10 February 2012

The News - News

The News - News

A Smartphone to Sense Depression!

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 08:56 PM PST

A new smart phone senses your depression and nudges you to go out with friends, a study reveals. It’s the future of therapy at a new Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine centre where scientists are inventing web-based, mobile and virtual technologies to treat depression and other mood disorders.

The phone and similar projects bypass traditional weekly therapy sessions for novel approaches that provide immediate support and access to a much larger population, a university statement said.
“We’re inventing new ways of technology that can help people with mental health problems,” said psychologist David Mohr and professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern’s Feinberg School.”The potential to reduce or even prevent depression is enormous,” said Mohr.

“These new approaches could offer fundamentally new treatment options to people who are unable to access traditional services or who are uncomfortable with standard psychotherapy,” said Mohr.”They also can be offered at significantly lower costs, which makes them more viable in an era of limited resources,” added Mohr.

The goal is for the Feinberg centre to become a national resource, offering a library of intervention technologies that will be available to other researchers.

Also in the works are a virtual human therapist which will work with teens to prevent depression; a medicine bottle that reminds you to take antidepressant medication and tells your doctor if the dosage needs adjusting; and a web-based social network to help cancer survivors relieve sadness and stress.

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Know the Bad Guys of Internet

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 08:50 PM PST

For all those poor internet-holics, who always live under the fear of getting hacked or scammed, TrendLabs released an infographic entitled “know your enemies online”, which contains all information on the bad guys of internet and their attack strategies.
The infographic can be used as a guide to avoid attacks. It contains capsule mode descriptions of attacks along with attackers modus operandi (operational method), business plan (what they want to achieve) and famous lines used by attackers to trap you.


For example, a social media scammer will have following characters.
Motive: Steal your social media login credentials
Modus Operandi: Spam the social media account with links to malicious videos, apps and promos.
Famous Line: “OMG! This is so FUNNY”

The attackers can vary from phishers, fake anti-virus creators, App trojanizers, spammers and Malvertisers.
The infographic also has details on how much money the cyber criminals make from stolen data in black market. They will get $15 for 1000 Facebook accounts, $8 for 1000 web mail accounts, $75 for 2200 Twitter accounts.

The price of credit card number will range from $1 to $10 depending on the regions. A hacker gets $1 to $3 for a U.S. credit card number while an Asian or Middle East credit card details will earn him $6 to $10.
“The difference in value can be accounted for supply and demand”, said Rik Ferguson, director of security at Trend Micro. “Security mechanisms for U.S. cards are, in general, much lower than European ones, Chip and PIN, for example, is hardly deployed at all in the U.S, which will make the work easy for criminals”, he explained.

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Satellite Phones’ Security Code Cracked

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 08:46 PM PST

Satellite telephony is believed to be impregnable and perfectly fool-proofed against eavesdropping. But, researchers now have cracked the encryption algorithms of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), which is used globally for satellite phones,

Satellite phone

and revealed significant weaknesses.

In less than an hour, and with simple equipment, scientists found the crypto key which is needed to intercept telephone conversations. Using open-source software and building on their previous research results, they were able to exploit the security weaknesses.

In some regions of the world, standard cell phone communication is still not available. In war zones, developing countries and on the high seas, satellite phones are used instead.

Here, the telephone is connected via radio directly to a satellite. This passes the incoming call to a station on the ground. From there, the call is fed into the public telephone network. So far this method, with the ETSI’s encryption algorithms A5-GMR-1 and A5-GMR-2, was considered secure.

For their project, the inter-disciplinary group of researchers from the Horst Gortz Institute for IT-Security (HGI) at the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB), Germany, used commercially available equipment, and randomly selected two widely used satellite phones.

A simple firmware update was then loaded from the provider’s website for each phone and the encryption mechanism reconstructed, according to a university statement.

Based on the analysis, the encryption of the GMR-1 standard demonstrated similarities to the one used in GSM, the most common mobile phone system.

“Since the GSM cipher had already been cracked, we were able to adopt the method and use it for our attack,” explained Benedikt Driessen, from the Embedded Security at the RUB.

To verify the results in practice, the research group recorded their own satellite phone conversations and developed a new attack based on the analysis.

“We were surprised by the total lack of protection measures, which would have complicated our work drastically,” said Carsten Willems, also from RUB.

Encryption algorithms are implemented to protect the privacy of the user.

