05 April 2012

The News - News

The News - News

A car that flies

Posted: 04 Apr 2012 09:04 PM PDT

A production-type prototype of the world’s first flying car took its first test flight. The vehicle — dubbed the Transition – has two seats, four wheels and wings that fold up so it can be driven like a car. The vehicle has a 23-gallon gas tank. It gets about 35 mpg on the road and burns about five gallons of gas per hour when it is at cruising speed in the air. Terrafugia said it has already received about 100 orders for the Transition. The flight was the first successful test of the two-seat personal aircraft that you can park in your garage, drive on the road and fill up at a gas station.


Money-on-Mobile Raises $29.7 Million From Calpian

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 10:59 PM PDT

Shashank M Joshi, MD, MoM

Making their maiden investment in India, Calpian, a U.S based public company engaged in the electronic payments processing industry, invests $29.7 million in cash and stock in Money-on-Mobile, an electronic prepaid payment instrument for mobile phones.

Harold Montgomery, Chairman and CEO, Calpian, said that they believe MoM is well-positioned to take advantage of the promising mobile payment channel in India. Calpian's management team has been associated with the electronic payment processing business for the last twenty-five years in the U.S., and they are excited to participate in the Indian market by partnering MoM.

Launched in 2010 for the B2B market in India, Money-on-Mobile (MoM) had received RBI's permission to offer the semi-closed m-wallet for the consumer market nationally. It offers mobile phone users the flexibility and convenience to top-up their talk time, DTH account and pay their utility bills using their mobile phones. MoM currently has a network of over 55,000 retailer touch points pan-India and a presence in over 200 cities. It has 2.7 million a user base.

Shashank M. Joshi, Managing Director, MoM, said that they are delighted to welcome Calpian as a new investor and a strong partner in their efforts to provide mobile payment services to every banked and unbanked mobile subscriber in India.

Joshi has over eighteen years of professional experience in the areas of IT and ITES, Outsourcing, Transition and Management consulting. He has cross-border global experience of more than six years in Simplifying Payments. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.

MoM's platform is available on SMS and the consumer does not require a smartphone. Their service operates independent of the consumer's mobile operator or bank, and hence any mobile subscriber can avail themselves of its services.

Facebook is Building a Search Engine

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 10:49 PM PDT

Facebook could be building a search engine to change the scenario in social search, according to Mashable, since social networks lack the ability to let users receive relevant results (say, for example, returning a particular restaurant when you searched for it– instead of showing people who worked at the restaurant, different types of food and everything other than that one query).

According to the report, the search engine in question would be fuelled by your friends' likes, your location and the like. Basically, the engine would be powered by the concept of the social search—a concept so powerful it could challenge even Google at its own game.

What makes this move even more compelling is the fact that Facebook has (according to Bloomberg's Businessweek) deployed a dozen search engineers along with Lars Ramussen, a former Google engineer to improve the search experience on the social network.

Where is Facebook in the search engine scenario?


As of now, Facebook is nowhere in the search scenario, and AOL, Ask, and Amazon deal with much more queries than the social network. But if Google believes in the combined power of social media and search, as noted in a report by Business Insider, (which is what led to the birth of Google+), Facebook could be backed with a pretty powerful product.


However, "Search Plus Your World" returned tepid results for Google, and Facebook would be wise, (as would be expected) to not go down that lane, noted Pascal Emmanuel Gobry, an analyst at Business Insider. "They’d be smarter to do an AOL-type deal where they outsource search to Microsoft for a fee," he said, in a discussion about Facebook's plans.

So is Facebook doing anything related to search?


Facebook is apparently aiming to try and improve its internal search, and Businessweek's two sources,(who didn't want to be named because of the company's quiet period ahead of its IPO), said that the purpose behind this move is to help users sift through the huge volume of content that members create on the site better.


So although all of this is focused on improving the internal search engine on Facebook, most people (on a number of tech news sites, such as Techmeme) are speculating if this move could prove to be one that opposes Google itself. A Facebook spokesperson said "We don't comment on rumors and speculation around products," but if the social network will be moving into search, it could prove to be quite a competitor to Google, which is moving more and more into the realm of social media rather than just concentrating on search.

But what do you think? Would the world of search be better with a more social competitor to Google?  Would you use Google lesser if Facebook came up with a comprehensive search engine? Sound off in the comments section.

10 People Who Were Fired to Become Rich and Famous

Posted: 03 Apr 2012 10:34 PM PDT



Being fired is one of the worst experiences you can go through, but how many of us take it positively and starts off new? There have been a few examples of people where they getting fired was a 'blessing in disguise' which changed their destiny as well their fortunes. This journey of 'F' – from 'F'ired to 'F'amous was even made by Thomas Edison.


1. Walt Disney

Walt Disney, the man who created Mickey Mouse and Co-Founded one of the biggest motion picture production companies was fired in 1919 from The Kansas City Star, a newspaper agency. According to his editor, he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas".

But this did not beat him. Walt Disney then acquired an animation studio, Laugh-O-Gram. Unfortunately it also drove into bankruptcy. Finally he decided to set his sights on creating a cartoon series and tried his fate in the most popular and profitable field of Hollywood.

Walt Disney then founded 'Walt Disney Productions' with his brother. Walt says, "You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. One killer idea can quickly make up for a series of flops".


