Sunday, March 15, 2009
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Lapidoth's talk: Matched filter done right
The afternoon session had two talks. One was by Shamai who talked about Broadcast approach in communication systems. It went over time. I thought I focussed well in the beginning to follow him, but partly because of the post lunch effect and partly because of the tiredeness I lost the flow. From what I understood, he outlined a lot of communication scenarios incorporating the broadcast strategy. Some examples were MIMO rate diversity trade off, ARQ, multilayer schemes etc. A lot the work seems to have gone in this direction, especially Suhas and Sanked etc (from the citation) and David Tse, Zheng Al-Dahir and Shamey himself. I am somewhat amazed by the areas Shamai worked on. He seems to have covered a broad spectrum of research and yet produced some stellar work.
After Shamai, it was an interesting talk by Amos Lapidoth. He presented handsomely. I was attentive enough to follow this. Also, it happened to be a talk of different kind. He talked about the well known Matched filter used in communication. He sort of started with a little story. The story of a man from a village, venturing out of that place with a mission to find the meaning of life. So he goes to the mountains with a resolve not to come back until he finds the meaning of life. So days passed, months passed and years passed. Even after 10 years no sign of him. Finally he comes back after 11 years or so. The whole village feels curious: Aha he has come back. They ask him, wow, you have figured out the meaning of life. Please share us what is it? He says, with a pause: Life is (he pauses again).... : Villages out of patience ask him, : " You please go on .. life is ...". The man completes and says " Life is like a train!". Then they ask what you mean by "life is like a train". Then to the surprise of the entire village he says, "may be not!".
That was simply amazing a prelude for the talk. The talk abstract is the following:
One of the key results of Digital Communications can be paraphrased very roughly as follows: "in guessing which of two deterministic signals is being observed in white Gaussian noise, the inner products between the observed waveform and each of the signals form a sufficient statistic. Consequently, it is optimal to base one's decision on these two inner products." It is surprising that this basic result is never formulated as a theorem in any of the textbooks on the subject. This may be because of the difficulties in defining white Gaussian noise, in defining sufficient statistics for waveform observations, and in relating sufficiency to optimal detection. In this talk I shall describe a number of approaches to formulating the above statement as a theorem and point out some of their shortcomings. I will finally describe my proposed approach, formulate the theorem, and prove it from first principles. The proposed approach does not rely on the Ito Calculus, on Brownian Motion, or on generalized stochastic processes. It does not introduce non-physical infinite-power noise processes. Moreover, it is suitable for rigorously treating colored noise.
He gave a counter example where we can do better than matched filter. He says a Gaussian noise, but choose a point at random where the noise is made zero. Since it is randomly chosen (the null point) he claims it is still Gaussian. To me, that will result in SNR to blow up to infinity. So, are we missing something. I cant wait to read the full paper presentation of this. Otherwise, it seem to be a very very interesting way to look at matched filter, without needing the sojourn mathematical machinery.
Anyway all these talks are available (schedule at the moment) at 
Saturday, July 12, 2008
iFixit: iPhone-3G inside view
Broadcom 1,Infineon 4,Intel 1,Linear Technology 1,Marvell 1,National Semiconductor 1,NXP 1,Samsung 1,Skyworks 1 (Man I wish this resurrect them),SST 1,ST Microelectronics1,Toshiba 1,Triquint 3 (Wow!),Wolfson 1.
Broadcom, Samsung and Infineon were expected. The surprise winners to me are Triquint and Skyworks. I wish this came earlier for Skyworks! If you look at Conexant at the moment (Skyworks spun off from Conexant earlier) it is pretty mazing how some leads turned up for them. Well, the market is quite demanding anyway. Ah, the surprise emission to me is CSR. I expected atleast for bluetooth they would have a winner there, but Marvell outwitted them with Bluetooth and WLAN!
Apparently, the pricing of this phone is pretty well done by Apple! Interestingly, there was huge rush even in Lausanne (Switzerland) where Swisscom had some offering day before yesterday.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Best of Man booker and the award goes to...
"I really have no regrets about any of my work. This is, as I say, an honour not for any specific book but for a very long career in writing and I'm happy to see that recognized".Let us also recollect that the same book (Midnight's Children), besides winning the Booker Prize in 1981 had also won the Booker of Bookers in 1993, which marked to honour the best Booker Prize winner in the first 25 years of the award. Now, this is still the best in 40 years. Pretty cool!
