Monthly Archives: November 2014
It is nearly 25 years since the former Conservative party chairman Norman Tebbit proposed what came to be known as the ‘Tebbit Test’ for immigrants from India and elsewhere in south Asia: which side do they cheer when their country of origin plays cricket against England? The Tory grandee, now 83, surfaced on television on Friday night, hours after Prime Minister David Cameron’s major speech on immigration, to say that he had devised a new test, this time for migrants from the European Union, currently the focus of much public debate here.
Simply put, the test means that if India play cricket against England, immigrants with origins in India should support England and not India, to show their loyalty to England. Similarly, immigrants of Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka origin living here should support England.
It is a different matter that in practice, whether the Indian team wins or loses on England soil, hundreds of thousands of raucous British citizens of Indian origin spontaneously and happily fail the test.
Tebbit told BBC while discussing the growing public ennui over large numbers of EU migrants moving to Britain: “One test I would use is to ask them on which side their fathers or grandfathers or whatever fought in the Second World War”.
He added: “And you’ll find that the Poles and the Czechs and the Slovaks were all on the right side. And so that’s a pretty good test isn’t it. Perhaps we’ll even manage to teach them to play cricket gradually over the years.”
Several current EU member-states were part of the Allied forces during the Second World War, while others were ranged on the opposing Axis side. All citizens of EU member-states have the right to move, work and live in other member-states.
It was in April 1990 that the ‘Los Angeles Times’ interviewed Tebbit, who questioned the loyalties of Asian immigrants to the United Kingdom.
Using the example of cricket, he declared: “A large proportion of Britain’s Asian population fail to pass the cricket test. Which side do they cheer for? It’s an interesting test. Are you still harking back to where you came from or where you are?”
Tebbit’s comments caused much furore as Asian leaders declared them hurtful and disgraceful. Labour MP Jeff Rooker called for Tebbit to be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred, while Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown wanted Margaret Thatcher to condemn the remarks.
Tebbit was not really censured by the Conservative party for his comments, but his test has since become a benchmark to talk – even if light-heartedly – about race and identity politics in multicultural Britain. Those towards the left-of-centre see it as just another version of the ‘nasty party’ and put it on the same footing as Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘rivers of blood’ speech in 1968.
In 2012, when Spain won the European Football championship, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg admitted his children would fail the Tebbit test, because their mother Miriam is Spanish: “I’m not sure if my children who were wearing their Spanish football kit, given to them by Miriam, would have passed the Norman Tebbit cricket test”.
Posted by Rohan Kar for Android
COLOMBO: Although the Indian National Security Advisor (NSA), Ajit Doval, will be in Sri Lanka on December 1 and 2 primarily to give the keynote address at a meet on maritime security, public attention will be on the talks he is expected to have with the combined opposition’s Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena and the latter’s principal supporter, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
Propped up by the opposition United National Party (UNP), the Sirisena-Kumaratunga duo wants to split incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), capture the Lankan Presidency in the January 8, 2015 election and carry out far reaching constitutional changes to restore democracy.
“Doval will meet Sirisena and Kumaratunga together on Monday. He will be meeting the UNP leaders separately the same evening,” a UNP MP told Express on Saturday.
The NSA will meet the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and possibly the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress also. Talks with President Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa will take place on Tuesday before he flies to the Maldives.
Doval’s meeting with Sirisena and Kumaratunga will be of particular significance because the up-coming Presidential election is posing an unprecedented challenge to President Rajapaksa, the ruling party’s candidate. Heading the breakaway faction of the ruling SLFP, Sirisena and Kumaratunga hope to motivate a good chunk of the party’s cadre and voters to abandon Rajapaksa and cast their lot with the breakaway faction and the combined opposition.
While Kumaratunga is very familiar to the Indian establishment, having been President of Sri Lanka from 1995 to 2005, Sirisena is a relatively unknown personality. India’s chief intelligence operative and security expert would certainly want to know the new kid on the block.
