21 February 2012

The News - News

The News - News


Google Faces Music over Tracking Safari Browser

Posted: 20 Feb 2012 04:36 AM PST

Google has allegedly violated users’ privacy on Apple’s Safari Web browser, adding to mounting criticism from consumer groups over how the internet search giant tracks people online. Using its DoubleClick ad network, Google has been dodging a privacy setting in Safari, the primary Web browser on the iPhone and iPad, a report by Stanford University’s Security Lab and the Centre for Internet and Society claimed.

Safari

 
The study named three other companies — Vibrant Media, Media Innovation Group and PointRoll — that also allegedly evaded privacy settings. “Apple’s Safari Web browser is configured to block third-party cookies by default,” Stanford graduate student Jonathan Mayer said in the report. “Google and Vibrant Media intentionally circumvent Safari’s privacy feature.”

 
Google, the world’s biggest internet search company, has drawn regulatory scrutiny and pressure from consumer advocates for the way it handles personal information. Last year it agreed to settle claims with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that Google used deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy policies when it introduced its Buzz social-networking service in 2010. In the Stanford study, Mayer said Google’s software employed cookies, or small pieces of code, that can be used to follow users’ activities on the Web. Blocking them is supposed to prevent the cookies from tracking behavior. The actions potentially affected millions of users, Mayer said.

 
Safari is the top browser for mobile devices, with 55 per cent of the market, according to January data from Net Applications. The findings of the Stanford study were reported by the Wall Street Journal. Reacting to the report, three lawmakers asked the FTC whether Google has violated its settlement with the agency. “Google’s practices could have a wide sweeping impact because Safari is a major web browser used by millions of Americans,” said the letter by Edward Markey, Joe Barton and Cliff Stearns. “As members of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, we are interested in any actions the FTC has taken or plans to take to investigate whether Google has violated the terms of its consent agreement.” Google’s actions also prompted Consumer Watchdog to send a letter to the FTC and demand action against Google.
Source: PTI


Researchers Workout New, Safer Login System

Posted: 20 Feb 2012 04:32 AM PST

Our unique login identity, verified by the network server, may be user friendly, but suffers from three major flaws — anonymity of communicating users, misplaced trust and identity theft, a study reveals.
Researchers Mohamed Gouda and colleagues from University of Texas, Austin, have worked out a login based on a network linked with unlimited, user-selected list of pseudonyms, which can bypass all these problems. The network authority server is then the only party, other than each user, that knows their address and which of their pool of pseudonyms is tied with the address at any given time, the International Journal of Security and Networks reported. “The problem of anonymous communication over a network is an old and respected problem, and has inspired a considerable amount of research,” the researchers explain, according to a university statement.

safety

 
Papers dating back to at least 1981 have attempted to address this issue. Anonymized email based on encryption and the layered connection approach of the Tor protocol, and Onion routing, have been used successfully over the last couple of decades. However, all of these approaches have scaling problems that limit the number of concurrent users without huge investment in network servers to carry the requisite data traffic. Researchers explain that in their novel network structure users do not have identities. Users are contacted by searching for their pseudonyms, which they change frequently. Authentication is done by the users themselves, not by the certification of a central authority. In this network, as there is no identity, there is no identity theft. “We suggest that this may be a whole new kind of network, distinct from both traditional client-server and reputation-based peer-to-peer networks,” a researcher said.
Source: IANS


Talking Dictionaries’ to Preserve Vanishing Languages

Posted: 20 Feb 2012 04:27 AM PST

To save the more than 7,000 languages spoken on our planet today from going in to oblivion by the end of this century, Linguists from the National Geographic’s ‘Enduring voices’ have come up with the idea of ‘walking dictionaries’.

 

vanishing languages

National Geographic Fellows K. David Harrison and Gregory Anderson, the linguists who are creating them, say that in some cases it is for the first time that the language has been recorded or written anywhere, according to a National Geographic statement. Harrison, associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College, and Anderson, president of the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, have travelled to some of earth’s remotest corners, visiting language hotspots and seeking out the last speakers of vanishing languages. Harrison unveiled eight new talking dictionaries. They contain more than 32,000 word entries in eight endangered languages, more than 24,000 audio recordings of native speakers pronouncing words and sentences, and photographs of cultural objects. “Endangered language communities are adopting digital technology to aid their survival and to make their voices heard around the world,” Harrison said. “This is a positive effect of globalization.”
These findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver, British Columbia on Friday. The AAAS meeting featured a panel on using digital tools to save languages that included Alfred “Bud” Lane, among the last known fluent speakers of the Native American language known as ‘Siletz Dee-ni’, spoken in Oregon.
Source: IANS


Top IT Companies Offering Work from Home Option

Posted: 20 Feb 2012 04:20 AM PST

Who doesn't want to work from home and earn good salary? Obviously, each one of you will be waiting for such a good chance in your career life. At the present day situation, there are many employees who wish to have the work from home option as the world has become so fast that people who have dual roles to play especially women are finding it difficult to manage both the professional and personal lives. So, as this expectation rate is increasing every day, the IT companies are giving it a thought and are thinking of good ways to strengthen their work-from-home policies that can help them to retain their best employees.
Here are 5 IT companies who are recognizing the benefits of work from home option and are beginning to strengthen their work from home policies as reported by Sujit John from The Times of India.

