Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Quote of the Day

There are some moments in history which will be milestones recognized by future generations. This is one such milestone.
-- HRD Minister Kapil Sibal

He inspiring words came at the launch of Aakash, India's very own Tablet PC. Here's the video [or watch it at YouTube]:

More coverage at ToI and NYTimes' India Ink blog. [Update: See also the official press release.]

The tablet runs Android 2.2, and has a 7-inch resistive display, 256 MB of RAM and 2GB in a flash drive. And it has 2 USB ports. This neat little package -- made in India -- will be available at retail stores for about $60. This NDTV story has lots of positive things to say about the device. And you can see it in actioin in this video, which also features an August 2010 interview with Mr. Sibal [Here's a preview of the device from that episode]

Here's another NDTV interview of Mr. Sibal [or watch it there]:


  1. Unknown said...

    "India's very own"? But these are manufactured by a British firm.

  2. Ankur Kulkarni said...

    Abi, see this. An interview with the developer/manufacturer. Lots of impressive stuff in there.

  3. truti said...

    When you are done with the euphoria, read this. Atanu is of course Hayekian and even if I think the Austrian School is borderline crank, that need not distract us for now. He makes another mistake, that governments cannot pick technology winners. Actually in the last 100 years it's the government that has been the smartest tech investor. F'instance the only privately funded aircraft is the Wright's first plane, after that it's been government all the way.

    Do read it and let's discuss these points

  4. Ungrateful Alive said...

    Few worship the market with the same ardor as Atanu, but there are other reasons to be uneasy with the media carpet-bombing the populace with stories of Aakash. The government subsidizes plenty of commodities for the poor and not-so-poor: food via PDS, diesel, cooking LPG, etc. The government waives octroi and duties for educational organizations. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but it is not news. There is also nothing wrong with a research project or a collaboration between an engineering college and some private industry to build cheap tablets. It isn't very innovative or exciting, but neither are the dozens of design "breakthroughs" by Apple that hog all the press and drive fanboys to ecstasy. Perhaps some honchos at DST or MICT or CSIR may even do a press release where they declare that they gave out projects on tablets to some colleges and there have been nice results. That would be fine. But Kapil one-IIT-in-every-chawl Sibal is one or two levels above that. His mandate includes, as has been pointed out many times, more pressing needs like providing blackboards, breathing teachers, and clean bathrooms to village schools. His glee with Aakash is rather unseemly and borders on to blurring the boundaries between government, research funding agency, colleges, and private industry. There seems to be an attempt to smear out the meager "innovation" over as many parties as possible to produce lots of reflected glory, and some deliberate obfuscation about what happened where. A tablet that is for the unwashed masses has been quoted almost exclusively in dollars. And like all "truths" Indian, the price keeps changing. Moreover, sans subsidy the tablet is over 60USD, and HP has a fire sale of its tablets for around 80USD. Quality and longevity is anyone's guess. I know UPA is desperate to find good news, any good news at all, but this level of desperation gets pretty naked.

  5. Yoga said...

    Can you please disable the second video activating automatically? It takes time to load as well as distract from reading other articles?

  6. Abi said...

    @Yoga: Are you sure it's not a problem with your browser? On mine (Chrome, on WinXP), it's not starting by itself.

    As for disabling the self-starting feature of embedded videos (on some browsers), I have no idea how to do that!

  7. Yoga said...

    Well in my chrome browser it starts by itself. Strangely of all your embedded videos only the ndtv interview video has this issue.