Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Youtube's new look !!

The biggest video sharing platform, "Youtube" has just updated its interface. just check out the look.
The white background has been replaced by grey cover. Now you can see the trending videos (another twitter feature cloned) in a nice and clean listed menu.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

London riots : a loot or fight for the rights ?

The spark ignited by the small group of activist in the capital city London has now reached to the other parts of the country too, latest being the Birmingham city.

But the major question is it really a uprising without any motive or has some more meanings and links associated with it ?

Few of the political critics are even linking it to the "RACIAL" roots.

The Black population of the country stands at 8% of its total population and the unemployment rate among this sect of people is as high as 14% compared to the 5% of the White British natives. This may be the outburst of that hidden depression and hatred towards the government by them. But the fact which is contradicting this notion is that the looters and hooligans are from both races and the most concerning part is that most of them are teenagers.

Britain has more high school dropouts than its neighbouring nation and as the one of their country footballer tweeted that "The people of this county wants more without contributing or working hard to acheive that".

Lets hope and pray that everything settles down there and London and whole united Kingdom realize their shameful act.

Apple : a $1 trillion company ??

Apple may be richer in cash than the US government but Could Apple be worth $1 trillion? It's conceivable. The $342 billion iPhone and iPad maker became -- if only briefly -- the most valuable company in the United States when it surpassed Exxon Mobil on August 9. Yet its sales have been surging 80 percent a year, and profit faster. And Apple trades roughly in line with the growing US market -- and at less than half the price-to-earnings multiple it fetched in 2006, when revenue growth was much slower.

Apple now trades at about 11 times estimated earnings for the fiscal year ending September 2012. The S&P 500 index is valued at about 10 times next year's earnings. But Apple's sales growth is not far off 10 times faster than that of the average company. The gadget producer also sits on $76 billion of cash and investments.

To get at this dissonance another way, consider Apple's PEG ratio. This hints at the price of growth by dividing a company's PE ratio by its projected percentage earnings growth. A smaller figure suggests a company is cheaper. Apple's is 0.2. That's low compared to growth darlings. Burrito purveyor Chipotle Mexican Grill, for instance, comes in at 2.1, and at 13.2. Pandora and LinkedIn aren't even expected to make money.

Alternatively, put Apple on the same PE multiple it traded on in 2006, and it would be worth almost $900 billion. A premium for today's faster growth could get it to $1 trillion. Apple can't be so cheap just because Steve Jobs is in precarious health.

True, Apple already sells more per quarter than it did in all of fiscal 2007, and it takes more and more success to move the needle. Growth could easily slow. Yet the smartphone and tablet markets are young, the company's customers show remarkable fidelity, and areas such as television are ripe for new gadgets. Moreover, Apple's return on equity is almost twice what it was in 2006, suggesting it has pricing power.

Maybe investors simply can't fathom so large a company. A $1 trillion Apple would mean adding all of Microsoft, Google, Intel and Amazon -- and more -- to the firm's current market capitalization. Perhaps Apple is correctly priced, the market too expensive, and growth stocks grotesquely so. But something doesn't add up. In relative terms, Apple should be worth far more.

Apple's market capitalization was $341.5 billion in midday trading on Aug. 9. Exxon Mobil had a value of $341.4 billion.

In the last quarter, the firm's sales grew 82 percent and earnings increased 125 percent from the same period a year ago.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Top 10 brands of India

Here is the list of top brands of the second most populous and one of the largest economy in the world. India has many world renowned brands and has a strong presence in western countries too but this list rates the brands on its novelty, importance and obviously quality and respect among the Indian customers.

1. Amul

Amul is more than just a milk brand to the Indians. Its advertising campaign has always represented the common man's point of view on the serious national issues with a sense of beautiful humour. Amul has been ranked as the best brand from India.

Owned and marketed by Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), Amul has beaten all other Indian brands to notch the 89th position in a 'Top 1000 Brands of Asia' survey, conducted by Campaign magazine.
The July issue of Campaign, published from Hong Kong and Singapore, ranked Amul the number one among Indian brands.

The mascot of the brand is a cute little girl often referred to as "amul baby".

2.  Kingfisher Airlines

Owned by the flamboyant Indian billionaire, Vijay Mallya, Kingfisher is the leading Indian Airlines having presence in both low cost and premium services.

Kingfisher started its operation in May 2005 and has been ranked 5 star Airline by the independent consultancy research firm.

