December 2007 - Page 3 of 3 -

Looking forward for a better future!

Posted by | Current Affairs | No Comments

With a big interest rate cut and a sub-prime rescue planned, this could be a huge morale booster for the economy and the Investors. This could be a major pre-christmas confidence booster. On Thursday President Bush’s assurance to stem the U.S. home foreclosure issue has been approved by many and a reason why the economy could yet not slip into recession.
For the week that was DJIA was up by 1.9%, S&P up by 1.6% and that of NASDAQ by 1.7%. On the one hand when rate cuts seem to assure investors, one need to closely watch Inflation too The Producer Price Index and the Consumer Price Index are both estimated to be released this week. It is estimated that the PPI would increase to 1.5%, core PPI to0.2%. Overall CPI to 0.6% and core CPI to 0.2%.
It seems to be a curcial week ahead for the economy as a whole, where it is expected to do the balancing act beetween a rate cut and subsequent effects of Inflation.

Palm Warns

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Palm expects a loss for the month November and the Preliminary results said that the quarter was not good and that Palm was expected to make a loss of 20 to 22 cents per share. Palm says that the expected revenue was down from $370 million – $380 million to $345 million-$350 million. The delay was attributed to a delay in shipment of a product that Palm had expected to certify in this quarter. It was disappointment for Palm, wherein its competeitor Blackberry and Apple’s iPhone made heavy profits.

Palms official said that it has been an uneven ride for Palm. November was supposed to be a good month for Palm. The company spokesman also seem to have assured that the company is looking at long term benefits and opportunities. The official results are to be declared on December 18th. But the company has already warned of losses due to a product delay, competetion and higher priced Treo and Centro.

Market Watch

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Wednesday, showed some positive results as far as the stock market was concerned. It is reported that all most all the major indices showed a increase of more than 1%. The reason can be attributed to some positive looking economic data released, for example the job report showed a surprise positive trend.
This in turn resulted in upward trend of some of the major technology shares like MSFT and Apple Inc., Shares of Financial service company also seemed to look upwards after AIG assured that some of the credit problems faced by it were managable.

With so much of good news going around and attitude of the people that the market would not yet get into major recession and some rate cuts promised in the future seems to do the trick for the economy on Wednesday. This positive attitude by the investors if continued can see some positive changes. According to reports by reuters; DJI finished more than 1.48 percent, NASDAQ an increase of about 1.78%.

Can Computers be us:

Posted by | Entrepreneurial | No Comments

‘Smithsonian’ seems to beckon me from my office reception today; the reason the caption of ‘ 37 under 36’ America’s Young Innovators. One such innovator who caught my attention was Luis Von Ahn and his secret for making the computer smarter. His strong point seems to be the existence of 500 million people. He feels that many hundreds of man hours are wasted on playing ‘solitaire’ and the result is’unproductivity’. Von Ahn has about 3 plays, which are the peekaboom.org;peekaboom.org/phetech; and espgame.org.

Take for example ESP Game, wherein the Carnegie Mellon Computer pairs up with another player on the net and sends a image randomly; now the players need to guess the image and type out words which best suite the image. Also the players need to findout what the other player is trying to choose. For example if ‘White House’ is the image and if both the players type out words like ‘President’ then they are rewarded. Well for one, the game is addictive and it helps to label the image with many keywords.

Well Ahn’s innovation clicked and Google has licenced ESP game to improve its image search program. His goal is to make computers do what humans can.

In another venture Von Ahn is teaming up with internet Archive, a digital library to digitalise old library books; how can a game have any part in this, well it does and all thanks to Von Ahn and his teams thinking, computer users can type out difficult to read words from scanned book when they apply for email account (some thing like the verification code that you get while filling out an hotmail account or gmail account!)
These are just part of the intentions of Von Ahn and what he plans to do is to program a computer to think like a human and make tasks like differentiating between faces and emotions possible.

Now if it could come true then some of the novels by Isaac Asimov wouldnt seem to be fiction at all.

How green is your technology?

Posted by | Entrepreneurial | No Comments

With the changing attitude of people and with more information being available for everyone to see, it is only obvious that more andmore people are conscious of the environment and how the products they buy would affect the same. A recent report by Forrester has found that about12% of the population (In U.S) are willing to pay more for a product if it is greener. Elsa Wenzel reporting on the ‘Green Tech Blog’ has observed that consumers are now categorised into Bright Green, Green and ungreen. Wherein the first category can afford to pay more for greener stuff, the second which comprises of 41% of the population do care about environment but not enough to pay more for ‘Greener’ products. The last category consist of 47%.

In case of electronic goods ‘EnergyStar’ seal and ‘EPEAT’ are the seal of energy effiecient products. In a report of ‘Greenpeace guide to greener electronics’; Nintendo, Microsoft and philips score low marks and companies like LG and Apple seems to have performed better than last time; this only reiterates that even companies have woken up to the consumer awarness and trying hard to be ‘Greener’ and ‘Energy Efficient’ to apease the mass.

How Important is advertising?

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It was a general assumption that a well know brand needs no advertisement? But more and more well established firms are proving the assumption to be wrong. For eg, Dell; the number two in computer manufacturing has employed more than 800 agencies worldwide to market and advertise its product. The latest agency to clinch a deal is WPP of Britain.

WPP has won the deal from DELL and DELL proposes to spend around $4.5 billion over the next three years to form an agency that would handle the companies marketing and advertising shows. WPP had faced stiff competetion from agencies like that of Interpublic Group and Omnicom Group.

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