Doval would also want to know from Sirisena and Kumaratunga their views on India-Lanka relations in the context of Rajapaksa’s marked lurch towards Beijing in economic and strategic terms, and whether Colombo under Sirisena would be any different.
The National Security Advisor would also like to know whether Sirisena would push for the full implementation of the 27-year-old 13th amendment of the constitution meant to give more powers to the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces in the island nation.
Posted by Rohan Kar for Android
Uber’s Android app may be sending your private data back to the company, reports Cult of Mac’s Buster Hein. The data transfer was reportedly discovered by Joe Giron, who runs a cybersecurity firm.
The Cult of Mac report says, “Digging into the app’s code, GironSec discovered the Uber app ‘calls home’ and sends private data back to Uber. This isn’t typical app data, though. Uber is sending back users’ entire SMSLog even though the app never requests permission. It also sends call history, Wi-Fi connections used, GPS locations and every type of device ID possible. The app even checks your neighbour’s Wi-Fi and sends back info on the router’s capabilities, frequency and SSID.”
It’s unclear what purpose this information would serve for the ride-sharing company.
Neither Giron nor Cult of Mac said whether Uber’s iOS app was transferring similar data back to the company.
Posted by Rohan Kar for Android
From game-changing technologies to record-setting IPOs to scandals that would make a starlet blush, this was a year that had it all. Some startups hit the big time; others hit the skids. Entrepreneurs went from zeros to heroes (and vice versa). Here are 10 business leaders who dominated headlines in 2014 and set the stage for the year ahead-for better or for worse.
Tony Fadell holds the key to the home of the future. A former Apple executive who spearheaded development of the iPod, Fadell is founder and CEO of Nest Labs, whose Wi-Fi-enabled Nest Learning Thermostat is the shining symbol of the connected-home revolution. The Linux-based thermostat tracks your schedule and programs its software according to your comings and goings, slashing heating and cooling bills up to 20 percent. Three years after it first hit the market, the $249 product has saved users an estimated 2 billion kilowatt-hours of energy, enough to power 180,000 American homes for a year.
Nest Labs further bolstered its stature as the poster child for the Internet of Things with Nest Protect, a $99 web-connected smoke and carbon monoxide detector launched in November 2013. Two months later, Google purchased Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash, its second-largest acquisition to date. Fadell continues to run Nest as a quasi-independent company, and analysts forecast the firm will leverage Google’s reach and resources to extend its home invasion to the next wave of smart devices, like appliances and locks.
Nest Labs is already spending Google’s money, acquiring camera startup Dropcam in June for $555 million. Dropcam enables consumers to access live or stored video of their home or business from any computer, tablet or smartphone; moving forward, Nest Labs products will also tout video capabilities that allow users to more closely monitor their property. Nest Labs is aligning with companies like Control4, Crestron and Remote Technologies Incorporated to integrate its products into their home-automation systems.
You don’t need to clean up the guest room, but make no mistake: Fadell is moving in.
History will remember Mary Barra as the first female CEO of a major automobile company. How else it will remember her is still an open question. Thirty-four years after beginning her General Motors career as a co-op student, Barra took over as CEO in mid-January, but she had little time to savor the accomplishment. Less than a month into her new role, GM recalled almost 780,000 older-model compact cars found to contain a defective ignition switch capable of shutting off engines without warning-a glitch blamed for 22 crashes and six deaths.
GM doubled the recall two weeks later, and the crisis continued to escalate in the months to follow. At press time, Barra-led GM had issued a record-setting 76 recalls spanning 30 million vehicles worldwide, including 26.5 million in the U.S. On April 1, Barra appeared before a U.S. House panel, telling lawmakers she was “deeply sorry” for GM’s failure to respond more proactively; the following day, a Senate hearing accused the automaker of “criminal” behavior and “a culture of coverup,” and in May, the U.S. Department of Transportation zapped the company with a $35 million fine. GM also faces more than 100 death claims filed by victims’ families and anticipates that settlements will cost between $400 million and $600 million.