Aside, I am reading an interesting book now. A picked it from a friend's place last week and I found it a very very interesting read. The Afghan writer Khaled Hosseini, tells an amazing story. I am mid way through the book and I surely am going to write more about this later. As of now, I leave to remark that the book is about a young boy Amir born in an affluent family, who regrets in his later life for all the trouble he made to his trusted poor friend. I am thrilled by the story telling power of the writer. Simply superb (so far atleast). Interestingly, I saw a French translation of this book in one of the student house, a few weeks back. I am glad that, now I happily read the readable version!
Indian media: Too much of sensationalism
I am appalled by the way the Indian media went about sensationalizing this news. I can understand the many soap Indian yellow news channels (most of the Hindi news channels are just that) going this way. The two celebrated Indian news channels NDTV and CNN-IBN are just no better. Day in and out their journalists competed to present a set of tabloid style news with the quest to attract the greedy readers and audience. I say this with utter disappointment. Here is a girl, the only child to their parents and she is lost. There is investigation on going. It is a basic courtesy not to write stories about the victim's family without having enough substance to what they talk about. News readers and media can talk senselessly on any topic and feel happy for it. Their flash news are spread across the country like tabloids. There must be some integrity and social responsibility before they venture into such silly acts. I dont have a problem when they expose any irregularities in the investigation or any cover up. But they should not air their verdict as if they are the supreme, even before doing a proper evidence collection. After saying nonstop incorrect stories about the family, now they can simply accuse the police and CBI for all what happened. Look at the family. They lost her daughter, they are portrayed as villain to the public, they lost their social reputation and health. Man this is agonizing. Police and CBI can be questioned, later on for all wrong doing. They can still be brought to justice, for any harm they created, but who can question or challenge the media? They offer all kind of accusations, but they are the one who enjoy the freedom to tarnish anyone of their choice. This is not a good going for the channels which claim to have reputed journalists. Pity!
Wimbledon final, you beauty!
Coming back, to the Fedewx-Nadal final, I thought Fedex was not out of form at all. He served awesome and his backhand was as good as ever. Nadal served to Fedex body most of the time and he was aggressive from start as well. Because of the superior serve, Fedex always have this advantage on break points. If you look otherwise, Nadal owed more points and thus deservingly the champion. In the end, I am so glad to see the sort of respect they have for each other. Fedex humbly admitted and gave credits to Nadal, while Nadal was quick to praise Federer as the champion and as number one. Man, sporting spirit taken to a level. I am glad and happy that I follow this sport.
Aside, it has been a while I played tennis. The swiss summer is pretty nice, but my partner Adrian is away in Romania. May be I will get to play a bit in India during August-September. Exercise has been missing for a while. May be an hour of running around the lake side until Maladiere is a good idea. I need to plan my sleep and schedule to get that going. I hope I can do something about it soon starting next week.
Information theoretic Inequalities prover
The software is open source. If you are not bothered to compile and make an executable yourself, then please download the binary executable and just run. It is just a matter of double click in the latter case. We have Linux, Windows, Windows(Cygwin) and Mac versions available. There are two different linear programming software used. One is a Gnu open source GLPK and the other one is Qsopt (developed at Gatech). The Qsopt version is faster than the GLPK. Just in case you are obsessed with a perfect open source model, you could avail the GLPK  version.
Hopefully during this summer we will get to complete the pending work on this project. If any of you happen to find it interesting please don't forget to update us, on what you though about the software (Comments can be good, bad and ugly!).
Aside, I better mention this: Xitip is a software useful for proving (verifying) Information theoretic inequalities  only. Such inequalities contain expressions involving measures such as entropy, mutual information etc. It is a pretty handy tool if you are trying to prove some limiting bounds in information theory. In reality, there is broad classification of Shannon type and non-Shannon type inequalities. Non-Shannon type inequalities are not many, but they exist. Xitip at the moment is equipped to solve only the Shannon type inequalities. You can expect more information on this at the Xitip home page 
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
"la computadora" or "el computador"
Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.
"House" for instance, is feminine: "la casa."
"Pencil," however, is masculine: "el lapiz."
A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?"
Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun.
Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.
The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computadora") because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.
(THIS GETS BETTER!)
