Saturday, July 11, 2009

Will GM coninue to layoff another 4,000 jobs?

After a night spent signing mounds of paperwork authorizing the transfer of cash, real estate, technology and other property, GM attorneys are expected to officially usher the new General Motors out of bankruptcy protection on Friday and onto a path toward a hopefully profitable future.

Once the world's largest and most powerful automaker, the troubled company is expected to emerge cleansed of massive debt and burdensome contracts that would have sunk it without federal loans. Spurred on by the Obama administration's support, the process took just 40 days, even slightly quicker than crosstown rival Chrysler Group LLC's 42-day timeframe.

On Thursday, a bankruptcy court order allowing GM to sell most of its assets to a new company went into effect. The new GM, 61% owned by the US government, will face a brutally competitive global automotive market in the middle of the worst sales slump in a quarter-century.

At a press conference on Friday, CEO Fritz Henderson will announce that GM will cut another 4,000 white-collar jobs, including 450 top executives. The company still employs 88,000 people in the US and 235,000 worldwide.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Did an Indian surrender domain name to Google?

Internet search giant Google has won a cybersquatting case at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) against an Indian who had tried to block the domain name ''.

According to the information available with the WIPO, Geneva-based WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center has ordered the transfer of domain name to the US-based search giant after Herit Shah of Gujarat offered to surrender the disputed name to Google.

Google had challenged the registering of domain name '' by Shah at WIPO stating that it was confusingly similar to its trademark on which the company has rights.

Cybersquatting is an illegal activity of buying and officially recording an address on the internet that is the name of an existing company or a well-known person, with the intention of selling it to the owner in order to make money.

As per the information available with the WIPO, Google filed the complaint against Shah on March 26 this year. However, the disputed name has been registered by Shah since September 25, 2008.

WIPO is a specialised agency of the United Nations for developing a balanced and accessible international system in the field of intellectual property rights.

The California-headquartered firm has been using the name 'GOOG' as a NASDAQ financial stock ticker since 2004. The company has used the trademark GOOGLE since the inception of its business in 1997.

The search giant operates a blog service under the brand 'Blogger'.

As per the details available with WIPO, a pre-complaint correspondence between the parties (Google and Shah) failed to resolve the dispute.

However on May 2, after commencement of administrative proceedings, Shah stated before the panel that the registration of domain name was in bad faith and was an infringement of intellectual property.

"I was in a bad faith that I can legally keep the domain ... I really did very unfair to Google. I sincerely apologise to Google for infringement, misuse of their intellectual property (GOOGBLOG.COM)," Shah stated.

The WIPO panel found in this case the consent-to-transfer request replaces the need to assess the matter under the elements of its Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and ordered the transfer of the domain name to Google.


Will Google-Microsoft war cut down PC prices?

Google Inc's bid to compete with Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system may help lower the cost of personal computers at a time when prices are already being pinched by inexpensive netbooks.

Google said it will offer its just-announced Chrome operating system for free when it is launched in the second half of 2010, a move that could force Microsoft into a price war.

Although Windows is the dominant operating system -- installed on 90 percent of the world's PCs, Microsoft won't take Google's challenge lightly, analysts said. Its new Windows 7 operating system will be available in October.

"Microsoft's strategy is likely to be to compete on price," said Brent Williams, an analyst with the Benchmark Co. "Now there's a competitor with the muscle and the brand recognition. Google is that company."

Google said Chrome OS, which is based on the open-source Linux code, is being designed for all PCs but will debut on netbooks. It makes sense for Google to initially target the stripped-down, Web-centric netbooks, one of the only segments showing any growth in a PC market that is contracting.

Netbooks generally sell for $300 to $400, but prices are dropping as new offerings flood the market and wireless carriers offer subsidies with the purchase of a data plan.

Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu noted that while the prices on nearly all PC components have been falling, "the one thing that has not been coming down is the cost of the operating system. This is going to put some pressure on Microsoft."

Microsoft doesn't say how much it charges PC brands for Windows, but analysts estimate it gets $20 to $40 for the older XP system used in the vast majority of netbooks, and at least $150 for the current Vista system.

Wu said price competition could ultimately give a bump to PC makers' margins.

"I think overall it should improve the profitability for PC vendors. It's really a question of how much they pass on to the customers," he said.


Between 20 million and 30 million netbooks are expected to be shipped this year, and the devices continue to rewrite the rules for the PC industry.

Even as heavyweights such as Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc roll out new netbooks, analysts expect new players, including Taiwan-based equipment manufacturers and carriers such as AT&T Inc, to release branded netbooks running on either Intel Corp's x86 chip platform or ARM chips.

