27 June, 2005

Blocking Visual Spam -Hindu

SeeFree has rolled out its `Visual Spam Blocking System', which uses technology to filter out `visual spam.' SeeFree spectacles provide users with the ability to see the world as it would look — without billboards, signs and other commercial visual spam, thus allowing the user to focus only on the objects that he wants to see. The spectacles, resembling cool sunglasses, are fitted with an electronic binocular see-through device.

Its `brain' is a sophisticated microprocessor system that processes all visual information in your sight, in real time. This `image recognition system' can distinguish billboards, advertisements and the like from other visual elements. After the system has recognised the `unwanted' elements, it creates a `floating mask' according to their shapes to be overlapped to the actual view. In order to make the masked elements less contrasting and distracting, the system calculates the colour and brightness of the mask as an average to the surrounding areas.

01 June, 2005

Someone's checking up on you -ZdNet

Before you join an IT company, your past life will be probed thoroughly. V Narayan (name changed), 30, returned from the US and applied for a job at a Fortune 500 IT company in India. With impeccable credentials, he almost landed a project leader's post. But he had not told his future employer that he had been arrested for child molestation in the US. Narayan had assumed that the Indian company would never find this out. But it did. It had entrusted the task of screening him to Mumbai-based background screening company Quest Research.

What is checked...
  • Your general education background. Companies call up the university where you studied for your bachelor's or master's degree and check the records.

  • Your professional degree or certificates. Ditto, but this relates to your MBA degree or any certificates you may have obtained. The first point that's checked is whether your university is a recognised one.

  • Employment history. Companies call up all the companies you had worked for. Companies don't call the people you have given as references because these may be your friends. Instead, they call the HR department or others.

  • Criminal check. Companies check with the local police station and so on.

  • Address. Companies check whether you are staying at the address you mentioned in your application. They talk to your neighbours and so on.

The large IT companies now spend anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 6,000 per candidate, while mid size companies shell out between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000 per candidate

Investigations in India can take anywhere between 4 and 15 days per candidate. That's because information on individuals is not available at one place in India, unlike in the US where the social security number can provide leads on a person. 7 separate documents, ranging from the passport and driving licence to the ration card, identify an individual in India. Except for the passport, every document can be easily bought.