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Old 2005-11-06, 12:42   #1
mfgoode
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Lightbulb Worlds first Voice mail from India

India will shortly be sending out the Worlds first Voice e- mail .
http://www.rediff.com/money/2005/nov/05mail.htm
Mally

Last fiddled with by mfgoode on 2005-11-06 at 12:43 Reason: typo
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Old 2005-11-06, 15:24   #2
Peter Nelson
 
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Mfgoode, this is not particularly new technology.

Speaker independent voice recognition has been around at least 10 years when I worked on it then (and can be used for voice to text conversion to send conventional email).

Text to speech is even easier (eg free from Microsoft).

This service focuses on a simple store and forward voice recording system.

Likely it simply sends the recipient a mime attachment or email redirecting to a web page which stores the message.

THIS IS NOT INNOVATIVE. I could do it in about a week, and similar has been done before.

What will probably kill it is the 10 second commercial advertisement at the start of receiving a message.

Brings a whole new meaning to the word "SPAM".

Imagine wasting 10 seconds every time you read an email. No way.

If they used a business model where on the screen used to record a message there was a discreet banner ad (like google or others) that would earn revenue by more subtle and less intrusive means of placing a message in front of eyes.

They say voice is superior. Well in terms of bandwidth used, text messaging and email are VERY efficient (<=1 byte per character) which voice (even compressed) can't compete with. I doubt their system has been engineered to scale to massive traffic volumes so their system will fall over if it ever takes off. They would need large central servers/disks for storage, high bandwidth links and redundancy, as well as ideally some geographical diversity.

In short, I'm not very impressed.

Let's assume a potential competitor (eg me) wants to launch a similar service WITHOUT 10 seconds of SPAM prefixing each message. How long do you think THEIR "so innovative" company would last in the marketplace?
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Old 2005-11-07, 18:43   #3
mfgoode
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Unhappy World's first Voice e-mail from India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Nelson
Mfgoode, this is not particularly new technology.

In short I'm not impressed

Let's assume a potential competitor (eg me) wants to launch a similar service WITHOUT 10 seconds of SPAM prefixing each message. How long do you think THEIR "so innovative" company would last in the marketplace?
:surprised Thank you Peter for your comments and observations.
I agree with you but its a 'worlds first' regardless of knowing the theory and practice decades ago. The fact is no one has done it before! And I can give you several such examples in other fields where such claims have been made after the job has been done by someone else The history of maths is replete with it
If you give me your e-mail ad privately I will send you a fwd. of the fact that most of the leading positions all over the world are manned by Indians esp in the IT fields. When Bhatia came out with his hotmail bought off by MS for some 400 m dollars he started the trend of a lead in the field and we want to maintain it by such innovations.

The business angle is the last priority and as it catches on it will work.
When the atomic bomb was developed no one really thought of the benefits of nuclear energy. Today its the number one alternative to oil on that scale.

I admit that Voice mail has been done and cheaply too. I myself have Yahoo messenger with Voice, MSN with voice, Redifbol with voice and there are so many others. I also have Skype which is abs free and I talk on it for hours and switch on to the others for their webcam viewing simultaneously.
Now if Skype considered this aspect of communication they would have more than the 4 million users as they have now. So why dont they do it? Maybe its not economical I dont know, and Im not bothered as long as I outwit them with a dual combination of voice and webcam.

Mind you Peter dont get me wrong but its the case of the well known fable I refrain from quoting out of sheer respect for you.

The west has to forget that India is a land of snake charmers and cowherds!
Thank you for your observations.
Mally
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Old 2005-11-08, 04:27   #4
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mfgoode, I am well aware of the specialisms of call centres and certain IT jobs within India and it is a growing industry year on year. I am familiar with the practice of outsourcing such services to India by western countries like UK and USA.

Whilst this can lead to cost savings or faster development it is not always the best solution. In the call centre market it depends on the type of call you are undertaking in/out and what service/product it is in relation to, including whether local knowledge is of benefit to the conversation. Some people have difficulty understanding an Indian accent, and may be culturally prejudiced making them less likely to say "yes" to a sales call. Many banking customers for instance have switched to rival banks because their bank outsourced calls to India. Thus the cost savings needed to be balanced against increased levels of customer churn or reduced satisfaction levels.

I do not believe your claim "most of the leading positions all over the world are manned by Indians esp in the IT fields."

I would accept the lesser claim "SOME of the leading positions...." but don't forget other emerging markets like the Chinese.