3. Big Bazaar

Launched in 2001, Big Bazaar started off with four stores in Calcutta, Indore, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
In a span of ten years, there are 148 Big Bazaar stores in 80 cities and towns across India.
Big Bazaar offers a wide range of merchandise including fashion and apparels, food products, general merchandise, furniture, electronics and books.

Big Bazaar is part of Future Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pantaloon Retail India Limited.

4. ICICI Bank

India's largest private sector bank having total assets of nearly $91 billlion is one of the most respected companies of India.

Even during the economic recession, ICICI bank was among the only few banks in the entire world which got least affected and barely lost their any client.

5. State Bank of India

The State Bank of India is the largest Indian banking and financial services company (by turnover and total assets) with its headquarters in Mumbai.

The bank traces its ancestry to British India, through the Imperial Bank of India, to the founding in 1806 of the Bank of Calcutta, making it the oldest commercial bank in the Indian Subcontinent.

6. Airtel

Bharti Airtel operates in 19 countries across South Asia, Africa and the Channel Islands. It operates a GSM network in all countries, providing 2G or 3G services.

Airtel is the fifth largest telecom operator in the world with over 207.8 million subscribers across 19 countries at the end of 2010.
It is the largest cellular service provider in India, with over 164.61 million subscribers at the end of 2011 April.

Founded in July 1995, Airtel also offers fixed line services and broadband services.

7. Cafe Coffee Day

Cafe Coffee Day, a division of India's largest coffee conglomerate, Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company, grows coffee in its own estates of 10,000 acres.

It is the largest producer of Arabica beans in Asia. ABCTCL is one of India's leading coffee exporters with clients across USA, Europe and Japan.

The first CCD outlet was set up in July 1996 at Bengaluru. Today there are 1000 outlets across India. Their tagline 'A lot can happen over coffee' became popular among youngsters.

8. Titan

Founded in 1987, Titan Industries is the world's fifth largest wrist watch manufacturer. Titan, Fastrack, Sonata, Nebula, Raga, Regalia, Octane and Xylys are the popular brands of Titan watches.
Titan is a joint venture between the Tata Group, and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO).

Its product portfolio includes watches, accessories and jewellery, in both contemporary and traditional designs. It manufactures precious jewellery under the Tanishq brand.

9. Lakme

Lakme started as a 100 per cent subsidiary of Tata Oil Mills (Tomco), part of the Tata Group.

Lakme started making cosmetics for Indian women in 1952. In 1996 Tata sold off their stakes in Lakme to Unilever for Rs 200 Crore (Rs 2 billion).
Lakme has also set up Lakme Beauty Salons all over India.

10.  HDFC Bank

Founded in August 1994, HDFC Bank has 1,725 branches and over 5,000 ATMs, in 780 cities in India.
For the fiscal year 2010-11, the bank has reported net profit of Rs 3,926.30 crore (Rs 39.26 billion), up 33.1 per cent from the previous fiscal.
The total annual earnings of the bank increased by 20.37 per cent to  Rs 24,263.4 crore (Rs 242.63 billion) in 2010-11.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Jeddah of Saudi Arabia to have the world's tallest tower

Prototype model of the tower
Skyscrapers are considered symbols of a city's money, power and, to some extent, hubris. The first building widely considered a modern skyscraper was the Wainwright Building in St. Louis. Opened in 1891 and designed by famed architect Louis Sullivan, it is ten stories tall. But with advancing technology and growing creativity, the ceaseless climb of the world's epic skyscrapers has resulted in the race to touch the sky.

The world's current tallest building is Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It measures 2,717 feet (828 meters), or 160 stories. This record will be shattered when Kingdom Tower, a giant skyscraper planned for the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, is completed by 2016.

Designed by Chicago architectural firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, the proposed Kingdom Tower will measure 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) and will feature a Four Seasons hotel, serviced apartments, luxury condominiums, offices and the world's highest observatory.

Saudi construction giant Saudi Binladen Group, owned by the family of slain al-Qaeda terror group leader Osama bin Laden, has been awarded the contract to build the Kingdom Tower. The construction of the tower is estimated to cost about $1.2 billion, while the cost of the entire Kingdom City project is pegged at $20 billion.

The current status of tallest towers in the world is below

But soon the above order of the tallest buildings in the world would be changed to the below predicted status.

As the limits of imagination continue to be pushed, the record of the tallest buildings in the world has been changing hands frequently over the past decade and a half.

