Saturday, April 28, 2012

Microsoft India the best employer, Randstad

Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) Microsoft India has been adjudged by HR services company Randstad as the "Most attractive employer" for the second straight year.
Oracle India and Tata Consultancy Services have been ranked by the Randstad Award 2012 at close second and third positions.
The Randstad award was announced after a survey was conducted among 8,500 respondents from over 150 biggest employers in the country to find India's most attractive employer brand. The research was conducted by the global research agency, ICMA International.
"With more and more global companies entering the Indian market, we see a healthy competition in the country not only in establishing the brand but also in attracting the best skills to work for them," said Randstad India managing director E. Balaji.
Randstad also awarded special recognition to Volkswagen India in the auto sector and Nokia India in the consumer durables industry

Samsung overtakes Nokia in cell phone shipments

London, Apr 28 (ANI): South Korean mobile maker Samsung has overtaken Nokia to become the world's largest maker of mobile phones, according to a report.
Research firm Strategy Analytics revealed that in the first quarter of 2012 Samsung shipped 93 million mobile handsets phones compared to almost 83 million by Nokia.
The firm said its IT and mobile communications division, which manufactures the smartphones, made an operating profit of 4.27 trillion won during the period, as revenues in the division surged 86 percent from a year earlier, The BBC reports.
Meanwhile, Samsung is facing stiff competition from rivals such as Apple and Taiwan'-based HTC.
Apple, which said earlier this week that it sold 35 million of its iPhones in the first quarter, is expected to launch a new version of its handset later this year.
According to the report, another area of concern for Samsung is likely to be its chip manufacturing unit, which is facing slow global demand for personal computers
Samsung's memory-chip division saw its profits slide by 54 percent during the first quarter when compared with the same period a year earlier. (ANI)

Oregano can combat prostate cancer

Washington, April 25(ANI): An ingredient of oregano, the common pizza and pasta seasoning herb, could potentially be used to treat prostate cancer, researchers including one of an Indian have found.
This super-spice, studied by researchers at Long Island University (LIU), has long been known to possess a variety of beneficial health effects.
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the prostate gland and usually occurs in older men. Recent data shows that about 1 in 36 men will die of prostate cancer.
Current treatment options for patients include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and immune therapy. Unfortunately, these are associated with considerable complications and/or severe side effects.
Dr. Supriya Bavadekar, PhD, RPh, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at LIU's Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, is currently testing carvacrol, a constituent of oregano, on prostate cancer cells.
The results of her study demonstrate that the compound induces apoptosis in these cells. Apoptosis, Dr. Bavadekar explained, is programmed cell death, or simply "cell suicide."
Dr. Bavadekar and her group are presently trying to determine the signaling pathways that the compound employs to bring about cancer cell suicide.
"We know that oregano possesses anti-bacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties, but its effects on cancer cells really elevate the spice to the level of a super-spice like turmeric," said Dr. Bavadekar.
Though the study is at its preliminary stage, she believes that the initial data indicates a huge potential in terms of carvacrol's use as an anti-cancer agent.
"A significant advantage is that oregano is commonly used in food and has a 'Generally Recognized As Safe' status in the US. We expect this to translate into a decreased risk of severe toxic effects," she said.
"Some researchers have previously shown that eating pizza may cut down cancer risk. This effect has been mostly attributed to lycopene, a substance found in tomato sauce, but we now feel that even the oregano seasoning may play a role," stated Dr. Bavadekar.
"If the study continues to yield positive results, this super-spice may represent a very promising therapy for patients with prostate cancer," she added.
The results of the study were presented at the Experimental Biology 2012 poster session on Tuesday, April 24. (ANI)