“Our results show that the use of satellite phones harbours dangers and the current encryption algorithms are not sufficient”, emphasized Ralf Hund of RUB.
Source: IANS

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Top 5 Happiest Companies in America

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 08:36 PM PST

Are you planning to start your Career with a Company that will keep you happy? If yes, then you can start finding a job in the top organizations listed by CareerBliss as the" Happiest companies of America."  The CareerBliss report demonstrates that these companies are rated highest by the employees in terms of work, perk and everything else that matters a lot especially for employees. Listed below are the top five happiest companies that are ranked the highest amongst their staffs.
1. Hilton Worldwide:


Hilton Worldwide grabs the first position with a bliss score of 4.360/5. In terms of growth opportunity the company receives 3.9/5. Owned by the Blackstone group, employees here bag an average salary of $57,970. The points received by Hilton in terms of Compensation and benefits are 3.7/5 and 4/5 respectively. The Global hospitality company has featured job openings for various positions like director of sales, director of eCommerce services etc in places like Orlando Florida and Dallas Texas.


2. Fluor:

The second position is occupied by Fluor with a bliss score of 4.238/5.  The engineering, construction and maintenance service company gives an average salary of $87,589 to its employees. The growth opportunity score of the company is 4.1/5. According to 'Business Insider' in one of the reviews a staff claimed that the organization offered “recognition for accomplishments, opportunities for advancement, competitive salary and the chance to travel the world.”The organization gets 4.2 / 5 in terms of compensation and benefits. Recent Jobs openings at Fluor include HSE manager, Project manager, Project business service manager etc.

3. Johnson & Johnson:


The American multinational pharmaceutical company manages to take the third position with a bliss score of 4.236/5. The company whose headquarters are in New Brunswick, New Jersey United States scores 4.1/5 in growth opportunity. Employees at Johnson & Johnson get an average salary of $87,589. In compensation the company gets 4/5 marks, and 4.2/5 in benefits.  The organization which constantly ranks at the top of Harris Interactive’s National Corporate Reputation Survey has job openings for position of Highway Project Maneger/Engineer and senior Level Geologist/ Engineer in places like Lake Mary,FL, Pittsburg, PA  and Amesbury ,MA.


4. Nordstorm:

The retail industry Nordstorm receives the fourth rank with a bliss score of 4.234/5. The company, which posses 225 stores operating in 29 states across the United States pays an average salary of $39,984 to its staff. The retail giant, Nordstorm, acquires 3.9 /5 points in terms growth opportunity. However , the Seattle based company acquires 3.7/5 marks in compensation and 4/5 in benefits. The recent job openings offered by the company is for the position of Dialer strategy analyst.

5. BASF: 


The largest chemical company of the world BASF holds the fifth position with a bliss score of 4.21/5. A BASF staff in one the reviews have said that the organization has provided them with the opportunity to go back to school and work with individuals who cared about their work. The company furnishes an average salary of $52,000 to its staff. Headquartered in Germany, the company scores 3.8/5 in terms of growth opportunity. The points in compensation and benefit include 3.9/5 and 4/5 respectively.  The company has recently offered job vacancies for positions like mechanical design engineer, project engineer and team leader the positions are based at Freeport, TX and Baton Rouge, LA.

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5 Stocks for This Valentine’s Day

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 08:24 PM PST

Valentine’s day, the day for people who are in love. People can be in love with many things, starting from their loved ones to their pets and even the stocks that they trade with. For those who want to make this Valentine’s Day special with their stocks here is the list of stocks that you should be looking out to make that day an extraordinary one for your money and your honey. Although this day is not as big as any of our Indian festivals, there are few retailers who make a good sum of money as consumer sentiment will be soaring high on the Cupid stricken day.

Feb 14 of 2011 was a day which brought high spirits for investors. The month of love was renamed as the Month of money by investors last year when during the intra-day trade on the BSE, the shares surged up to 19.89 percent due to some of the below mentioned stocks.

Here is the list of the stocks which are looking forward for Cupid’s magic on Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Companies:


Chocolate companies top the list of hot stocks for this Valentine’s Day because no valentine’s day is complete without chocolates. Chocolate companies have come with special merchandises to gift your beloved ones. It is considered as one of the flagship gifts that will be shared on a Valentine’s Day. Cocoa companies are also a good vouch. Chocolates are inexpensive but yet a recognizable product which makes it a simple but yet special gift.


Flower companies:

valentine\'s flower

With freshly cut flowers your love day can be made even more exciting. Though it is one of the most cliched gifts, it has never run out of fashion. Flower companies are reportedly doing volumes of importing and exporting within the sector. The flower industry is makes good revenue during this time as the natural amount of flowers purchased increases during this time.