Burj Khalifa was opened last January, just after Dubai's real estate crash. Constructed at a cost of $1.5 billion for the building, and a total cost of $20 billion, Burj Khalifa is a part of downtown Dubai, one of the major developmental programs undertaken in the Middle Eastern city famed for flamboyant projects.

Domino's India $2000 promise

Domino's Pizza India's promise to home deliver hot pizzas within 30 minutes has cost it dearly with a road mishap tribunal ordering it to pay a teenager injured by one of its motorcycle delivery drivers.

According to the Times of India, Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) Judge Dinesh Bhatt ordered Domino's Pizza India to pay the compensation to a boy, saying that he was hit by the delivery driver, Ravi Mishra, driving in a rash and negligent manner on Oct. 29, 2010. Mishra's motorcycle struck the teenager who was riding his bicycle on Delhi University's north campus.

The teenager received several injuries including fractures on his thigh, eyebrows and other head and body injuries.

The court ordered Domino's to pay a total of Rs 1,14,682 ($2,583.49 U.S.) as compensation to the injured boy.

Reliance General Insurance, which covered the motorcycle, will pay the fines.

Indian Hotel adds 8 more brands to its vast portfolio

Indian Hotels Co Ltd plans to add eight hotels across various geographies between 2011 and 14, Managing Director Raymond Bickson said on Friday.

The hotel operator runs the Taj brand in the luxury five-star segment, the Vivanta brand in the four-star segment, Gateway Hotels in the three star-segment and Ginger in the budget space.

Here are the view of few of the world famous hotel brands owned by the Indian hotel co.

Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces is an international hospitality group with strong roots in India. For over 100 years, they have built their reputation on legendary properties, unparalleled facilities and impeccable service.

Vivanta by Taj
Vivanta By Taj (Coral leaf) Maldives

Gateway Hotel

HTC acquires Dashwire for $18.5 million

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC this morning announced that it has agreed to acquire, through its HTC America Holding unit, 100% of Seattle-based mobile-web connected services company Dashwire for a maximum purchase price of $18.5 million to boost its mobile cloud services offering.

Dashwire offers a range of consumer, social and device management software services for mobile operators, device makers and retailers. The company’s platform is available for Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian and BlackBerry.

On its website, Dashwire says it is backed by investors who ‘built the wireless and technology industries’ at McCaw Cellular, Western Wireless, Voicestream, Nextel, China Unicom, and Microsoft.

Another investor is Best Buy Capital, the retail giant’s investment arm.

At the end of last year, Dashwire raised $1 million in debt financing.

The company was founded by CEO Ford Davidson, a former Product Manager in the Mobile Devices group at Microsoft. Dashwire’s CTO, James Prudente, helped build critical elements of Amazon’s web operation in its early days, and also helped create the Amazon Mobile group.

AOL reinventing its Brands

AOL, the one-time Internet star seeking to reinvent itself as a major media player, is joining the craze for personalized news readers for tablet computers.

The Internet and media firm, which purchased The Huffington Post in February for $315 million to serve as the flagship of its media fleet, launched a free daily news magazine for Apple's hot-selling iPad this week called Editions.

Like other iPad news aggregators such as Flipboard, Pulse, Taptu and Zite, Editions uses algorithms to take a reader's interests into account in serving up their pages.

Editions users customize their experience by indicating their interest in topics such as Top News, Entertainment, Sports, Design, Tech, Business, Family, Health and Fitness, Sports or Travel.

Readers can also link their Facebook, Twitter or AOL accounts to the application, available as a free download from Apple's App Store, to help guide the selection of news sources.

When connected with Twitter, for example, a publication followed on Twitter will become a preferred news source in Editions.

Editions users who plug in their location or zip code receive local weather reports and local news, much of it provided by Patch, AOL's nationwide community news project.

"Once you start reading, Editions will learn what you like (and what you don't)," according to AOL. "The more you read, the better Editions gets at delivering the latest news and information, all tailored to your tastes."

David Temkin, AOL's head of mobile, said Editions is an attempt to "take the best of the online and offline reading experiences and fuse them into a single, sleek magazine.

"By combining custom features with technology that learns about you as you use it, Editions delivers a magazine every day that's full of the things you care about most," he added in a statement.

Nokia's New World record

What's better than filming one of the worlds smallest stop motion animated videos on your Nokia N8 — and setting a Guinness World Record? Setting a news World Record for the BIGGEST stop animation film on your Nokia N8.

Posted yesterday, and already attracting more than 100,000 views in its first 24 hours, is the record breaking largest stop animation movie to date — all filmed with just a Nokia N8 smartphone.

