Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What is the Power Grid?

Read all about the US Power Grid... 

Turning on a small reading lamp by your bed is as easy as flipping a switch. But, the electricity that powers your tiny light starts miles and miles away and takes a fantastic journey through high voltage power lines, transformers and regulators before reaching your home.
All energy in the U.S. is powered and regulated through the National Power Grid. This grid controls the flow of energy between power plants, businesses and homes. As the demand for energy increases, the grid operators must constantly keep up. If they fail to meet the demand, or if any plants or power lines go down, then everyone risks the dreaded blackout.
If energy is that difficult to balance, what keeps it flowing on hot summer day and frigid winters when usage spikes? The following animation explains how the grid works to power not only your house, but every house on the block, in your city, town, state and beyond at all times of the day.
To read more…click on the link below

Mattel Toys’s Brands Eyes Double Digit Growth in India, Strengthens E-commerce Presence

With an astute vision to lead the toy industry in India,Mattel Toys, the world’s largest toy-maker, has charted a more robust and aggressive retail strategy. In a move to strengthen its retail presence and deepen market penetration, effectively targeting millennial parents, Mattel has formed strategic alliances with India’s leading e-commerce platforms – Amazon and Flipkart, to exclusive stores for its iconic brands Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher Price.

Mattel’s focus in India for the financial year is to expand and reinforce its retail presence including creating multiple solutions with e-commerce partners; where the industry projects over 50%  growth. The expansion on ecommerce is in line with Mattel’s strategy to enhance accessibility of Mattel’s products and provide greater value for money to consumers. With this move combined with ring-fencing traditional trade, Mattel expects to expand their market reach by over 20% within Metro, Tier I and Tier II towns.

According to the Euromonitor data, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru are top markets for Mattel, followed by Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. The focus on strengthening e-commerce will ensure expansion to other urban clusters across the country as well.

Said Ishmeet Singh, Country Manager- India, Mattel Inc. “The Indian market is ever evolving and the increasing spending power coupled with the convenience of e-commerce has fueled our decision to create exclusive stores on leading platforms. We believe that each toy comes with an intrinsic value that adds to the overall development of a child. Our goal is to provide the best nurturing experience for kids everywhere and these exclusive stores will offer the best products for customers across the country.”

The exclusive stores for Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher Price will showcase the entire product range across price points, age groups and categories. The Barbie stores boast of a robust line of dolls, playsets, doll houses, apparel and other licensed merchandise. The Hot Wheels stores will showcase the wide range of die-cast cars and track sets, as well as other merchandise. The Fisher Price store will house a wide range of toys for new-borns and toddlers as well as building blocks from the Mega Bloks range and toys from the line of Thomas and Friends; baby gear like portable cots, strollers, feeding bottles and other developmental products like convertible gyms and learning tablets.

Mattel Toys has focused its efforts around the core philosophy of ‘Play with purpose’ – where each toy developed by the global leader has an intrinsic benefit linked to it. The vision for Mattel toys will continue to evolve and grow as a brand that is a trusted partner for a parent and an integral aspect of every childhood.

