Intel to reduce boot time to two seconds

 Intel Corporation, the world’s largest semiconductor chip maker, is working on reducing the boot time in personal computers to a mere two seconds, its top official said.

“Taking into account the oft-repeated complaints by PC users of longer response time (in switching on and shutting of), we are working on reducing the boot time to as low as two seconds,” Ajay Bhatt, Intel Fellow and Chief Client Platform Architecture Group told reporters here on Friday.

The other important product Intel is working on is wireless power. Fundamental technology for this is already available.

“What we working on now is productisation which will take some time, may 5 to 10 years or even more given the regulatory, distance and functionality issues involved,” he said.

Detailing the future trends in mobile computing which has witnessed a lot of advancement, Bhatt said mobile computing in future will move from an era of personal computing to an era of many devices per person.

“The way we use personal computers, has also been evolving. We are moving more towards internet-driven users, social networking, user generated content, information and media and entertainment,” he said.

Laugh heartily for good health

As a therapy has been hailed for long and SUKANYA CHELLAPPA can no longer hold herself from it

I was amused at myself for choosing “laughter meditation” as this week’s workout. Along with the students of Srimad Andavan Arts and Science College, I hit the campus hoping to ring out my frustration and clang in the much needed perkiness with this quaint therapy.

Yoga instructor P.Vijay Kumar took off with a brief on initiating laughter as a therapy and meditation. The simple philosophy behind it is that when one learns to laugh without being dependent on a stack of reasons, he or she could well be assured of a blissful life.

Since the therapy is not premised on any reason, it does not jostle one into a world of storms arising from disappointment, failure or frustration.

“It was started by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of Worldwide Laughter Yoga, with the aim to take it up as a movement,” shares Mr.Kumar while citing the benefits of laughing.

In present times when life has become complex and stressful, laughter as meditation is highly therapeutic. It soothes an individual and is a universal language that transcends all boundaries and barriers. It creates a positive eco-system not only outside but also within as the health benefits are immense.

It is said that 40 per cent of heart ailments can be prevented with laughter therapy. When one laughs, it encourages deep breathing and detoxifies the body because with each deep breath, the stale oxygen from one’s lungs comes out.

Laughter is also known to reduce body pain and mental stress. It is rejuvenating and gives one a sense of well-being.

After the talk, I merged with the students at the ground. The cacophonic crowd was soon drawn into rapt attention as Mr. Vijay Kumar took centre stage explaining how laughter was the secret to good health.

He asked all the students to lift their hands up and laugh continually for no rhyme or reason. I admit, I was a trifle conscious in doing so and became uptight. But I heard students all around bursting out laughing and guffawing as the instructor goaded them on to laugh.

My initial reluctance to join the group soon ebbed away as I too got into the groove, enjoying the session. I got so deeply engrossed that a fellow student had to remind me that the session was winding up. Now, it was my turn to laugh at myself!

Initial embarrassment to ultimate enjoyment, the experience was enriching enough and I would surely recommend such a session to all. Leave behind your mundane worries and go for it.

CEOs press Indian government for faster clearances, uniform tax

Investors and CEOs assembled at the World Economic Forum requested the Indian government to expidite clearances for projects in India and establish a uniform tax rate.

Several of them interacted with Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, who assured them that within the defined Foreign Direct Investment policy, the government would not only ensure speedy clearances but also facilitate them.

However, “the issues which they had were improving the mechanism in states for cutting down the time for approvals and rationalisation and uniformity of the taxes throughout the country,” Sharma said.

Sharma, who had several meetings in small groups with CEOs, apprised them of India’s ambitious tax reforms through the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will replace most of the taxes at the Central and the state level.

Sharma said India’s FDI policy regime assures investors of security of investment, intellectual property rights, data protection and exclusivity.

After establishing itself as a services hub for the world, India would work towards becoming a global sourcing centre for manufacturing.

The factory production contributes about 20 per cent to the country’s GDP against over 55 per cent from the services.

With an intention to increase the share of manufacturing in economic production, the government will soon come out with a national policy.

“We have started work on the manufacturing policy. We want to make India the production hub of the world,” he said.

Mr. Sharma said India and China are being clubbed as the two important emerging economies witnessing a shift of the economic balance of power.

“The shift is clearly acknowledged. And the new world economic order is headed in the right direction, reflecting the ground realities,” he added.

Companies vow to protect private online data


Important to look at safeguards and whether sharing information requires etiquette


CHENNAI: This Thursday (January 28) was observed as the Data Privacy Day by the United States, Canada and 27 countries of the European Union that accord as much importance to personal data security online as to privacy in general.

It was also a day when several huge corporations — some of which are under the scanner for their privacy policies — renewed their pledge to safeguard private data of millions of its users.

In a scenario of increased information sharing online, especially on social networks, it becomes important to step back and look at not only the safeguards on personal data online but also whether online information sharing requires any etiquette.

Some companies have started systematic monitoring of online activity, especially on social networking sites such as Orkut and Facebook, of their employees to an extent where they consider online data “professional data;” and hence ask them to show some restraint.

Earlier this month, Facebook’s young billionaire-CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.”

It was both in defence of Facebook’s new controversial privacy policy, which has received flak from several quarters, and also a commentary on whether the notion of privacy itself no longer exists the way it was a few years ago.

While the U.S., Canada and some European countries have explicitly laid out Data Protection Acts and agencies monitoring them, in India the issue falls under the Information Technology Act, and some of the prosecuting powers are vested with the office of Industry Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) working under the Information and Technology Ministry.

