07 November, 2010

Eco Warriors

Today's Times of India has an interesting article on people who try to do their bit to preserve the environment in innovative ways. Excerpts.

Happiness in Innerwear
Quite hooked to the idea of ayur vastra, former journalist Rajiv Rai Sachdev launched his organic range of clothes that contain extracts of neem, basil leaves and flecks of silver to keep the wearer safe from bacterial infections. Based on the age-old principles of natural healing by improving the body’s aura and balancing of chakras, Sachdev’s clothing range, including underwear are designed to boost the body’s
natural resistance and healing powers. Says Sachdev, “Demand from the US and Europe is huge, but sadly, in my own country, people spend huge amounts on cosmetics and medicines, if only they realised that wearing the right fabric would solve half the problems.”

Cool Pool
While battling the concrete jungle to reach office in his friends’ cars, Bangalore based software developer Vipul Kasera realised how smooth and carbon-free his
city would be if people decided car pool. Thus Commute Easy, an online car pool campaign, was launched three years ago. Kasera today has 15,000 users in Bangalore itself who look for car pool services. He has tied up with corporate offices and schools, wherein professionals and children from the same locality can commute together.

Merry Potter
Mansukh Prajapati, a clay potter from Gujarat, invented a first-of-a-kind refrigerator that is made out of terracotta, works without electricity, costs around Rs 2,500! Called Mitti Cool, it keeps food, vegetables, even milk, fresh for days.
Prajapati’s bigger success is his Rs 45 nonstick frying pan made of clay. A crusader for awareness, Prajapati has enriched the world with common-sense products.

10 years of life aboard International Space Station -The Hindu

Next week, Nasa will commemorate 10 years of life on the space station (the first residents arrived on 2 November 2000), but fewer than 200 people have first-hand knowledge of life on board. The longer the stint, the closer these veterans come to perfecting the art of life in freefall.

There is a subtle art to moving around without crashing into anything — or, more annoyingly, others — knocking computers, equipment and other objects off the walls to which they are attached with Velcro pads. The ability to form a mental map of the space station — and then rotate it in 3D to suit your perspective — is a priceless skill for an astronaut.

Each of the crew has a closet-like cabin where they can hook a sleeping bag to the wall and settle down for the night. Some strap pillows to their heads to make it feel more like lying down. Unsurprisingly, falling asleep can take some getting used to. Just as you are nodding off, you can feel as though you've fallen off a 10—storey building. One Russian crew member is renowned for doing without a sleeping bag and falling asleep wherever he ends the day.

01 November, 2010

Future Indian Internet Users

Even though right now only 1% of mobile phone users are using the Internet. India is going to be different than what we’ve seen in mature markets but also in emerging markets. It’s going to be predominantly a mobile experience since the PC penetration is low compared to mobile.

The report also talks about the language and literacy barriers -Global sites that want to keep the edge they already have in India, compared to some other emerging markets, will have to Indianize more than they have so far.

An interesting insight that the report said about 73% of people who go online in India spend time job hunting and the other thing that’s big there is matrimonial which is a very unique Indian thing.

Making money from Indians on the Internet? That’s an even harder proposition. Internet users are much more likely to pay for online services than for content though Indian and Indonesian users are quite reluctant to pay at all, said the report.

Read the full report