Greeting card companies:

Greeting cards

The oldest way to say someone you love. With beautiful words that speak your heart out it is nothing like greeting cards for a beloved one of yours. Couples exchange greeting cards which are teamed with a dozen roses. Though online greeting cards are a trend now, the traditional paper ones still touches the sentiment of many. Valentine?s Day sales for greeting card companies is expected to soar as new products are lined up which has romantic greeting cards paired with an envelope that plays a love song when you open it.


Jewelry companies:

Diamond Jewelry

Those dazzling diamonds are your lover’s or wife’s favorite and they cost a bomb. But price hardly matters when it comes to love. Although Indians are known to be buying jewelry round the clock and 365 days of the year, diamond jewelry is not the same and is an exceptional which its presence felt only during this season. In the past year we have some of the world’s biggest diamond companies foraying their way into India with Indians looking out for luxury goods. India Shining factor, is, possibly, best reflected in the surge in India’s gold and jewelery exports, which have been making considerable contributions to the country’s foreign exchange earnings.


Restaurant companies:


On a valentine’s day most of the couples prefer a dining out and they would love to hit a restaurant which has concept intended dining. Multitude choices are given to plan a romantic dinner for two and plenty of price ranges and packages to choose from. In the recent years, more Indians with higher disposable income are investing in the restaurant market. During the valentine’s Day it is mad rush among many couples to bag the best discounts and offers by restaurants which all the more makes the Hotel and Restaurant Industry a revenue generator during this season.

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Tablet Shootout: Which Fits Your Enterprise?

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 08:18 PM PST

In todays world tablets are fast becoming an inevitable trend in the enterprises. And in case of enterprises tablets generate the opportunity to develop native application stores and build customized apps to achieve certain targets and meet business objectives. According to Morgan Stanley, adoption of tablets by enterprises could grow rapidly and more widespread beyond expectations. A recent report by informationweek authored by Kurt Marko on 'Enterprise Buyer's Guide: Tablets' scans the current state of business-friendly tablets by analyzing the features and specs of six products with a focus on enterprise readiness.
Check out the enlisted six business friendly tablets that can suit your enterprise need with its pros and cons.

Apple iPad2


The Apple iPad 2 is appreciably faster, thinner and lighter than the iPad 1, and boasts a pair of video cameras; you may wonder where shorcuts have been made in its construction. The product has set standards in terms of screen size, software features, memory and user interface.

Enterprise Perspective:  Apple's iPad2 is disrupting traditional enterprise processes and perspectives with a wave of revolutionary new apps that are letting companies greatly speed up everything from sales to operations to collaboration. It helps engage with customers, manage operations, and harness creativity.


RIM Blackberry Playbook

The BlackBerry PlayBook is massive on sales and is the Competitor for Apple iPad2. This PlayBook helps transform the way you 'work 'and' play' by combining the features you need with a powerful, ultra-portable design you want and runs on a new OS called QNX.

Enterprise Perspective: The powerful multi-tasking! Where you can run a video in one window and play a game in another with both apps running concurrently, is a first of its kind for a mainstream tab. It has the tightest integration with BES central management software.

HTC Jetstream


The HTC Jetstream is the latest addition in the line of tablet computers available in today's consumer market with a 10 inch screen. It was released with a lot of buzz with because of its 4G capability, something not available among its contemporaries such as the iPad2, Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy. The HTC Jetstream is the first device on AT&T's blazing new 4G LTE network.

Enterprise Perspective: Expandilbilty; the Jetstream already has a built in storage space of 32GB, but it can be further expanded for another 32 GB by means of a microSD card. Those who want to connect their Jetstream to bigger multimedia devices such as projectors or large-screen monitors may use an HDMI cable, Good Battery is an added advantage.


Motorola Mobility Droid Xyboard

Motorola Droid tablets known as Xoom 2 in UK are available in two sizes one with 10-inch and smaller 8-inch screen sizes with new options for consumers looking to stay connected, productive and entertained. Xyboard 8.2 is available in India it runs on dual core 1.2 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor along with 1 GB of RAM and use the Android 3.2 Honeycomb Operating system that preloaded with various Google and other applications.

Enterprise Perspective: This device has a HD fully touch capacitive screen. The scratch resistant has a feature of Multi Touch, Accelerometer sensor and Light-Sensors, it comes with 16 GB internal storage capacity and can be expanded up to 32 GB with microSD card slot. It can uprade to Android 4.0 with full-device data encryption.

Sony Tablet S


This tablet has a unique asymmetric design it has a wedge-shape, similar to a magazine that's been folded over. Sony doesn’t offer models supporting cellular data, but otherwise the specs are almost identical:dual-core, 1-GHz Tegra 2 processor, 1,280-by-800 display, 16- or 32-GB flash, and the standard Android software stack. Very-well-placed Power and Volume buttons are located in a recess on one side, but battery life is deeply disappointing.