Atos Uses Big Data to Drive Next-Generation Farming in India

Atos, a leader in digital transformation, announces a worldwide first solution which captures agricultural data directly via satellite to optimize farming practices. Together with start-up TerraNIS, Atos is using its business analytics solution Atos Codex to convert data into valuable information for the agriculture sector.
Growing consumer expectations (demand for new products and practices, traceability and food security), regulatory requirements and environmental regulations, and the rising cost of raw materials (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, water) all put pressure on the agricultural sector.
Crop genotyping has now become a priority to support the selection of crop varieties that will be best capable of solving future food and climate crises.
As leader of the SparkInData consortium, Atos uses the power of its Atos Codex analytics platform to capture data via satellite which has biophysical indicators to help farmers best optimise farming practices – such as best crop choice, appropriate crop nutrition and the right fertilisation and harvesting periods.
A revolution in business and technology
Extracting information that is useful to farmers from raw satellite imagery requires an immense amount of computing power in order to manage and process the large amounts of data. It also requires a great deal of business expertise to give practical meaning to the images.
Capturing and optimising agriculture data has many immediate and long-term benefits:
§  Optimization of raw material management to achieve substantial cost savings of around 15%;
§  Elevated qualitative results - agricultural yields and production quality become sustainable and reliable;
§  Deepened knowledge of operations, year-on-year evaluation of impact of different farming practices helps farmers to continue to progress in their profession.
Case Study: European satellites for a major American customer
Atos is using the latest generation of satellites, Sentinel-2 Earth observation, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), which is capable of providing views using visible and near infrared light with a resolution of 10m to 60m, a perimeter of 290km and a revisit frequency of five days, which is ideal for monitoring crops.
For one of its biggest clients in the U.S. Atos is monitoring more than 100,000 hectares of crops and 6,000 plots of land (including wheat, corn, soy and vegetables) to provide biophysical indicators of plant development, such as the level of chlorophyll and the proportion of green foliage. This monitoring can detect any anomalies or discrepancies within and between plots of land. By connecting this information with data from the field, thanks to Atos Codex business analytics solutions, experts can then provide diagnostics and suggest adjustments to farming practices.
Philippe Miltin, Global SVP Manufacturing & Retail at Atos: “With the power and flexibility of new analytical and cognitive tools, we are able to access the full value of this resource. This allows our clients in manufacturing to refine their practices and adapt to the new economic, regulatory, social and environmental needs. Together with start-up TerraNIS we meet this dual challenge by combining its advanced agronomy and imaging skills with the capabilities of Atos Codex.”
Dominique Grelet, Head of Atos Codex at Atos explains: “The choice of Atos Codex technology brings a great deal of flexibility to farmers, making it possible to deploy a similar offering at any customer worldwide. We are proud to bring this cutting-edge technology to customers, taking satellite imagery and relevant data and transforming it into valuable information for immediate and long-term business results.”
The new Atos Codex solution using business analytics via satellite is available worldwide and can be deployed in a wide variety of market sectors.
Atos experts will be on-hand at Hannover Messe up until April 28 to talk in-depth about the Atos Codex solutions.

International Red Dot Award in Design & Innovation to V-Class Google

Speedo’s V-Class goggle range has received a global seal of approval with a notorious Red Dot Award for Design & Innovation for 2017, under the Sports & Equipment category. V-Class is the latest edition to Speedo’s expanding goggle portfolio, and has been recognised for outstanding design and excellence by the expert committee at RedDot.

The V-Class range aims to capture the attention of swimmers who desire to have a goggle that is stylish, comfortable and provides an excellent field of vision, so swimmers can enjoy the best underwater experience, with no interruptions. Available in both unisex ‘Vue’ and female fit ‘Virtue’ goggles, the vibrant contrasting colour combinations; inject energy and vitality  into the range for the S117 season, completing the look for frequent lane swimmers.

The Red Dot Award scheme invites manufacturers and designers around the globe to enter their products as part of the 2017 self-nomination process. The jury of around 40 independent designers, design professors and specialist journalists tested, discussed and assessed each individual product, awarding the Honourable Mention for a well-conceived detail solution, the Red Dot for high design quality. In total, the competition received more than 5,500 entries from 54 countries this year.

“The Red Dot winners are pursuing the right design strategy. They have recognised that good design and economic success go hand in hand. The award by the critical Red Dot jury documents their high design quality and is indicative of their successful design policy.” Says Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of the Red Dot Award

V-Class was developed in Aqualab - Speedo’s specialist R&D department, to help deliver superior vision, style and comfort in one goggle. The goggle boasts 2 x anti-fog technology, as well as accommodating a clear, expansive underwater view. 

The V-Class range encompasses attention to detail with beautifully crafted, fluid design - particularly around the lens. Particular attention was given to offer superior material quality and finish on this range, even down to the packaging that it’s presented in.

Tim Sharpe, Head of Design and Innovation at Speedo International, said: “We’ve drawn on our years of expertise of working with swimmers to improve and evolve our goggle range to be the most desirable and effective available on the market. Whether it’s for competitive racing or swimming to keep fit, goggles are a great way to help swimmers to get the best out of their time in their water. We approached the design of this new V-Class range as desirable and high performing eyewear, offering a combination of superior vision technology and design consideration down to the smallest detail, giving swimmers confidence in addressing their needs, as well as offering comfort and style.”