The scandal has made it clear that the GM culture requires a massive makeover, and Barra seems up to the challenge. She fired 15 staffers after an internal probe revealed that the faulty switches were first diagnosed in 2001, and she has also jettisoned at least seven other high-ranking executives-swift, decisive moves, at least according to GM’s lumbering standards. Barra has additionally promised to roll out technological innovations like hands-free automated driving systems, vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity, 4G LTE high-speed mobile broadband and new mixed-material body structures that require 20 percent fewer parts.
Time will tell whether GM can regain consumer trust and investor enthusiasm, but so far Barra seems to be steering the company back in the right direction.
Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel made international headlines in late 2013 when he turned down a $3 billion cash acquisition offer from Facebook. A year later, it’s clear the 24-year-old knew exactly what he was doing: Snapchat is now valued at a reported $10 billion. And while Facebook is hemorrhaging young users, Snapchat remains all the rage among the under-20 set; half of its 100 million-plus users are between the ages of 13 and 17.
If you’re old enough to vote, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. The Snapchat mobile app enables users to capture photos (aka “snaps”) and video clips with a smartphone, overlay a text message and transmit the image to friends. Content is available to the recipient for one to 10 seconds; after that, it vanishes permanently from both smartphones and from Snapchat’s servers. (Or at least it’s supposed to: In October, hackers leaked videos and photos of roughly 200,000 teenagers posted via Snapchat and stored on a third-party website.)
As of mid-2014, users were sharing 700 million photos each day; Snapchat Stories-links of shared content available for a 24-hour period-account for another 500 million daily views. Ephemerality is the point: Unlike other social networks-where content lives forever, sometimes to the chagrin of users-Snapchat is all about the now. (Which explains why the average Snapchat user checks his or her account an average of 14 times a day: You could blink and miss something.)
Snapchat’s lofty valuation is all the more eye-popping given that the startup has no established revenue stream (at least as of press time). But Spiegel has assembled an impressive executive roster headlined by COO Emily White, former director of business operations for Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram, suggesting that monetization efforts are coming sooner rather than later. Snapchat also continues to expand its feature set via new messaging and video chat options, as well as push notifications.
Its photos may disappear, but Snapchat looks like it’s here to stay.
Forgot about Dre? Big mistake. Sure, it’s been more than two decades since he rewrote the rules of hip-hop with The Chronic and 15 years since he released a new album, but the man born Andre Young remains ubiquitous in popular culture.
Beats Electronics, which Dre launched in 2008 in partnership with Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine, dominates the U.S. premium headphones market, accounting for 61 percent of sales nationwide, according to The NPD Group. Beats by Dre can credit its success in part to its popularity among tastemakers like Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga and LeBron James (the latter a company stakeholder). The competition is so desperate for the same cachet that in August, Bose brokered a deal to become the official headphone of the National Football League, an agreement that blocks NFL stars (including Beats endorsers Richard Sherman and Colin Kaepernick) from wearing Beats products during post-game interviews and league-affiliated events.
Beats Electronics expanded into streaming media early this year via the subscription-based Beats Music, which touts an on-demand library of 20 million songs as well as algorithm-based personalized recommendations and expert suggestions. Priced at $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year, Beats Music has reportedly struggled to poach subscribers from rivals Spotify and Rdio, but that didn’t stop Apple from gobbling up Beats this summer in a cash and stock deal valued at $3 billion, vaulting Dre’s personal fortune to $800 million and making him the richest figure in hip-hop history.
It’s still unclear exactly how Beats will fit into the larger Apple ecosystem, but Dre’s celebrity connections and seemingly eternal cool will no doubt boost Apple’s street cred and bottom line.
Ride-sharing service Uber continued driving incumbent taxi operators crazy in 2014. Five years after CEO Travis Kalanick co-founded the company, whose smartphone app lets passengers request pickups from affiliated vehicles, the Uber network spans more than 200 cities in six continents. Its greatest stronghold remains the U.S., where it covers 55 percent of the population and completes seven times as many rides as archrival Lyft, according to data compiled by investment advisory firm FutureAdvisor. Uber riders also spend 12 times as much money as their Lyft counterparts, which helps explain why Uber is valued at more than $15 billion and how Kalanick has raised a reported $1.5 billion in venture capital.