The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine ("el computador") because:
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves.
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time, the ARE the problem; and
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Meeting the Internet evangelist
Now, he took the EPFL audience to a highly enthralling talk filled with unique humour and history of the internet evolution and packet data transmission, and finally into some extra terrestrial feasibility of spreading the internet. Not surprisingly and octogenarians listener asked him whether we could eventually meet God one day and is that God Google itself?
Some of the interesting things he said, that would be seen in the internet evolution are
1) An Internet refrigerator
2) A space internet
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Since it was happening right under my noise and being free, it didn't hurt me to go and attend the series of presentations, by some leading researchers. Most of the topic of discussion happened to be in image processing,but there were few interesting connections to my interest in communication as well, especially the one from Kannan Ramachandran from Berkeley, when he talked about 'being unorganized" and "gossiping"
The event also presented me a chance to meet Professor Gilbert Strang. His influence on me is more than what I could describe in few lines or pages. I have began to appreciate linear algebra much more than I ever comprehended to be. He was a very nice person as well to talk. He gladly obliged to chat for a few minutes and I felt good to have got that opportunity. The pleasantness in his face reminiscent itself to the way he gets involved while giving the lecture.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Euclid's division theorem
Since we are in the age of programming, let us write the algorithmic steps, rather than the math: The original algorithm of Euclid is,
function gcd(a, b)But we can simply write this in modern algebraic terms as
while b ≠ 0
if a > b
a := a - b
b := b - a
function gcd(a, b)
if b = 0 return a
else return gcd(b, a mod b)
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Tribute to Pavarotti
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
The broadcom qualcomm fight
In the Broadcom-Qualcom case, Broadcom's concern is the way Qualcomm is monopolizing the CDMA technology leading to 3G cellular phones. According to them  the licensing arrangements of Qualcomm failed to provide fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory licensing terms to users of technology incorporated into telecommunications industry standards. Broadcom asserted that Qualcomm's licensing abuses included charging discriminatory royalties, collecting double royalties and demanding overly broad cross-license rights from its licensees, among other things.
The fun of quizzing: A touch here and there
I am not sure, whether my rational to quit quizzing in 2000 for the mere waste of time and insufficient depth in topic were all quite true. If I were to look back, the fun of quizzing created a huge data structure of events and topics where in I began to appreciate depth in few of the subject of my interest. If I were to be back in high school and undergrad, I should still do this. The fun of knowing this world, the people and the trivia are little too much to resist.
I composed the list I prepared for these events. They are uploaded here 
Some of the sample questions used are:
- Ys was an opulent mythical city. It was believed to be the most wonderful city in the world. When the city collapsed and the Romans decided to build a modern city, they wanted the newer one to be as equal if not more to Ys, in opulence and magnificence. The native ethnic Britons and the Romans thus called the
by this name, as it is known today. Which city am I talking about? new city
- This company was established in 1865 as a pulp, paper and rubber company on the bank of a river, from which the town and the company name itself derived. The name of the river itself originated from a dark fury animal which was known in the local language as the word, now given to the company. Knut Fredrick Idstam started this company. Later in the 1970s they have decided to venture into Communications and stormed into the world leadership. Which company am I talking about?
- Could you please tell me who the person on screen is? What is the significance of this presentation: Double points at stake: The 'e' is written little differently!
- Who said these words and to whom: I am speaking with you from the Oval Office of the White House and this certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made?
- This drink was originally named Bib-Label Lemon soda. Its inventor then considered and rejected 6 alternative names before deciding on the final name. Which drink?
- Edvige Antonia Albina Maino attended a certificate course in English at The Bell Educational Trust's language school in the city of
. There, she met her future husband who was studying at Cambridge Trinity College, . Her marriage to him in 1968 took her life on a course that would later see her being named as the" Third most powerful woman in the world" by the Forbes magazine in 2004. Identify the couple. Cambridge
- These are some of the facts about this company. Dead give away cluesJ
The capital amount collected – $2718281828 , Natural Logarithm, Napier constant e = 2.718281828
The total number of shares floated during initial public offer – 14142135 ( Square root of 2 = 1.4142135)
Total number of shares offered during second round of IPO – 14159265 (Pi = 3.14159265)
Just name this company
- In an effort to put together the perfect tennis player, World Tennis magazine once chose the arms of Martina Navratilova, the hands of Stefan Edberg, the shoulders of Gabriela Sabatini, the
torso of Ivan Lendl the mind of Michael Chang and my legs. Who am I?
