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ये हार्डवेयर सौफ़्टवेयर क्या है?
Aug 13th, 2014 by admin

स्मार्टफोन और लैपटाप के सस्ते होकर जन समुदाय तक पहुंचने से हिन्दी भाषा में दो नये शब्द भर्ती हो गये, हार्डवेयर और सौफ़्टवेयर | पर मज़ेदार बात यह है कि अधिकांश लोग न तो इन शब्दों का सही अर्थ जानते हैं, और न ही इन शब्दों की उत्पत्ति के संदर्भ मे ही उन्हे कुछ ज्ञात होता है |

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Mist Vs Cloud #1 – The DOT (Disks On a Train) Network and biz ideas for the Postal Department
Feb 4th, 2014 by admin

I happen to live in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, which sees a lot of clouds of the rainy variety (at least in the monsoons) but is pretty much an arid desert when it comes to the clouds that rain data, i.e. cloud computing services like Gmail, Facebook and Youtube.

Except for oasis like pockets, most of Bhopal has at best “2G” connectivity which, for those who were born into and live in 4G heaven, feels like an old 56k modem from the users standpoint.

BhopalCellphoneCoverage

While this may seem counter-intuitive to metro Indians many of whom are now getting ready to be born into 4G+ heaven, people who live in Bhopal and cities /towns/villages smaller than Bhopal would probably agree vehemently … except that this page would take too long to load where they are, and lets face it, there are other things on the Internet that are far more interesting to wait for. They probably wouldn’t have the patience to read it. Besides, even if they did get online long enough to browse, Gmail and other such “cloud” services would be chewing away the bandwidth trying to load the latest “smooth transition” or “tabbed inbox” or “predictive text” and they would quickly close all other windows/tabs on the browser to “make room on the pipe for Google”.

As a result of this scenario, most of us at Mojolab have very little faith in the “cloud”(s). Information still remains as important as water to all of us, so we’ve come up with our own alternative to the clouds to serve our hydration needs. We call it “The Mist”.

Unlike cloud computing, mist computing uses local resources, like your buddy’s cellphone data card and your neighbors’ wireless connection, and doesn’t spread farther than the local resources allow, e.g. the network stops when the first neighbor refuses to share his wifi.

While clouds are up there, the mist is down here. When you need to get soaked, you take a walk into the mist, you don’t do a raindance waiting for the clouds to dribble.

What this looks like in less poetic and more technical terms is that instead of relying on a distant “World Wide Web” you start seeking to fulfill your information needs with local peer to peer sharing before blindly downloading or uploading the data to the Internet over a third party connection.

The most unholy waste of bandwidth I have ever seen (and indulged in) is two people in the same room, with two different mobile Internet connections watching the same video on their different devices….in the process paying the same provider twice for the same data. It would be far more efficient to download the video once and then share it with everyone in the room via bluetooth/wifi.

So we don’t stream any more…we “edge cache” and share locally. We don’t share URLs, we transfer files. When we have people in the same location, we use a projector ad a round table instead of a shared document. And we’re trying to build more and more tools that can help us get more productive with our local peers instead of trying to do more and more data intensive things remotely, simply because “that’s where the server is”.

We’re also taking a fresh look at long distance data transfer. The other day I found myself with some idle time on the Internet and did this little thought experiment around what it takes to send 2TB (2 terrabytes, which is roughly 1500 1 GB movie files or 175,000 pictures in PNG format taken from a 28 megapixel camera), from Bhopal to Delhi in the shortest possible time for the lowest price possible.

If I use a Tata Docomo 3G connection (which is the prevalent and most functional network in the Bhopal Area, as verified by OpenSignalMap above), I am paying roughly INR 450 for 3.5GB @ 7.2Mbps (expected 3G speed), according to the image below from tatadocomo.com:

DocomoMP3G

The best speed I have ever seen on a 3G dongle in Bhopal is 2Mbps, but we’ll be generous and say that there are spots where it may be as much as 4Mbps.