Families that eat together may be healthiest

Washington, Apr 24 (ANI): Researchers have shed light on the growing scientific evidence that fewer family meals may translate to increased obesity risk and poor nutritional status, particularly among children.
Over 40 percent of the typical American food budget is spent on eating out, with family meals often being relegated to holidays and special occasions.
Aside from negative effects on the family budget, eating out has been shown to be generally associated with poor food choices and bad health.
But getting this message out to busy parents in a way that will convince them to spend more time at the dining room table with their children is problematic at best.
To both summarize what is known about this timely topic and create a model that might be used to educate parents and other caregivers as to the importance of family mealtimes, researchers at Rutgers recently evaluated results from 68 previously published scientific reports considering the association between family mealtime and children's health.
They specifically looked at how frequency or atmosphere of family meals was related to consumption of both healthy foods (e.g., fruits and vegetables) and those considered less desirable (e.g., soft drinks).
The researchers also evaluated if scientific evidence actually supports the idea that more frequent family meals can lead to decreased obesity.
Their review of the literature revealed numerous benefits to children associated with having frequent family meals, including increased intake of fruits, vegetables, fiber, calcium-rich foods, and vitamins.
In addition, the more a family ate together the less children consumed dietary components thought to be harmful to health.
Although the researchers found only a weak link between family meals and obesity risk, children in families with frequent family meals tended to have lower body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) than those who enjoyed fewer family meals.
The research team was also able to create a simple conceptual image that condensed their findings in a user-friendly fashion, and hope to test the effectiveness of this graphic with parents and other caregivers in the near future.
"Images like this one will be a helpful method to demonstrate the benefits identified in scientific literature to parents in a concise, non-biased method. Often parents will hear tidbits about family meal benefits here and there, but we hope that something like this may be useful to provide information from a reliable source," according to the scientists.
Clearly, the scientific literature represents a vast store of valuable information that could help families make better decisions about food choices.
However, many people do not have the time, inclination, or expertise needed to access, filter, and interpret these scientific reports. Instead, they must often rely on media "headlines" that focus on a single study, or worse do not accurately report the research that has been conducted.
The authors of this new report hope that their "synthesis of the literature of the links between family meals and child health outcomes and creation of a parent-friendly image that visually summarized these findings will lead to interventions that benefit a wide range of children." (ANI)

Google offers 15,000 3D photo tours

Image Google has created 15,000 free 'photo tours' of world landmarks, which create a '3D' scene from tourist photographs. 

Google has 'built' 3D panoramas of each scene by using public photographs from its Picasa's photo-sharing website. 

The application enables the user Landmarks to 'fly around' Rome's Trevi Fountain, Half Dome in America's Yosemite and St Mark's Basilica in Venice. 

"Every year, millions of people pack their bags and head to far-off places to enjoy sites and cultures different from their own. With today's introduction of photo tours, a feature of Google Maps that guides you through a 3D photo scene, we're all one step closer," The Daily Mail quoted a Google statement, as saying. 

The 15,000 tours can be accessed directly from Google's Map service 

"They can be initiated from Google Maps in two ways. First, when you search for a place, such as Trevi Fountain, the results in the left panel will indicate if there is a photo tour available: click either the thumbnail image or the link to start the tour. Alternatively, if you're browsing the map and click on the label for a particular landmark, the info window that appears will indicate if a photo tour is available," a company statement added. 

The tours use Google Maps with WebGL, a software that only works in browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

11 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Gmail's New Interface

1. Display Density

An easy fix, head to your Settings button and select a display density. 'Compact' makes your inbox shrink down to a tidy, manageable list.
New Gmail launched to all users on April 23, and a lot people are still getting used to the new look. If you don’t have the time or energy to investigate at all the new features, try some of our tips and tricks above.
We’ve highlighted 11 Gmail options that will help you adjust to the new design. Some are cosmetic, while others improve efficiency. Either way, these tips will have you Gmail-fluent in no time.
Are you happy with new Gmail? Cast your vote in the following poll, and share your Gmail tips and tricks in the comments below.
What Do You Think About the Gmail Redesign?

Intel India to mentor 7,000 girls

ImageIntel India will mentor up to 7,000 girls through its Technology and Entrepreneurship Program launched recently in the Capital, says Shelly Esque, vice president at Intel, global director of the company's corporate affairs group and president, Intel Foundation. 

The programme will be conducted across 50 schools in and around Delhi. 

"We felt girls and women were under-represented in technology careers and usage, which is why we initiated this programme," she says. The children would benefit from the programme by discovering their entrepreneurial potential, enhancing the spirit of innovation, creativity and decision-making. 

