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Censoring social media in Healthcare is Regressive : Kapil Khandelwal, EquNev Capital,


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Kapil Khandelwal
EquNev Capital

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Censoring social media in Healthcare is Regressive : Kapil Khandelwal, EquNev Capital,

  1. 1. c m y k c m y k TECHNOMICS PAGE 13 Stevejobstoberemembered withstatueinHungary IBMtobuyanalyticssoftware companyDemandtecfor$440mn.MONDAY 12 | DECEMBER 2011 BENGALURU Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (005930.KS) said on Sunday its annual mobile handset sales this year had exceeded 300 million units for the first time in the company's histo- ry. The world's second largest handset maker by volume said in a statement it had broken its sales record by the end of last month. Handset sales in 2010 were about 280 million. “We look forward to extending this success going into 2012,” J.K. Shin, President and Head of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business, was quoted as saying. Samsung said the company's flagship Galaxy S smart- phone series — Galaxy S and Galaxy S II — contributed significantly to the results. The GALAXY S II, launched in April, set a new sales record for Samsung, gener- ating 10 million-unit sales. TWITTER REVAMPED FOR BETTER VIEW SSaann FFrraanncciissccoo: Twitter revamped its website on Thursday to make the microblogging service easier to use and to help compa- nies better showcase their brands. The new version of Twitter, which the company is gradually making available starting on Thursday, will feature a new look and feel and faster performance, the company said. The redesigned website comes as Twitter is taking steps to introduce more advertising on the site and as Twitter faces increased competition from Web giants Facebook and Google Inc (GOOG.O) . “We have to provide the simplest and fastest way for people around the world to connect to everything they care about,” Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo said as he introduced the new version of the site at an event at the company’s future headquarters in San Francisco. Costolo appeared alongside Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who returned to the company in March as executive chairman to over- see the company’s product design and development efforts. Twitter allows peo- ple to send 140-character messages, or “tweets,” throughout the network of over 100 million users. It is one of the Web’s most pop- ular social networking ser- vices, along with Facebook and Zynga. In October, Apple Inc (AAPL.O) integrat- ed Twitter’s service directly into the software that pow- ers the popular iPhones. GOOGLEDEBUTS DIGITALMAGAZINE SAMSUNG: 300 M MOBILES SOLD IN ’11 TTeecchh pplluuss San Francisco Google is join- ing a crowd of companies packaging digital content in a magazine-like format for mobile devices. The Internet search leader released its version, called “Currents,” Thursday. It works on smart- phones and computer tablets running on Google’s Android software, as well as Apple Inc.’s operating sys- tem and its iPhone and iPad. Currents is late to the com- petition. It will be trying to catch up to Flipboard, one of the most popular applica- tions on the iPad, and Zite, which is owned by Time Warner Inc.’s CNN. Yahoo Inc. released a similar prod- uct called Livestand last month. Google Inc. says more than 150 publishers have agreed to provide material to Currents. The participating publishers include Forbes, PBS, Huffington Post and AllThingsD. Details on how Currents’ ad revenue will be divided weren’t disclosed. O ur Hon. Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal’s state- ment to censor the social media took the world third largest net saavy population by sur- prise and there were protests in the virtual world against such a move. What surprised me was the timing of this move by Mr. Sibal. We have been using the social media for years and why was this so urgent now when the country and the government has some very pressing business to attend to in the parliament passing some very impor- tant bills. Any censorship of social media would be regressive move. It would curb pub- lishers of content on the social media and move back the internet to the pre-social media era where all were subscribers to con- tent. Such unconstitution- al move to curb freedom of publishing content to the social media however so ever offensive demon- strates the maturity of our society and our societal norms to be tolerant to any such offensive material and runs contrary to our Gandhian norms. My suggestion is that rather than spend time on the social media trying to figure out the heat maps of the offensive against them, our politicians need to be focusing on improving the governance and hence the offensive material posted would come down. Ultimately, our political leaders who champion the clamp down of social media must be prepared for resis- tance, even ridicule; most important, they must be prepared to accept social media themselves and be used as a dashboard of their popularity and their services to the nation. Ultimately for the sake of a few hundred MPs who have lost the