Monday, September 10, 2012

Frog odours, anyone?

A number of worthless and frivolous researches are giving the World of science and reason a boorish tinge; we say ban them!

Research and development across fields and disciplines has achieved great heights in its outcomes. But at the same time, some exercises and endeavours have also breached the depths of naivety. Consider this: Professor J. Mack and D. Jacobs of Harvard Medical School and Temple University published a paper that made a startling conclusion with respect to the people who believed they were kidnapped by aliens from outer space. They concluded from their pathbreaking research that “the focus of abduction is the production of children”.

This is not an exception. The University of Michigan (ranked 15th in the world) conducted a research in 2008 that attempted to find out whether doing exercises helps reducing weight rather than sitting and watching television all day long. No marks for guessing what they found. Or if you’re dying to find out this, consider the University of Alberta (ranked 127th), which came out with a research on the relationship among height, penile length and foot size. One is left guessing which industries such a research would benefit. Or take the ‘Technical’ University of Denmark (ranked 122nd), which published a paper on the impact of wet underwear on thermoregulatory responses and thermal comfort in the cold.

University of Adelaide (ranked 73), Australia, published a paper that researched odorous secretions in 131 species of frogs, and found out the odours that frogs produce under stress. Which biological benefit to mankind would this serve, is left to suspense. Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation calculated the number of photographs one must take to more or less ensure that nobody in a group photo has his/her eyes closed.

University of Spain calculated ultrasonic velocity in cheddar cheese as affected by temperature; Stockholm university (ranked 168) established a relationship between chicken and humans by proving that chickens prefer beautiful humans; Newcastle University (ranked 152) shows that women prefer taller men for good one night stands and shorter men for committed relationships.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012.
For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.
IIPM : The B-School with a Human Face

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Steven Philip Warner talks to Chris L. Cloran, Corporate Vice-President, AMD

After years of being stuck in the doldrums, AMD, with its relatively new CEO Dirk Meyer and the fusion technology bet, is finally gaining some momentum. B&E’s Steven Philip Warner talks to Chris L. Cloran, Corporate Vice-President, AMD, about how AMD plans to save its semiconductor skin

B&E: AMD has always been about offering optimal quality (the right experience at the right price). And at a time when PC makers are looking for the right price points, this seems to be working. What kind of a sign is this?
I believe it’s a sign that we’re helping our customers meet their goals. AMD provides customers with the right balance of price & quality (CPU and graphics processing power for the vivid computing experiences consumers want). And we will always maintain this. The best way to ensure a great PC experience – from watching HD videos to playing the latest games – is to strike the right balance between CPU and GPU technologies and we are the only company that has a portfolio of both high-performance CPUs and GPUs.

B&E: What are the main challenges ahead of AMD in the long run?
The most important challenge ahead of AMD is to enable the next-generation of computing with the AMD Fusion family of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), and to achieve this we are working with our customers and partners.

B&E: Which geography across the world is most important for AMD to explore opportunities in ‘processor technologies’?
Asia is an important growth market and top priority for AMD. India especially has also rapidly become an important center of AMD’s engineering, research and development. Engineers in AMD’s research centers in Hyderabad and Bangalore have played key roles in developing several of the products that will set the bar for the industry’s next generation of computing. So I would say that India is most critical to us.

B&E: AMD, unlike others, is betting big on the Fusion technology. Why?
We expect the launch of AMD Fusion products (in 2011) to usher in a new era of computing. The world’s first APUs fuse a CPU and GPU onto the same chip. We believe the transition to APUs is the next necessary step. With APUs, consumers will have better out-of-the-box experiences: videos will look better, productivity will be accelerated, games will play better and your mobile PC will have longer battery life. So we’re taking the plunge...

B&E: And you haven’t mentioned anything about mobility devices yet.
Of course, AMD is already taking advantage of consumers’ desire for mobility. On May 12, 2010, AMD announced the AMD 2010 Mainstream and Ultrathin Notebook Platforms (codenamed ‘Danube’ and ‘Nile’) supported with a record number of OEM platform design wins. Looking ahead, one of the new microprocessor core architectures that AMD is introducing next year, code-named ‘Bobcat’, is targeted at very low power envelopes within a broad base of devices from netbooks all the way to entry-level PCs. This is the first time AMD has focused on this type of power envelope for the usage scenarios we have in mind and customers are showing great interest in having AMD positioned in this part of the market. So we are neck-deep in mobility as well.

Read more.....

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012.
For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.
IIPM : The B-School with a Human Face          

Thursday, September 06, 2012


More than a year ago, I wrote a cover story in this very magazine stating, why not azaadi for Kashmir? ( I argued why keeping unwilling Kashmiris as a part of India was a huge drain on resources as well as on India’s moral authority. Moreover, unlike all other parts of India that may also demand independence tomorrow, Kashmir has a huge and long history attached; and worldwide, when such groups have historically staked a claim for their independence, democratic nations have obliged. My article had then triggered a tremendous response – ranging for praise to virulent abuse! I still stand by my point that it is pointless to force Kashmiris to remain with India at gunpoint. This only triggers ill feeling. I have many Kashmiris and Muslims studying in my institute and even working with me. And many are also linked up with me on my Facebook account. When I at times go to their profiles and check out the material that they post, it scares the wits out of me. They are mostly openly anti-India. They write stories of all that they have gone through. They post videos that will make anyone hate India. They themselves almost hate India! And they want azaadi for Kashmir.

