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Showing posts from May, 2013

Can Yahoo re-invent itself?

Rewind to 1999, a year when I was just starting my career as a researcher. I was doing my very first piece of digital research - understanding Indian internet users, at a stage when usage was gradually becoming wide scale. 

Believe it or not, in those days, we had PCs in office, but they did not have an internet connection! And I used to go to the cyber cafe around the corner on weekends to pass a couple of hours. It's hard for me to believe that such an existence was possible. Actually, I remember being quite happy, sociable and active. But I digress.

So I was talking about doing research among internet users and the name of one portal was on everyone's lips - Yahoo. Yahoo was the gateway to the internet for literally every first time user that we spoke to. And the very first action of a first time internet user (often with a friend perched on a stool next to him at the cyber cafe) was to create a Yahoo! Mail account. It was the go-to sites for jokes (and was responsible for al…

In the future, an Xbox may replace your PC

I am not a gamer and I have never really been tempted to pick up a console till date. The latest Xbox One from Microsoft may cause me to change my mind though. Touted as a single device to meet all entertainment needs, the Xbox One is much more  than a gaming console. It is Microsoft's attempt to colonise the living room, while Windows Phone struggles to take off, the Surface Pro tablet flops and PC sales continue to slide in double digits globally. The Xbox One could be Microsoft's real centre of dominance in the Post PC Era. Here are some reasons why:

1. Conquest of the TV screen

First of all, Microsoft positions the device as a 'new generation TV and movie system'. It adds voice and gesture support. It will login based on your voice and you can order it to switch to the TV. You can even tell it 'watch CBS' and it will switch on the channel for you. It supports multi-tasking - while watching a movie, you can bring up a side web panel and browse the web. Microso…

Croma Portable AirCon - a good solution for AC-proof homes

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Our family home in Pune is almost entirely AC proof. It has a large living room, an open plan kitchen and long passages. Of course, we installed a window AC in the master bedroom, but till now, we have postponed the installation of a split AC in any of the rooms. We would have required at least a 2 Tonne AC, but the inability to seal off the room would have made the cooling impractical and infeasible. Pune is blessed with a good climate and the old-style thick walled construction kept the interiors fairly cool. But climate change is real and the last two summers have been cruel and uncomfortably hot. This year, we had to install an aircon in summer and we came up with a decent solution - the Croma Portable Air Conditioner. It's a 3-in-1 airconditioner, air cooler and dehumidifier.





It may look like an air cooler but it is a proper aircon with a rotary compressor. As you can see it's a compact device, roughly 3 feet in height, and with a 16X16 inch footprint. It will not occupy t…