- Cricket: Listen carefully though! Tell me, who is the only bowler who credit to have dismissed all the opposite side batsmen in a test match (Dismissed all the 11 players in either or both innings).
- Identify this city (See the image):
- By 1907, the term began to show up in high-profile women's magazines and eventually, around 1912, it appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary. Which term. The word derives from an Old French word meaning "arm protector" and referring to military uniform. This later became used for a military breast plate, and later for a type of woman's corset. Which term?
- I was born in 1852. My passions were mostly elliptic functions, integral equations, quadratic reciprocity, number theory etc. Unfortunately I was living my life during which there were lots of political struggle in
. I do believe that mathematics and research should not be influenced by Politics. As a result of my refusal to vote for the government's candidate in 1824 my pension was stopped and I died in poverty." This is what Abel had to say about me after my death. "He is an extremely amiable man, but unfortunately as old as the stones". "I believe that I am quite highly respected in the Higher mathematics world these days.". Who is this prolific mathematician? France
Monday, September 03, 2007
The plastic is such a messy waste that, most of the places in Bangalore are filled with the polythene covers. Many open garbages in the residential areas have piles of plastics. Interestingly some reports says that, the wandering cows in the city limits (I wonder why they are freely allowed to do so!) have their stomach filled with chunks of plastics. These cows easts the vegetable waste from garbage cylinders with lumps of plastic covers. This startling revelation came out when some of these cows were operated by the veterinary surgeons. A hugely worrying fact is that, their health is taken for a ride merely because of the insane attitude of we humans.
The class batsman Tendulkar
"Like Lara, he has scored runs all over the world. I have seen him run down the pitch and hit Glenn McGrath over the top for six, and I have seen him hit me for six against the spin going around the wicket"When the best spinner of all time, who has ever played the game of cricket says this, it means there is more than substance to it. Surely, Shane Warne knows what he is talking about. Anyone who has seen the Tendulkar era would rate him as one of the best batsman of his time, if not more. So, in my reading, Shane Warne got his assessment very neatly right. As the legendary spinner remarked, Tendulkar and Lara are two of the finest batsmen played during his playing era and there is only fine line separate these two. I personally, don't prefer to separate them. To me, both of them complimented very well, and at times very similar too. One a right hand bat, the other left handed. One more flamboyant, the other text book perfect. Both attacking and times impossible to dismiss. One had the expectation of a billion people, while the other was more rebellious and often busy composing a symphony of his own class and date with destiny.
In some way, this assessment of Shane warne must be kept along with the very similar remark Don Bradman made about Tendulkar ten years back. He was equally candid to state that Tendulkar was one current batsman, who nearly resembled the Don himself in technique and stroke play. Now, we have the two best best players of all time, one batsman and the other bowler agreeing when it comes to the finest batsman since Bradman. Not many would disagree. If they do, then it lacks substance and proper reasoning. If you really look at the critics of Tendulkar, they are all guys who pass remarks based on 2 or 3 failures in a series. For example, when India exited the 2007 world cup in the very first round, there were furies and sounds for his head. Mind you, only he was targeted. What is the rational for such huge clamour? He played 3 innings and scored only one 50. True, he failed in two innings and one of the loss was enough to pack the bags. That is not quite the reason to singularly blame a batsman of his class for the exit. Common fans reactions at times are expected because the expectations from Tendulkar when he go to bat for India is beyond what words could describe. They want him to score at least a 100 in fewer balls with a minimum of few sixes and some down the lane whack. They want him to this every single time he go out to bat. In the hey days, Tendulkar could hit Mcgrath for sixes with consistency, but that is not going be a practical norm for every match. To add more masala there will be occasional senseless remarks by people like Kapil Dev, who out of the blue try to belittle him with remarks like 'He never lived up to expectation'. Firstly, he gets it wrong when he uses the word 'never'. Perhaps he didn't drop in intentionally. Hindi to English translation perhaps change the meaning of the content considerably. Perhaps, but I don't know! Secondly, he must understand that, it is easy to throw wild criticism without facts. Someone become hero not because he/she does something once in a blue moon. They build on to prove their mettle time and again, over a considerable test of time. In Tendulkar case as well, he earned the respect of millions of cricket lovers because of the sheer performance on cricket field. Let us admit and enjoy his game, as much as you can.