 

1.IBM

 
International Business Machines Corporation shortly called as IBM which is into manufacturing and selling computer hardware and software, Infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in the areas from mainstream computers to nanotechnology, is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation. This company has started allowing many categories of their employees to work from home.  According to Chandrasekhar Sripada, Head of HR, IBM, India, said that, as the current lifestyles have resulted in higher stress levels, the company has taken a positive view towards creating a favorable work environment to help their employees to combine both their work and life. He also said that work/life balance touches employee's self-confidence, productivity and maintenance.

2.Dell

 
This American multinational information technology corporation, Dell is into developing, selling and supporting computers and related products and services and it is also the third largest PC maker in the world after the HP and Lenovo. Recently, in November 2011, the company launched a 3 month Connected Workplace pilot project in India and under this project; a selected team were given an opportunity to connect to the Dell network only through remote connection. Vijay Bharadwaj, VPHR, Dell India, is of the opinion that with the arrival of new mobility technologies, the company or offices need not be the only workplace for the employees as they can make sufficient use of these new technologies by working from home. He also said that flexibility on this front is a real option today.

3.Infosys

 
Infosys is a global technology Services Company is an Indian company headquartered in Bangalore. This company provides business consulting, technology, engineering and outsourcing services to help its clients in over 30 countries.  In this organization, if the employees work for 3.5 hours a day, it is considered as being present for the day and the rest of the working hours, employees can work outside their home by taking their manager's permission.

4. Accenture

 
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. It is considered as the largest consulting firm in the world. As of September month last year, this company consisted of 236,000 employees across 120 countries. This company has certainly proved to be the best company to work as it has a formal flexible working arrangement policy that permits its employees to take up flex time and work from home option. The company has many such employees who are been working from home for years.

5. Yahoo
Yahoo is an American multinational internet corporation that is best known for web portal, search engine. It is considered as one of the biggest websites in the United States according to Wikipedia. This company has no problem in letting its employees to work from home. According to Aparna Ballakur, VP-HR, Yahoo India said that the company wants their employees to be available on calls while they work from home and also participate in meetings and must be able to meet the deadline allotted.


World’s Youngest and Oldest Stock Brokers

Posted: 20 Feb 2012 04:14 AM PST

At the age of Seventeen most of us did not have the slightest clue of what a stock market is or how it works. What investments were or what the Wall Street was meant for. An age, when most adolescents are into books busy studying Physics, Chemistry and Maths, John Wang Clow made it into history by becoming ‘The youngest licensed stock broker in the world.’

John Wang Clow was 17 years and 44 days old when he passed the Investment Banking Examination (Series 79) administered by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). John has created a new Guinness World Record after beating Jason A. Earle of Princeton from New Jersey, who earned his stockbroker license in 1993 at age 17 years, 206 days.

John Wang Clow

The Series 79 is an administered examination conducted by the Financial Regulatory Authority which tests the skills of aspiring investment bankers on Mergers and Acquisitions, buyouts, public investment banking and refinancing. The exam is considered as one of the longest FINRA-administered exams which have about 175 questions plus un-scored questions given over a period of five hours. The paper consists of 4 areas – Collection, Analysis and Evaluation of Data; Underwriting/New Financing Transactions; Mergers and Acquisitions; and General Securities Regulations.

After two months of intense preparation, Clow scored 82 percent.

Clow studies at a boarding school in New Hampshire and during his summer holidays he decided to take a summer job at his own father’s financial firm, The Hina Group.

“If you don’t understand economics and business, you can’t understand how this capitalist economy works,” he said.

“So I thought that through this, I’d have the opportunity to learn.” As quoted by worldrecordsacademy.org.

If Clow is the youngest, Irving Kahn sets world record as been the oldest stock broker. Not to enter the stock market like Clow but to have been in the industry since 1928. Irving Kahn is 106 year old and has measured the highs and lows of the stock market since 1928. He is named as the oldest living investment professional who has an asset worth $700 million under the management of Kahn Brothers Group Inc. He turned 106 in December 2011.