people’s trust, censorship cannot be thrust on the millions on the way they use and pub- lish content to the social media and exercise their individuality. Let us understand that the fundamental weakness of social media is the unhindered access people have, which also happens to be the greatest strength of social media and its use in healthcare. The power to provide real time, location aware information and influence is phenomenal. Healthcare as an industry has a premium on content and web search, with search for healthcare being the third most popular use of the internet and the social media. Hence any such move to censor healthcare social media will be regressive. An example of censorship in social media having a huge impact is in the case of dis- aster management, pan- demic alerts, shortage of healthcare resources to respond to medical emer- gencies. A case in point; a country where social media has been censored had a delayed response to disaster response because the citizens who do publish on the social media real time about a catastrophic incident are not taken seri- ously. There is a lag of time before the sites update of the catastrophy as it would go through the filters and the screening process. This could mean hundreds of deaths that could be avert- ed if the people had the belief on the social media. In such a scenario, we would be seeing many hos- pital fires raging and nobody reporting on the social media about the lapses in the hospitals and nursing homes they visit on thee social media due to the fear of censorship. The second key area is enabling research on healthcare. Online patient communities are a rich source of information for the doctors, government to understand the need gaps of healthcare services being delivered and have the potential of progress- ing medical research. Any curbs will give distorted view. Education is the next biggest benefit of social media when it comes to health. A large majority of patient’s family members review the social media to share their experiences and learn from other peo- ple’s experiences. As our country becomes the chronic disease capital of the world, the activity is going to intensify. We are going to deprive our people the access to information in an already fledgling healthcare system. There may be regular news reports of privacy violations, dangerous mis- information and fraud pro- moted via social media, but these reports are not likely to stop a wave of innova- tion and conversation on the social media with respect to healthcare. I rest my case in the peo- ple’s court. Kapil Khandelwal is Director, EquNev Capital, a niche investments bank- ing and advisory services firm and a leading health- care and information com- munication technology (ICT) expert. PPAAMMEELLAA PPAAUULL THERE’S an intruder in my marital bed. Bright, colorful, seductive and easy to cradle, it is capturing my husband’s attention at night. And I’ve had enough. The interloper is my hus- band’s iPad, a purchase I object- ed to strenuously. After a long day of squinting at my work desktop, my home desktop, my laptop and my cellphone, I am happy to unleash my eyeballs and retire to the quiet, still pages of an old-fashioned book. The iPad, with its cheerful icons and insistent gleam, invariably tugs my gaze away from my own reading material, an inescapable distraction. I can’t read next to it. My husband loves it. Our tussle over e-reader ver- sus “dead wood” (as technophiles would cruelly have it) isn’t the only device- based disagreement wedging itself between otherwise harmo- nious relationships. Recently, in an effort to troubleshoot a glitch on my iPhone, I asked a colleague for help. “I’ve thought about getting an iPhone,” she said wistfully. “But my husband is very anti-Apple. He doesn’t want any of their products in the house.” Next to these kinds of disputes, political discord à la Mary Matalin-James Carville feels very 1994. In one relationship, the man may insist on a Kindle while his wife may use a Nook. For other couples, it’s the persistent BlackBerry or iPhone divide or the old PC versus Mac debate. One partner uses a Zune rather than the near-ubiquitous iPod. Others argue the relative appeal of tablets over laptops. Technology can draw couples closer. How adorable one pair might look marveling at items in the Apple store together! How lovely to trade books on the Kindle. Isn’t it darling the way they exchange videos of the chil- dren on their smartphones? So cute (or nauseating) when cou- ples tweet back and forth or flirt on their partner’s Facebook wall. But not all couples get along technologically. “My boyfriend, Bill, thinks my cellphone is ridiculous,” said Amy Robinson, 28, who still uses a 1990s-era Nokia. “He makes fun of me all the time: Why do you still have that phone? What’s wrong with you?” Bill Rice, 30, who works at a tech startup, was among the first people to get a Motorola Xoom. When the 4G Android was announced, he counted down the days to its release. As compatible as a cou- ple may be as friends, lovers and domestic partners, technologi- cal incompatibility can be infu- riating. Because while couples love each other, they also adore their gadgets. Studies have demonstrated that people devel- op something