Tendulkar and Lara are once in a while phenomena. Unfortunately Lara is not there in the big scene anymore. Thankfully we still have Tendulkar, at least for a few more years. While he is there we can cherish for some class on a cricket field. By no means, we can expect him to be a machine to do a routine bash job like a quad core processor. When he does it, it is one of those 'making it feel better' proud moments to enjoy a sport. Let us appreciate those moments. As they say, once he is gone from the scene, there wouldn't be too many such things in the pipe to hope for!
By the way, the list of Shane warne's top 50 positions are largely his observation. We must accept his rational. It is very hard to put a number to a player, because the measure is not quite always black and white. I for instance would consider Steve Waugh in top ten, when Warne consider him at 26th position behind Lehman. Steve Waugh was not merely a match saver to me. He was much broader in scope than Shane Warne's remarks. He might not have been as gifted and flamboyant as his brother younger by a minute, but he often fixed a high valued stamp for his wicket. That made it extra hard to get his wicket. One another aspect of Steve Waugh, I liked is his urge to push for a win, irrespective of the risk involved, at least at a majority of times.
The top 50 from Shane Warne's list of cricketers, from his playing era are 
50 Jamie Siddons
49 Darren Berry
48 Brian McMillan
47 Chris Cairns
46 Dilip Vengsarkar
45 Waqar Younis
44 Alec Stewart
43 Michael Atherton
42 Ravi Shastri
41 Justin Langer
40 Kapil Dev
39 Stuart MacGill
38 Sanath Jayasuriya
37 Stephen Harmison
36 Andy Flower
35 Michael Vaughan
34 Bruce Reid
33 Allan Donald
32 Robin Smith
31 Tim May
30 Kevin Pietersen
29 Shoaib Akhtar / Craig McDermott
28 Saeed Anwar / Mohammad Yousuf
27 Jacques Kallis / Shaun Pollock
26 Steve Waugh
25 Darren Lehmann
24 Brett Lee
23 Stephen Fleming
22 Martin Crowe
21 David Boon
20 Adam Gilchrist
19 Aravinda de Silva
18 Merv Hughes
17 Matthew Hayden
16 Andrew Flintoff
15 Graham Gooch
14 Rahul Dravid
13 Anil Kumble
12 Mark Waugh
11 Courtney Walsh
10 Ian Healy
9 Mark Taylor
8 Ricky Ponting
7 Muttiah Muralitharan
6 Wasim Akram
5 Glenn McGrath
4 Allan Border
3 Curtly Ambrose
2 Brian Lara
1 Sachin Tendulkar
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Not knowing French is not helping...
Now, I am relying mainly on Google translate to arrange an accommodation there in Lausanne. Google translate is pretty handy so far, to figure out the difference between studio and apartment. It is a lot fun. I try to derive the meaning of some individual French words, in the process. These are definitely the first few lessons. My friends Vivek and Zarina apparently learned French there in Montpelier, France. They claim to speak decent French. If they could, there is no reason, I cant. May be not all hopes are lost. Let us wait and watch. In few months down the lane, I should be able to blog on in French.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
21 years in wait mode and then a test series win in England
Some sort of history making on yesterday at the Oval cricket ground in London. India, after a gap of 21 long years registered a test series win in England against England of course! The time 21 itself is a far stretched number, by all means because, only 4 times (1990, 1996, 2002 and 2007) these two teams played together in England during this period. On equivalent terms, it is a win after 3 previous attempts went against the wish list.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
The Linear Algebra behind Google
One of the core technique behind Google's multi billion dollar success story is the page rank algorithm, developed by its co founders Larry page and Sergey Brin, while they were in Stanford. Let us put the statement mathematically or rather linear algebraic: It is essentially ranking web pages according to an eigenvector of a weighted link matrix. So, Google search has its thrust based on solving this eigenvector computing! Computing eignevalues and eigenvector, are sole linear algebra problems. The deal is quite big though. Let us talk a little bit deep about this problem.
Google's website  has only modest thing to say about this fantastic algorithm:
PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at considerably more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; for example, it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important." Using these and other factors, Google provides its views on pages' relative importance.
Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines dozens of aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your query.