But the bigger Uber grows, the more its critics fight back. Government officials and business owners in the startup’s native San Francisco, as well as Chicago, Toronto, Brussels and Seoul, have taken measures to block Uber, with some adversaries claiming that ride-sharing companies are effectively illegal taxicab operations that skirt fair business practices and threaten passenger safety. More than 10,000 taxi drivers across Europe staged protests against Uber this summer, arguing that the firm enjoys an unfair pricing advantage because it is not subject to taxi insurance, local licenses and other standard operating costs. Uber continues operating in most contested markets while pleading its case to local lawmakers.
Uber has also made enemies over its aggressively cutthroat business tactics. Following reports that some New York City Uber staffers ordered rides from competing service Gett only to cancel them, Uber apologized on its official blog; in August, Lyft claimed that Uber employees across the U.S. ordered and canceled more than 5,000 Lyft rides over a 10-month period. From there, tech site The Verge reported on “Operation SLOG,” an effort to strong-arm drivers from competing ride-sharing startups into joining the Uber ranks. The revelations resulted in a wave of denouncements from consumers, media and the Silicon Valley elite.
Kalanick had better fasten his seatbelt-it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Netflix killed the video store-and with Blockbuster and other rental chains in the rearview, broadcast TV and movie theaters are next on Reed Hastings’ hit list. Three years removed from a controversial price hike that sent subscribers scrambling and stock values into free-fall, founder and CEO Hastings reigns as the king of new media: Netflix added 2.82 million U.S. streaming-video subscribers during the first half of 2014, up from 2.66 million during the same period last year. The company’s international growth is even more impressive, with 2.87 million new overseas customers signing on during the same six-month period, compared to 1.63 million a year ago. This fall Netflix rolled out services in France, Germany and four other European countries, promising curated libraries for each individual market.
Hastings has built more than a streaming-video platform, of course-Netflix is now one of the most influential content creators in Hollywood. Original series like House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black and BoJack Horseman are redefining how television is distributed and consumed, making available complete seasons of new episodes in one fell swoop, to the delight of binge-watchers everywhere. Beyond massive social media buzz and critical acclaim, Netflix is generating approval from TV’s old guard, earning 31 Emmy Award nominations in 2014 and bringing home seven statuettes.
Coming attractions: feature films that bypass traditional theatrical release channels. Hastings has signed with Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions to produce four original movies that will premiere exclusively on Netflix, and the company will finance The Weinstein Company’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, slated to debut on Netflix the same day it opens in IMAX theaters in mid-2015. Several of the nation’s largest theater chains are already threatening to boycott the film, so get your popcorn ready.
Jack Ma’s fairytale journey from schoolteacher to China’s richest man was the signature entrepreneurial storyline of 2014, an arc that culminated in his e-commerce company Alibaba completing the splashiest IPO in Wall Street history.
Ma was no technology wunderkind. He failed his university entrance exams twice before gaining admission to Hangzhou Teachers University in 1984; after graduation he spent five years teaching English for 120 yuan (about $15) per month. A visit to the U.S. opened his eyes to the possibilities of the internet, and in 1995 he founded business directory China Yellowpages, widely credited as China’s first web-based company. The site sputtered, and in 1999 Ma pooled $60,000 from friends to launch Alibaba, operating the e-retailer inside his Hangzhou apartment. Fast-forward 15 years, and Alibaba drives 80 percent of China’s online sales and accounts for more than half of the nation’s parcel deliveries, yielding profits that exceed those of Amazon and eBay combined.
Alibaba went public Sept. 18, raising $21.8 billion to shatter Visa’s $17.9 billion offering in 2008 as the biggest U.S. opening day ever. Less than a week later, Alibaba underwriters exercised an option to sell additional shares, hiking the IPO to $25 billion; Ma, who owns about 7.8 percent of Alibaba post-IPO, is now worth an estimated $21.9 billion. Challenges remain, like expanding outside the Chinese market and grappling with the country’s mercurial government. But the narrative already has the makings of a feel-good Hollywood movie-so it should come as no surprise that a feature film dramatizing Ma’s rags-to-riches rise is already in the works.