It will also help develop financial and economic literacy and help create an independent identity for the girls, she adds. 

Intel India has already received around 15 business plans from about 35-40 girl children so far. 

The company has also started an Easy Steps programme, aimed at providing technological literacy to adults and youth across the country. It has tied up with organisations such as Pratham, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and the Ministry of Youth for this programme, though which nearly 75,000 people have already been trained. 

Intel invests about $100 million globally in corporate social responsibility programmes focused on areas such as education, environmental sustainability, community and global relations efforts.

Infosys wage freeze has to do with high bench they have

Viju George, Executive Director, JPMorgan, in a chat shares his views on IT earnings. 

All four large companies have declared their numbers. There is a huge disparity between what TCS has guided, whatInfosys has admitted, how Wipro has shared future outlook versus what HCL has guided.
That is correct. The results point to a mixed picture as far as the health of near-term demand in the IT sector is concerned. This is not surprising. In terms of industry growth slowing down from 11% to 14%, there will be polarisation in performance within the largecap sector. 

So companies like TCS, Cognizant, etc., should go well ahead of 15%. Hence, by definition, other companies would come well below that. In times of slowing growth, polarisation of performance in largecaps is much more than 04-08. 

Certain companies are facing structural issues as well; we can particularly highlight Infosys here. They have a fairly ambitious agenda to get things back on track. It is a mix of both these factors at play. 

The quarterly performance in the outlook commentary from managements has been a bit confusing. Which side are you on? Is the demand environment bleak as Infosys' management points out or is it showing signs of improvement as TCS is indicating? How would you peg the big four now?
The demand environment is better today than three to six months back. Data points in the US are easing. This will transalate the lag into better returns for those focused on winning market share. Infosys has company-specific issues. They are just blaming the environment for the things that are impacting them at the company-specific level. 

It goes back to who is winning market share in the current environment. Clearly, if you have to win market share, you are winning it against your peers as opposed to 04 to 08. 

I would not say this is the last thing on the matter. Early May, Cognizant will declare its earnings and they should give a sense of the direction the IT sector is going. My sense is things will be alright. Demand is certainly better today than three to six months back, but only some companies are gaining market share at their peers' expense. 

What is the pecking order for you considering you have been the first one to point out structural issues faced by Infy?
The pecking order would be TCS, Wipro, HCL Tech and Infosys. Let me take you through the upsides we are looking at. We are looking at a barely 10% upside in TCS, considering the stock has moved up. But it is the stock to hold on to. Investors do not have much confidence in Infosys getting its act together. So, TCS remains a stock to go to. 

From a differentiated performance, despite not an enthusing Q1 FY13 guidance, we can give the benefit to Wipro. We think it is a one off and the company can gets it act together starting Q2 FY13. Therefore, from an upside potential perspective, Wipro can give you anywhere between 15% and 20% in a year. 

HCL has been a good performer. They are winning market share, not just against Indian competitors but also against global counterparts like IBM and Accenture. We should see a 10% to 12% there. The real laggard is Infosys. Unless, it can get its issues back together and resolve them meaningfully, even meeting the 8% to 10% guidance on an organic basis looks difficult. 

What are the chances of Infosys getting their mojo back? They have a utilisation rate of 70%. If the demand environment picks up, they could surprise you on the upside because they are still hiring.
There are two ways to look at it. Utilisation is low because the company has not been able to generate demand. Since utilisation is low, I am in a position to capitalise on demand when it comes -- this is not a fair argument. 

The fact remains that you should be in a position to capitalise on demand. Today, Infosys' ability to generate or capitalise on demand is certainly much weaker than a year ago. In that sense, you are making an error trying to hire and keeping utilisation low. 

This limits your ability to give wage increases. So I suspect that Infosys' decision to not give wage increases and to freeze wage hikes has to do with a very high bench that they have. If you are unable to generate demand, low utilisation can be a problem for you.

Apple launches iPad in India at Rs 30,500

Apple's new iPad, with a price tag of Rs 30,500-Rs 50,900, hit the Indian market Friday. 

The tablet features a new retina display, Apple's new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight camera and 1080pHD video. 