- A basic listing of the pagerank is available here at howstuffworks.com. Here is the summary extracted from there.
- PageRank assigns a rank or score to every search result. The higher the page's score, the further up the search results list it will appear.
- Scores are partially determined by the number of other Web pages that link to the target page. Each link is counted as a vote for the target. The logic behind this is that pages with high quality content will be linked to more often than mediocre pages.
- Not all votes are equal. Votes from a high-ranking Web page count more than votes from low-ranking sites. You can't really boost one Web page's rank by making a bunch of empty Web sites linking back to the target page.
- The more links a Web page sends out, the more diluted its voting power becomes. In other words, if a high-ranking page links to hundreds of other pages, each individual vote won't count as much as it would if the page only linked to a few sites.
- Other factors that might affect scoring include the how long the site has been around, the strength of the domain name, how and where the keywords appear on the site and the age of the links going to and from the site. Google tends to place more value on sites that have been around for a while.
- Some people claim that Google uses a group of human testers to evaluate search returns, manually sorting through results to hand pick the best links. Google denies this and says that while it does employ a network of people to test updated search formulas, it doesn't rely on human beings to sort and rank search results.
 Kurt Bryan, Tanya Leise, The $25,000,000,000 eigenvector. The linear algebra behind Google. SIAM Review, 48 (3), 569-81. 2006
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Ajay, Soni and Myself@Foodcourt Forum Mall, Bangalore
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Mobile phone market penetration
Wow. This mobile phone market is fairy tale market indeed. Who would have imagined, this 20 years ago? Still no India and China, the two most populated countries in the world, coming anywhere in the percentage penetration. I reckon, this is going to be the dollar spot for the wireless world.
The Economist, latest edition  brings out this fascinating statistics on the mobile penetration, listed country wise.
Tiny Luxemberg has a whopping 1.6 mobile phones per person on the average (That is 160 mobile phones per 100 people). Most of the mainland European countries are around the century mark when it comes to GSM phones. I was a little surprised to see Japan trailing behind a little bit (only a little from the leaders) on it. When I started working on the 3GPP modem design in 1999, the market trend and demands were heavily pouring from Japan. Looking at the way things moved, the Japaneese were expected to have two 3G phones per person:-) Well, I was kidding. Japan and Korea as well have average of 80 phones per 100 people of the population. This figure is more than stunning.
I have my brains doing busy calculations to stretch this figure for India and China in five years time. Buoy! Isnt there an ocean of market available for grab? You count a pair of billions and assume only 50% penetration. No wonder, the 3G spectrum will sell at a premium much higher than the cricket telecast rights in India.
If you go by a pure urban scan, the mobile phones are almost anybodies right. I reckon more than 80% of the households would have it. This should translate to something like 30-40% per person phone ratio. This is strictly the city statistics alone. The villagers, which accounts more than 75% of India's population are yet to taste this business flu. In 10 years time, the scene could change in proportion and the scales will stretch few digits in logarithmic units itself.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Salaam Dr. Kalaam
Every good thing has to come to an end, unfortunately. India's ever most popular president, at least to ordinary citizens, has left office after serving five strong years. For children he was simply so dear a president to have. He was quite an exemplary president, who changed the perception of a president and rashtrapathi bhavan itself. While it was elusive for ordinary people of this country, until his term, he let it open to the very very base class of this society. School children could take pride in staying in the rashtrapathi bhavan, whereas in the past, it welcomed only the foreign dignitaries and the likes.
Thank you President Kalam. You are simply our pride. You made us proud in many ways, many times.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I am a Mathematician:-)
The title might mislead you. So, let me clarify upfront. I am not on a mission to self appraise. I am to talk about the autobiography of 'Noerbert Wiener', titled 'I am a Mathematician'. This is a piece of book I am reading currently. Since I have heard a lot of stories about Wiener and having known some (percentage is minuscule!) of his work, the presentation of the book didn't provide disappointment. Rather, it is a very very interesting sketch of his life, put in his own style.
