Sunday, December 31, 2006

Cognizant finishes 2006 with an Excellent Growth

Rising demand for global outsourcing services pushed shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. up 55 percent in 2006, making the company one of the top five tech performers in the S&P 500 this year.

Cognizant provides offshore information technology and other business services, with centers in China, India and other locations worldwide.

Shares jumped in May after the company reported a 48 percent increase in profit, helped by higher demand for technology services across all industries. Customers in the media, telecom, financial services and health care industries contributed to the stronger-than-expected results.

Cognizant also issued full-year earnings guidance that beat Wall Street's expectations, then raised its outlook when reporting another blockbuster quarter in August.

The stock was selected in November to join the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

Also in November, the company said it would spend more than $200 million through 2008 to expand its India operations, adding new facilities in five cities _ Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune _ and hiring more than 30,000 employees.

Shares of Cognizant traded at their lowest point on Jan. 18, touching $48.51 on the Nasdaq. The stock climbed as high as $82.49 on Dec. 12, before closing at $77.87 on Thursday, a full-year gain of $27.60, or 55 percent.

Source: Chron

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Yet another Sex Survey

UK Magazine The Sun reports that half of Brits chat on their home phone naked.

Here goes ths story...

The poll showed 49 per cent of 600 people questioned were happy to use the phone in their birthday suit.

Women are more likely than men to go au naturel - 40 per cent of men bare all while chatting, compared to 57 per cent of women.

The survey also showed 83 per cent of people talk and multi-task with women topping the poll at 86 per cent.

And their multi-tasking is more practical than British men.

Of those women questioned, 64 per cent admitted to preparing food while using the phone and 43 per cent do the ironing.

While 63 per cent of men confessed to watching television.

Women are also more than twice as likely as men to pick up the phone to speak to their parents.

The BT Broadband Talk poll discovered that men are more likely than women to be found speaking to friends of the opposite sex.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

30 predictions for 2007

Here is a list of 30 Predictions for 2007 in Media/Tech/Pop from Rex Sorgatz

) $100 PC. Finally, computing in the Third World! But priorities are reassessed when someone does the math and realizes that the One Benjamin PC could feed a single African for 37 years.

2) MySpace. Despite (or because of) News Corp's ownership of MySpace, unique users start to disappear. Someone at the New York Times realizes that your friend Tom has released absolutely zero new features to the community since Fox's takeover. In a scramble, MySpace releases a bunch of bad features that everyone hates. However, they sell several more sponsorship deals for movies, tv shows, and bands that you don't care about.

3) Apple. Apple buys Last.FM. Finally. And iTV is a hit. Finally. And the iPhone? Nope, never. Why? Cuz the iPhone is like God -- if it really existed, you wouldn't care that much.

4) Google. By partnering YouTube and Apple's iTV, Google has you watching Ask A Ninja on your plasma. Hello, Google Video ads.

5) Gawker. A rumor is leaked about a Conde Naste buy-out that involves a digital unit built around the new Nick Denton is too busy updating Lifehacker to respond.

6) The Office. Jim chooses Pam. Forgetting this is fiction, I attempt to drunk-dial Karen.

7) Studio 60. Sorkin's new show sorta catches on. Gloating until my pancreas explodes, I try to explain that Studio 60 is the first example of middle-brow camp. You call me a moron.

8) Technorati. A media company takes a shot at buying Technorati. Maybe Tribune, maybe NYT, probably Wash Post. By the end of the year, people are talking about a Newsvine purchase.

9) Publishing. Your mom is charged with plagiarism. Her book skyrockets to the top of the best-seller list.

10) TV News Anchor Ratings. 1) Brian Williams. 2) Charlie Gibson. 3) Katie Couric.

11) Windows. Vista ships. You try not to yawn.

12) Twitter. Google buys Twitter. A bunch of media organizations sigh deeply over not thinking of this first.

13) AOL. I have no idea. And neither do they.

14) Facebook. That snotty Harvard kid tells Yahoo, "Tell you what, I'll buy you instead."

15) Yahoo. Ba-bye, Terry.

16) Zune. Version 2.0 of the Zune is launched. A small group of converts start to form, while Engadget asks "too little, too late?"

17) Second Life. Robots invade and kill everyone. Turns out "everyone" is 5 kids in Tallahassee.

18) Mobile. 2007: the year in mobile. If I keep saying it, eventually it will be true.

19) Comedy. Dane Cook gets invited to speak at this year's White House Press Corps dinner. When Cook jokes about fucking the Bush Twins, G.W. laughs more than he did at Colbert.

20) Chumby. This little nerd toy you've never heard of becomes a huge hit.

21) Newspapers. More lay-offs, more shrinkage, more free weeklies, more navel-gazing.

22) SmartPox. Add it to the list of great ideas that won't catch traction. (See also: Open ID, micro-payments, free city-wide wireless.)

23) CBS. The digital unit will make a few acquisitions that seem peculiar. But by the end of the year, they will look hipper than Unkie Viacom.

24) GNR. Klosterman spreads a rumor that Axl will release Chinese Democracy on April 24. Thousands of thirty-somethings show up at a record store at midnight only to discover... ha ha, fooled you, old man.

25) Courtney Love. Comeback album, comeback movie, comeback fragrance.

26) Celebutantes. People talk a lot about Britney's comeback, but the new summer album does as well as releases from Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, and K-Fed. Meanwhile, Nicole Richie accidentally eats herself.