akin to love for their cellphones, for example. One study found that young Australians believed “their cell- phones were part of them.” In another study, only 1 percent of American college students said that were they to lose their cell- phone they “would try to live without one.” The introduction of Siri will probably only exac- erbate the already documented tendency to anthropomorphize our clever little electronic com- panions. Melody Chalaban, 35, an iPhone user and public rela- tions manager at a software company, and Michael Swain, 35, Android owner and archi- tect, illustrated the Save the Date for their October wedding with the image of an Android robot tossing an Apple logo high into the air. (Which person, if either, emerged the winner is open to interpretation.) Even those who cannot tell a Birkin from a Bottega Veneta can become fervent about their chosen brand of contraption and fierce when challenged on its merits. For many, their person- al chunk of Corning Gorilla Glass and polycarbonate becomes symbolic, a kind of character flag that identifies the owner as iconoclast, Luddite, techie or mechanically indiffer- ent aesthete. And a couple’s electronic iden- tities don’t always match. “I hate both her iPads and her Kindle Fire,” Charles Ardai, 42, a managing director at D. E. Shaw Group and publisher of Hard Case Crime books, said of the tablet collection his wife, Naomi Novik, 38, owns. “I have an atavistic loathing of books that are not paper and ink.” These differences, Mr. Ardai said, go deeper than a surface I- like-this-gizmo-better-than-that- one. “Naomi is the ultimate early adopter because she’s fun- damentally an optimist,” he said. “And I’m fundamentally a pes- simist, which is why I write dark, brooding fiction and have quaint technological notions.” (Ms. Novik, for her part, special- izes in science fiction and fanta- sy.) It is interesting to note that gender disparities in gadget choices are not significant. A number of studies through the mid-2000s found that women are more attached to their cell- phones than men are, though that tendency could change now that smartphones (with their capacity for gaming, stock price tracking and Internet dawdling) are taking over. — NYT San Francisco: It may be one of the technology world’s most expensive efforts to give something away: Hewlett-Packard Corporation said on Friday that it’s making its webOS mobile system available as open-source software that anyone can use and modify freely. HP snagged the intuitive webOS software when it paid $1.8 billion in 2010 for Palm Incorporation in what became a failed effort to revive the flailing smartphone pioneer. HP said it still plans to develop and support we- bOS. First released on the Palm Pre smartphone in 2009, webOS ultimately ran on several smartph- ones. In July, HP also used it on its tablet computer, the TouchPad. The webOS software was marked by its multitasking capabili- ties and the ability to view open apps as “cards” that you can slide across the screen, tap to enlarge or flick to dismiss. Initially, it was generally well- reviewed by technology critics.The mobile devices never caught on with con- sumers, though, many of whom were more enticed by Apple Incorporation’s iPhone and iPad and smartphones running Google Incorporation’s Android software. Developers also weren’t that interested in creating apps for such a small audi- ence. HP hopes that by offering it to the open- source community, more mobile apps will be devel- oped. The move could also mean that other con- sumer-electronics manu- facturers would decide to make devices that use the software. Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett called HP’s deci- sion creative. He suspects companies would have been interested in buying webOS from HP, but he’s not sure how much they would have wanted to pay for it. This way, HP gets to make a limited invest- ment in webOS’ future and keep a hand in mobile software. ‘If you decide you can’t afford to get in the game fully with both feet, absolutely at least keep your options open,” he said. HP’s decision is not unlike what AOL did with the Netscape browser years ago. After losing to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Netscape was released to the open- source community. Its successor, Firefox, is now one of IE’s leading rivals. Google also has seen suc- cess letting developers use its open-source Android software. The future of webOS had been uncer- tain since August, when HP said it would stop mak- ing tablet computers and smartphones, part of a blundered announcement by then-CEO Leo Apotheker, who also said then that HP was looking into putting its PC busi- ness up for sale. —AP A Dose of IT Kapil Khandelwal Censoring social media is regressive SSAANNGGEEEETTHHAA CCHHEENNGGAAPPPPAA || DDCC BENGALURU, DEC. 11 Techie Nikhil Parakh, who is a regular at coffee cafes like Matteo, Café Pascucci, Java City, Café Coffee Day and Barista, often switches on his Wi-Fi to access Internet in these cafes, while waiting for his friends to join him after a hard day at work. While some of these cafes offer Wi-Fi services for free, oth- ers charge anywhere between ` 30 – `50 for every 30 - 60 minutes of Internet access time. “Not all