Enterprise Perspective: The tablet manufacturers promise an android 4 up gradation and an optional add-on battery pack (may need due to the next item), it has SD slot and a mini USB port, both used for transferring files and a Bluetooth as well.

Samsung galaxy 10.1


This Tablet is thin as the iPad2 and more lighter, its one of coolest honeycomb tablet, with 3mp back camera and 2mp front camera and dual speakers, availability of 4G LTE wireless. Though Samsung galaxy has a slightly larger, higher-resolution screen, it essentially matches or exceeds Apple spec-for-spec, down to the price tag. The device doesn't commit to upgrading to Android 4.0

Enterprise Perspective: Broadest carrier support (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon) for 4G cellular data.

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Indians Donate Millions to U.S. Universities, Forget India

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 08:06 PM PST

Top Indian industrialists are funding alumni base of Harvard University, reveals a recent survey by the U.S. News Short List. Meanwhile, the Indian universities are suffering from lack of contemporary IT infrastructure, absence of best practices and low student gross enrollment ratios (GER).  Yet, the top industrialists choose to invest westward instead of directing their funds on Indian universities.

As per the news survey conducted annually among 1,800 schools and reports of two-year alumni, Princeton University was rated on the top, making it the most loved university for donations. It is also to be noted that unlike Indian universities, which are largely funded by tuition fees, western universities are mostly funded by donation. For example, only about 20 percent of Harvard expenditures are met by tuition fee collections while nearly 50 percent comes from donation. A significant amount of the donation comes from its alumni base.

A number of studies that are conducted to study alumni donation patterns reveal some relevant questions being asked like the age of the donor, what affiliation the donor has and what is the motivation of the giver. A few studies seem to suggest that some alumni donate with the hope that their children would get an easy passage into the same Ivy League institutions. Even when Anand Mahindra joined the ranks by giving the highest donation to any humanities discipline at Harvard, questions were raised whether the donation was timed with his two sons seeking college admissions.


Indian businessman Siddharth Yog gifted $11 million to his alma mater Harvard Business School and it made front page news since he made it to the rare category of single largest personal gifts made by any Indian to Harvard. Prior to him donations given to Harvard were by Anand Mahindra who donated $10 million, Ratan Tata donated $50 million to fund a campus building and Narayana Murthy donated $5.2 million to publish ‘The Murthy Classical Library of India’.

This has been an ongoing debate and every time an Indian donates to a university abroad, the question gains momentum again. When Ratan Tata became 'the largest international donation in the Ivy League university’s 102-year history', the apparent question asked was how Indian universities can compete globally, if Indians continue to fund western universities. Among other philanthropic contribution to American Universities are Rohini and Nandan Nilekani who had gifted $5 million to Yale University.

It isn't that the donation to Indian universities is completely non-existent, but it is quite bleak compared to the amounts donated to universities abroad. Nandan Nilekani’s donation of $2.6 million to his alma mater, IIT to build a new hostel wing is often talked about.


At the same time there have been a few thoughtful Indian philanthropists who have contributed to the Indian education system. Azim Premji who is the chairman of Wipro and the third richest Indian, donated $2 billion to the Azim Pemji Foundation that works towards educating children in rural India. This has by far been the biggest act of philanthropy by an Indian. HCL founder Shiv Nadar donated Rs 580 crore towards the Shiv Nadar Foundation which will be used to fund educational causes in India. Vineet Nayyar, MD of IT services company, Tech Mahindra, donated one third of his shares in the company to the Essel Social Welfare Foundation, a Delhi-based organization. The organization supports education of the girl child and the handicapped. Asit Kotecha, who owns Pashmina Realty and is founder of ASK Group, donated Rs 30 crore to the Mumbai University for building an international convention centre (ICC).


On the other hand various reasons are citied for funds not flowing in for Indian universities by the Indian entrepreneurs. The reason why they contribute to endowment funds abroad rather than invest in Indian education as per Pramod Bhasin, Genpact President and Chief Executive Officer is "I think one of issues that people face, particularly NRIs, is that charitable donations made in India, may not be tax deductable as in the U.S., depending on factors such as how is a trust registered, whether it is recognized internationally or not…That could be an issue," as reported to Business Line.

Another reason for the donations to universities abroad is that the Indian entrepreneurs feel that Indian universities do not have the ability to utilize the funds well.

Raising funds for building infrastructure, apart from day to day operations is a constant need of Indian universities as well as universities abroad. Many reports in fact throw up facts on how Indian universities do not rank in any of the International quality surveys. Further statistics also stress on the immediate need to build hundreds of new universities and to increase gross enrollment ratios at Indian colleges.

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