Now say I put myself on the Bhopal Railway Station with a solar powered laptop past its amortization period (so effectively free from power and equipment costs) and my friend with a similar setup at New Delhi Railway Station.

I connect my 2TB hard drive to my computer, fire up a peer to peer file sharing client, hook up to my buddy and start transmitting.

By the time the transfer completes, we would have spent about 2TB/4Mbps= ~48 days (each, i.e. a total of 96 man days) parked at a railway station, barring connection drops, bad weather and suspicious cops.

INR 450 for 3.5 GB comes to roughly 128 rupees per GB. So over our 48 day stay, we would also have spent 2048 X 128 = 262,144 (!!!) rupees on 3G connectivity.

 

By contrast, if my friend hopped on that train (lets say a Shatabdi, one of the higher priced, fast commute trains between New Delhi and Bhopal that leaves Delhi in the morning and returns there by late evening), he would be in Bhopal some time in the afternoon the same day (in air conditioned comfort with a desk, a chair and a shared power socket with food included, so he isn’t adding any more expenses over the ticket either), could copy the 2TB to his computer while the train gets cleaned at Bhopal station (since I am waiting there, remember) and be back in Delhi before midnight (or shortly after if its foggy).

Lets say it gets really foggy and he gets back a full 24 hours later, which is about 1.5 times the expected time.

I would have saved my entire 24 hours, but lets discount that too. Lets say I really want to make sure the data gets across so I keep sitting at the station temple praying for my friends safe return home and we spend a total of 24 hours each, just to be generous give the telcos a nice handicap.

The Shatabdi ticket is about INR 1000 (1037 to be exact, see image below).

ShatabdiBhopalToDelhi

So for the cost of 2000 rupees and one day, we’ve gotten across 2TB from Bhopal to New Delhi. This is less than 1/48th of the time and less than 1/125th the money it would take to do it online.

Not to mention that my friend could have carried back a full rucksack of 1TB hard drives, since he’s allowed to bring 40 kilos of luggage on board the train…just to make the proportions even more ridiculous. And if we needed to do this regularly, we could probably save on the tickets by befriending the Shatabdi attendants, who are remarkably friendlier than the folks who answer customer care at my telco.

Whats even more interesting is that even if the provider was to make the cost of the data transfer nil, the time involved would still make the trip worthwhile. In fact to provide an “at par” solution, the telco would have to give me a 194 Mbps connection for less than 1 rupee per GB. With telcos already crying foul about dropping ARPUs and razor thin margins, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

And the clincher is that these economies exist between any two points at least in India, since it’s always possible to get someone from point A to point B within the country (and to a lot of places outside as well) for less than 250,000 rupees and 48 days.

All it takes is getting past the illusion that the cloud is “free and instant”. It’s neither.

So I find myself constantly amazed that people in India (including myself) remain willing to pay over a hundred rupees a GB for data. India is truly a magical and hypnotic land! But I suppose in a world where people starve despite humanity having known how to store food since before the time of the Pharaohs, it’s a little petulant to cry about data being too expensive. 

Cynicism aside, what I would love to see is the Indian Postal System pick this idea up and start transporting hard drives instead of letters. With the routes and supply chains already in place they could literally auction off the “bandwidth”, which would be best used by commercial interests with reliable large data transfer needs.

This in turn would leave the airwaves free for the rest of us, reduce the need for high power, cancer causing, bird disturbing cellphones and towers and more than enough data coming and going to keep everyone well watered…without the need for a cloud. However, the Indian Postal Service seems to have quit without a fight in the face of the e(G)mail, so we may end up having to reinvent the wheel on this one!