the cafes I visit offer free Internet connectivity. It would certainly be great if it is free, as I often end up paying upto `50 per hour to check my e- mails and surf the net on my lap- top, smart phone or even on my iTouch” said Nikhil. Retail coffee chains are going all out to engage their customers, largely comprising of students and young professionals with a lot of freebies. While music and airconditioning are a given in most of these cafes, retailers are throwing in a lot more to delight their customers. Café Coffee Day brings out a monthly tabloid – Café Chronicle which provides a good read at its cafes; Barista Lavazza has gui- tars, scrabble and chess boards to engage their customers as well as a new menu introduced every 6 months. Now, the race is on to provide free internet connectivi- ty as well. With Barista Lavazza’s recent announcement of free internet connectivity across all its cafes, consumers are in for a big treat, or so it seems on the surface. Dig a little deeper and there’s a catch to the free offer. First of all, only 128 of the 155 Barista Lavazza cafes across the country will offer free internet connectivity to its consumers. “Only the first 15 minutes of Internet access is free for our customers. After that, only those customers who bill above `200 in our Espresso bars and `250 in our premium Creme cafes, will be offered another 30 minutes of free Internet access time. If they require more time, they can opt to pay either `50 for 60 minutes or `30 for 30 minutes of addition- al Internet time” said R Shivashankar, Director – South Asia, Lavazza. Elaborating on the offer, he said “We have launched a brand new section called “Hot Deals” on our website. Till now, con- sumers visiting the café were required to carry print-outs of the deals being offered, but with free Wi-Fi services, they will be able to simply download these deals and avail the offer in the café itself. We want to engage with consumers not just in the traditional space but in the digi- tal medium as well.” Market leader, Café Coffee Day, which has 1,200 cafes including its premium lounges across the country, currently offers Wi-Fi access in 130 cafes, of which only 65 cafes offer it for free. “We are working toward offer- ing free Wi-Fi connectivity in 700-800 of our cafes located in big cities/towns in six months. At present, we are charging at the rate of `27 for 30 minutes of Internet time at 65 cafes” said K Ramakrishnan, President – Marketing, Café Coffee Day. Smaller coffee café chains like Pascucci and Matteo offer free internet connectivity in all their outlets as they are located well within the central business dis- trict where there is no shortage of providers. However, for large chains like Café Coffee Day and Barista Lavazza, providing inter- net connectivity in highway cafes and other remote tourist hubs is proving to be a big chal- lenge. “Very soon, free Wi-Fi services will become a hygiene factor and most coffee cafés will have to offer it, if they want to engage their customers” said Ramakrishnan.” Free Internet with a cuppa DIVISIVE DEVICES Eeks! There is a gadget intruder in my marital bed WebOS is now an open source project, says HP PPAATTRRIICCKK CCOONNDDOONN ST. PAUL, MINN. The University of Kansas is buying up website names such as and But not because it’s planning a Hot Babes of Kansas site or an X-rated gallery of the Nude Girls of the Land of Aaahs. Instead, the university and countless other schools and businesses are rushing to prevent their good names from falling into the hands of the pornography industry. Over the past two months, they have snapped up tens of thousands of “.xxx” web- site names that could be exploited by the adult entertainment business. “Down the road there’s no way we can predict what some unscrupulous entre- preneur might come up with,” said Paul Vander Tuig, trademark licensing director at the Lawrence, Kan., school. The university spent nearly $3,000 in all. It plans to sit on the .xxx names and do nothing with them. The brand-new .xxx suf- fix is an adults-only varia- tion on .com. The .xxx name went on sale to the public for the first time last week, promoted as a way to enable porn sites to distinguish themselves and a means of making it easier for Internet filters to screen out things parents don’t want their children to see. ICM Registry of Palm Beach, Fla., is the exclu- sive manager of the .xxx names and sells them through a dozen middle- man companies such as for an aver- age of $100 a year. Indiana University spokesman Mark Land said the school spent $2,200 to buy and 10 other such names. Other Indiana schools took the same step, including Purdue University and Ball State University. “This is just a modest cost of doing business in the world we live in,” Land said. ICM sold .xxx names for the past two months exclu- sively to companies and others that wanted to pro- tect their brands from the porn industry. During the so-called sunrise sale, ICM registered nearly 80,000 names, said chairman and CEO Stuart Lawley. Colleges buy up .xxx websites PRE-EMPTING PORN Coffee chains in India are increasingly offering wireless Internet access to draw customers. But beware the 'free' hype. TTeecchh uuppggrraaddee TTeecchh ssccaann