Facebook’s offerings for 2014 polls

In the run up to the 2014 polls, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Facebook have announced a collaborative effort to provide citizens up-to-date candidate information for the upcoming Assembly Elections and Lok Sabha Elections to help them make an informed choice.

Voters will now be able to access information about candidates directly on their mobile via Facebook using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) technology, according to a release.

This service will be provided free of cost. Users will be able to access the election menu by dialling *325# to access Facebook and select the election menu.

Ankhi Das, director of Public Policy, Facebook India, said in a release: “Together with ADR, we hope to make information more readily available to users about the antecedents and performance of political candidates. The idea is to enable citizens to get involved in issues of governance.”

The Facebook user base in India is over 82 million, and an increasing number access it though mobile. Trilochan Sastry of the Association for Democratic Reforms said the voters will be able to know the poll worthiness of candidates, their educational, criminal and financial information, at their fingertips and choose wisely.

HP unveils Big Data analytics platform

HP announced HAVEn, a set of core technologies that form a Big Data analytics platform, enabling organizations to create applications and solutions to accelerate the adoption and monetization of Big Data.

The new offering seeks to address the challenges posed by growing volume, variety, velocity and vulnerability of information in the enterprise. HP's release stated that HAVEn combines the proven technologies from HP Autonomy, HP Vertica, HP ArcSight and HP Operations Management, as well as key industry initiatives such as Hadoop. “The value of Big Data comes from the ability to analyze all information in real time, so decisions that accelerate growth or improve services to customers and citizens, can be made quickly,” said Amit Chatterjee, Country Director, HP Software India. He added that HP's open architecture helps clients avoid vendor lockins.

Conference celebrates women technologists

The fourth annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India Conference went underway here last week with women technologists from across the country participating in discussions, technology sessions and seminars and a hackathon.

At the end of the three-day event, Anita Borg Institute announced the winner of the 2013 Women Entrepreneur Quest. Mausmi Ambastha, Founder of Intellocut, bagged the award for the technology she developed to help industries optimize their wastage in cutting material and fabrics. Speaking at the conference, Telle Whitney, President and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute said, “Promoting women enterepreneurship in technology is an area of great interest to the Anita Borg Institute and we’re happy to see young people come up with great ideas and turn them into viable business ventures. Indian women have the potential to change course, take risks and achieve greater heights.”

Courseware on mainframe technologies

Last week, e-learning firms Skillsoft and Interskill Learning announced courseware on mainframe technologies. This specialised collection provides the full range of formal and on-demand learning courses designed to help address the needs of organizations that leverage mainframe computing, a Skillsoft release stated.

The courseware consists of over 200 courses representing over 1,000 hours of elearning courseware. Mainframes continue to remain a primary and strategic business platform for most organizations globally, playing a central role in the daily operations of large corporations across the banking, finance, health care, insurance, utilities and government sectors.