I mentioned about stories being heard about him. There are many of them. I am not saying this candidly, because I hardly checked the authenticity of such tales. Nevertheless, I get ready to laugh everytime, I begin to hear anything about him. The mathematical work of this once child prodigy is very well known and is treasured. His wit and absentmindedness are quite unique. Some of the anecdotes, I have heard about him are;
1.During one of these trips down the hallway at MIT, Wiener was interrupted by several of his students who talked to him for several minutes about what they were working on. After the conversation had ended, Wiener asked one of them "Could you please tell me, in which direction was I traveling when you stopped me?" One of them replied, somewhat confusedly, "You were coming from over there [gesturing] this way [gesturing]." Wiener replied, "Ah, then it is likely that I have already had lunch. Thank you." and continued down the hallway to his office.(A somewhat similar story is attributed to Einstein as well. As far as I heard, this is when Claude Shannon was giving a lecture at Princeton. It was well attended. Einstein made a back door visit when Shannon was in full stream. Shannon obviously noted Einsteins coming in, chatting with someone in the last row and the leaving soon. The curious Shannon (after the lecture) went to the folks to whom Einstein seemed talking. To Shannon's surprise, Einstein was apparently asking them 'where the tea was served'.)
2: After several years teaching at MIT, the Wieners moved to a larger house. Knowing her husband was likely to forget where he now lived, Mrs. Wiener wrote down the address of the new house on a piece of paper and made him put it in his shirt pocket. At lunchtime, an inspiring idea came to the professor, who proceeded to pull out the paper and scribble down calculations, and to subsequently proceed to find a flaw and throw the paper away in disgust. At the end of the day, it occurred to Wiener that he had thrown away his address. He now had no idea where his home was. Putting his mind to work, he concocted a plan: go to his old home and wait to be rescued. Surely Margaret would realize he was lost and come to pick him up. When he arrived at the house, there was a little girl standing out front. "Excuse me, little girl," he asked, "would you happen to know where the people who used to live here moved to?" "It's okay, Daddy," the girl replied, "Mommy sent me to get you." (Decades later, Norbert Wiener's daughter was tracked down by a mathematics newsletter. She said the story was essentially correct, except that Wiener had not forgotten who she was.)
Description on the image: Norbert Wiener with Amar Bose (Bose audio fame) and Lee (the early MIT pioneers): Source of this image is  http://www.siliconeer.com/past_issues/2005/January2005-Files/jan05_bose_archive.jpg
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Kerala stands apart from the rest
Not surprisingly, Kerala is miles apart from the other states, in all of these. It would not offer any surprise to anyone who lived in Kerala. I must confess that, the left policies over the years helped in drafting a grass root level development program emphasizing on such welfare based indexes. Eduction reforms, health reforms, land reforms and even the literacy drive all are massive programs initiated by the left governments in Kerala.
See the statistics from 
Also A Head For Numbers
The South is streets ahead. They earn more, they live well and they feel better too.
|Karnataka, 7.2%, tops growth||A.P||T.N||Kerala||Karnataka||INDIA||U.P#||Gujarat|
|Per capita net state domestic product (SDP) in Rs (2004-05)||23,153||25,965||27,048||23,945||23,222||11,477||28,355|
|Percentage share in total FDI approved (1991-03)||4.61||8.53||0.53||8.25||NA||1.69||6.47|
|Average annual growth of state domestic product in per cent (1993-94 to 2003-04)**||5.5||4.7||5.0||7.2||5.6*||3.2||5.7|
|Per capita SDP in per cent (1993-94 to 2003-04)**||4.4||3.7||4.1||5.7||3.8*||0.9||3.6|
|Percentage of population below poverty line (1999-00)||15.77||21.12||12.72||20.04||26.10||31.15||14.07|
|Range of min wages for unskilled workers in Rs (2005)||45-119||54-150||72-189||63-103||61-115||57-110||50-99|