From the Great depression, two world wars and the 1987 market crash in U.S. Kahn has also witnessed the Occupy Wall Street. Kahn presently holds 20 stocks, but is not a regular stock market follower even though he has a Bloomberg terminal on his desk. Kahn still has the practice of going to office everyday whereas his two oldest sons who are in their 70′s have already retired.

Kahn

“Well when I got to the Street in ’28/’29 it was much more of a rich man’s game — not that I was rich, but I mean it was designed for banks, insurance companies, railroads or public utilities,” he said in an interview. “It’s no longer a rich man’s business. It’s a business for everybody,” as quoted by Business Insider.

“Being in a changeable world, which is always interesting,” Irving Kahn said. “That’s one good aspect of Wall Street, you never know what the next hour will do.”

What is more interesting about Irving and his is family is that he has two centenarian siblings: an older sister who’s 109 and a younger brother who’s 101. This has become a curious research study for Dr. Nir Barzilai at Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Institute for Aging Research.

“It’s not that we’re taking everyone who’s 100 years old,” Barzilai said. “We’re trying to get the best of the best because we want really to understand the biology of those who are best. Those who are likely to maybe get to 110 without diseases.”

Irving kahn

“(Irving Kahn) has a gene that controls the good cholesterol,” Barzilai said. “This is the HDL cholesterol. And we found that people who have this mutation in the gene have higher good cholesterol, but also they are protected from heart disease and from cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s,” as quoted by worldrecordsacademy.org.

Kahn began his career in finance way back in 1928 at the age of 23. He was then a stock analyst and brokerage clerk on Wall Street. Kahn did his studies at the City College of New York. He also served as a teaching assistant to noted economist and investor Benjamin Graham at Columbia Business School. Kahn is also a Chartered Financial Analyst as reported by Business Insider.

Some of Kahn’s best quotes about investing are:

“Do your own homework and don’t believe in the newspapers”

“We want to grow our money but not necessarily in growth stock”

“You don’t have to be fully invested all the time. Have patience keep your standards”

“If a company has great prospects everyone already knows about it. We won’t be comfortable paying for good prospects”

“Value investing is an art not a science”


Service Information Portal Service Uncle Launches In India

Posted: 20 Feb 2012 04:08 AM PST

Australia based online portal for services related information, Service Uncle has been launched in India. The portal enables users to find information in services or service providers across the globe. The information is categorized into various service categories affecting the daily lives of people.

Rajesh Nagpal, Managing Director, Service Uncle

 
The portal is a combination of B2B and B2C portals which offers the users to search information via service category, service provider, or area wise. It incorporates features which enables users to get information via email or SMS or the help desk number.

 
"With the availability of various products and changing life style, consumers are looking for a resource from where they can avail service related information at the click of a button or just by dialing one number. In view of extending our offering to the Indian consumers and to make their life easier, we have decided to venture into India. Today the availability of service related information in India is highly disorganized and with our offerings I am sure people would find a lot of value in the platform, says Rajesh Nagpal, Managing Director, Service Uncle.

 
Currently, the company is inviting Free Listings from the various service providers across the country where they can log in and apply on the site. Apart from that, the service providers can also advertise and choose from the different packages offered by the company. It is also offering individuals and companies to become the strategic partners.

 
The company is in touch with various services in order to make a move to the mobile platform also. It is looking forward to create networks of strategic partners in India and expand its reach across India and the other parts of the globe. "We have received enquiries from Middle East, U.S., Australia, Canada, Pakistan, and Nigeria. Currently we are on the lookout to open an office in Dubai within the next few months," says Nagpal.


The Architect Of Tomorrow’s Startup Ecosystem

Posted: 20 Feb 2012 04:03 AM PST

Shama Kabani who is just 26 year old plays a varied role ranging from a technopreneur, author, international speaker, social media expert, o Web and TV personality. She started her own company The Marketing Zen Group at the age of 24. Pallav Nadhani started FusionCharts at the tender age of 17 and now he is an angel investor too. Ankur Jain, another kid who turned entrepreneur at the age of 17, founded Kairos Society. Ankur is also the founder and CEO at Panjia. Mark Zukerberg started Facebook from his college dorm room when he was just 20 years old.