GoPro CEO and founder Nick Woodman is taking video to places it has never gone before. His company’s ubiquitous Hero high-definition personal cameras are a must-have accessory for action-sports daredevils the world over, resulting in extraordinary point-of-view footage captured by snowboarders soaring into the atmosphere, cyclists hurtling down serpentine trails and scuba divers plumbing the ocean’s depths. Users uploaded close to three years’ worth of footage in 2013 alone, and the viral hits keep coming-a mid-2014 clip shot by an expectant father rushing his pregnant wife to the delivery room yielded more than 1.8 million views in its first week on YouTube.
Available in a range of models priced between $130 and $500, GoPro Hero ranks as the bestselling video camera brand in the U.S., with 2013 sales of $986 million, accounting for 45 percent of the American camcorder market, according to research firm The NPD Group. GoPro also offers dozens of camera mounts tailored for specific activities, including Fetch, a canine-optimized harness promising a dog’s-eye view of life.
Woodman took GoPro public in June, raising $427 million on the first day of trading. The company is staking its future growth on evolving beyond hardware into a full-fledged multimedia platform, rolling out dedicated user-generated video channels across YouTube, Microsoft’s Xbox Live and the Virgin America airline. It’s the type of ballsy transformation that’s been successfully navigated by Apple and precious few others-but like GoPro’s customers, Woodman isn’t one to play it safe.
It’s Beyoncé’s world-the rest of us are just grooving in it. Galvanized by the late-2013 release of her self-titled fifth studio LP, the fastest-selling album ever to hit Apple’s iTunes, Queen Bey reached new heights in 2014. Her Mrs. Carter Show concert tour sold 1.8 million tickets over 126 international dates, generating revenue of $212 million. In June she hit the road again, this time teaming with husband Jay-Z for the On the Run tour, which grossed more than $100 million during its first 19 North American stops alone and culminated in a prime-time HBO special. According to Billboard, Beyoncé is the highest-paid black artist in popular music history, surpassing Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Prince.
In addition to her entertainment career, Beyoncé founded ready-to-wear fashion line House of Deréon in 2004 in partnership with her mother, Tina Knowles; eight years later, she launched shop.beyonce.com, an online marketplace for branded apparel and accessories. Entrepreneurs should pay close attention to how Beyoncé has built her brand. Arguably no performer connects on a more profound personal level with fans: Songs like “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” and “Run the World (Girls)” are anthems of female empowerment, and as her music has grown more complex and daring, her lyrics have become increasingly intimate, exploring themes like motherhood, marriage and sexuality with refreshing candor.
Beyoncé has usurped near-total control of her career and image, firing a series of managers (including father Mathew Knowles, ousted in 2011) along the way. She recorded the Beyoncé album in secret and released it via iTunes with no advance fanfare, professing boredom with traditional music marketing and a desire to interface more directly with audiences. Beyoncé has since sold more than 3 million copies, spawning five singles and setting the stage for acts like U2 to roll out their own albums via iTunes sneak attack. The traditional music industry model no longer works, but Beyoncé is pioneering a new model that does-and everyone should listen up.
Dan Gilbert is the comeback kid. The founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender, Gilbert is spearheading the revitalization of his native Detroit, investing $1.3 billion (and counting) to acquire and renovate more than 60 commercial properties occupying about 9 million square feet of Motor City real estate. Those buildings now house 12,000 employees from across Gilbert’s Rock Ventures business portfolio of roughly 110 affiliated companies, including Rock Gaming, the developer and owner of urban casinos in the Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore markets. In September, Gilbert agreed to pay $1.25 million of his own money for a road project to widen downtown Detroit’s Interstate 375 exit from one lane to three, a move to help alleviate traffic jams heading into the Greektown Casino-Hotel, which he also owns.
Gilbert-whose net worth is estimated at $4 billion-also spent 2014 rehabilitating his own public image. As the majority owner of the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers, he received worldwide attention in 2010 for a scathing open letter (published in the much-maligned comic sans font) decrying superstar LeBron James’ decision to leave the team to sign with the Miami Heat. The letter was roundly mocked in the national media, and the NBA fined Gilbert $100,000 for his remarks.
This summer, Gilbert and James met in person to hash out their differences; Gilbert apologized for the letter, the two men embraced, and days later James signed a two-year agreement to return to the Cavaliers as a free agent. The team’s 2014-15 season ticket packages sold out in a matter of hours, and James’ star wattage is expected to turbocharge Cleveland nightlife and tourism, earning local businesses an additional $75 million per year.
King James may be the NBA’s most complete player, but nobody rebounds like Dan Gilbert.
Posted by Rohan Kar for Android
Sri Lanka’s iconic beverage brand Elephant House Ginger Beer, lovingly referred to as EGB, completed two years as the only local soft drink to be served onboard SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, recently.
With the goodness of natural ginger in every sip, EGB has been a great addition to the airline’s famed inflight menu.
“As a home-grown brand, we are excited to be part of SriLankan Airlines’ pursuit of showcasing the best that our emerald isle has to offer. This partnership has helped us better connect with travellers from around the world, enticing them with EGB’s quintessentially Sri Lankan charm,” said Elephant House Head of Beverages and John Keells Holdings Vice President Daminda Gamlath.
Following a closely guarded recipe that is over a century old, EGB is made using 100 percent natural ginger sourced locally from farmers in the Central Province. A local sensation, it has also captured the imagination of consumers in the over 26 international markets it is sold in including Australia, Dubai, France, India, Kuwait, Switzerland, the Maldives, UAE, UK, USA, etc.
Getting onboard SriLankan Airlines, EGB is all set to woo passengers with its delectable taste and rush of fresh ginger as they fly around/traverse the globe with the national carrier.
Posted by Rohan Kar for Android
ASUS, a leader in the new digital era, announced the availability of the Fonepad 7 in Sri Lanka through their partnership with John Keells Office Automation (JKOA) later this month.
The Fonepad 7 is a competitively priced at Rs. 23,900 to the end consumer with 3G voice and mobile data with all the features of a smartphone as well as the versatility of a 7-inch tablet. Powered by the latest Intel Atom Z2420 processor with Android 4.1, the Fonepad will feature a vibrant HD display with IPS technology for wide viewing angles and outstanding clarity and dual sim.
“As a company, we work to give the best quality products at the best possible price. Our devices are geared to help every Sri Lankan benefit from the services of the Internet, improve the nation’s Internet penetration and assist the national ICT goals,” said Rajeev Chaudhari, Director Operations (India) and Country Product Manager (Sri Lanka).
The Fonepad 7 Model FE170CG comes equipped with several key features including dual front-facing speakers with SonicMaster Technology for better phone calls, and enhanced audio and video streaming for a greater entertainment experience; 2×2 the power with an Intel(R) Atom Multi-core processor with Intel Hyper Threading Technology for energy efficiency that gives up to 30 hours of 3G talk time and 10 hours of video playback and smooth, uninterrupted performance; dual cameras with a 2-megapixel rearfacing camera for great pictures and a 0.3-megapixel front camera for easy video conferencing as well as automatic selfiemode, time-rewind offering you a selection of the same image and abundant camera effects.
“We are extremely pleased to add the range of Fonepad 7 into our ASUS portfolio. This device offers an advanced, versatile, and affordable tablet cum Smartphone option for Lankan consumers,” said Janoda Thoradeniya, Chief Executive Officer – John Keells Office Automation and Vice PresidentJohn Keells Group. “At JKOA, we promise to deliver cutting-edge technology and continued-reinvention and brands such as ASUS play an integral role in achieving this.”
The Fonepad 7 Models -FE170CG, FE375CG, ME372CL(with LTE) with more memory and connectivity will be available at any of the retailers and partners of the JKOA network island wide this holiday season . Apart from these models consumer will also have choice like innovative 10″tablet Transformer TF303CL with docking station,Intel Bay Trail T Z3745 1.8GHz Quad-Core CPU, RAM 2GB,Internal 32GB(Up to 64GB Micro SD Support),Android 4.4 KitKat, WIFI, 3G/LTE(4G).
Renowned as the world’s leading manufacturer of motherboards, ASUS is now the No. 1 brand in the Consumer segment of the APAC market and ‘Top Two Android tablet brand’. ASUS is looking to work closely with local telco operators and government associations to enable consumers to have access to affordable and quality products.
Posted by Rohan Kar for Android
Google is among the most sought after employers in the world. Engineers are the rock stars at Google – and they’re paid like one.
Interns start at $70,000 to $90,000 salaries, while software engineers pull in $118,000 and senior software engineers make an average of $152,985. But one does not simply walk into the Googleplex.
The company receives upwards of 2.5 million job applications a year, but only hires about 4,000 people.
For would-be Googlers, the Google in Education team has released a list of skills that they want to see in potential engineers.
“Having a solid foundation in computer science is important in being a successful software engineer,” the company says. “This guide is a suggested path for university students to develop their technical skills academically and non-academically through self-paced, hands-on learning.”
Here are the skills Google wants its tech talent to master, complete with online resources to get you started…
1. Learn To Code
Learn to code in at least one object-oriented programming language, like C++, Java, or Python. Consult MIT or Udacity.
2. Test Your Code
It’s not just important to know how to code. You should also be able to test code, because Google wants you to be able to ‘catch bugs, create tests, and break your software.’
3. Have Some Background In Abstract Math
It is important to have some background in abstract math, like logical reasoning and discrete math, which lots of computer science draws on.
4. Get To Know Operating Systems
Get to know operating systems, for they’ll be where you do much of your work.
5. Become Familiar With Artificial Intelligence
Become familiar with artificial intelligence. Google loves robots.
6. Understand Algorithms And Data Structures
Google wants you to learn about fundamental data types like stacks, queues and bags as well as grasp sorting algorithms like quicksort, mergesort and heapsort.
7. Learn Cryptography
Learn cryptography. Remember, cybersecurity is crucial.
8. Learn How To Build Compilers
Stanford says that when you do that, ‘you will learn how a program written in a high-level language designed for humans is systematically translated into a program written in low-level assembly more suited to machines.’
9. Learn Other Programming Languages
Add Java Script, CSS, Ruby and HTML to your skillset. W3school and CodeAcademy are there to help.
10. Learn Parallel Programming
Also, learn parallel programming because being able to carry out tons of computations at the same time is powerful.
Posted by Rohan Kar for Android
Sydney: The tragic death of batsman Phillip Hughes dominated the front pages of Australia`s media Friday as “the nation shares the agony of an innings cut short”, while rallying behind the youngster who bowled the fatal ball.
Hughes died Thursday from a rare head injury after a devastating on-field blow, sparking an outpouring of grief in Australia and around the world for a player who was due to celebrate his 26th birthday on Sunday.
The Sydney Daily Telegraph, which devoted 14 pages to the story, put a smiling picture of Hughes on the front page, simply saying “Phillip Hughes 1988-2014.”
In an opinion piece it said that the sporting world, and much of Australia, was in “deep mourning” with flags flying at half mast at cricket grounds across the nation.
The newspaper also offered support for the 22-year-old bowler who delivered the ball at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday as South Australia faced New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield clash.
“Players and commentators have rightly stood by fast bowler Sean Abbott, who was simply playing his usual game when Hughes was injured,” it said.
“Nobody can possibly bear him any ill will. It is hoped, with time, Abbott will return to the game he loves.”
The Sydney Morning Herald also went to town across 12 pages, under the headline “We love you,” from a family statement read out on Thursday by devastated Australian captain Michael Clarke, a close friend.
The daily also chose to offer support to Abbott, while reflecting on Hughes` life.
