Technology is supposed to make life easier. Food, shopping, travelling and finance can be completed with just a click or with a swipe. Technology progressed rapidly in a very short span in ways that did not seem possible till just a while ago. The last couple of years have seen a drastic rise in technology based startups. These startups have helped mankind in every way possible. Or so it seems. Taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber came as a relief to all those hassled travellers for whom private transport was not an option and who could not get to their destinations using public transport.
Ola and Uber came at a time when public transport was at its worst. Women were gropped, men were robbed and drivers were harsh. Public transport was out of the question, especially after the 2012 Nirbhaya case. Keeping this in mind, these taxi aggregators helped give riders a veil of safety in these dark circumstances. However, the little respite riders got seemed to disappear almost over night. While there are some good drivers with both Ola and Uber, there are a few bad apples in the basket.
“Pepper spray is a must have for me when I use either Ola or Uber for my travels,” says disgruntled user, Nishita. Safety is not just one of the things riders have a problem with these cab aggregators. Rain is a beautiful thing, but when Ola and Uber use it to boost cab prices, then this very rain is far from beautiful. Ride prices surge, drivers turn ugly and the whole situation turns into a B rated movie of sorts.
When Ola was first launched in India, it had two very strong incentives – the first ride free for new users and first ride free for referrals. This gave Ola a very loyal user base from the minute the app launched. Cut to a few months later, Uber tried it’s hand in the Indian marketplace and currently counts India as it’s second largest market. However, the honeymoon phase is over and reality reared its ugly head. What seemed to be a win win situation, in the beginning, has is now become an ugly menace. Several customers have faced multiple issues when trying to commute using such applications.
The cab aggregators while promising a smooth service, cannot be bothered with when it comes to customer care. The result is usually unhappy customers stranded, extorted and disgusted. “I have given up trying to get in touch with Ola’s Customer Care. They always have an automated answer and at the end of the matter, there is never a solution to the matter,” says Anita, a resident of Hyderabad.
Ola and Uber gave travellers everywhere the hope of comfort and travelling without hassles. The world, seen through tinted rose glasses, seems like a beautiful place. However, what happens when these glasses are taken off? Ola and Uber have become a bane rather than a boon and people are tired of being appeased by the nonsense these cab aggregators give in terms of an excuse for their crap service!
An informal survey revealed the obvious. From drivers cancelling rides half way through the ride to creepy advances on the riders, nothing seems to be going in Ola’s or Uber’s favour. It is not just the drivers that have gotten a bad name. Back end service does not work right, the arrival time is always sketchy and drivers are rude, arrogant and abusive. Buck up Ola and Uber, it is time to get your act together and give us the service you promised! We are not the unsophisticated cave dwellers you clearly seem to think we are. Own up. Take responsibility. Drive our lives back into the happy world it used to be in the beginning, because honestly if you keep this up, we will not be the loyal customers we have been so far.
Paul Allen: Remembering This Tech Genius Through His Journey
When you think Microsoft, you invariably think of Bill Gates. However, how many times have you stopped to think about Paul Allen, the other man behind one of the most successful tech companies in recent history? While not many know Allen was the reason Microsoft came to be, the history of Allen’s life journey is just as enriching and exciting.
The first seeds of invention
Paul Allen and Bill Gates were friends since they were really young. Growing up, they discussed their dreams and hopes, but never thought they would ever work together as adults. When the time came for them to branch into the world of innovation, invention and creation, it was Allen who came up with the genius idea of him and Gates working together.
Their first ever venture together was way back when they were in school, in the year 1972, when Allen and Gates launched Traf o Data, a software company which analyzed and tracked traffic patterns. Although this project didn’t do as well as the two hoped, it definitely sowed the seeds of a new line of thought for both Paul Allen and Bill Gates. Both of them grew up and went to different colleges, with Allen landing up in Washington State University and Gates going to Harvard.
While Gates lasted a little longer at university, Allen dropped out after the first two years, realising college was not his cup of tea. When Allen found out Gates was looking at creating new software for computers, he suggested they work together and this is how their first successful project, BASIC, came to being. Allen also played an integral role in naming the company Micro-Soft. In fact, he was the one who suggested the name!
By the time Gates and Allen had reached the point of success that propelled Microsoft to the number one position, Allen was already looking at how to market Microsoft’s patent software. When Gates promised the world IBM would change the way personal computers functioned, it was Allen who completed the successful purchase of the software (Quick and Dirty Operating System) which changed the world!
The beginning of the end
Three years after one of the most historically turning points in the journey of Microsoft took place, Allen left Microsoft to focus on his health. He was fighting with Hodgkin’s lymphoma for and his deteriorating health was making it difficult for him to keep with the day to day going ons of Microsoft. Three years after he left Microsoft, Allen started Vulcan, named after the Roman god of fire, making sure personal investments were in order.