Trend Micro Exposes Pawn Storm's Target on French and German Politicians in their Recent Report

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today released its latest research report on the activity of Pawn Storm (aka APT28 and Fancy Bear), an active cyber espionage group that targets the global defense industry and politicians, among others. Trend Micro’s researchers have found and continue to find phishing domains created in March and April connected to political campaigns in France and Germany. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a political organization in Germany, and Emmanuel Macron’s campaign in France have both been targeted this year.

The Pawn Storm group has been operating for years and Trend Micro first took note of their activities way back in 2004. But Pawn Storm has become increasingly relevant over the past two years, particularly because the group has been found to be doing more than espionage alone. In 2016, Pawn Storm attempted to influence public opinion, influence elections, and attempted to sway the mainstream media with stolen data. Today the impact can be felt by various industries and enterprises operating throughout the world. Even the average citizen might be impacted as Pawn Storm tries to manipulate people’s opinions about domestic and international affairs.

The research paper by Trend Micro takes a look at Pawn Storm's operations within the last two years which also has compiled data on targets and campaigns conducted by the group, as well as details on the specific attacks used to compromise victims. The paper also provides some guidelines on how to defend against this increasingly relevant threat, as well as solutions that can protect organizations from Pawn Storm's tactics.

“Our researchers have observed activity going back seven years targeting government, military, media, and political organizations around the world.  In this report our researchers document the group’s shift to focus on cyber propaganda over the past two years and their 400 percent increase in targeting activity in 2016 alone,”said Ed Cabrera, Chief Cybersecurity Officer, Trend Micro.

Following the extensive headlines made in 2016 related to their impact on the U.S. election, Trend Micro’s 2017 predictions report states that cyber propaganda will become a norm. The report even references the elections in France and Germany where we now see Pawn Storm meddling.

To defend against an attacker like Pawn Storm, Trend Micro provides Trend Micro™ InterScan™ Web Security, which is a virtual appliance or a cloud-based service that protects against cyber threats at the internet gateway with Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) detection, real-time web reputation, and URL filtering. This tool blocks user access to malicious URLs that are part of elaborate phishing scams. Pawn Storm uses command-and-control (CnC) servers across multiple countries to communicate with compromised systems, relay information, and deploy their attacks. Trend Micro Deep Discovery Inspector prevents these scenarios from taking place by monitoring network traffic, C&C communications, encryption behaviors, and zero-day exploitation.

Pawn Storm compromises corporate email systems by changing their DNS settings to point to a proxy server and intercepting incoming emails. Trend Micro provides an efficient solution that organizations can rely on to safeguard enterprise email servers through Trend Micro Deep Security. Pawn Storm exploits zero-day vulnerabilities and Trend Micro identifies it through TippingPoint® Next Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS), which is a comprehensive and contextual awareness network traffic solution for advanced threats that exploit zero-day vulnerabilities.

Urjit Patel Asks Where Would Apple, IBM Be If Not for Talent from Across Globe?

Cautioning against protectionism, RBI Governor Urjit Patel has said where would giant American corporations like Apple, Cisco and IBM be if they had not sourced the best products and talent from across the world. "I don't think that we have heard the last word on US policy talk about this because there is a push back internationally that the world has benefited from an open trading system," the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor said after delivering a lecture here.

He made the remarks in response to a question on the rise of protectionist tendencies in major world economies after he delivered the Third Kotak Family Distinguished Lecture, sponsored by the Raj Center on Indian Economic Policies at the Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He said the share prices of the most efficient corporations in the world, including in the US, are where they are because of the global supply chains.

"Where would Apple be, where would Cisco be, where would IBM be if they were not sourcing the best products and talent from across the world. And if policies come in the way of that, then the big wealth creators in a country that advocates protectionism are ultimately affected," he said yesterday. Patel said the calls for protectionism in the US were on account of equity and domestic distribution issues which "textbook economics tells us should be addressed through domestic fiscal policy" such as taxation and income transfers.