|Job-seekers registered with employment exchanges in thousands (2003)|| |
|Percentage employment share (public/private, 2001-02)||71.3/28.7||64.1/35.9||52.8/47.2||58.7/41.3||69.0/31.0||79/21||53.6/46.4|
|Percentage of urban population (2001)||27.30||44.04||25.96||33.99||27.81||20.78||37.36|
|*at constant (1990-00) prices between 1999-00 and 2003-04 **at constant (1993-94) prices #Includes Uttarakhand in data from 2000-01 and earlier|
|In TN, 69.2% have a say in family matters||A.P||T.N||Kerala||Karnataka||INDIA||U.P||Gujarat|
|No. of females per 1,000 males (’01 census)||978||987||1058||965||933||898||920|
|Juvenile (0-6) sex ratio (2001)||964||939||963||949||927||916||878|
|Mean age for marriage (2004)||19.0||21.5||22.9||20.0||20.4||20.4||20.5|
|Female literacy rate (2001)||50.4||64.4||87.7||56.9||53.7||42.2||57.8|
|Currently married women who usually participate in household decisions in per cent||55.7||69.2||62.5||47.4||52.5||48.2||56.7|
|Women who have experienced spousal violence in per cent||35.2||41.9||16.4||20.0||37.2||42.4||27.6|
|Percentage of women with more than 10 years of education||22||32||49||28||22||18||24|
|Percentage of women’s employment to total employment (2003)||20.5||30.2||39.3||31.2||18.1*||9.8||12.7|
|Less than 1% live in slums in Kerala|| |
|Percentage with regular exposure to media (TV, radio, newspaper at least once a week)||87||94||97||90||80||76||84|
|Percentage of slum population to total urban population (2001)||24.9||10.4||0.8||7.8||15||12.70||9.90|
|Teledensity per 100 persons (May 2007)||20.7||24.2*||35.1||26.2||19.3||11.38||25.5|
|Total road length (km) per 100 sq km (2002)||71.3||127.7||386.8||79.5||74.7||103.1||70.2|
|Voting percentage (2004 elections)||69.95||60.8||71.45||65.1||58.1||48.16||45.2|
|* excluding Chennai|
|In TN, 81% get vaccination||A.P||T.N||Kerala||Karnataka||INDIA||U.P||Gujarat|
|Life expectancy at birth (1999-2003, M/F)||62.2/64.8||64.3/66.5||70.9/76||62.9/66.4||61.8/63.5||59.6/58.7||62.5/64.6|
|Number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births in the last five years||53||31||15||43||57||73||50|
|Institutional deliveries in the last three years in per cent||69||90||100||67||41||22||55|
|Mothers who had at least three antenatal care visits for their last birth in per cent||86.0||96.5||93.9||79.3||50.7||26.3||64.9|
|Vaccination coverage in per cent||46||81||75||55||44||23||45|
|Children age 6-35 months who are anaemic in per cent||79||72.5||55.7||82.7|| |
|Population served per government hospital bed||2,351||849||1,172||1,321||2,257||5,646||1,544|
|Children under 3 who are underweight in per cent||37||33||29||41||46||47||47|
|Per capita expenditure on health in Rs (2001-02)||1,039||846||1,858||712||997||1,124||816|
|Unless specified, data in tables are the latest available, for 2005-06|
|In Kerala, 84.1% live in pucca houses||A.P||T.N||Kerala||Karnataka||INDIA||U.P||Gujarat|
|Percentage of households that:|
|Have a television||50.3||53.1||67.7||53.6||44.2||34||53.8|
|Have a motorised vehicle||14.6||22.6||24.7||20.4||18.6||16.6||30.2|
|Live in a pucca house||40.4||69.6||84.1||49.8||41.4||27.3||56.4|
|Have access to a toilet facility||42.4||42.9||96||46.5||44.5||33.1||54.6|
|Use piped drinking water||67.8||84.2||24.6||57.4||42.0||10.3||72.7|
|100% transition to upper primary in TN||A.P||T.N||Kerala||Karnataka||U.P||Gujarat|
|Literacy rate (2001 census)||60.5||73.5||90.9||66.6||56.3||69.1|
|Percentage of schools with one teacher||05.7||7.8||0.1||8.8||16.3||5.7|
|No. of students for each teacher||24.0||39||26||32||66||36|
|Transition rate from primary to upper primary in per cent||89.6||100.7*||86.6||89.7||57.62||82.7|
|Average classrooms in each school||03.9||5.6||10.5||4.5||3.4||4.8|
|Average number of instructional days||212||217||181||225||194||210|
|Percentage who go on to Grade V||99.2||104.2*||108.5*||98.2||56.6||78.9|
|Net primary enrolment ratio||75.6||94.1||64.1||95.6||90||75.9|
|Dropouts (Grade I-V) in per cent||00.4||-6.8*||5.8||2.2||11.9||2.2|
|* Indicates higher intake of students than dropouts|
|Sources: Various central and state govt publications, including National Health Profile 2006, National Family Health Survey 2005-06 and State Report Cards 2005 of National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration|