HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

N Madhavan

Sony case underlines cyber security needs for India

Hollywood, the glamorous film industry of the world’s biggest votary of free speech, the US, has withheld the release of 'The Interview' after threats linked to North Korean hackers upset over the comedy built around the assassination of its leader, Kim Jong-un.

@ShamiWitness Mehdi's arrest raises questions on online laws

It is clear that India needs to be proactive about a new online global culture and evolve a new legal framework that guards free speech while ensuring security and responsibility, writes N Madhavan.

Think global, act local: Here's what Uber can learn from McDonald’s

Can Uber take ownership for the safety of its passengers? Be it financial or physical safety, how far can -- or should -- Uber go? There are no easy answers, writes N Madhavan.

Social media angst needs active help

Social media and user generated content are a complex subject. Since the content in question can be used/abused in many ways (think cut-and-paste theft, tagging, cyberstalking, intrusive advertising research), paranoia will be a frequently occurring thing.

Zoho shows way for software's outcasts

I saw on Sunday 'Rang Rasiya' and that somehow that brought back memories of last week, when I was visiting software product firm Zoho in Chennai. Zoho is unlike any IT company I have seen in the past two decades or so, writes N Madhavan.

Better support system for digital goods is the need of the hour

I have had a difficult six months in my adventures with electronic items. My five-year old LCD TV gave up and I spent about Rs. 700 to be told after two visits that its repair would cost Rs. 24,000.

It's Snapdeal vs Flipkart vs Amazon, but watch out for Reliance

In the biggest investment ever by an investor in any Indian e-commerce firm, Japanese group SoftBank has put in $627 million (Rs 3,847 crore) in Snapdeal, becoming the largest shareholder in the online marketplace.

The importance of Sundar Pichai

The appointment of Sundar Pichai as head of products at Google is bigger news than it appears. True, there is no immediate move to groom the IIT, Kharagpur engineer as successor to current CEO Larry Page and his title still reads a bland 'senior vice-president'.

Start-up culture finds new wings

It was nice to spend a few hours at Tiecon Delhi last week, in the congregation that helps startups happen in India. Tiecon (Tie Conference) has its roots in The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), a US-based network that played on the India-US (Ind-US) expression in the Silicon Valley.

Why Narayana Murthy is important

I often ask myself what is the larger significance of Narayana Murthy for India. It may be this: through the 1970s and 1980s, India’s general public had questioned successful corporate figures because they thrived on political connections and the Licence Permit Raj, writes N Madhavan.

Why Bezos stayed longer in India

As it turns out,  Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, stayed back for three more days and met Modi on Friday. That symbolises India’s importance for Bezos.

Messaging apps may eat phone calls

At the end of the last quarter, India had 71 million broadband subscribers, of which 55 million were using mobile devices. This in a nation of  919 million wireless mobile users. Clearly, data plans are only just taking off in India.

Cloud computing under a cloud

 Public cloud is like public transport: you know you can use a bus at a low cost, but you can’t be sure where you will be seated writes N Madhavan.

Wanted: A KYC for social media

To prevent combat terrorism and money laundering, financial authorities worldwide implement KYC norms. I am beginning to see a case for a similar check on social media sites, writes N Madhavan.

Indian telcos walking backwards?

Their demand is regressive – a bit like taxi drivers protesting against a cheaper metro service. The truth is that the government offered cheap spectrum to telcos and also limited the number of players in the early years. These have given them a headstart.

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