The PC maker said it had slashed by almost 20 per cent the price of iPad 2, which was launched in India last year, to Rs 24,500. 

The new iPads are available in black and white colours. While the 16GB model wi-fi models are available for Rs 30,500, the 32GB model costs Rs 36,500 and 64GB model Rs 42,500, the company said in a statement. 

The iPad Wi-Fi, 4G tablets are available for Rs 38,900 for the 16GB model, Rs 44,900 for the 32GB model and Rs 50,900 for the 64GB model. 

iPad 2 whose prices have been slashed are available for Rs.24,500 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model instead of Rs 29,500 and Rs 32,900 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi + 3G model instead of earlier pricing of Rs 34,500.

3.2 billion pixel Camera Yes, Billion.

3.2 billion pixel Camera

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will survey the entire visible sky every week, creating an unprecedented public archive of data – about 6 million gigabytes per year, the equivalent of shooting roughly 800,000 images with a regular eight-megapixel digital camera every night, but of much higher quality and scientific value. Its deep and frequent cosmic vistas will help answer critical questions about the nature of dark energy and dark matter and aid studies of near-Earth asteroids, Kuiper belt objects, the structure of our galaxy and many other areas of astronomy and fundamental physics

3.2 billion pixel Camera

“With 189 sensors and over 3 tons of components that have to be packed into an extremely tight space, you can imagine this is a very complex instrument,” said Nadine Kurita, the project manager for the LSST camera at SLAC. “But given the enormous challenges required to provide such a comprehensive view of the universe, it’s been an incredible opportunity to design something so unique.”

3.2 billion pixel Camera

Now that the LSST camera has passed Critical Decision 1, the project begins a detailed engineering design, schedule, and budget phase. While the DOE funds the design and construction of the camera, the full cost and logistics of the new telescope are being shared by the DOE and the National Science Foundation, as well as a large partnership of public and private organizations in the United States and abroad.

3.2 billion pixel Camera

“This is the culmination of years of work by a large group of dedicated people,” said SLAC’s Steven Kahn, LSST deputy project director and leader of the DOE-funded effort on LSST. “I’ve personally been working on this since 2003, and it is tremendously satisfying to finally see this move forward to the point when we can begin to carry out the project.” If all continues as planned, construction on the telescope will begin in 2014. Preliminary work has already started on LSST’s 8.4-meter primary mirror and its final site atop Cerro Pachón in northern Chile.

3.2 billion pixel Camera

As the primary component of all energy in the universe, the still-mysterious dark energy is perhaps the most important research target for LSST and the physicists who are building it. Yet that’s only a start. LSST’s fire hose of publicly available data will allow astronomers the world over to view faint and rapidly changing objects, create 3D maps and time lapses of the night sky and detail Pluto’s celestial neighborhood, the Kuiper belt."Not only should LSST revolutionize our understanding of the universe, its contents and the laws that govern its behavior, but it will also transform the way all of us, from kindergarteners to professional astrophysicists, use telescopes,” said Tony Tyson, LSST director and a professor of physics at the University of California, Davis. “These are exciting times!"

3.2 billion pixel Camera

LSST and Calypso
Two renderings combine to create this image of the LSST summit facility and Calypso, the small adjacent atmospheric telescope. March 2011
(Image credit: LSST Corporation)

3.2 billion pixel Camera

A combination of two renderings, showing the telescope on the summit. March 2011 (Image credit: LSST Corporation)

3.2 billion pixel Camera

In this artist's rendition, the LSST primary mirror is seen through the slit of the dome at sunset. The LSST will carry out a deep, ten-year imaging survey in six broad optical bands over the main survey area of 18,000 square degrees. 2011 (Image credit: Todd Mason, Mason Productions Inc. / LSST Corporation)

3.2 billion pixel Camera

A simulated night sky provides a background for the LSST facilities building on Cerro Pachón. The LSST will carry out a deep, ten-year imaging survey in six broad optical bands over the main survey area of 18,000 square degrees. 2011 (Image credit: Todd Mason, Mason Productions Inc. / LSST Corporation)

