India’s Special Economic Zones

The Economist compares India’s SEZ plans with China’s:

One of the big differences between India’s SEZs and China’s is in size. Although Reliance Industries, India’s biggest private-sector company, is planning enormous, town-sized, SEZs near Mumbai and in Haryana, near Delhi, most of the others are tiny. The minimum area for a multi-product SEZ is 1,000 hectares (3.9 square miles), for a product-specific zone, it is 100 hectares, and for information technology, biotechnology and jewellery, just ten hectares. By comparison, Shenzhen, biggest and most famous of China’s original SEZs, covers 126 square miles. That scale was a huge factor in its initial success along with the presence, just over the border in Hong Kong, of labour-intensive manufacturers wanting to lower their costs. Enjoying neither of these advantages, India’s smaller SEZs may do more for their promoters than for India.

Second Life

Jon Udell writes about the metaverse:

You build Second Life objects using two-dimensional gestures that render in a simulated 3-D space. I used to be handy with 3-D CAD software, and let me tell you, that third dimension is a doozy.

If you havent tried Second Life yet, youll spend your first hour just learning to walk, jump, fly, teleport, and look around. Because the camera can track your avatar or move independently of it, looking around can be quite a complex affair. The camera has a record button, by the way, so you can shoot movies of everything from any point of view.

Once youre fairly comfortable moving around, you can try your hand at building some stuff. After youve conjured up a few shapes and stretched, tilted, textured, cloned, and stacked them, youll begin to appreciate the staggering amounts of time and effort that your fellow residents have invested in the bridges, waterfalls, castles, and richly detailed interiors theyve built everywhere. And youll also begin to see how these virtual artifacts can command real-world prices.

Coghead

InfoWorld writes:

In SMBs or workgroups in larger organizations, users who feel at home with technology are often frustrated that they have to rely on packaged software or custom-built alternatives when doing their jobs, according to Paul McNamara, Coghead’s chief executive officer. “There’s a large gap between the people who create the app and those who use it,” he said. “We let people who are close to a business problem create their own apps.”

Coghead is targeting corporate users who are comfortable creating Excel macros and understand business processes, he added. Coghead estimates there could be as many as 20 million such people employed in IT or operations units within SMBs or enterprises.