08 February 2012

The News - News

The News - News

Look at the World of Glass and Touchscreen!

Posted: 07 Feb 2012 04:29 AM PST

Corning has released a video titled "A Day Made of Glass 2: Unpacked" which takes us on a tour to have a look at what could be the future of glass touch-screen interfaces. This video is a continuation of Corning's last year's video "A Day Made of Glass" which received more than 17 million views on YouTube, this video explains company's vision in the role of specialty glasses and advanced touch-screen.

Corning’s Gorilla Glass has made its significance felt in the gadget world in a very short span of time. Gorilla Glass is a super-strong, lightweight glass which can withstand drops and ill-treatment, therefore these glasses are used in most of the latest touch screen-devices and are expected to come in many future products.
The new video launched by the company highlights glass tablets, multitouch-enabled desks, solar panels, augmented reality, electronic medical records and anti-microbial medical equipment. The whole video portrays a world made of interactive glass surfaces which makes you stay connected through flawless deliverance of real-time information.
Corning Chairman and CEO Wendell Weeks says, Corning's vision for the future includes a world in which myriad ordinary surfaces transform "from one-dimensional utility into sophisticated electronic devices."
Corning’s advancements in sleek, flexible, touch-sensitive, and damage-resistant glass materials are the solution for not just the near future, but today. The company is engaged in research and partnership opportunities that will help make the vision in both videos a reality, as stated in company's press release.
All these future technology and the contribution of glass to make them possible seems quite amazing, only time will tell which of these would take a real form and when it comes to life there are more chances that they will be having an entire new look. But to confirm anything we have to wait at least for 20 to 30 years.

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Laptops to Accept Your Eye Command

Posted: 07 Feb 2012 04:24 AM PST


Tech giants around the world believe that motion control is the future of computing. With the invention of Nintendo's Wii which is a gaming console with a wireless remote by which you can control a computer by just waving your hands, the belief of the tech giants become reality. Microsoft's Kinect which analysis motion and have a whole new experience to gamers and the recently launched iPhone 4S with a voice assistance computing named Siri are other notable examples in this field.

All such innovative techs are around us making computing better and easy, but now the technology is focusing on a new field in the space of motion control technology called 'Eye Tracking'. This technology is not new, it's available in militaries and in some specialized industries for disabled peoples, but it has a huge cost.
Last month at CES 2012, a company called Tobii, demonstrated a new laptop with built-in eye tracking sensor. This system will detect where you are looking with pinpoint accuracy. To use this eye tracking, first the system learns where your eyes are looking by using a 10 seconds calibration process, this process is by a simple test, in which you just have to look at an orange dot on the laptop screen which jumps around the screen.

The company has shown a demo of this eye tracking sensor by implementing it on Google Maps, it automatically focuses and Zooms in and out wherever you focus and you can even scroll the page too. The company also showed a slide show app, where you see the thumbnails of many photos and it automatically blows up to full screen when you focus on any thumbnail.

The demo goes further; it was amazing when they showed the demo of running Windows 8, clicking the toolbar button, opened the world doc and scrolling the pace automatically just by the gaze.

Tobii is marketing this eye tracking sensor to computer manufacturers and Lenovo is the first to show off the prototype of an eye controlled laptop in CES 2012, and it might be the first company to bring this tech to the market in a couple of years.

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New Skills Pay Better Than IT Certificates

Posted: 07 Feb 2012 04:14 AM PST

IT certification may no longer assure extra pay in your tech field, in spite of the surge of job growth in the IT sector– new skills are now more valued instead. Foote Partners, a consultancy that delivers in-depth reports regarding the IT labor market, released these quarterly findings based on its monitoring of more than 2,200 employers and around 120,000 jobs.

The market for tech jobs looks good though, since it is stronger than it has been. According to a report from Dice.com (the largest tech job board), the number of tech job-listings by employers in 2011 increased by 11 percent when compared to 2010. The rate of unemployment in the IT sector has also fallen from 5.3 percent in 2010 to 3.7 percent in 2011 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics' year-end report. The overall unemployment rate for the whole economy, in comparison, was 8.5 percent in the US in the month of December.

However, what these statistics may fail to reveal, according to David Foote, CEO of Foote Partners, is the fact that the IT-job growth spurt cud be downplayed. IT opportunities, according to him, are emerging, but for "hybrid jobs", which run across different departments. Since these jobs are scattered amongst various categories, finding them is a lot harder than when IT jobs were only found under the IT department.