Digressing a little, if Facebook is any indicator of what real people of Kashmir want, that’s freedom from India. When I read their posts, two things cross my mind. Firstly, are they potential terrorists? The answer is, of course not… I know a lot of them. They are educated, nice people. It’s a free nation and they speak their minds out of their personal experiences. The second thought that crosses my mind is obviously how Facebook has become an open forum to actually spread hatred; and that the Intelligence departments of India should keep a track of the communication happening there… My blood often boils when I read so much of open anti-India comments. And imagine I have to often see these people the next day walking into my office! It is surely a great test of patience and belief in democratic values for a patriotic Indian. I do try to understand their perspective too and realise their reasons for hating India. But I must add that while I can vouch for a lot of my students that they are nice people, I obviously can’t vouch for their friends. The situation now is such, that completely anti-India people are openly spreading hatred for India amongst Indian Muslims. Accept it or not, there are clear signs that a strong united community of India haters is developing, who are connected not as friends but by their hatred for India – something that was not that easy in pre-Facebook days. Anyway, I will leave it at that.

Coming back to my original topic – should we give azaadi to Kashmir? I still say, yes, of course! Keeping people dictatorially bound to a nation under gunpoint is totally meaningless and almost inhuman. But I do realise the problems that the Indian government has in hand. An azaad Kashmir must come with some pledges from whoever becomes the leader of Kashmir. A pledge to take back hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits and allow them full freedom to earn a living and practise their religion. A pledge to allow similar freedom to the Buddhists, Shias and other minority communities. And a pledge to remain a secular republic in both form and content. Of course, the question is, will those leaders be able to give such pledges? And will they be thereon willing to keep them? The truth possibly is that within 48 hours of such independence being granted, Kashmir will become a part of Pakistan and an Islamic state. Soon after, China would gain control of strategic parts of the region. And we must remember that India is the only major nation to have systematically lost national territory in the 20th century. From the Government of India’s point of view, it surely cannot afford to lose more, nor can it afford to let azaad Kashmir become a playground for Islamic radicals and China.

So what does India do? That’s a tricky one to answer. But right now, all I can say is that from a political perspective, the Congress can’t take the situation lightly and keep waffling on it and let anarchy prevail. It’s actually sad to see our liberal and so-called secular intellectuals bend over backwards to be politically correct even when faced with dangers of hardline Islam. If someone from the Hindu or Christian community is a bigot, we never hesitate to denounce such an individual openly. Why do we then hesitate to denounce in the same tone, when it comes to a Muslim bigot? Why can’t we tell radical Muslims – just as we tell radical Hindus – that their ideology and vision is simply not acceptable to India? That oppressive and regressive parts of the sharia are as unacceptable as parts of the manu code of the Hindus? It’s time the government took a strong stance – whatever it is – and engaged the masses to make their viewpoint logically clear to Indians at large who are finding the government weak at this point of time.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012.
For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.
IIPM : The B-School with a Human Face

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Rahul’s new equation

Bollywood ain’t keeping Rahul busy anymore, for the suave gentleman seems to have found better use of his time. Away from tinsel town, Mr. Iyer knows he can do more than just entertain. For this star of Indian art-house cinema, Equation (an auction for equality) is his new pet that’s keeping him busy on Twitter, posting updates on his new goodies. So, if you wish to own Abhinav Bindra’s rifle, Roger Ferderer’s signed shoes, or Leander’s racket, you know where to look.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012.
For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.
IIPM : The B-School with a Human Face

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Now, hear it all!

All those controversies about actress Lindsay Lohan that have been relentlessly splashed in the tabloids day after day, will now be heard straight from the horse’s mouth! Lindsay has apparently agreed to appear on TV and reveal her experiences in the jail and rehab centre. Whether or not this act is just a desperate attempt at rebuilding her reputation by gaining sympathy and re-entering films, you’ll never know!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Facebook’s future, Zuckerberg’s choice!

While the world debates over when Facebook will go public and what its worth would be, Mark Zuckerberg is worried about a decision he has to make – sell-off his 24% stake & bid adieu to Facebook or alter the very business model by diversifying. What should he choose? by Steven P. Warner

How much is Facebook worth? Actually, the 26 year-old founder & CEO of Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg, doesn’t care. He publicly claims so. In fact, he proved it when he outplayed a clever Wolf’s bait (Michael Wolf, the-then President of Viacom’s MTV Networks) in the fall of 2005. The 19 month-old Facebook, was then, only famous in American circles. To befriend Zuckerberg, Wolf proposed a jet ride from San Francisco to Westchester (NY). During the five hour-long flight, Wolf postulated that Zuckerberg should consider selling a stake in Facebook to Viacom. That was around 10 pm on a cold December night of 2005.