Google said Chrome will work on either architecture.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Moon crater named after pop king -- MJ

Late King of Pop Michael Jackson, whose moonwalk was a dancing phenomenon in itself, has got the ultimate tribute, for a crater on the Moon has now been named after him.

In what could be called as a heavenly tribute, the Lunar Republic Society has said that the Moonwalker has made his mark on the moon.

The news came as the singer's family, friends, and fans celebrated his life at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 7, reports a newspaper.

The crater, previously named Posidonius J, is located in the Moon's Lake of Dreams, and is close to a 1,200-acre parcel purchased by Michael Jackson.

The 'Thriller' hit-maker passed away last month, after suffering a cardiac arrest at his Los Angeles home.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Internet Users Warned of Serious Computer Security Hole

Microsoft Corp. has taken the rare step of warning about a serious computer security vulnerability it hasn't fixed yet.

The vulnerability disclosed Monday affects Internet Explorer users whose computers run the Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 operating software.

It can allow hackers to remotely take control of victims' machines. The victims don't need to do anything to get infected except visit a Web site that's been hacked.

Security experts say criminals have been attacking the vulnerability for nearly a week. Thousands of sites have been hacked to serve up malicious software that exploits the vulnerability. People are drawn to these sites by clicking a link in spam e-mail.

The so-called ``zero day'' vulnerability disclosed by Microsoft affects a part of its software used to play video. The problem arises from the way the software interacts with Internet Explorer, which opens a hole for hackers to tunnel into.

Microsoft urged vulnerable users to disable the problematic part of its software, which can be done from Microsoft's Web site, while the company works on a ``patch'' _ or software fix _ for the problem.

Microsoft rarely departs from its practice of issuing security updates the second Tuesday of each month. When the Redmond, Washington-based company does issue security reminders at other times, it's because the vulnerabilities are very serious.

A recent example was the emergency patch Microsoft issued in October for a vulnerability that criminals exploited to infect millions of PCs with the Conficker worm. While initially feared as an all-powerful doomsday device, that network of infected machines was eventually used for mundane moneymaking schemes like sending spam and pushing fake antivirus software.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Indian CEOs better than their western counterparts

Despite the grappling impact of the global meltdown, Indian firms are in a more favorable position as against other countries like the U.S. Over last few years, Indian business houses have come into focus for their international competitiveness that sets them apart from their western counterparts, as per a survey.

Professor Harbir Singh said, "Our very unique difference is that Indian leaders think in English, thanks to the Western education. But, act in an Indian context. They internalize Western best practices and adapt them to India." The findings are based on a study titled 'The DNA of Indian Leadership: The Governance, Management and Leadership of Leading Indian Firms'. It was conducted by Singh along with his three other Management Professors from the University of Pennsylvania, named Peter Cappelli, Jitendra Singh and Michael Useem. In the study, each India CEO was asked asset of questions about the leadership skills, competitive advantage and corporate governance.

According to R.Gopalakrishnan, the Executive Director at Tata Sons, the Indian executives' strategic thinking, risk taking abilities, flexibility as well as the setting of the shared architecture of the firm were some of the important leadership capacities. They are occupied with long-term strategic vision, talent nurturing and maintaining the organizational culture.

Also, the Indian leaders perceive the role of their firms in the society, rather than prioritizing the investors in the company. But, for the Western CEOs, the shareholders emerge at the top of the priority list.

However, as per the report, some of the Indians CEOs carry a unique management trait- the "jugaad" factor, which is the tendency to resort to an unplanned makeshift in the company. "While this can be perceived negatively, it can also be a positive trait because of its inherent inventiveness and survival instinct," concluded Singh.


Satellite for convergence of cellphones, satellite phones launched

A new satellite designed to allow the convergence of cellphones and satellite phones throughout the U.S. was successfully launched Thursday, mobile communications provider TerreStar announced.

Weighing 6,910 kg, TerreStar-1 is the largest commercial satellite ever and was launched by Arianespace from Kourou, French Guiana Tuesday.

The satellite will deliver voice, data and video services to the entire US. Its 20-metre antennae are large enough to beam satellite signals to mobile phones, which TerreStar hopes to launch later this year. The satellite component will allow users to use voice, email and data communications all over the US, even when there is no cellphone coverage.

"With the successful launch of TerreStar-1, we are redefining the mobile communications landscape," said Dennis Matheson, chief technology officer of TerreStar. "We are creating a new paradigm in mobile broadband network services to enable true ubiquity and reliability - anywhere in the United States and Canada."


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