According to Foote's survey, tech jobs in the last quarter of 2011were not willing to pay as much as they used to for certified skills which included Oracle/Siebel 7.7 certified consultant, Microsoft certified database administrator, and IBM certified specialist in storage networking solutions. These courses lost around 15 percent (or more) of their market value while narrow non-certified skills sets, including SAP Business One, SAP Web application server, and ColdFusion/ColdFusion MX, saw a similar spiraling decline.

Certified skills that did increase in value by a rough 15 percent comprised of broader skill-sets such as EC-Council certified security analyst, certified wireless network administrator, CompTIA Server+, and HP accredited platform specialist. The same amount of value was gained by other non-certified skills including application development, and development frameworks Groovy, Java, JavaScript, Joomla, VbScript, Drupal, and Ruby – which are notably used in the popular areas of cloud, mobile, messaging-oriented frameworks, e-commerce and Web applications.

"The broader trend continues to be employers hiring hybrid IT-business professionals with combinations of both business and technology knowledge, experience, and skill sets, unlike those found in traditional IT organizations. …Clearly there is demand for a mix of specific technical skills along with business and communications skills," explains Foote. Bill Reynolds, a partner at Foote agrees with him, noting that a number of firms whose lines of business were not related to technology directly have openings that need tech-savvy employees with different skills.

One thing to be kept in mind though is that the IT jobs are evolving like the other areas of the labor market, and that tech job-seekers must stay updated.

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Google Violates “NO Poach” Agreement; Hires Apple’s Senior Director

Posted: 07 Feb 2012 04:11 AM PST

Google has apparently violated the secret "no-poach" agreement with Apple by hiring Simon Prakash, Apple's Senior Director of product integrity.
Venture Beat reported that Prakash will be working on a secret project, presumably run by Google co founder Sergery Brin, who is responsible for a variety of secret research and development projects. With the recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Google has a wide number of hardware projects going on.


Prakash has more than 8 years of experience at Apple and was responsible for quality assurance across Apple's various products from iPods to Macs. This is for the first time that Google is hiring such a senior person from Apple.

With this hiring Google made it clear that if there really was a "no-poach" agreement between Apple, it no longer exists. Google and Apple, along with Pixar, Intel, Lucasfilm and Intuit are accused of secretly entering into agreements for not poaching each other's employs and the companies are also in the fear of facing law suit.

Google had earlier defended itself on Anti-trust lawsuit over secret no-poaching agreements saying that it has "always actively and aggressively recruited top talent."

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For New Ventures, Scope Intensifies in B2B

Posted: 07 Feb 2012 04:09 AM PST

Since last six to nine months, there is early adoption in B2B Internet ventures that are trying to organize fragmented businesses, with businesses like Via (formerly FlightRaja – serving individual travel agents) scaling up pretty well.

However, in the Internet the direct to consumer businesses in India have been facing two primary challenges in scaling up: last mile Internet connectivity and payment mechanism. A large number of services and products like travel tickets, hotel bookings, insurance payments, investment products, and real estate brokerage are delivered through local neighborhood entrepreneurs. Though this ecosystem is fragmented and inefficient it solves the problem of last mile distribution and payment collection. The opportunity lies in organizing this unorganized market by providing platform driven services to them. If there is a value proposition, small businesses are willing to spend money and invest in a computer with Internet connection.

There have been B2B businesses in areas of logistics, commerce, auction exchanges, assisted commerce, and financial products distribution, which have seen proper traction. These platforms are helping fragmented businesses increase their efficiency, sales, and customer retention. The challenge here is to reach the fragmented customer base.

Step out of B2B, and opportunities abound around business model innovation. From the technology standpoint, it is energy efficiency and telecom, which are evolving. In telecom, rapidly changing combination of device and operating system is giving a nightmare to the incumbents. Startups are developing platforms and services to reduce time-to-launch and market services on mobile. OnMobile has recently launched their developer platform similar to Facebook app platform.

In terms of energy efficiency, there are new applications in energy monitoring and measurement. Response management is a bit futuristic at this point. However; once the monitoring infrastructure is set up, response management would be the next obvious step. Adoption is a challenge in this industry. However, industrial users can be early adopters if they see clear cost advantages.