Software development need not suffer from the disadvantages suffered by call centres, but the geographical remoteness does require good management and a clear brief and specification of precisely the software to be developed must do. I already know of projects eg in government systems or mobile phone or MP3 player firmware being carried out in India.

Unbiased assessment (regarding IT in India eg "Click online" programme of BBC news 24 channel) says that there ARE lots of people in India choosing careers in IT. However, although many are qualified, the majority lack a lot of experience. Those who have a few years experience are not of the same calibre of those available in some other countries with say 5, 10, 15, 20 years experience in their field.

Over time, this problem will be less of a problem as experience grows, but right now it is a problem. There may well be a small number of very experienced IT people in India but they are in the minority.

Additionally there are extremely low-skill IT jobs in India eg in the way old equipment is broken down like melting off components and chemicals for remanufacture, but using dangerous unhealthy processes which create big pollution and public health problems aside from gradually killing the workers by exposure to toxins. If you indeed have the best IT people in the world one would imagine they could be addressing such problems in their own country!

Now as for the claim "world's first voicemail" this is clearly a press-release stretching the truth.

Voicemail through email and voicemail to email gateway has been in existence for many years eg in computer telephony integration, or corporate mail systems.

I think what they claim is new is this is offered as a service that members of the public can sign up to. Unfortunately the price (in time listening to ads) is a high price to pay for users of the service. I don't even think they are the first to try something similar (cannot quote a direct link but think so and it didn't use voicespam to support itself), and as you say VOIP services are now well established. Very similar systems exist for sending money by email or sending messages of animated greetings cards with musical background etc with collection from a web page, not to mention sending voice as an email attachment. This is why I claim that even if it is unique in a limited way it certainly is not innovative.

There ARE innovative things going on in Indian IT, but this voicemail isn't one of them.

There are also certain fields of IT where India lags behind.
eg Many networking hardware companies are based in USA (including related software and protocols) eg Optical processors in Israel. eg Fiber optics in Japan.

It's funny but I have never read any article on any Indian pioneers in these fields (or perhaps it is a global conspiracy to ignore the achievements of Indian IT experts - NOT!)

Please do not insult other countries by claiming India has the best IT people.
Only *SOME* of them!
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Old 2005-11-17, 18:08   #5
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Cool Worlds first Voice mail from India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Nelson
If you indeed have the best IT people in the world one would imagine they
----
It's funny but I have never read any article on any Indian pioneers in these fields (or perhaps it is a global conspiracy to ignore the achievements of Indian IT experts - NOT!)
---
Please do not insult other countries by claiming India has the best IT people.
Only *SOME* of them!
:surprised
I dont think I have insulted any country as you seem to believe.
Neither have I claimed that India has the best IT people in the world.
I did say a lot of them are working on the frontiers of IT and are making progress for the rest of the world.
We did have a lead at one time when hotmail came out but it has been followed up by other nationalities and hence diluted.

You seem to know a lot about IT working in India (accents etc) and I presume you have got this from 1st hand experience by having stayed in India
for a long time. I may be mistaken though.

Well out-sourcing is at the lower level and you know it at first hand presumably.
You have not mentioned it at a higher level and whats going on in the 7 Indian IITs the standard of which was rated as second to the MIT.
Our research establishments are doing a splendid job in most fields.
I just read the other day that Israel has picked the Indian rockets to put their satellites into orbit and taking fly pasts to the planets.

Our PM is a PhD and so is our President and the country is in good hands to take on China by 2020

The universities of Mohenjodaro and Nalanda were flourishimg when most of Europe were barbarians

I also saw an analytical news item that a lot of British graduates were applying for the call centres at half the pay as living was cheap and carefree in India. Plus there were adequate facilities to tour around this land of temples
mosques and churches spread all over the country(not to mention drug abuse)
Charter flights from Manchester were over full heading for Goa and other exotic cities. British Airways have extended their frequency to 15 flights a week!

So Im looking at a larger global and overall perspective than just call centres.
True they are manned by graduates from all over the country with different accents and its difficult for the Americans and the English to understand them
but how long do you think it will take to master an accent? How come the rest of the Europeans dont complain and take the trouble to understand the Indian way of speaking.?

I have seen people picking up accents the day they land abroad esp. in the U.K
My maths professors were from the South with heavy Tamilian accents. It took me some time to understand them which I did but they were brilliant in their field.

Yes I am proud to be part of this great nation and its IT.
Mally

Last fiddled with by alpertron on 2006-05-20 at 17:07 Reason: Corrected quote tag
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Old 2005-11-19, 17:15   #6
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Mfgoode my principal objection was to you saying

" of the fact that most of the leading positions all over the world are manned by Indians esp in the IT fields."

