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Monday, March 25, 2002
Latest in IT world

Aspirin-sized server

A young non-resident Indian has invented a low cost, aspirin-sized server that would allow devices to be Internet-enabled on a mass scale. Young Hariharasubrahmaniam "Shri" Srikumar was working on his Ph.D. when he thought of breaking a world record by creating the smallest computer server. Later Ipsil, a Greater Washington area company, was established to put the tiny server to work, the Washington Post reports. Set up by Velu Sinha a longtime friend of Shrikumar's, and Jim Kopetsky, Ipsil began filing for patents and creating a prototype of the server to work with a variety of products. "What I stumbled upon," says Srikumar "is a way by which you can shrink network computers by a factor of a thousand." "We came up to a single chip design that would work to make all types of devices Internet-enabled," Sinha explained. Sinha said Ipsil is targeting companies that will use the servers to remotely monitor products for needed adjustments or potential glitches. The servers can run on existing wires or transmit data through wireless networks, so no direct Internet connection is needed, Sinha said.

Desperate Pakistanis

More than 3,000 Pakistanis wanted to become citizens in the northern European nation of Ladonia, the country's state secretary said last week. Unfortunately, the country doesn't exist. Ladonia is a piece of land in southern Sweden only one square kilometre (half-mile) in size, and as a nation exists mainly on the Internet (www.aim.se/ladonia) and in the mind of its creator, artist Lars Vilks. "It all started a month ago when we began getting the first applications from Pakistan, and then the pace really picked up," Vilks, whose Ladonian title is state secretary, told Reuters. Surprised and upset that the Website had given people false hopes, Vilks has temporarily shut down the site's citizen application facility. The imaginary country already has 6,000 registered "citizens."


Online stocks

Even after two years of its launch, Net-based equity trading constitutes only 2 per cent (Rs 60-70 crore) of the total turnover on the country's bourses, Hindustan Times reports. As against 30-40 per cent in the USA, 40-60 per cent in South Korea and 20 per cent in the UK, Net-based trading in India failed to take off amongst the retail investors and issues like inadequate bandwidth, low Internet penetration and security are affecting its growth. As per available statistics, in India online trading accounted for nearly Rs 50,170 crore out of the total volume of Rs 25,08,445 crore in fiscal 2000-01, accounting for just 2 per cent.

Call centre

Emirates Bank Group has announced launching a state-of-the-art call centre to offer tailor made telebanking services to its customers, Khaleej Times reports. Called 'Pls Call,' the new service is available in three languages - Arabic, English and Hindi. Addressing a press conference in Dubai, Anis Al Jallaf, chief executive officer and managing director of the group, said that the new system will provide recognition for the callers when they dial in using their registered mobile telephones allowing the operator to instantly access their account information and help with any inquiry. This instant recognition extends to preferred languages that allow customers to speak directly to an operator in Arabic or English or for the first time in Hindi, he added.