Entrepreneurs, while starting out on their ventures should dig into big markets. Sectors like education, healthcare, commerce, and financial product distribution have big existing markets and are growing with India's per capita income. There are existing inefficiencies and consumer pain points. A disadvantage is that there would be competition and entrepreneurs have to look for differentiation and sustainable customer value. People with relevant professional experience are ideally placed to identify niche areas of pain points in their relevant industries. There are many white spaces; hence many innovations are yet to come out. Some specific industries in the target zone could be micro-payments, commerce, ad targeting, and distribution platforms, which provide good opportunity for innovation. We have not seen expected traction in e-commerce. However, commerce on platforms like television and voice has seen some initial traction. Platforms like CashCard (ItzCash, Done) and mobile payment solutions (mChek, Paymate) are needed to facilitate micro payments. There is enough scope for innovation here.

The author is Associate at Cannan Partners

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Expensive Homes Of Entrepreneurs

Posted: 07 Feb 2012 04:06 AM PST

Having millions of dollars means that you can have a luxurious life; you can build yourself a posh estate spawned on acres of land, get it custom-designed, decorate it with the latest and the rarest materials, use the latest technology, have umpteen luxuries embedded in it to boast about. The extravagant lives of the CEOs of the biggest companies in the world, is incomplete without a property which is the talk of the town. Here are most expensive houses of entrepreneurs.

Larry Ellison

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Lawrence Joseph Ellison, the Co-Founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation, is the fifth richest man in the world. He owns a $110 million Woodside, California estate. The estate has a 9,300 square meters lake, and an extensive seismic retrofit. Ellison also owns a $6.4 million house in San Francisco, constructed over 10,742 square feet. He also purchased a $42.9 million estate in California, which includes a 19-hole golf course from Tim and Edra Blixseth, founders of Yellowstone Club. Ellison is also said to have purchased more than 12 properties in Malibu, California, worth more than $180 million.


Yuri Milner

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Yuri Borisovich Milner is the founder of Digital Sky Technologies, now called Mail.ru Group and DST Global. He is also one of the principal investors in Facebook, Zynga, Twiter, Spotify, ZocDoc, 360Buy.com, and Groupon.

Milner stays in a $100 million French chateau-style mansion in Los Altos Hills. The house is constructed on over 30,000 square feet and includes a tennis court and pricey chandeliers. It has 25,500 square feet of living space with five bedrooms and nine bathrooms. The house is said to be the most expensive one-family home ever sold in U.S.


Lakshmi Mittal

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Lakshmi Mittal, the Chairman and CEO of the ArcelorMittal, is the sixth richest person in the world. He is also an independent director of Goldman Sachs, member of the Board of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, World Steel Association, Foreign Investment Council in Kazakhstan, International Investment Council in South Africa, and World Economic Forum's International Business Council.

Mittal stays at 18-19 Kensington Palace Gardens, which he brought from Bernie Ecclestone in 2004, which is valued at $128 million. The house is said to be decorated with marbles taken from the same quarry that was supplied for Taj Mahal. It has 12 bedrooms, an indoor pool, Turkish bathrooms, and a parking space for 20 cars.


Bill Gates

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William Henry Gates, the former CEO and current Chairman of Microsoft, is the second richest man in the world. His mansion, nicknamed 'Xanadu 2.0.' is situated on the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina, Washington.

The 66,000 square feet house has an estimated value of $147.5 million. It is designed in a Pacific lodge style with a large private library, a dome shaped roof and oculus. It is noted for its design and technology, and has an estate-wide server system, heated floors, and driveways. It includes 7 bedrooms, 24 bathrooms, six kitchens and fireplaces. The rooms are said to have sensors to automatically adjust the temperature, the music, and the lighting based on the guest's preference.


Mukesh Ambani

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Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, is the ninth richest man in the world. He stays in a 27-storied building named 'Antilia', in Mumbai. The mansion is valued at approximately $2 billion and is claimed to be the most expensive house in history.

Built on a 4532 square meters plot, the house claims to have no two floors looking alike, and uses different materials in each level. It has the parking space for 168 cars, spawn across six floors; a one-floor vehicle maintenance facility, nine elevators in the lobby, three helipads with an air traffic control facility, a health spa, yoga studio, an ice room, and many such luxuries.  The house is constructed with custom measurements and fittings and has around 600 staff to handle the chores.