The video, above, was shot on location at Pendine Beach in South Wales. Boasting a 12 megapixel camera and Carl Zeiss optics, the N8 sets the record of "the largest stop-motion animation set" with the largest scene stretching over 11,000 square feet. "Gulp," the film's title, was animated by Sumo Science at Aardman, the same animators who did the smaller animation, and sand artists from Sand in Your Eye.
The video features a fisherman on his journey at sea, as he catches fish, and gets eaten then spat out by a giant sea creature. Check out the "making of video" here.

Nokia isn't the only company using stop-motion animation, though the only to break a world record.  Stop-motion may be an old style of animating, but it sure isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Recent stop-motion successes? Ben and Jerry's new commercials, and KIA's first ever stop-motion animation all done on fingernails, put up in June.

eBay Fashion : the branded stores from eBay

eBay told analysts in February, it would launch branded outlet stores on later this year, and it provided more information about the shops on Thursday. eBay will launch the Outlet Stores on September 19 and will include Neiman Marcus Last Call, William Rast, Spanx, Fila, Timberland, Brooks Brothers, Bluefly and Custo Barcelona.

eBay said it is working with designers, brands, and retailers "to bring an incredible selection of authentic merchandise to the world's largest online marketplace at compelling price points typically found in bricks and mortar outlet centers."

The eBay Fashion Outlet will be housed in a hub with all of the participating brands and will have its own experience. Shoppers will be able to shop across brands (via "Browse by Brand" box). Via the fashion outlet search results pages, you will be shop across merchandise categories.

Consumer will still be able to search for brands in the main search box even if they are not searching in the outlet hub, according to an eBay spokesperson.

eBay said the outlets would offer a differentiated shopping experience leveraging eBay Creative Director Andrea Linett's trend expertise and personal shopping guidance to editorialize and evolve the consumer experience.

eBay's spokesperson explained that within the Outlet environment, there will be editorial curation similar to how eBay currently editorializes its Fashion homepage. "We are making sure to feature the brands who are on board and offer styling inspiration and tips through our creative director, Andrea Linett."

eBay pitched large brands on the outlets, telling them they could use eBay Outlets to drive incremental sales and extend their reach to outlet shoppers.

The eBay Fashion Outlet will feature both women and men's merchandise, including apparel, handbags, denim and shoes, with a target audience of 25-44 year old female shopping enthusiasts.

eBay launched its UK fashion Outlet in April 2010, which now hosts over 30 high street brands, including Superdry, Ted Baker, Karen Millen, L.K. Bennett, House of Fraser, Schuh, Dune, Office and Kookai. eBay Germany has 26 branded apparel shops featuring merchandise of nearly 120 brands, including Eastpak, Fila, Speedo and Triumph.

BMW : Top luxury brand for the fourth consecutive month in U.S

BMW has outsold all other luxury brands in the U.S. for four consecutive months, including Mercedes-Benz.
The new X3 SUV and 5 Series sedan gave sales a boost, bringing numbers up 12 percent from the previous year as of last month. Mercedes saw an increase in sales, as well, although less than BMW at 9.4 percent as of July. Lexus saw a drop rather than an increase, down 22 percent.

July’s sales success for BMW is more than just consecutive success, it also means a bigger lead overall. Lexus still suffers for the year with a 19 percent drop, while Mercedes saw an increase so far of 7.3 percent. BMW still comes out ahead with a 13 percent increase, moving 135,114 units.

As for BMW maintaining its lead, Jesse Toprack, industry analyst, says “I don’t think Benz will be able to catch up with BMW,”. Although he also mentions that they may be able to close the gap a bit with the release of the revamped C-Class compact. “Depending on how the new C does and when it comes into volume, it may be tight here and there… But overall it’s going to be tough for them to catch up based on what happened during the first half of the year.”

