Apple iPhone at Oscars

Posted by Vipul Mistry Tuesday, February 27, 2007 0 comments
Commercials have been synonymous with the Oscars. This year was no different. As rumored, Apple aired its first iPhone television ad at the glitzy awards ceremony.
The commercial, aired multiple times throughout the awards ceremony, featured a number of movie and television clips with actors and actresses answering the telephone. "Hello?" Eventually, the commercial cuts to the iPhone itself and then says "Hello ... Coming in June." Earlier this week, Apple settled a dispute with Cisco over the use of the iPhone name. Under terms of the agreement, both companies have the right to use the name. Apple introduced the iPhone at Macworld Expo in January. While not yet released, the $499 smartphone has caused waves in the wireless market as analysts expect the demand for the touchscreen device to be high. In the year 1984, Apple's advertisement shown during the Super Bowl had introduced the Macintosh to the world.


A 'bad apple' spoils the whole office

Posted by Vipul Mistry Sunday, February 18, 2007 0 comments
WASHINGTON: One "bad apple" can spread negative behaviour like a virus to bring down officemates or destroy a good team, according to a new study examining conflict in the workplace.

Negative behaviour outweighs positive behaviour, so a bad apple can spoil the whole barrel, but one or two good workers can't "unspoil" it, researchers at the University of Washington said in the current issue of the journal Research in Organizational Behaviour.

"Companies need to move quickly to deal with such problems because the negativity of just one individual is pervasive and destructive and can spread quickly," said co-author Terence Mitchell, a professor of management and organisation.

If a bad apple slips through screening in the hiring process, he or she should be placed to work alone as much as possible, the study's lead author, William Felps, said.

The study defines negative workers as those who do not do their fair share of the work, are chronically unhappy and emotionally unstable, or bully or attack others.

Felps said he was inspired to investigate workplace conflict by his wife's experience with a "bad apple" and what happened when the worker was out sick for several days.

"When he was gone my wife said the atmosphere of the office changed dramatically," Felps said. "People started helping each other, playing classical music on their radios, and going out for drinks together after work.

But when he returned to the office, things returned to the unpleasant way they were." "He truly was the bad apple that spoiled the barrel," Felps said.

The researchers said they found that a single "toxic" or negative team member can be the catalyst for a group's downward spiral.

In a follow-up study, the researchers found the vast majority of the people they surveyed could identify at least one "bad apple" with whom they had worked and who had produced organisational dysfunction.


Troubled Britney dons a bikini

Posted by Vipul Mistry Saturday, February 17, 2007 0 comments
New York: Troubled pop singer Britney Spears surprised onlookers when she swapped clothes with a dancer at a nightclub.

Spears arrived wearing a red mini-dress but wanted to change because she did not like the dress. quoted a source as saying: "She didn't like what she was wearing, so she asked one of the dancers to trade clothes with her." Spears eventually changed out of her red dress and came back wearing a bikini and busboy under the coat and continued to dance.

'Terror attacks on India has Pak origin'

Posted by Vipul Mistry Thursday, February 15, 2007 0 comments
The US on Friday said the terrorist groups responsible for attacks in India, including in Mumbai recently, have 'origin' and 'links' in Pakistan and hoped the anti-terror joint mechanism proposed to be set by the two neighbours would produce results. US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, however, insisted that India has not told his country anything about Pakistan's involvement in terrorism here and maintained that the two countries ought to sort out their issues between themselves. Talking to newspersons here, he refused to comment on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement about 'credible' evidence of ISI's involvement in the July 11 Mumbai blasts. "The Mumbai blasts and the series of blasts in India highlight the need to deal with the problem of terrorism," said Boucher who discussed terrorism with Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon here earlier this morning. "Many of the links (of groups) that are talked about go back to their origin and ties in Pakistan. We all need to work together against terrorism through effective actions so that people in India do not suffer from these blasts," the US official said. He, however, added that all the groups blamed for terrorism in India have been banned in Pakistan as well. The comments assume significance as they come just ahead of the Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan during which New Delhi is expected to convey its concerns over terrorism continuing to emanate from that country.

Hi-tech lingerie that helps women slim down, feel cool

Posted by Vipul Mistry Tuesday, February 6, 2007 0 comments
Underwear that helps women slim or men feel cool and fresh - purveyors of cosmeto-textiles were out in force at Paris's annual lingerie trade fair on Sunday. But opinion was divided on whether high-tech fabrics encapsulating slimming agents, perfumes and creams would be a lasting addition to wardrobes or a passing fad. "There are a lot of brands that have worked on the idea but there has never been a paradigm shift. What interests consumers in the end are fairly traditional products," said Hubert Lafont, chief executive of Barbara, a leading French lingerie firm. Several companies have proved the technology works and can be a commercial success. Others have since abandoned production. Philippe Andrieu began his company Onixxa in 2003 with just one product - a pair of tights with a slimming agent in them. Now he has over 30 garments, including slimming jeans, under the Lytess trade mark, and annual sales of $5.9 million. He expects turnover to quadruple by 2009, and said the total market could be worth up to 500 million euros. "Adidas is coming. Nike will follow and L'Oreal is interested," he said. "We have proved it works." Canadian textiles giant Invista, part of privately held Koch Industries, launched its brand of cosmeto-textiles under the Lycra Body Care trademark two and a half years ago and now has clients around the world, including men and women's underwear makers and manufacturers of socks and tights.