The following month, Wolf flew to Palo Alto, to propose a stake purchase to Zuckerberg. He declined. Another month, another attempt; only this time, Wolf had no Power Point ready and underwent a more delicate experience. He got to visit the youngster’s one-room untidy apartment. The outcome however remained unchanged – Zuckerberg yet again declined Wolf’s $1.5 billion offer for a 100% stake in Facebook. That was 3 pm on a February afternoon of 2006.

Many thought that the Harvard drop-out had then caught the wrong end of the fishing line. He hadn’t. Today, Zuckerberg is the youngest self-made billionaire on the planet, worth $4 billion and owns 24% stake in a much bigger Facebook, with a user base of over 580 million (it crossed the 500 million mark in April last). Better still, his social networking machine is now cash-flow positive and after making $700 million in revenues in 2009, is forecasted to touch $2 billion this year. It also has plans to go public sometime between late 2011 & early 2012. So will the market consider this intangible web property worth billions of tangible green bills?

Over the years, Zuckerberg has accepted some overtures that have certified the market values of his brainchild. In March 2008, when Microsoft signed a contract that included a 1.6% stake buy in Facebook for $240 million, it put the value at $15 billion. The $4 billion current valuation of Zuckerberg’s stake also puts Facebook’s market value at a close $16.7 billion. There are also experts that are optimistic about a post-IPO Facebook. Rick Sturm, CEO of New York-based Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), tells B&E, “The Mcap of Facebook is likely to be around $34 billion.” We have our doubts.

Even if we assume Facebook to be the next big wave after Google, its value (considering the ratio of Google’s Mcap of $27 billion on Listing day and its revenues the previous year) comes to only $11 billion – exactly what US-based Next Up Research’s independent forecast and Felix Investments’ $25 per share offer value it at. There is also a great similarity between the two online companies in case of revenue streams, which gets us to expect a Google-like market reaction to Facebook’s IPO. [When it went public, Google was earning 99.97% of its revenues from ads, almost equal to Facebook’s 100% today.] There is however a small hitch – six years back, the market was bullish and investors were willing to dole out billions without much of a thought. Today, the sentiments are more “cautious”. Also, Facebook’s user base of above 580 million does not imply the same number of “unique” visitors. There is bound to be some double count, which weakens Facebook’s case (which was not the case with Google’s model when it went public in August 2004). In short, the Mcap could fall well short of $11 billion. Says Massachusetts-based Internet Analyst Richard Louis to B&E, “The market value of Facebook is unclear. At this time, it is just an alternative site to post information. Over the years, its market value will fall due to obsolescence, if it doesn’t change.”

Saturday, September 01, 2012


While there is a lot of hue and cry about jaypee infratech’s yamuna expressway project, the group’s flagship company jaypee associates ltd is climbing up the ladder with its diversified approach, says Deepak Ranjan Patra

After a small stint in the State Irrigation Department of Uttar Pradesh, when engineer Jaiprakash Gaur decided to go ahead with his entrepreneurial instincts, he would have barely dreamt of a company with a market capitalisation of over `200 billion. But that’s the reality today. While Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL), the flagship company of Jaypee Group, alone is valued at `231 billion (as on August 31, 2010), the combined market value of all the listed group companies (JAL, JPV and Jaypee Infratech) stands at a whopping `475 billion. Moreover, with a net profit of `17.08 billion for the financial year 2009-10, JAL is now the 41st most profitable company in B&E Power 100 list, justifying what Manoj Gaur, Chairman, JAL likes to say about the group – “We are currently on a high-growth path.”

Interestingly, the particular fiscal in consideration is also a milestone for the company as for the first time its turnover crossed `100 billion mark this year. Visibly delighted with the results Gaur avers, “With the overall performance of all the businesses of the group, the roadmap that we have laid at the start of the fiscal has helped us achieve an all round growth across all sectors.” Certainly, with a lot of politics going on around the Jaypee Infratech’s land acquisitions issues (related to the Greater Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway), the group at present is in news for some wrong reasons. Still, the success of JAL as a diversified company (with interest in various sectors including cement, engineering and construction, real estate and power) is spot on with a mind-boggling 72.53% rise in its turnover and 87.47% increase in earnings per share after extraordinary items.

In achieving such a feat in FY 2009-10, JAL’s cement business played the most critical role for the company. With a 40% rise in production (from 7.63 million MT in FY’08-09 to 10.69 million MT) and 52% increase in production of clinker (from 5.55 million MT to 8.44 million MT), JAL’s cement division managed to push its total turnover by 61.85% up to `37.44 billion in the last fiscal. And this represented 36% of the company’s total turnover for the year. In fact, as shared by Manoj Gaur, carrying on the good work further, the particular division of the company witnessed a growth of around 60% (in terms of dispatches) in Q1 of the current fiscal as compared to industry average of just 10-12%. Considering the company’s foresight and “timely capacity augmentation and capacity creation” as the key, Sunny Gaur, MD, JAL tells B&E, “With commissioning of almost 12 MnTPA in last 12 months and India’s cement consumption holding at 9% growth, our assessment of requirement of cement in India has been proved right and that is reflected in the satisfactory & healthy growth of 47% in the last quarter.” That certainly explains why is the company the country’s third largest cement manufacturer today.