“To the family and friends of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes … everyone at the Herald expresses our deepest sympathies,” it said in an editorial.
“To Sean Abbott … we are thinking of you. Stay well. Listen to the advice of those who know how fragile you are, even if you don`t fully realise.”
The Australian broadsheet said “the nation shares the agony of an innings cut short” on its front page, adding: “A bright talent, 63 not out forever,” referring to the score Hughes had made when he was hit by the Abbott bouncer.
“The tragic notion of an athlete dying young is etched deeply into our sports-loving nation,” an editorial said.
“Cricket, especially, binds us, its lore passed through families.
“For us, Hughes remains forever young, smiling, batting with abandon, sprinting between wickets, punching the air in jubilation.
“A little bloke off the farm chasing his dream of wearing the Baggy Green.”
Doctors said Hughes died after his vertebral artery split when hit by the ball, leading to massive bleeding into his brain.
It was a freak injury with only 100 cases ever reported and only one known incident as a result of a cricket ball.
Posted by Rohan Kar for Android
OPEC on Thursday decided against cutting the amount of oil it produces despite a glut in global supplies, triggering a fresh collapse in crude prices. The cartel pumping out one-third of the world’s oil opted to stick by its output target, even after prices have plunged by more than a third in value since June.
The 12-nation cartel “decided to maintain the production level of 30 million barrels per day” where it has stood for three years, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a communique.
Going into the meeting in Vienna, OPEC faced pressure from its poorer members, notably Venezuela and Ecuador, to cut output as collapsing prices slashed their precious revenues.
But its powerful Gulf members rejected calls to turn down the taps unless they are guaranteed market share in the highly competitive arena, particularly in the United States, where a flood of cheaper oil from shale rock has contributed to the global oversupply.
“We should withdraw the overproduction from the market,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez told reporters ahead of Thursday’s outcome.
The OPEC decision sent world oil prices tumbling to fresh four-year lows.
New York’s West Texas Intermediate for January slumped to $69.11 a barrel — the lowest level since May 2010.
London’s Brent North Sea crude for January delivery dived to $72.74 — also a four-year trough.
Crude prices have collapsed by 35 percent since June, depressed also by a strong dollar and worries about stalling energy demand in a weak global economy.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned in a recent report that the “price rout” was not over, and that crude futures would slide well into 2015.
Plunging oil prices have fanned concerns about the growing threat of deflation in the world economy, and particularly in the eurozone.
While falling consumer prices may sound good for consumers, deflation can trigger a vicious spiral where businesses and households delay purchases, throttling demand and causing companies to lay off workers.
OPEC pumps above target
OPEC pumped 30.6 million oil barrels per day last month, above its 30 million bpd target according to the IEA, which advises countries on energy policy.
Ahead of the meeting, OPEC kingpin and world’s top oil producer Saudi Arabia cut charges for US customers in a move seen as a bid to maintain its market share amid increasing competition there from shale energy.
OPEC has meanwhile insisted that it is not solely up to the cartel to tackle the oversupply that is sending crude prices crashing.
Officials from Saudi Arabia met with their counterparts from Venezuela and non-OPEC oil producers Russia and Mexico in Vienna on Tuesday.
Following the surprise gathering, Russian oil giant Rosneft said it had trimmed its daily output by 25,000 barrels because of “market conditions”.
The token reduction represented less than one percent of the behemoth’s total and did nothing to boost energy prices on depressed global commodity markets.
OPEC will hold its next production meeting in June next year, as previously announced.
Posted by Rohan Kar for Android
Victoria’s Secret has launched a new bra, which comes with a built in heart rate monitor.
According to Wearable Tech Insider, the ‘Incredible by Victoria’s Secret Heart-Rate Monitor Compatible Sport Bra’ has sensors and technology from the Finnish fabric maker Clothing+, and has been prices at about 75 dollars.
The undergarment which has the sensors built into the fabric itself, is actually functional, and can help one keep a track of their heat rate.
Posted by Rohan Kar for Android