Big B gifts Rs 1.7cr Bentley car to Abhishek

Posted by Vipul Mistry 0 comments
Abhishek and Aishwarya went to Lilavati Hospital to take the blessings of the ailing Teji Bachchan on Monday

Abhishek Bachchan may have been greeted only with a bouquet by his fiancee Aishwarya Rai on his 31st birthday, but his father Amitabh Bachchan surprised him with a Rs 1.7 crore white Bentley car as a gift.
Aishwarya, who was unable to go to Bikaner to usher in the birthday, was present at the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport to greet him on his arrival in the city.
Abhishek later went for a drive in the new car with his lady love and soon after drove back to the Bachchan residence in suburban Juhu.
Aishwarya's gift, if any besides the bouquet, remains a guarded secret.
"Her gift to Abhishek is too personal and confidential," Aishwarya's secretary Hari Singh said.
Earlier, Amitabh Bachchan along with Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh flew to Junagarh Fort in Rajasthan where Abhishek was shooting his forthcoming film Drona, to cut the birthday cake at midnight.
Jaya Bachchan and Aishwarya could not join them there but were able to meet Abhishek as he returned to the city by evening.
When asked about why Aishwarya did not join Abhishek at Junagarh on the 'D' day, Singh refused to comment saying it was a personal matter.

India to be world No 2 in small cars?

Posted by Vipul Mistry Sunday, February 4, 2007 0 comments
Maruti Udyog managing director Jagdish Khattar is passionate about small cars. And it’s not just because his company is the undisputed leader in this segment in India. Khattar says it is only in small cars that India stands a chance of achieving global dominance!
“I am convinced that we (as a country) can never be a major player in the global automobile industry as a whole. But we can certainly achieve domination in the small car segment. We are already the No 2 small car maker in the world and, as a country, we should build on this lead,” he told DNA Money in an exclusive interview.
Sample this: During the first nine months of this fiscal, more than 5.3 lakh small cars were sold in the domestic market, with almost another lakh being exported. So, in all, India sold over six lakh small cars during the April-December period. If the present 24.2% growth trend continues, then the fiscal year could close at well above the eight lakh unit mark, making India the second largest small car producer after Japan and relegating the current number two, Brazil, to the third position at about seven lakh small cars.Khattar says if the present growth rate continues, then India could easily become the largest small car producer in the next two-three years! But is the sheer size of the Indian small car mart enough to beat the global biggies?
Khattar points out that several countries across the world encourage small cars by offering incentives such as lower excise duty, road tax and parking charges.
Does this mean India should also consider further incentivisation of small cars? Khattar shrugs, not wanting to tackle this sensitive issue just before the budget.
And just when it seems that Khattar has given a clinching argument in favour of small cars, he reminds you gently about the carbon dioxide norms that are being enforced across Europe. Loosely translated, these norms have forced car makers in Europe to look towards India as a destination for mass manufacture of small cars - production of smaller cars reduces carbon dioxide emissions - which can then be imported back and sold across Europe. Any wonder then that companies such as Nissan, Renault, Volvo, and Mitsubishi have already tapped India for their small car ambitions?


Global footprint of Indian companies set to grow: Survey

Posted by Vipul Mistry 0 comments
Indian companies intend to step-up offshoring, reflecting the growing global footprint of many Indian companies, according to a latest McKinsey survey. According to the just released Global Survey of Business Executives : Confidence Index, January 2007, the number of Indian firms intending to hire staff in a different country to the company's headquarters has increased by 12 per cent from 30 per cent in September 2006 to 42 per cent in December 2006. By comparison, 61 per cent of all executives globally say the majority of their hiring will take place in the same country as their headquarters, a figure that has remained almost unchanged over the past three months. "In India, executives seem to be looking to offshore some of their own operations, after years of benefiting from Western companies doing the same," the survey says. However, executives are notably likelier than three months ago to say that new hires working in a different country from headquarters will perform functions identical to those performed at homeyperhaps indicating year-end assessments of efficiencies and costs, it said. Overall, the survey shows that executives relatively high confidence in economic conditions remained unshaken during the final quarter of 2006, despite the upheaval the quarter delivered, and executives are hiring.