First Opinions on Bintro Match-making Service

I stumbled across Bintro while browsing the NY Semantic Web Meetup Community, looks like an activity community of 800-odd people. I joined Bintro today since I feel that there are opportunities in improved ‘match-making’ especially in the area job search and fulfillment. If anybody comes with a really good algorithm for ‘Match-making Engine’ using semantic web & other technologies, it has even potential to be even deployed within the firewall!

While signing up for the service, I felt that it is a bit of short-coming to allow only letters & comma in the expertise field. Otherwise it throws error: “Expertise can only contain letters and commas” but there are technology key-words which has numbers: web2.0, 2.5G mobile, 3G mobile, etc. Actually it turns out that expertise is a comma separated list of skills which gets copied to skills field in the user profile.

I wish there is support for importing linkedIn profile which I have been using for a few years now but at least there is import option from FaceBook. I tried this but it does not seem to work for me at least! So, I had to copy-paste from my profile multiple times each of the different fields. Once you setup a rich-enough profile, you can ‘compose a broadcast’ which specifies the details of your need/provision.

What Bintro’s  match-making engine (claimed to be their USP) does, is match the demand with supply. I am not sure if it integrates data from other sites, for e.g. Moster job site, but until they do that, I am not sure what value-add they can do for people who register in their site!!!

Categories: Match-making

India Elections in Summer – Anywhere Voting

May 14, 2009 1 comment

It is unfortunate that General Elections in India are held this time in summer, since many people are likely to be traveling on vacations to coincide with the school summer holidays. I know that there is an option to go to Indian Embassy in the specific country to cast your vote but unfortunately there is no such option if you are traveling within the country. I guess the main problem to solve is to get a list of people who are traveling to places where they will be instead of the place where they are supposed to vote, setting up – may be just one – voting center in each of the 1st,2nd & 3rd tier cities and sending the people list to each of those voting centers. Getting the list through an internet web site or thru’ SMS should not be a problem but the main logistical issue is setting up these voting centers in the same day when they are supposed to vote in their residential place. Also we can not cover every small village in the country. Of course people who will be on the train on the day of voting will miss out but that is very very small percentage. This looks like something which is worth trying if this happens in future but I am not what percentage of people really missed out on voting due to travel, considering the paltry voter turn-out in this election. I am not sure how other countries handle such a situation, may be we can learn from them as well.

Categories: Governance Tags: , , ,

Asus P320 Smart-Phone Review

February 1, 2009 Leave a comment

After a long study & review of the feature available in WLAN enabled phones which works for fring service, I decided on buying one of Nokia N81 (even though it came in 2007 itself, my bidget was only Rs.14k max.) or Asus P320. I decided on Asus, not that it is using Windows Mobile 6.1 (exploring & learning that is one of my goals for this year), but it has better features compared to the price – I bought it for only Rs.10k in Hindu Online Shopping, without any microSD card or Bluetooth headset.

Anyways, after fiddling with it in the last 24-hours, I should say that I don’t have much regrets buying this reasonably designed, light smarty! The first thing I tried was to install fring client and try out the gtalk VoIP call over the home WLAN and fortunately one of my colleagues was still hanging out late night on gtalk. I was eager to check the voice quality over fring but to my disappointment, it was no where near the quality one would get using gtalk on your laptop over WLAN!

In general, the phone is low on the processor speed to run Windows Mobile and just two of the communications interfaces (WLAN & GSM) at the same time. The UI responses are slow and sometimes makes one impatient. IE Mobile was not responding once for me and I had to restart the phone. I should opera on this and see how it works. But I have been viewing youtube videos and reading news in the RSS reader and it has been working well so far. Yet to see how long the battery lasts while browsing thru’ WiFi alone!

Categories: Smart Phones Tags:

RFID Reader in Mobile Phones – Where are they?

January 14, 2009 Leave a comment

RFIDs have been around for quite a while in retailing industry but it has not still hit the mainstream of normal person’s lives, may be except in Japan & Korea  and a few other examples below:

  1. RFID reading phones to debut in October
  2. Paying for your shopping by mobile phone – A reality in 2008

Even though researchers have been working on useful applications on use of sensors and context derived from sensors since early 1990s, under various buzz phrases such as Ubiquitous Computing, Pervasive Computing, Pro-active Computing, Context-Aware Computing, etc., we are yet to see even 50% of RFID enabled mobiles as predicted by one of the market research firms and it is more than a year since Samsung announced RFID reader chip in 2007.

So, what is it that is not encouraging the mobile manufacturers to put the RFID chips? Will we ever see RFID readers in middle category or even low-end mobiles? I think one of the factors is definitely the wide-spread use of RFID tags itself since there is no use of readers without the tags. Without a reasonable ‘infrastructure’ one can expect compelling and useful applications to be successful. But tagging things in the real-world (as opposed to the virtual world) is not easy and not free too and has to be a community effort (just as the social & community based tagging & search is becoming popular in information rich internet world). Until then I guess the popularity & usage of RFID technology will remain isolated in very niche applications.

Actually what motivated me to write this blog, is the quest to monitor & measure the different activities that I do inside my home or mainly those activities which are not done using my computer. This made me to look for a phone which had RFID reader in it so that I can tag the different locations in my home & assuming that I carry my mobile (with the RFID reader) everywhere I roam inside the home, I have a history of the tags that are encountered by the reader. Using a relevant temporal inferencing & learning algorithms, I would be able to sense what is the higher level activity that I was doing and for how much duration. Unfortunately the mobiles have not become small enough (I guess they are there in research prototype forms) to use it like a watch and I could only achieve my dreams only through stand-alone RFID reader and tags. I hope I could achieve that one day & publish the results as another blog entry!

Categories: Sensors Tags: , ,