How to post by email on a Self Hosted WordPress Installation | स्वयं संचालित वर्डप्रेस में पोस्टी द्वारा ईमेल संपादन
Jan 26th, 2014 by admin

How to Create a new Email Address in CPanel | CPanel में नया ईमेल एड्रेस कैसे बनाएं
Jan 26th, 2014 by admin

How To Install WordPress using CPanel / CPanel से WordPress कैसे इन्स्टाल करें
Jan 26th, 2014 by admin


How to Make a Voice Portal – आओ बनाएं स्वर पोर्टल #1 – वर्डप्रेस पर स्वर मॉडरेशन ईमेल (मोजोमेल) से ऑडियो पोस्ट कैसे बनाएं
Dec 22nd, 2013 by admin

Extending Voice Portals with Delicensed Citizen Band Radio Technology
Oct 8th, 2013 by admin

So in our last post, we laid out how to make a really cheap IVR based voice portal that links voice users to the web for under USD200
However, running a voice portal isn’t for everyone.

How to set up a public voice portal for under USD200
Oct 6th, 2013 by admin

100_4042Last year we defined a Voice (Audio) Portal for LFY Magazine (now Open Source For You)

This year we’ve worked out how to set up a public facing voice portal, with a callable number and publishing ability to the web for under USD 200.

Yes! This does mean that you can have your own automated outbound dialler for less than the price of a smartphone

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Mojomail – Using Email to Integrate Crowdsourced Information Platforms
Jul 14th, 2013 by admin

What’s a Crowdsourced Information Platform?

Crowdsourced Information Platform is how I refer in my head to the collective of services that have started in recent times to collect news reports, incident reports, personal stories et al in the form of a web post (as in Social Media) or an audio report recorded via an IVR system, a video uploaded via smartphone or even a simple SMS…and all the others that are sure to follow.

Essentially any form of two way communication, with a large user base. Note that one way information dissemination systems (such as TV, print media and IVR systems that dont let you record) don’t fall under my definition of a Crowdsourced Information Platform.

Some examples of Crowdsourced Information Platforms:

  1. CGNet Swara

  2. Video Volunteers

  3. RuaiSMS (and other sites based on FrontlineSMS)

  4. All kinds of Ushahidi websites

  5. Facebook, Twitter et al

  6. Google…all of it

  7. Email  (yep, and I’ll explain…in painful detail)

Why we need integration between platforms

We all know that most of the Web is user generated…simply because everyone on the Web IS a user.  However, as we open more channels of content, the definition of user must undergo some evolution. Different users will have different access mechanisms and therefore potentially radically different views of the same information. In order to be able to  provide some order to the chaos, mechanisms will be required to group and link content.

Attempts are already underway to set up repositories of crowdsourced data. However, the variance in media being the way it is, it is unlikely that any single centralized system will be able to cover everything and everyone.

A distributed system is needed where each node is able to communicate using a minimum acceptable standard. Where a medium cannot meet the peer communication standard, a translator can be introduced as an intervention.

By keeping the peer standard constant, the only requirement to add a new medium to the network remains to write a translator from that medium’s existing communication mode to the network standard.

Our (Mojolab’s) recommendation for that standard is EMail.

Why EMail

  • Email has been around for a looong time. It is one of the earliest applications of networking between computers and has been hammered into shape by, in IT timescales, the weight of millennia.

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Overview of Mojolab Technology Roadmap
Mar 29th, 2013 by admin

Our technology roadmap is focussed on developing a set of fungible tools that can be used to crowdsource the collection, curation, publication and visualization of content, primarily in the form of incident reports

Swara MojoMail and Living Data - How it all fits

Crowdsourcing Content

Our tasks in crowdsourcing are classifiable into broadly 5 phases

Collection

Collection of crowdsourced data can be done via any public medium, such as SMS, Email or Phone

For almost all our projects we currently export all incoming reports to email, to provide a single, familiar content management interface

Curation

This phase involves verifying the content, editing it for quality and summarizing it in text

The curation phase is best performed by a large group of people and is therefore crowdsourcable

We again use email for this.

All curators are members of a mailing list. The mailing list acts as the data repository, and each members inbox presents a view of that repository. As long as replies are sent to the mailing list address, the views across curator mailboxes should say consistent

Members of the curator mailing list send back their updates to each message on the same conversation, so each conversation represents the body of work done on that piece of content

Publication

This phase involves taking the curated messages and publishing them on different public interfaces, such as blogs and websites

Read More

 

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