2. J K Rowling

J K Rowling used to work as a secretary for the London office of Amnesty International, but she always dreamed of being a renowned writer.

At her workplace on her computer, she secretly used to write stories and daydream about the teen wizard, none other than Harry Potter. Her employers finally got fed up and fired her. She finally focused entirely on writing and today she is the best-seller author and a multi billionaire by writing one of the most successful book series of all time. This Potter book series have sold 400 million copies and also won multiple awards.

J K Rowling, the most famous name in the book world, was a person who went through tough criticism at her workplace as she spent too much time on brainstorming of new story ideas.


3. Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour, started her career as a Junior Fashion Editor at Harper's Bazaar in New York. Anna proposed various ideas for some innovative shoots, but her editor, Tony Mazalla rejected all by saying that those ideas were a little too edgy. She got canned after merely working for 9 months.

This experience of getting fired was a learning process for Anna and it could never hold her back. Anna said to her fashion students, "I recommend that you all get fired". Immediately after Harper's bazaar, she was appointed by Viva. But today she is experiencing enormous success as Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue magazine, holding the position since 1988.


4. Robert Redford

Award-winning actor and director Robert Redford was not a skilled worker during his teenage. He used to work at Standard Oil, where his supervisor once found him asleep during his working hours. No, his manager didn't fire him; rather he was shifted to another department. After making several such mistakes, he was fired.

As a worker he was lazy, sloppy. Getting fired made him to work hard on his dream. He then attended college at the University of Colorado and finally moved to New York to become an actor.

He is highly successful today being an actor, film director, producer, businessman, environmentalist and philanthropist. He has received two Oscars in 1981 and 2002 for directing 'Ordinary People' and 'Lifetime Achievement Award' respectively.


5. Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban is a business magnate and investor who founded 'MicroSolutions'. In 1982, Cuban took his first job as a salesman at a computer store immediately after completing his college. He was always more interested in cultivating new business than poking his head into someone's order.

Once he failed to open the store as he was busy with a potential client who could procure new business. He was immediately fired by the store manager. This was the last time that he worked for someone else.

His company, MicroSolutions was initially a system integrator and software reseller. Since its inception it has gained more than $2.5 billion. Today he is also the owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures, and the chairman of the HDTV cable network HDNet. Cuban wrote an e-book on "How to Win at the Sport of Business", in 2011.


6. Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank

Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank used to work for Handy Dan which is a home-improvement chain. In 1989, a corporate raider fired both of them. Based on the experienced gained from the Handy Dan, these two men decided to start their own home-improvement store. The main mantra of this store was 'discount'.

They named it as 'Home Depot'. In less than a decade, the number of stores increased to 100 and their business made over $2.7 billion in sales. Bernie Marcusi said, "We believed from the start that if we brought the customer quality merchandise at the right price and offered excellent service, we could change retailing in the United States. Today, we are the model of what retailing should be", as quoted by Entrepreneur.com.


7. Michael Bloomberg

Michael Rubens Bloomberg was a partner at Salomon Brothers, which is an investment bank. Salomon Brothers, Bloomberg and 62 colleagues were fired because the company was acquired that eventually became Citigroup, in 1998. Bloomberg was let go after he received a hefty check.

Michael Bloomberg used that money to start his own financial news and information services media company, Bloomberg. Today, he is the Mayor of New York. He is also the 12th richest person in U.S. with a net worth of $19.5 billion.


8. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey has an impression of getting richer with everything she does. She started off her career with a petty job at the grocery story close to her father’s barbershop in Nashville, Tenn. Later she became an evening news reporter. Oprah Winfrey couldn’t help but always used to get emotionally involved while hosting a show. Because of this, the producer of Baltimore’s WJZ-TV got fed up and pulled her off air. He offered her a role on a daytime TV show as a solace.

Initially Winfrey was a bit heartbroken. Her sadness quickly faded as the show, 'People Are Talking', became a hit. That success helped Oprah to find out her true flair as a host.


9. Lee Iacocca

Lee Iacocca is well known for engineering the Mustang that is the unsuccessful Ford Pinto. Lee was actually at the top most position in Ford Motor Company, when he clashed with the then CEO and Chairman. After many unused and bad ideas, including the Ford Pinto, Iacocca was fired.

Iacocca was soon undertaken by Chrysler, which was already in danger of going out of business. Chrysler took out a huge loan from the government to recover his company. Lee brought many ideas from Ford over to Chrysler which was actually rejected there, like the plans of Dodge Caravan and the Plymouth Voyager. He successes and became it CEO. He held the same position in the company until 1992. He was also credited with its rise from failure.


10. Jerry Seinfeld

Jerome Allen "Jerry" Seinfeld once was playing a small role on the sitcom Benson, but his producers didn't exactly liked the way he was playing his role. They fired him after only three episodes without any notice. He didn’t know he was fired until he saw the script for a read-through and his part was missing from it.

He was humiliated but he carried on and went back to perform in his comedy clubs. Within one performance, he was get caught by a talent scout among his audience for the Tonight Show. His career immediately turned to be superior.

According to Forbes magazine, Jerry Seinfeld’s annual earning from 'Seinfeld' in 1998 was $267 million, which make him the highest-earning celebrity that year. You can imagine his success and fame he has acquired till date.