Interesting Reads

April 20, 2010

Challenges to India’s growth story

India’s path to being an economic superpower and the challenges on way are commonly discussed topics. The most frequently cited challenge is the poor infrastructure. Somehow another one, social inequity and internal strife, is seldom discussed in spite of it being stated as a larger challenge by many reports. Its easy to understand why not, as most of the urban people and urban media look at only what is around them – out of sight, out of mind. At best we celebrate a Bihar when it nearly tops the GDP growth charts or moan the loss of lives when massacres happen . Arundhati Roy’s long article in Oulook gives a much needed perspective from the other side. This also helps explain why there are divergent views within the Government on tackling Maoists. I think this is a macro trend that all of us should pay attention to.

Wall Street as cloud computing vendor

Here is an intriguing story on Wall Street looking at sub letting their data centers during off hours to cloud computing providers. Its intriguing because it is silent on the supply side concerns of security. Its also intriguing from a demand side; why would a cloud computing provider want fluctuations in its capacity during a single day? I don’t know these firms but this sounds like a dream many CIOs have: turn a cost center into profit center. Most of the times, they fail to win CEO approval as RoI numbers never measure up and also because a cultural change is required.

While you are on that site, do check out the feature on World’s largest Data Centers. Microsoft has 3 in the top 10 while Google and Amazon have none.

New Computing Technology

HP Labs has used memristors, that they discovered about 2 years ago, to develop memory that can compute too. They’ve also been able to demonstrate switching times that make this technology more practical. A memristor, to put simply, is a device that uses presence/absence of resistance instead of electric charge for computing/memory. The article speculates on some usage. An interesting implication is that computers/devices made of memristors can be just switched off/switched on like a light bulb. However, its not clear what changes would be required in software designs of today for this to work. A disruptive tech to watch out for in the next decade.

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