the PC games giant Valve, released HTC Vive which is better than both in a few features and is proving to be a tough competitor. Even Microsoft is expected to come up with a headset named Windows 10 VR in the second half of 2017 priced between $300 and $400.   Its current competitors Rift, PlayStation VR and Vive are priced at $599, $399 and $799 respectively.   According to a New York Times interview in last month, PlayStation VR has had the most success and has sold 915,000 units in four months from its listing. Sony is on the track to beat its initial sales estimates of 1 million in six months. This success can be attributed to the low price as well as its alignment with the PlayStation 4, which is already owned by a lot of consumers. Whereas Rift and Vive, which are already pricier require a high-specification PC which involves high additional expenditure from the point of view of a consumer plus the unavailability of enough VR content on PCs makes doesn’t make the expense worthwhile.             Source: SuperData However, inexpensive VR headsets meant for experiencing VR in smartphones dominated the market with Samsung Gear accounting for more than 70% of the total VR headsets sold or 5 million units in 2016. Google DayDream view and Google Cardboard are the other headsets in this category. Daydream performed admirably as it sold 260,000 units even after being released in late 2016.   Gear VR, Google DayDream view and Google Cardboard are priced at $99, $79 and $15 respectively.   Smartphone-powered VR headsets are the most accessible on the market and will be the first category to see significant adoption. That's because they rely on a smartphone docked within the headset to power the experience, rather than PCs or consoles.  This segment accounted for roughly 66% of total VR shipments in 2016, according to BI Intelligence estimates.  These headsets have been the first point of engagement for the VR curious consumers as they get to try the technology without spending much.   Successful trial of such low-end VR headsets and the gradual reduction in the price of more immersive headsets may lead to adoption of the more expensive and sophisticated ones, as expected by the industry.   Developing better content for smartphone-powered headsets will be key in maintaining this growth over time as the more immersive headsets have had an increasing amount of content.   VR headsets hold potential in terms of usage in industries such as military, healthcare and others where more detailed and interactive simulations are required. 2016 saw for the first time the use of the technology for surgery and in a courtroom.
    Apr 24, 2017 295
  • 27 May 2016
    There’s a new way people are travelling.  More people prefer paperless ticketing, and rely on GPS on their smart phone and Google Map to guide them on-the-go. True, some of the digital natives, the Facebook generation may have arrived there, but more of their inventive tech-smart gadget guzzling folks are upping the ante.   The new travel trend: Listen to the marketers, but trust the consumers. In other words, a lot of people now are willing to put their money on the faith of utter strangers who share their travel experiences in online forums, theme-based blogs, and such other stuff. Full page ads, colourful spreadsheets and high decibel campaigns by big-ticket travel companies and even the good word from the familiar neighbourly travel agent cannot match the power of the “real experience” shared by a fellow traveller.   Off-beat travel destinations that are really off the map and not visible to mainstream market are a hot ticket now – and sells mostly on account of word-of-mouth or online forums. Vishal, a HR professional had a unforgettable holiday of his life spending a night at a ghost-friendly (?) house, tucked away in the interiors of one of the coffee estates dotting a village near Chickmagalur in Karnataka. It was not Cox & Kings or any travel agent who gave him the dope on this, but a Facebook chum he has never met in his life. Of course, conventional logic says you can’t trust strangers, but today people are gotten smart to say it’s better than trusting interested marketers!   Not unexpectedly, the market is carefully studying and going by the psychology of the now-generation which is more demanding and unpredictable. This explains another emerging trend - the rise of no-frills fares to woo the tourists at the bottom of the pyramid, who ironically are slowly but steadily getting increasingly upstream in terms of volumes. Business travellers are exploring more varied modes of travel. Trends like convenience-themed hotels and dial-a-car have gained a certain acceptability in the market after garnering a critical mass of popularity. But catching up with these are other novel travel trends like customized SOHO (small office, home office) home-stays and alternative accommodations. Solo travel too is gaining traction, mainly among those who have more disposable income and also are discovering a latent passion for travel and exploring new places.   What of the next big thing in electronics? It’s well a deluge, where the sky is no more the limit. The only limit is the extent of imagination. Something like If You Think, You Can. After spending more than a quarter of your active workday working through chaotic traffic jams and going to office and back home with a mind full of road rage, every day, you dream of a driver-less car. But wait: The amber signal is on! They could hit the streets tomorrow, and not the day after. Already, self-parking cars are a reality.   To improve the ease of living better, we are going to see a variety of wearable devices in the form of simple plastic bracelets that help people track their daily activities, such as exercise and sleep. Hot on the take in the days to come are emerging technologies enabling the next level development of holograms, robots, virtual reality, 3D printing and many more exciting products. Clearly, 3D is going to rule the entertainment industry and will become a daily reality for billions of people around the globe, at a cost that will be ridiculously low.   In simple terms, whether it is travel or electronics, expect more for less.
    316 Posted by Expert Advisor
  • There’s a new way people are travelling.  More people prefer paperless ticketing, and rely on GPS on their smart phone and Google Map to guide them on-the-go. True, some of the digital natives, the Facebook generation may have arrived there, but more of their inventive tech-smart gadget guzzling folks are upping the ante.   The new travel trend: Listen to the marketers, but trust the consumers. In other words, a lot of people now are willing to put their money on the faith of utter strangers who share their travel experiences in online forums, theme-based blogs, and such other stuff. Full page ads, colourful spreadsheets and high decibel campaigns by big-ticket travel companies and even the good word from the familiar neighbourly travel agent cannot match the power of the “real experience” shared by a fellow traveller.   Off-beat travel destinations that are really off the map and not visible to mainstream market are a hot ticket now – and sells mostly on account of word-of-mouth or online forums. Vishal, a HR professional had a unforgettable holiday of his life spending a night at a ghost-friendly (?) house, tucked away in the interiors of one of the coffee estates dotting a village near Chickmagalur in Karnataka. It was not Cox & Kings or any travel agent who gave him the dope on this, but a Facebook chum he has never met in his life. Of course, conventional logic says you can’t trust strangers, but today people are gotten smart to say it’s better than trusting interested marketers!   Not unexpectedly, the market is carefully studying and going by the psychology of the now-generation which is more demanding and unpredictable. This explains another emerging trend - the rise of no-frills fares to woo the tourists at the bottom of the pyramid, who ironically are slowly but steadily getting increasingly upstream in terms of volumes. Business travellers are exploring more varied modes of travel. Trends like convenience-themed hotels and dial-a-car have gained a certain acceptability in the market after garnering a critical mass of popularity. But catching up with these are other novel travel trends like customized SOHO (small office, home office) home-stays and alternative accommodations. Solo travel too is gaining traction, mainly among those who have more disposable income and also are discovering a latent passion for travel and exploring new places.   What of the next big thing in electronics? It’s well a deluge, where the sky is no more the limit. The only limit is the extent of imagination. Something like If You Think, You Can. After spending more than a quarter of your active workday working through chaotic traffic jams and going to office and back home with a mind full of road rage, every day, you dream of a driver-less car. But wait: The amber signal is on! They could hit the streets tomorrow, and not the day after. Already, self-parking cars are a reality.   To improve the ease of living better, we are going to see a variety of wearable devices in the form of simple plastic bracelets that help people track their daily activities, such as exercise and sleep. Hot on the take in the days to come are emerging technologies enabling the next level development of holograms, robots, virtual reality, 3D printing and many more exciting products. Clearly, 3D is going to rule the entertainment industry and will become a daily reality for billions of people around the globe, at a cost that will be ridiculously low.   In simple terms, whether it is travel or electronics, expect more for less.
    May 27, 2016 316
  • 23 May 2016
    The rumours about the demise of BitCoin are largely exaggerated, is a statement that could well have been issued by the company. Guess how many times BitCoin has been declared dead?  89 times or so! And even through its “existence” it has gone through a lashing that is virtually unprecedented. Critics have wrung it dry assailing it as a Ponzi scheme, a failed experiment, the favourite of terrorists, drug peddlers, and so on and so forth. But BitCoin, warts and barbs et al, continues floundering between being the coin of the new realm or the new coin of the realm (Reader alert: Spot the difference!).     Before we go crystal gazing into its future, here’s a brief recap of its present. BitCoin was created as a digital currency in 2009 supposedly by a “mysterious” software developer who goes by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, It is not printed currency, but currency created on computers by a global community network. It can be used for making any purchases online.   Bitcoins are stored in a “digital wallet” over the Internet or on the user’s computer. Their USP is there are no banks that offer this currency. There are no fees to procure it. They are not (up to now) regulated by any governmental or central authority. They are available in limited supply. They cannot be printed like traditional currency. They allow for anonymous purchases. They are under the total control of people who use them. Put all of these together and you get a currency that is really “democratic” in nature.   BitCoin’s future is very much alive and kicking. If FaceBook has grown to become bigger than the world’s population in less than 12 years, BitCoin’s journey through its middling seven years – for all its controversies – is still on a learning curve and can leapfrog similarly if it is able to ace its worries on the technical front, become more user-friendly and appealing to an ordinary individual, become more secure and address all genuine and worrisome issues on the wrong side of law its use can lead to.   Interestingly, BitCoin continues to be hot money. For some time now, one of the easiest ways to get funding is to start a bitcoin company. This is particularly true if you were a prospective wallet provider, a remittance or a payment processing company. You would find no dearth of investors to source capital.   The international community of money bags have a nose for what’s likely to sell in the market. This doesn’t mean that they cannot err and go after a wrong scent sometimes. The fact is the number of BitCoin users and the turnover of transactions they make are growing by leaps and bounds. And this is significant because the increase is despite its current limitation viz. BitCoin can only handle about 3 transactions per second (TPS).   Analysts smell potential in this. It BitCoin can increase its TPS, it can become the preferred payment protocol for all online transactions.   According to tech experts in the software developing community, BitCoin in its present form is a throwback to the pre-web browser 1992 era internet. Right now it uses the base layer protocol (TCP/IP) which is stable. But now its Version 2.0 is getting ready with its engineers working on the building the second layer (HTTP). All this is expected to make BitCoin usable for average people and machines. That could be the tipping point when it will dramatically scale. However there’s more work to be done, like creating a rock-solid secure platform and gaining the credibility that it is perceived to lack among users and regulatory authorities.   If and when BitCoin becomes pure play, the world will be ready to welcome it with open arms.
    319 Posted by Expert Advisor
  • The rumours about the demise of BitCoin are largely exaggerated, is a statement that could well have been issued by the company. Guess how many times BitCoin has been declared dead?  89 times or so! And even through its “existence” it has gone through a lashing that is virtually unprecedented. Critics have wrung it dry assailing it as a Ponzi scheme, a failed experiment, the favourite of terrorists, drug peddlers, and so on and so forth. But BitCoin, warts and barbs et al, continues floundering between being the coin of the new realm or the new coin of the realm (Reader alert: Spot the difference!).     Before we go crystal gazing into its future, here’s a brief recap of its present. BitCoin was created as a digital currency in 2009 supposedly by a “mysterious” software developer who goes by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, It is not printed currency, but currency created on computers by a global community network. It can be used for making any purchases online.   Bitcoins are stored in a “digital wallet” over the Internet or on the user’s computer. Their USP is there are no banks that offer this currency. There are no fees to procure it. They are not (up to now) regulated by any governmental or central authority. They are available in limited supply. They cannot be printed like traditional currency. They allow for anonymous purchases. They are under the total control of people who use them. Put all of these together and you get a currency that is really “democratic” in nature.   BitCoin’s future is very much alive and kicking. If FaceBook has grown to become bigger than the world’s population in less than 12 years, BitCoin’s journey through its middling seven years – for all its controversies – is still on a learning curve and can leapfrog similarly if it is able to ace its worries on the technical front, become more user-friendly and appealing to an ordinary individual, become more secure and address all genuine and worrisome issues on the wrong side of law its use can lead to.   Interestingly, BitCoin continues to be hot money. For some time now, one of the easiest ways to get funding is to start a bitcoin company. This is particularly true if you were a prospective wallet provider, a remittance or a payment processing company. You would find no dearth of investors to source capital.   The international community of money bags have a nose for what’s likely to sell in the market. This doesn’t mean that they cannot err and go after a wrong scent sometimes. The fact is the number of BitCoin users and the turnover of transactions they make are growing by leaps and bounds. And this is significant because the increase is despite its current limitation viz. BitCoin can only handle about 3 transactions per second (TPS).   Analysts smell potential in this. It BitCoin can increase its TPS, it can become the preferred payment protocol for all online transactions.   According to tech experts in the software developing community, BitCoin in its present form is a throwback to the pre-web browser 1992 era internet. Right now it uses the base layer protocol (TCP/IP) which is stable. But now its Version 2.0 is getting ready with its engineers working on the building the second layer (HTTP). All this is expected to make BitCoin usable for average people and machines. That could be the tipping point when it will dramatically scale. However there’s more work to be done, like creating a rock-solid secure platform and gaining the credibility that it is perceived to lack among users and regulatory authorities.   If and when BitCoin becomes pure play, the world will be ready to welcome it with open arms.
    May 23, 2016 319