Lexus has a good chance at making a comeback in the future, still, considering they were the in the lead for sales last year, well ahead of BMW by 9,216. The brand’s streak lasted 11 consecutive years.
Audi is another brand that saw an upswing in numbers, with a 17 percent increase last month. Porsche also saw a slight increase at 2.4 percent. Down 24 percent from previous months is Infiniti. Acura also saw a significant drop of 28 percent. Lincoln saw a significant increase last month, at 40 percent. Land Rover is up 23 percent, while Jaguar had a big drop of 35 percent.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Asian car brands satisfy most Australian drivers

There are currently an estimated 14.9 million drivers on Australian roads today. Approximately 8.7 million of these drivers are in cars from Asian owned brands, an increase of almost 22% over the last 5 years. With more than half of all cars on Australian roads originating in Asia, Lexus and Honda have the highest portion of satisfied drivers; according to the March Roy Morgan Automotive Currency Report.
For the 12 months to March 2011, 94% of Lexus drivers said they were satisfied* with their current vehicle. This is 3% points above the Asian average, leaving Lexus tied with Honda on top of the group.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:


“5 years ago Lexus topped the Asian Brand Satisfaction list, with a score 6% points above the average. Although still on top of the list, their total satisfaction figure has declined to 94%, placing them tied with Honda in the top spot. Honda has shifted from equal 3rd place 5 years ago to equal top, moving ahead of Subaru and Suzuki. It is interesting to see that both Lexus and Honda have the same proportion of satisfied drivers as Volvo and Renault, who topped the European importer brand results Roy Morgan published recently.

“With over 3 million Australian drivers currently behind the wheel of a Toyota, this is a key metric for the automotive powerhouse to be aware of. Importantly, Toyota has moved from 5th in 2006 to currently sit 4thand marginally above the average. Other Japanese brands returning positive results are Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi, while Suzuki has fallen from equal third in 2006 to 8th overall and 2% points below the average.

“When looking at the Korean brands, Hyundai and Kia have both made positive gains over the last 5 years, but still remain below the average. Importantly though for Hyundai, their total driver satisfaction figure increases to 95% when looking at those Hyundai drivers who have purchased their car in the last 5 years. Like Hyundai this ‘recent ownership’ metric is also up for Kia, suggesting that as age of ownership increase, the portion of satisfied customer’s decreases.

“With such a large portion of Australia 1 million strong new vehicle sales coming from Asia, this metric is a key one for the manufacturers to be aware of. It will also be interesting to look at these results again when the likes of Great Wall, Geely and Cherry have further established themselves in the marketplace.”

Strauss buys Russian coffee brand

Ambassador Coffee Brand

Israeli food company to pay $8 million for Ambassador brand, which includes instant freeze-dried coffee, roasted coffee and ground coffee, and another $ 2.4 million for non-compete clause on part of seller

Strauss is continuing to chip away at the ice encasing its Russia coffee sales: The company announced Sunday the acquisition of the Ambassador coffee brand which sells in Russia, the Ukraine and Moldova, in a deal valued at $10.4 million.

Strauss will pay $8 million for the brand which includes instant freeze-dried coffee, roasted coffee and ground coffee, and another $ 2.4 million for a non-compete clause on part of the seller – the Sucafuna group.
Strauss has designs to turn the Russian brand, which chalked up $10 million in sales in 2010, to a premium brand in Russia and other FSU countries. The company estimates that no further major investments will be required for this.

The acquisition follows the acquisition of the Le Café coffee brand announced by Strauss on late November 2010. Strauss acquired the La Café brand which recorded annual sales of $23 million, for $37 million and for an additional $6 million – acquired the brand operator's buildings and warehouse real estate.

Strauss decided to use the property for a logistics center for its coffee activity in the operator's country and for a roasted ground coffee factory, at an investment of an additional $6 million.

The acquisition comes in the wake of the 2010 reports that showed a standstill of Strauss's coffee activity in FSU countries. According to the financial reports, sales were bogged down at NIS 543 million ($158 million) in 2010. Revenues from these markets dropped to 7.9% against 8.6% in 2009.
Strauss Group President and CEO Gadi Lesin imparted in the company's announcement: "The Ambassador deal is another important step in Strauss' expansion in Russia and in other FSU countries".

Strauss Coffee Division CEO Todd Morgan said, "The acquisition of Ambassador brands consolidates our competitive standing in Russia and the FSU countries and constitutes a new level in the development of our instant coffee business following the acquisition of Le Café."

Wikipedia losing its contributors

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that allows anyone to edit its entries, says it is losing contributors.

Founder Jimmy Wales says administrators are scrambling to simplify what he called ``convoluted'' editing templates that may be discouraging people from writing and editing Wikipedia's entries.

In another effort to encourage volunteers to stay active, Wales says the site has introduced a new feature called WikiLove that lets users post positive feedback.

He was speaking to the Associated Press on Thursday from the website's annual conference, held this year in Haifa, Israel.

The nonprofit organization that runs Wikipedia announced it is encouraging professors in India, Brazil and Europe to assign the editing and writing of Wikipedia entries to students.


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