N. Vijayashankar, a cyber law expert, says most of the rules and regulations of data security, as they exist in the American and European countries’ data protection Acts, have been incorporated in the revamped Information Technology Act of 2008.

India not having a separate privacy law still will mean that online users disgruntled with misuse of private data have to find ways under other Acts to get justice, he says.

There have been a lot of concerns on what the big companies such as Google and Facebook will do to safeguard online data. But another aspect of data privacy is also about what individuals voluntarily disclose on social networks. Often on Facebook and LinkedIn, people unwittingly disclose professional information that could end up either with those who must not get it or even in the hands of hackers.

In one recent instance, a software service provider in Chennai was looking for investments and one of its senior executives put out the information on his LinkedIn profile. It was brought to the notice of the CEO, and the information was asked to be pulled out. “It would have reflected badly on the company had the sensitive information reached the attention of competitors. On a social network, such news goes viral immediately,” said one of the representatives of the company, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Tasty Ayurvedic delights

Gourmets groan when asked to switch to a health diet as it usually means giving up yummy, tasty stuff for bland food. But not anymore. Ayurveda teaches that you can be healthy even while indulging your taste buds. You can make mouth-watering dishes that are nutritious and healthy too. Most health problems are caused by an improper diet. In Ayurveda every food has its own taste (rasa), a heating or cooling energy (virya) and a digestive consequence (vikapa). You upset your system if you combine foods of different nature such as fruits with milk. Ayurveda teaches a rational way to prepare food keeping in mind the dietary need of the individual based on his or her body type and prakurti (body constitution of vata, pitta and kapha).

The focus of Ayurveda cooking is healing, prevention and health care. Food prepared in Ayurveda style also reduces stress and helps cure heart ailments, diabetes and asthma. Cloves ease toothache, fennel with dry coriander reduces acidity, ginger shoos away the cold and turmeric has antioxidant properties.

Avoid using aluminum pots and non-stick cookware because of their carcinogenic properties. Use brass, stone, wooden and stainless steel cookware. What’s more, you can take your pick from Indian, Chinese, Continental and Thai cuisines too.

The writer teaches Art of Living’s Ayurveda Cooking Course.

Recruitment rally for Army

Guntur: The Krishna district youth welfare officer, Mr Velagapudi Joshi, said that an Army recruitment rally would be conducted on February 5 in Guntur to fill soldier technical, soldier nursing assistant posts from Krishna district.

The candidates appearing for the test should be 17 years to 23 years of age, at least 165 cms in height and 50 kg in weight. The candidates appearing for the soldier technical posts must pass 10+2 examination with physcics, chemistry, mathematics and english subjects.

For solider nursing posts, the candidates must pass 10+2 with physics, chemistry and biology with English. The candidates must have 40 per cent marks in every subject and 50 per cent marks in all subjects on an average. Physical fitness and medical tests will be conducted on February 9 in Secunderabad.

Creating a collaborative work environment

One of the examples in Crossing the Divide is that of Yamada, a Japanese project manager whose work requires him to work for short stints in countries throughout the Asia Pacific. His role as a boundary spanner demands that he quickly build productive and task-oriented cross-national teams to launch new IT (information technology) initiatives, describe Chris Ernst and Jeffrey Yip, the essay’s authors.

“On assignment in Korea, Yamada frequently created neutral zones through after-work events for his team members from Australia, Indonesia, Korea, and New Zealand. Over time, team members discovered that the cultural stereotypes they held did not apply to members of the team.” By providing space for personal relationships to develop, Yamada was able to build the level of trust needed to launch IT projects in a timely fashion, the authors add.

Building bridges is, however, not always easy. For example, in Yamada’s case, there was resistance to after-work activities in Hong Kong. “He found that even though his expatriate colleagues from Europe enjoyed going to an Irish pub, his local Chinese colleagues preferred the karaoke bar.”

These inter-group boundaries were reinforced in the workplace, Yamada found. “Project delays, workarounds, and behind-the-scenes in-group conversations were the norm. The actual technical work was not the problem.”

Finding himself in the middle of ‘a clash of civilisations between East and West,’ Yamada struck upon an elegant solution, the authors chronicle. “Hong Kong is a city blessed with some of the finest cuisine from all corners of the globe. By organising weekly ‘Dine Around the World’ events, Yamada used food as a medium to develop personal relationships across cultures, which in turn created a more positive and collaborative work environment in the office.”

Another essay in the book, edited by Todd L. Pittinsky, is about ‘creating common ground,’ by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. She speaks of many examples, including the initiative by Sam Palmisano, IBM’s CEO, to reinvent the values for the twenty-first century through a Web-based chat session with more than three hundred thousand employees.

One of the innovative projects was of IBM Egypt, which partnered with the Egyptian government to create new technology for a Web site in three languages, software programs to download information from handheld devices at tourist sites, and a school curriculum, as the essay describes.

“Innovation came from ideas exchanged between engineers in Cairo and Chicago. The Egypt team also relied on IBM’s Israel research lab, ignoring political and religious hostilities between the countries.”

Eternal Egypt became a model for IBM China’s Forbidden City project, Kanter continues. “Visiting Beijing in November 2006, Palmisano announced to IBMers worldwide that a global ‘Innovation Jam’ (a Web dialogue among one hundred forty thousand IBMers) had identified virtual worlds as a top priority, which he demonstrated by showing his own avatar entering the Forbidden City…”

Recommended addition to the global leaders’ shelf.