Despite struggling with cancer for this long in his life, Allen loved to live life king size. From owning a magnificent yacht to owning more than one prominent sports team, Paul Allen made sure he lived a life where every moment was lived to the fullest. In October 2018, Allen announced he was diagnosed with cancer that came back after a long period of remission and nothing he was doing was really helping him get better.
With Vulcan growing into one of the largest investment firms, Allen has been able to fund several prominent places in Seattle including the city’s Museum of Pop Culture, Washington State University and University of Washington. Also known for being a lover of rock music, Allen also founded a band called The Underthinkers and wrote or co wrote EVERY single song in the 2013 album!
An inspirational man, a dreamer and creator like never before, the day the world lost this tech genius (October 15, 2018,) was a truly sad day. Forever labelled as the day the world lost a brilliant genius, recovering from Paul Allen’s death is not going to be an easy feat. Despite officially leaving Microsoft in the year 1983, Allen stayed on the board of directors till 2000 and when he passed away, he stood as the 44th wealthiest man in the world. Just like Bill Gates mourns the loss of one of his oldest and closest friends, so does the rest of the world.
All You Need To Know About Anil Kumble’s AI Enabled Power Bat
Anil Kumble’s Spektacom Technologies, in partnership with Microsoft, has just developed a brand new Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled Power Bat. With the ability to collect data required for every shot hit and the details displayed both to the audience and the players, the new bat is aimed at making cricket an increasingly interesting sport! The basic aim of the new Power Bat is to increase engagement between both the audience and the coaches, giving players the chance to improve their game by leaps and bounds!
— Microsoft India (@MicrosoftIndia) October 11, 2018
A unique concept, the Power Bat has a Microsoft Azure Sphere sticker on its shoulder, whereby as soon as the batsman hits the ball, data on a wide range of parameters like speed on impact, twist on impact and quality of the shot are recorded, captured and processed. This processing and capturing is enabled with the help of a new measurement called Power Speks. The date derived from the Power Bat can be recorded during coaching and practice matches, giving the players a chance to improve their performance during the actual game.
“Our vision is to bring sports closer to fans through interesting ways of engagement using real time sports analytics. At the same time, it is important that the technologies used are seamless and do not disrupt the game or obstruct the players,” Anil Kumble said while talking about the new Power Bat. He further added, “With Microsoft, we have been able to create a secure and effective solution, and with Star India, we have a partner that can stimulate and excite fan engagement.”
Anil Kumble and Microsoft came together to redefine the way people played this much loved sport with this game changing bat! The Power Bat was revealed a couple of days ago and it is already touted to be the game changer for cricket as a sport by 2019!
Speaking about the collaboration, Anil Kumble tweeted,
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) October 11, 2018
The CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella also replied to Anil Kumble in a tweet
Bringing the power of Azure, AI and Azure Sphere to cricket, transforming how the game is played, coached and watched. https://t.co/uZOl0uS3sI
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) October 14, 2018
Google Shuts Down Google Plus
Google Plus, Google’s social networking arm, is going to be shut down moments after the company announced a major data breach happened, wherein the private information of around 500,000 users was made public over a period of three years, ranging approximately from March 2015 to March 2018. What is really surprising about this data reveal is that when the breach happened last spring, Google decided to cover up the issue, rather than address it like the mature company it was expected to be.
The glitch happened when Google allowed close to 500 external apps (438 apps, to be precise,) to obtain users’ full names, email addresses, occupations, relationship statuses, genders and ages, even for accounts which were made private. While these tools require the permission of the users for access, the information is more often than not made publicly available to these apps through third party users. Google said it could not identify the users whose data was leaked and therefore, it did not want to send out a mass memo regarding the issue.
Post the reveal of the data breach, Google said it did release an internal memo about the bug, but did not tell its users because it wanted to avoid dealing with the immediate regulations that would have been certainly imposed. Incidentally, this was when Facebook was in the spotlight for the Cambridge Analytica scam and if Google came under the radar for this, the repercussions would be massive, to say the least.
Repenting its decision to not do anything about the breach earlier, Google has finally decided to do something now. Not only is Google going to shut down Google Plus, its initiative, Project Strobe, is going to conduct a root and branch initiative of the third party developer access to Google accounts and Android data.
After this breach was brought to the public’s notice, Google has now decided to shut down Google Plus for a period of 10 months. However, people will still be able to use this networking platform for enterprise purposes and not for personal purposes. To improve the experience of the users using the G Suite, Google is going to notify customers the moment a data breach happens. Further initiatives on how Google is going to protect users’ data are going to be announced soon.
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