SILICON VILLAGE

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Will struggling British Airways cut spending?

Troubled British Airways said Friday that it would slash capital expenditure by one fifth in the current financial year after posting another sharp drop in monthly passenger numbers.

"Market conditions continue to be very challenging with trading at levels well below last year," the struggling airline said in a trading update.

"In response to the challenging economic conditions British Airways has reviewed its business plan.

"Forecast capital expenditure has been reduced from 725 million pounds to 580 million pounds for 2009-2010 and is likely to remain at that level in 2010-2011."

The airline also announced it carried 2.93 million passengers last month, 4.9 percent fewer than in June 2008.

And BA repeated that it wanted to slash 3,700 jobs in the current financial year, which runs until March 2010. It has already axed 2,500 jobs worldwide over the past year.

BA also revealed that it would delay the delivery of its fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbos and announced more reductions to its summer 2009 and winter 2009-2010 flight schedules.

"The delivery schedule for the first six Airbus A380 aircraft has been extended by an average of five months with the first delivery still due in 2012," the carrier said.

"The schedule for the remaining six A380s has been extended by an average of two years with the final aircraft arriving in 2016."

In May, BA had reported an annual loss of 375 million pounds, blamed on plummeting demand for tickets as well as high fuel costs.

After diving into a financial loss, BA asked staff to work for free, while promising that chief executive Willie Walsh and finance director Keith Williams would forgo their July salaries.

Agencies

Friday, July 3, 2009

Win Big Prize Money at Facebook Developer Contest

Facebook would become the first social networking site to showcase apps in Hindi as it calls for entries in English and Hindi to showcase web development skills in two categories of Facebook apps & Facebook Connect Integrations

The day for which the Indian developer community had been waiting has finally arrived. Facebook, whose mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected, announced today the launch of ‘Facebook India Developer Contest’ – a contest for Indian developers to showcase their web development skills by creating Facebook applications and Facebook Connect Integrations. The contest began on July 2 and ends on September 11, 2009 and is located at www.facebook.com/developercontestindia.

This is the first time Facebook is organizing a developer contest in India. Entries will be judged on originality, business potential, social utility, usefulness, expressive features, intuitiveness and potential of the application. There are three cash prizes; $4000 for the first place, $2000 for the second place and $1000 for the third, in each of the two categories.

To enter the contest, participants are required to create a Facebook platform application for use on the Facebook site or Facebook Connect integrations in English or Hindi and register their application in the contest’s homepage. The contest is open to Indian residents over the age of 16 with a facebook.com account

Ruchi Sangvi, engineer and manager of the Facebook platform said, “India ranks second in the number of software developers with 3.9 million software developers; we are very excited to engage with the developer community. Facebook has experienced a tremendous growth in India. Through the contest, we hope to see many rich experiences that leverage the social graph and empower Facebook users to share and connect.”

Facebook Connect enables people to combine their Facebook experiences with any participating Website, desktop application or mobile device. When websites incorporate Facebook Connect, Facebook’s more than 200 million active users around the globe can automatically import profile information and bypass the need to build a friends’ list from scratch. More than 10000 websites have incorporated Facebook Connect since its general availability in December 2008.

Will India IT sector miss export target of $60 bn by FY10?

India's software sector is likely to miss the much-touted target of touching 60 billion dollar exports by FY10, due to
unprecedented slowdown in key markets like the US and Europe, IT industry body Nasscom said.

"... the aspiration of $60 billion by December 2010 is likely to be delayed by at least three to four quarters due to unprecedented slowdown in 2009 in key markets, particularly the US and Europe," a Nasscom-McKinsey report said.

The technology and business services industry grew substantially to $52 billion in 2008 including $12 billion in the domestic segment.

Now with the financial meltdown taking its toll, the software and services revenue outlook has been revised downwards.

Nasscom had earlier scaled down the growth rate for software exports to 16-17 per cent in FY09 as against 21-24 per cent announced earlier.

However, the report -- Perspective 2020 -- said the future of the IT industry remains secure in the medium to long term, even in the face of current macro-economic trends.

Agencies

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Picard to fly world's first solar powered airplane

Bertrand Picard and his team is all set to fly an airplane of solar impulse. The initial version of the solar plane spans 61 metres, but weighs about 1500 Kilogram (Kg). It will undergo trials providing evidence that it can fly at night.

Picard wanted to demonstrate the potential of renewable energies. "I love this type of vision where you set the goal and then you try to find a way to reach it, because this is challenging," he told BBC News.

This solar powered is called the HB-SIA is a part of a 70 million pound project, which will fly using 12,000 solar cells, rechargeable lithium batteries and four electric motors. The aeroplane integrates composite materials to keep it extremely light. Picard has decided to make five long trips sharing flying duties with the Project Partner, Andre Borschberg.

"The real success for Solar Impulse would be to have enough millions of people following the project and being enthusiastic about it," said Picard.

Agencies

Recession hit Adobe, shuts US operations down for one-week

Adobe Inc, the world’s biggest maker of graphic-design software, shut down North American operations this week, part of a plan to cut operating costs as the recession crimps sales.