architecture, startup ecosystem, startup entrepreneurs

These people are just a drop in the ocean of startup ecosystem that is on a consistent increase. We can find many such entrepreneurs who have started their venture at a very young age, even before completing their basic education, but succeeded in creating a niche for themselves. They are trying to break the legacy owned by the entrepreneurs who run their family business, such as Tata, Birla, Ford, Fidelity Investments and several others. But, will they succeed and win to create a new formula for the ecosystem?
Completing MBA or some higher degree and then joining the ancestral business was the most common scene, but now, these young and enthusiastic chunks of people does not wait to complete their higher education and then join their family business or have an experience of 5-10 years in a multi-national company to start their own business. Today's young generation thinks in a different manner. They do not feel to waste their precious years keeping on studying nor do they believe in spending money in grabbing the higher education. They want to go on a trial and error method to see their sustainability in the market. For example, pursuing an MBA from a reputed university costs around Rs 15-Rs 20 lakh. Why spend that money in getting education and then roping in for getting experience, if you can start a company with half the amount and get real world experience?
New generation seems to be more practical. Instead of wasting their time and money in pursuing studies and gaining experience, they feel more confident in investing their time and resource to gain experience. Even if they fail, they are much ahead of their counterparts who are pursuing a degree or banking experience in a MNC. If they succeed, they take their business to a whole new level and if they fail, they start again with the same adrenaline rush. They believe in making mistakes and learning from it.
But, the question arises, "how safe is the startup ecosystem in the near future", "who will guarantee the success of such startups established by non-experienced people"? It is said that failure is the pillar of success, and fortunately, every successful business has faced failure at a certain point of time. However, many of these entrepreneurs have not tasted failure or hard times yet and do not know how to tackle those tough rocks. It will be interesting to watch how these young startup founders and CEOs will handle such situations. Will they be able to survive or will their Titanic sink?


Private Jet Market Soars in India

Posted: 20 Feb 2012 03:58 AM PST

Even as Indian commercial carriers are facing a tough time sustaining operations, aircraft manufacturers feel the demand for private jets in the country is set to soar with economic growth and a rising number of high net-worth individuals.

“Strong gross domestic product (GDP) growth, along with corporate profits and market capitalizations, is driving corporate wealth. These are strong indicators of a strong market for business aircraft in India,” said Nilesh Pattanayak, managing director, South Asia, Bombardier Business Aircraft of Canada.

The growth in the business aircraft sector is driven by Indian corporates who utilise the executive jets to help them ferry between cities and remote locations faster on a comfortable mode.

“As Indian companies increasingly compete on the global market, with customers around the world, demand for time-saving tools such as business jets will continue as key executives try to make the most out of their work days,” Pattanayak told IANS as the country completed a year of celebrations commemorating 100 years of aviation.

On February 18, 1911, the first commercial flight was operated in India — between Allahabad and Naini in Uttar Pradesh.

“Business jets offer a virtual office in the sky, providing a high technology and safe environment to conduct business, all in a very high level of comfort. They also allow more flexible travel, that is, travel to cities that are under-served by commercial airlines.”

Industry players at the Singapore Airshow this week said tycoons in Asia are increasingly drawn to private jets compared to commercial flights not just as a status symbol, but as a practical and economical choice.

The market for luxury jets, analysts said, is also set to grow as the rich and wealth expand beyond the metros into India’s heartland.

“India is an extremely important market for Bombardier and we continue to grow our infrastructure in the country to meet current requirements and future demand,” said Pattanayak.

Bombardier’s interest in India should not come as a surprise. Though small, the niche sector is witnessing a boom, attracting all major aircraft manufacturers like Hawker Beechcraft, Dornier Seaplanes and Pacific Aerospace.

In its latest projections for the Indian market, the Canadian company forecasts 1,330 deliveries of business jets in India by 2030 by all business jet makers.

Said Justin Firestone of consultancy firm Firestone: “The growth opportunity for private jet manufacturers to deliver their products into India is tremendous.”

Other industry watchers say the market for smaller four or six-seater jets, accessible to millionaires, not billionaires, is also increasing.

Data by the aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), show the private jet fleet in the country is around 155 out of a total of 1,146 aircraft.

“Many Indian customers choose to register their aircraft in other countries, so the actual number of aircraft is higher,” said Pattanayak.

Bombardier currently has over 30 business jets based or registered in India.

Turning to commercial civil aviation, Pattanayak said the financially challenged Indian carriers could cut their operational costs by inducting more fuel-efficient aircraft into their fleets.

“Global economic conditions have caused uncertainties in airlines’ traffic and revenue projections. And in the days of high fuel costs, customers are looking for change. Moving towards highly fuel-efficient products will help airlines right size their fleets.”

High aviation turbine fuel price, which accounts for over 50 percent of an airline’s operating cost, has landed major airlines like Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways and SpiceJet in huge losses.

Asked if Bombardier would introduce new jets in the commercial aviation sector apart from its Q400 turbo-prop aircraft, Pattanayak said: “Absolutely. With optimized family of aircraft that includes the Q400 NextGen aircraft, Bombardier also produces the CRJ family of aircraft.

“The CS100 and CS300 jetliners are our newest offerings. The CSeries aircraft program is the only optimized 100 percent new platform in the 100 to 149 seat market segment.”

Source: IANS