I still do not accept this to be true as written.

Now you say "Neither have I claimed that India has the best IT people in the world."

That's how the above statement looks to me. You said it has MOST OF THE LEADING...... ESPECIALLY IT PEOPLE.

Yes there are very clever and talented Indians whether in Indian commerce and acedemia OR those who live and work in other countries.

Let's consider some big IT companies: IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Silicon Graphics, Cray, Sun. No Indians are the managers of those companies, that I can think of.

In many industries, competent technical staff rise to become evident on the management team.

Yes I would agree that A MINORITY of the staff in each of these companies may well be Indian. For example I know several good Indian people who work for IBM.

I have had an Indian colleague at work and an Indian IT graduate trainee to work with on projects.

Actually I have never been to India, but I have experienced call-centre calls with them.

Personally I bother to understand Scottish and Welsh accents, so a different accent is not a big problem. What I said was that for some it was a barrier to communication, and for others brought out racial prejudices that would reduce sales levels (which any company is wise to be aware of when making such decisions).

Call centres are something I know about as I was part of the management team for five large ones run by a large global phone company.

Within the UK there is a sizeable minority of people or southern Asian origin. Whether pakistan, India, Bangladesh or similar. Many are now British citizens, permanent residents or second generation of immigrant families.

Therefore UK people in urban areas are used to meeting those of Southern Asia (and in Birmingham there are many many tasty Balti restaurants but I don't think these are the kind of world-leading achievement you are speaking of).

The reason British Airways has more flights UK-India is for people here to visit their families and attend religious festivals. As that sector of the population increases their affluence they are increasingly able to afford air travel.

I still think there may be a few snake charmers and cowherds in India.

I BELIEVE that literacy levels in China are probably higher than India, and see China as a bigger competition in global markets as they have manufacturing capacity which India has not developed (yet).

Currently India has economic advantages for inward investment and outsourcing, with low regulatory burdens, taxes, land costs and cost of living (even though in some parts basic infrastructure like water cleaning does need attention). Therefore it is often cheaper to have equivalent research and development commissioned in India than say USA. However, there are also other options eg outsourcing programming to Russia is also cost-effective.

Every country has its famous achievements by people in history. eg Newton discovering gravity is just one for the UK. I agree that there have been some great Indian mathematicians.

There are many programmers in India. SOME of them are very good and/or well experienced.

I do not think the voicemail developers above are necessarily skilled programmers just because they reinvent something very similar to what already exists and present it as "new".

Many of those real Indian experts are hidden in research departments, working on projects for foreign companies and their achievements will go unnoticed.
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Old 2005-12-06, 01:38   #7
Peter Nelson
 
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Default Intel's $250m IT funding for India

Hey mfgoode, some good news $250m for your country....

http://www.anandtech.com/news/shownews.aspx?i=25389


BUT

I also found one of the comments to that news story quite funny, and believe that some people actually have had these kind of experiences (myself included):


"Yay Intel gives us reason to bash Intel tech support once more" by "phaxmohdem":


*Thick Indian Accent*
"Hello, My name is Mark, how can I help you today sir.."

My Pentium D is running too hot and shutting down

"Have you tried restarting windows sir"

Um, it restarts itself cause its too hot, I just told you that.

*Audible pages flipping in background* "Ok sir, try opening Internet Explorer and going to Internet Options."

Uh, I use Firefox, but whats that got to do with how hot my processor is?

"That is your problem sir, we don't support firefox, Close it and restart Windows"

I don't think your listening, my computer is running too hot...

"Did that fix your problem sir?"

What restarting Windows?

"Yes sir"

Uh sure whatever

"Thank you for calling Intel sir, if you could how would you rate the service you recieved today?"

Yeah, just about the worst ever...

*'Mark' jots down Excellent on his PC* "Thank you, have a nice day sir."
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Old 2005-12-06, 07:07   #8
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Hardly unique to Indian accents. I've had many such experiences with tech people with all sorts of accents including a variety of American and English. I think the joke is in poor taste.
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Old 2005-12-06, 11:20   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garo
Hardly unique to Indian accents. I've had many such experiences with tech people with all sorts of accents including a variety of American and English. I think the joke is in poor taste.
Yes Garo I have experienced the "restart windows" support from English people too.

It was just a follow up to mfgoode's assertion that the best IT people around the world were Indian.

All I am saying is like people from all countries, there is a mixture of GOOD IT people and BAD IT people.