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Selective Abortion on the Rise among Indians in North America

Posted: 07 Feb 2012 04:02 AM PST

The female foeticide seems to have crossed national borders and has travelled with some Indian parents.  It does not prevail just in India anymore and it's not just about boy versus girl economics. A recent editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) sparked off a debate about the prevalence of this practice among Indians in North America, where female foeticide was seen by way of selective abortion in Canada's Asian immigrant communities.

The journal's editor-in-chief (interim), Rajendra Kale cited studies to show that female foeticide in Canada and the U.S. occurs in large numbers to distort male-female ratios in some immigrant groups, especially ethnic Indians and Chinese.

Kale suggested that "health care professionals should not reveal the sex of the foetus to any woman before, say, 30 weeks of pregnancy because such information is medically irrelevant and in some instances harmful". He pointed out that after about 30 weeks, an unquestioned abortion would be "all but impossible."

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia stated that tests to identify sex during pregnancy should not be used to accommodate societal preferences and that the termination of a pregnancy for an undesired sex is repulsive and it is unethical for physicians to facilitate such action.


A working paper for the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research in 2009 revealed that the sex ratio for first births among Indians in the U.S. was close to the norm of 105 boys for every 100 girls. But the ratio got increasingly tilted for subsequent births if the previous children were girls. In cases where in the first two children were girls, the sex ratio for a third birth among Indians was found to be nearly 190 boys for 100 girls.

As per a research in Canada, the strongest evidence of sex selection at higher parities was noted, among Asians, including people from India, China, Korea, Vietnam and Philippines. It means that many couples who had two daughters and no son selectively got rid of female fetuses until they could ensure that their third-born child would be a boy.


The research also indicated male-biased sex ratios among U.S.-born children of Asian parents. The study involved 65 immigrant Indian women who revealed the pressure they face to have sons, the process of deciding to use sex selection technologies, and the physical and emotional health implications of both son preference and sex selection. Of these women, 40 percent had terminated pregnancies with female foetuses and 89 percent of the women carrying female foetuses in their current pregnancy went on to abort them. The results from the study could reasonably be deduced to Indians in Canada. However, it is not right to paint all Asians with the same broad brush as it is unjust to those who are against sex selection.

It was also noted that the execution of a 'disclose sex only after 30 weeks' policy would require the understanding and willingness of women of all ethnicities to make a temporary compromise and postponing the communication of such information is a small price to pay to save thousands of girl children.

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Facebook Files Objectionable Content Report

Posted: 07 Feb 2012 03:55 AM PST

Facebook India on Monday filed its compliance report before the Delhi court which had ordered it and 21 other websites to remove objectionable content from their websites.

Google India also told the court that it has removed certain web pages from the Internet on which objections were raised by the petitioners.


Meanwhile, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft told the court that they have no role to play in the case and there is no cause of action against them in the matter.

Additional Civil Judge Praveen Singh also posed a query to the counsel appearing for petitioner Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi, as to whether the blog service-providing companies can be made a party to the case for any content posted by the users on the blogs.

The court, which will further hear the matter at 12:30 PM on Monday, also asked Google Inc as to why it was not coming up “properly” with a reply and brushed aside its contention that it had received the copy of the judgement and other documents related to case only on last Friday.

“Why are you (Google Inc) not coming properly with your reply?” the court said.

“Don’t tell me you have been served only on Friday. After all this hullabaloo that has been created in the last few months you should have been prepared,” it stated.

The court also asked the petitioner to supply the copies of all the documents relied upon, to all the opposite parties.

The court had on December 20 last year, in a ex-parte order issued summons to 22 social networking websites asking them to remove “anti-religious” or “anti-social” content in the form of photographs, videos or text which might hurt religious sentiments.

It had on December 24 set February 6 as deadline for the websites for the same.

Santosh Pandey, the counsel appearing for complainant Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi, had assured the court that he would provide the companies with the copy of the complaint and other related documents.

The court’s order had come amid a raging controversy over monitoring the content on Internet and of those websites depending on user generated contents, which arose after Union Telecommunications Minister Kapil Sibal had asked the social networking websites to “screen” the contents.

The websites, which have been asked to remove objectionable contents, include Facebook India, Facebook, Google India Pvt Ltd, Google Orkut, Youtube, Blogspot,

Microsoft India, Microsoft, Zombie Time, Exboii, Boardreader, IMC India, My Lot, Shyni Blog and Topix.
Source: PTI

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