He noted that using trade instruments for protectionism may take a nation on a trajectory different from that of growth. "Using trade instruments like customs duties, border tax etc is not the most efficient way to do this. In fact you could end up at somewhere else. You do not know what are the implications of some of these policies on equity and distribution besides objectives that you want to address," he said.

"It should be a domestic policy issue, using domestic fiscal policy if those are the objectives that need to be addressed," Patel said. Talking about the Indian Rupee, the RBI governor said it was totally market determined and the intervention by the central bank was only to mitigate volatility. "I think that is a fair policy for us to follow going forward," he said.

Asked about the autonomy of the RBI, he said, "We have been imbued with a legislative responsibility of flexible inflation targeting framework only means that that is a plus for the autonomy and independence of the central bank." On financial inclusion, he said the most important step that was taken was when every Indian household was given a bank account. He said it was now up to a variety of players including the Non Banking Financial Companies to use that opportunity.

"I think the government should not use its fiscal resources for that. It has used its ownership of the public sector banks to open up these accounts and I think that's a large subsidy," he said. Asked if the federal compromise reached to implement the GST would structurally weaken the tax reform and not reach the potential growth opportunities projected, Patel said the manner in which the GST has been structured as cooperation between the central and the state government was a "great example of fiscal federalism" and that strengthens the GST as a policy.

Patel was also questioned about the troubles and difficulties faced by non-resident Indians in exchanging the old currency notes following demonetisation. He said it was decided by the government and the RBI that at some point "there has to be an end to the demonetisation exercise." "Every country that has done this has followed a certain course and so have we," he said.

Patel said under Foreign Exchange Management Act regulations people were only allowed to take Rs 25,000 abroad and people were given enough time post-demonetisation. "We needed to draw a line at some point. I think it has been a fairly generous time," he said. On loan waivers, he said such measures do impact the credit culture.

"The honest borrower and the taxpayer pays for this, we need to be very careful with this. There are other micro implications if this amount becomes large, they impact the fiscal situations of the state governments and ultimately could lead to some national balance sheet implications," Patel said. He also said that China's exchange rate policy has become more market determined.


Wipro Issues Bonus Shares OF 1:1, to Consider Buyback

IT firm Wipro said it will offer bonus shares to its shareholders and will also consider buyback of equity shares around July this year. 

The Bengaluru-based company will offer one bonus share for every one share held by shareholders (including to ADS holders) and expects the bonus shares to be awarded within two months, i.E, June 24, 2017.

It said the step was taken to encourage participation of small investors, increase liquidity and expand retail shareholder base. Interestingly, the issuance of bonus shares was not part of the agenda papers for the Board meeting. 

The process, timelines and other requisite details with regard to the postal ballot will be communicated in due course. 

"The Board of Directors will consider a proposal for buyback of equity shares around July 2017," Wipro CFO Jatin Dalal said. 

In September last year, Wipro had concluded the buyback of 40 million equity shares that resulted in a total cash outflow of Rs 2,500 crore. 

Share buyback typically improves earnings per share and is a mechanism to return surplus cash to shareholders besides supporting share price during periods of sluggish market condition. 

Indian IT companies are under pressure to return excess cash on their books to shareholders through generous dividends and buybacks. 

Last week, shareholders of India's largest software company TCS approved a Rs 16,000-crore buyback plan, the biggest in the Indian capital market. 

Infosys, too, has outlined its capital allocation policy recently to return up to Rs 13,000 crore this financial year through dividend and/or buyback, and while its smaller peer HCL Technologies has approved a buyback of up to 3.50 crore shares worth Rs 3,500 crore. 

Earlier this year, bowing to pressure from activist investor Elliott Management Corp, IT company Cognizant announced a USD 3.4 billion share buyback. 

Wipro Board has also approved re-appointment of Azim Premji as Chairman and Managing Director for a period of two years from July 31, 2017. 

It also approved increase in authorised share capital of the company from Rs 610 crore to Rs 1,126.5 crore by creation of additional 258.25 crore equity shares.