Adobe told employees in March it would impose one-week closures in the second, third and fourth quarters, and asked staff to take paid vacation time, the company said today.

“These are in addition to the normal holiday shutdown” between Christmas and New Year’s Day, San Jose, California-based Adobe said in an e-mail.

The company has frozen salaries, trimmed bonuses and variable compensation plans, and curbed travel expenses, Chief Executive Officer Mark Garrett said in an April interview. In December, the company fired about 8 percent of the workforce to help rein in costs during the economic slump.

Second-quarter sales fell 21 percent as customers held off upgrading to the latest version of Adobe’s Creative Suite programs, which account for about 60 percent of revenue. Sales in Europe trailed expectations, the company said on a June 16 conference call.

Adobe advanced 62 cents to $28.62 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The shares have gained 34 percent this year.

Worldwide spending on information-technology products will shrink 9 percent this year as the economy contracts, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Agencies

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Will broadband, mobile be key drivers to economic growth?

Access to affordable high-speed Internet and mobile phone service are key to economic growth and job creation in developing countries, the World Bank said in a report.

The report, Information and Communications for Development 2009, found that for every 10 percentage-point increase in high-speed Internet connections there is an increase in economic growth of 1.3 percentage points.

"Internet users in developing countries increased tenfold from 2000 to 2007, and there are now over four billion mobile phone subscribers in developing countries," said Mohsen Khalil, World Bank group director for global information and communication technologies.

"These technologies offer tremendous opportunities," Khalil said. "Governments can work with the private sector to accelerate rollout of broadband networks, and to extend access to low-income consumers."

The report identified the mobile platform as the "single most powerful way to reach and deliver public and private services to hundreds of millions of people in remote and rural areas across the developing world."

Broadband provides the basis for local information technology (IT) services industries which create youth employment, increase productivity and exports, and promote social inclusion, it said.

"Currently though, few people in developing economies have access to broadband networks," the report said. "In 2007, an average of less than five percent of the population of low-income economies was connected to broadband networks
, and that was mostly in urban centers."

"Access to broadband completes the information foundation for a modern economy and should be a priority in national development plans," said Katherine Sierra, World Bank vice president for sustainable development.

"Governments can play a key role in expanding broadband access by policies and incentives that encourage competition and private investment," she said.

The World Bank supports information and communications technology projects in more than 100 countries with a portfolio of more than three billion dollars.

Agencies

Monday, June 29, 2009

Has Microsoft hired Morgan Stanley to sell Razorfish?

Microsoft has hired Morgan Stanley to sell Razorfish, its digital agency, and French marketing company Publicis Groupe SA is thought to be a possible bidder, according to a media report.

Microsoft acquired the agency, formerly called Avenue A Razorfish, as part of its $6 billion takeover of aQuantive in 2007.

The report cited an analyst valuing Razorfish at $600 million to $700 million, based on sales of about $400 million last year and profit margins for similar businesses of 12 to 13 percent.

Publicis and Morgan Stanley were not immediately available for comment.

Microsoft declined comment.

Razorfish is one of the largest interactive advertising and marketing agencies, boasting a client list that includes McDonald's Corp, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Carnival Cruise Lines.

Microsoft and VivaKi, the digital arm of Publicis, last week unveiled a broad cooperation deal to develop new content, improve marketing performance and better target digital advertising audiences.

Agencies

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Now get your Mobile Web report from Opera

Opera’s popular mobile browser Opera Mini claims to enhance the mobile internet experience. The software organization has now broadcasted its State of the Mobile Web report that further ascends the browser. This report presents some fascinating data that offers a detailed description about the evolution of Web browsing on mobile phones.

Opera conducted a study of vital factors that influence the mobile Web globally and publishes it as the State of the Mobile Web, monthly. The report provides information about the most regularly visited sites. Moreover it also includes key data metrics from Opera Mini and a picture of a particular development selected by the analysis team for that month.

The company had introduced the Opera Mini and Opera Mobile which are premium software for mobile Web browsing on both feature phones and smartphones. Opera Mini offers faster Web services on the handset. Moreover even the page is viewed just as it appears on the desktop browser. The Opera Zoom feature articulates the contents so as to enhance the readability and interaction. Additionally, it also incorporates Opera Link that facilitates users to synchronize their bookmarks for free. It also offers a Speed Dial option and personal bar between all the Web browsers.

The report reveals that 25.4 million Opera Mini users have browsed over 9.6 billion pages, as per the records in the month of May, 2009. Further it claims that since April, 2009, page-views have risen by 11.0% and increased by a remarkable 227% from May, 2008. It also illustrates that users generated almost 160 million MB of data for global operators in May, 2009.

The content analysis is based on an assessment of the top 100 sites ranked based on page views in every country. The designation of sites to particular kind was devised by local content professionals by following Opera’s guidelines to exemplify each site.

Additionally, demographic data was also gathered from voluntary user surveys. The data was then provided to a random subset of Opera Mini users through their handsets, in English, Russian, Chinese, German and Polish. Survey responses were accumulated between February to June, 2008.

Agencies

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