3.2 billion pixel Camera

LSST Facility exterior at night. 
A colorful night sky provides a background for the LSST facilities building on Cerro Pachón. The LSST will carry out a deep, ten-year imaging survey in six broad optical bands over the main survey area of 18,000 square degrees. 2011 (Image credit: Todd Mason, Mason Productions Inc. / LSST Corporation)

3.2 billion pixel Camera

LSST Optical Elements at sunset.
The optical elements of the LSST appear suspended over the coplanar primary/tertiary mirror. The secondary mirror, camera lenses and filters are also visible. 2011
(Image credit: Todd Mason, Mason Productions Inc. / LSST Corporation)

3.2 billion pixel Camera

LSST telescope
The 8.4-meter LSST will use a special three-mirror design, creating an exceptionally wide field of view and will have the ability to survey the entire sky in only three nights.
(Image credit: LSST Corporation)

3.2 billion pixel Camera

LSST telescope in the dome
A cut-away view showing a rendering of the LSST in the dome, current as of January 2009.
(Image credit: J. Andrew, NOAO/LSST)

3.2 billion pixel Camera

LSST Team 
Members of the LSST project and science collaborations met at the University of Washington to access newly available test data and discuss user interfaces for operations.
(Image credit: LSST Corporation)

3 lessons that the first year of marriage will teach you

How many couples that you know personally are in floundering marriages?
Let’s take the pessimist’s view here: what makes you think that your relationship is different? Do you really know what you’re getting yourself into? How well do you really know her? Yes, she might be your soulmate, but even soulmates have bad tempers, and expensive tastes…
Research has proved that the first year of marriage is the most stressful. And pop psychology has taught us that men and women come from different planets. Ask any married man what he learned about marriage after the first year and he will say something like this:

#1It really is true: Men assume that women will not change after marriage, while women are convinced that they can and will change their husbands.
Men are, for the most part, honest, straightforward creatures. They’ve analyzed their potential spouse and they’ve accepted her foibles. They think they can live with her faults. They concentrate on the positive qualities. If she’s basically a calm, organized person now, she should remain that way, shouldn’t she?
But oh how different is a woman’s perspective about such matters! Women accept themselves as irrational to a point, and they realize that changing themselves to suit their circumstances is the only way to deal with life. If they are moldable, men must be too, right? And with this firm belief does a woman enter into marriage: that he will love her enough to change for her, or that she will succeed in demonstrating the rationality of her argument, that this certain quality of his is disagreeable, and that that particular habit is unacceptable.
What to expect: That a wife will change. She just might seem like a completely different person after marriage. She will probably expect her husband to change too, to suit any whim that takes her fancy. Can you make allowances for this? Do you know which of your traits she finds the most annoying, and are you willing to give that up for love? What about her do you find most endearing, and could you live without it if it were to disappear overnight?

#2. It also is true that familiarity breeds contempt
Mark Twain once said “The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it.” The US army doesn’t just disapprove of fraternization between recruits and officers, it considers it a criminal offence. Considering that women are genetically wired to repeat themselves (read: nag) until they get their way, have you considered the odds that you might like her less the more you see of her? Are you completely sure that you can live with your girlfriend’s annoying habits and her little quirks for the rest of your life without wanting to pull your own hair out?
What to think about: Neither men nor women betray their true selves while dating. How much of what each of you appears to be is really you? 

#3. They tell this to women, but men should remember it too: don’t do anything during the first few months that you don’t want to continue doing all your life.
Expectations, anyone? It’s only natural that if you begin doing something nice for her, she will expect you to continue doing it for the rest of your lives. What she learns about you in the first few months is going to shape the way she supposes you will behave forever. Whether it’s taking out the trash or buying her flowers or gadgets on every monthly anniversary, she will remember these things, and if you stop doing them, you don’t love her anymore, sob sob…
What to consider: The problem here is that small as well as big things merit the same careful consideration. Most husbands aim to please at the start of a marriage, even though they might later forget what they consider insignificant to the large picture. Women, the divinely contradictory sex, associate affection with symbolic gestures.
To marry or not to marry her…no easy answer to this one. How well do you both understand each other? How many shared values and core beliefs can you boast of? If you’re not quite sure, maybe tying the knot is not the right decision…