As I am not racist, I take people as I find them. I don't make a judgement on their skill level before seeing it. Similarly I will take a call from India, or anywhere else, BUT if I then experience it is one of those scripted calls THEN I am happy to say it is a BAD experience.
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Old 2005-12-06, 11:32   #10
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Peter,
I did not call you racist. I merely said the joke was in poor taste since as scripted in your post above it seemed to imply that Indian tech support is worse than in other countries. I acknowledge that the joke was a postfrom the Anandtech forum but you did post an approving comment saying that you found it funny and that you had experienced something similar. How is this as a response from the very same forum:

Quote:
I agree. The parent post was a complete joke with a lot of ignorance mixed in. There are good and bad tech support reps everywhere. Yes, Indians can actually be worse because they are so into theory and have been taught to follow the manual regardless the problem, so it's not exactly their fault. They want to keep their jobs, so they do what the management tells them to.

Are you trying to imply that all American tech support reps are excellent? If so, then you are in for a surprise.

Moreover, as someone else posted above, as long as America is an attractive country for innovation, there will always be jobs. And considering how U.S. is the most powerful country (at least for now - China and India are expected to surpass US economy in the next decade or so) economically, companies have a reason to stay here.


So, enough with the ignorance. It's almost disgusting how half of these people post about topics they don't understand. Heck, outsourcing isn't even affecting a lot of people any way, yet they are like sheep and follow the stupid herd.
So clearly other people too think that the joke implies that Indian tech support is worse than US tech support. Also, about 10 million people in India are christian so it is not inconceivable for someone to have an Indian accent and be called Mark. Improbable but not impossible.

As regards Mally's original post and your statement

"All I am saying is like people from all countries, there is a mixture of GOOD IT people and BAD IT people."

I agree completely with your statement but the joke without any qualifying comments gave me a contrary impression.

Last fiddled with by garo on 2005-12-06 at 11:34
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Old 2005-12-06, 19:27   #11
mfgoode
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Talking World's first Voice e-mail from India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Nelson
Yes Garo I have experienced the "restart windows" support from English people too.

It was just a follow up to mfgoode's assertion that the best IT people around the world were Indian.

All I am saying is like people from all countries, there is a mixture of GOOD IT people and BAD IT people.

As I am not racist, I take people as I find them. I don't make a judgement on their skill level before seeing it. Similarly I will take a call from India, or anywhere else, BUT if I then experience it is one of those scripted calls THEN I am happy to say it is a BAD experience.
Yes Peter things coud be worse.
If you really want to see how bad things are take a load of this

Driving Licence Application Form in Bihar

DERIVING LICENSE APPLIKASON PHOROM

------------------------------------------ -----------------------

NOTE: Please do not soot the person at the applikason kounter.

He will give you the licen.

If you dot know how to fill ,copy from your phriend (dost)applikason.

For phurthar instructions, see bottom applikason.

1. Last name:

(_) Yadav (_) Sinha (_) Pandey (_) Misra (_) Dont no

(Check karet box)

2. phust name:

(_) Ramprasad (_) Lakhan (_) Sivprasad (_) Jamnaprasad (_) Dont no

(Check karet box)

3. Age:

(_) Less than phipty (_) Greater than phipty (_) Dont no

(Check karet box)

4. Sex: ____ M _____(F) _____ not sure _____not applicable

5. Chappal Size: ____ Lepht ____ Right

6.Occupason:

(_) Politison (_) Doodhwala (_) Pehelwaan (_) House wife (_) Un-employed

(Check karet box)

7. Number of children libing in the household: ___

8. Number that are yourj: ___

9. Mather name: _______________________

10. Phather Name: ____________________ (If not no,leabe blank)

11. Ejjucason: 1 2 3 4 (Circle highest kilass attended)

12. Dental rekard:

(_) Ellow (_) Berownish-ellow (_) Berown (_) Belack (_) Other -__________ Give egjhakt color

(Check karet box)

13.Your thumb imparesson :

____________________________

(If you are copying from another applikason pharom, pleaje do not copy thumb impression also. Pleaje

provide your own thumb impression.)

PELEAJE DO NOT USE PHINGERS OF YOUR LEGS

Use thumb on your lepht hand only. If you dont have le pht hand, use your thumb on right hand. If you do not have right hand, use thumb on lepht hand.

NOTE : IF YOU DONT HAVE BOTH HANDS, YOU CANNOT DERIVE.

WE ARE VARY ISTRICT ABOUT THIS

So Peter in spite of this we are still forging ahead.
Mally

l
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