27) Ze Frank. The funniest guy in America lands a deal at Comedy Central.

28) Amanda Congdon. While the blogosphere wonders who's watching, Amanda's ratings go up, up, up. When you go home for Thanksgiving, you realize your dad has it bookmarked.

29) lonelygirl15. Remember Ellen Feiss?

30) Earth. The planet will get warmer.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cognizant Steps up its SEI CMMI level

Cognizant, a leading provider of IT services, announced today that the Company's software development and delivery center in Coimbatore, India has become the first in the world to be successfully appraised at Maturity Level 5 of the latest version 1.2 of Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI) through the latest version 1.2 of Standard CMMI Appraisal Methodology for Process Improvement (SCAMPI). The appraisal was conducted by an independent SEI Authorized High Maturity Lead Appraiser from KPMG between November 27 and December 8, 2006.

CMMI Maturity Level 5 is the highest level of process maturity that independently verifies an organization's capabilities to continuously enhance its processes through incremental and innovative process and technological improvements. CMMI Maturity Level 5 affirms the organization's ability to statistically manage the sub-processes in order to achieve process and business objectives.

"We are very proud of this achievement, as it further reinforces our commitment to continuous process maturity and innovation that enhances the value of solutions we provide to our customers," said R Chandrasekaran, Managing Director and President of Global Delivery, Cognizant. "This independent appraisal is a clear indication that Cognizant can deliver the highest levels of quality to customers through continuous process improvements in every location that we expand to globally. This new capability accentuates our customer-centric culture by providing greater transparency to our customers from project execution and enhanced structuring of the decision- making process to metrics management."

"Continuous improvement has become a way of life for Cognizant's Coimbatore Center," said Mr. V Sankaran, KPMG - SEI Authorized SCAMPI Lead Appraiser. "This center has consistently adapted to various quality initiatives and emerging industry best practices, keeping value addition to customers in mind. The leadership team at Cognizant has consistently demonstrated commitment towards superior process and quality. The greatest strength of the organization is the empowerment and opportunity to implement process improvement initiatives by associates at all levels, ensuring that high maturity practices will sustain for the long term. With their focus on continuous process improvements, Cognizant Coimbatore has successfully transitioned to the latest version of the model, CMMI v1.2."

Cognizant's Coimbatore Center has developed a unique operational model that integrates best practices such as CMMI, lean manufacturing and six sigma concepts to improve operational efficiency and productivity. To reach this level, Cognizant demonstrated structured process improvement and innovations categorized under Efficiency aiders, People aiders, Process aiders and Productivity aiders with a goal of achieving substantial process and business benefits.

The Carnegie Mellon® Software Engineering Institute (SEI) had released the latest version 1.2 of CMMI model and latest version 1.2 of Standard CMMI Appraisal Methodology for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) in August 2006. Subsequently, SEI authorized only a selected few High Maturity Lead Appraisers (HMLA) after undergoing a stringent evaluation criteria. The CMMI Level 5 appraisal for Cognizant was carried out by Mr. V Sankaran, SEI Authorized High Maturity Lead Appraiser from KPMG.

Source: Coimbatore News

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

SAMSUNG Launches the World’s First ‘Optical Joystick’ Phone

Samsung Electronics , a leading provider and innovator of mobile phones, launches the world's first mobile phone featuring a n optical joystick for a whole new mobile experience.

Samsung 's latest ‘Optical Joystick' Phone (Model: SCH-V960 ) is suited with the latest technology that may revolutionize the way users interact with the menu and user interface of mobile handsets. Users utilize the optical joystick key by placing their finger and moving a cursor to navigate through the menu, similar to a cursor of a mouse on a PC .

Optical sensors will read and react to users' finger movement, thus breaking down the traditional four-way menu navigation and providing 360 degrees of freedom. The familiarity and free movement of the V960's Optica l Joystick will result in quick and hassle-free menu navigation.

Users can point the cursor and click directly on icons on MyScreen, similar interface to that on a PC environment, and gain direct access to frequently used menus such as photo album, messaging, and music menu. Users can also use the Optical Joystick to easily scroll through the play list while listening to their music.

Through an illumination sensor, the Samsung V960 also includes a 'Smart Lighting' feature that automatically controls the brightness of the LCD screen and keypad. By using the 'Smart Lighting' feature, users are protected from eye strain and will minimize power consumption for increased efficiency. In addition, the V960 also supports a 2 megapixel camera, GPS and Bluetooth ® function.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Google Adsense clarifies Ad and image placement policy

Here is some clarfication from Inside Adsense on Ad and image placement.

We've recently received a number of emails from publishers asking how we feel about the placement of images near Google ad units. There's been some confusion on this issue, and so we turned to our policy team to set the record straight.

Can I place small images next to my Google ads?

We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests a relationship between the images and the ads. If your visitors believe that the images and the ads are directly associated, or that the advertiser is offering the exact item found in the neighboring image, they may click the ad expecting to find something that isn't actually being offered. That's not a good experience for users or advertisers.

Publishers should also be careful to avoid similar implementations that people could find misleading. For instance, if your site contains a directory of Flash games, you should not format the ads to mimic the game descriptions.

What if I place a space or a line between my images and my ads? Would that work?

No. If the ads and the images appear to be associated, inserting a small space or a line between the images and ads will not make the implementation compliant.

Does this mean I can't place ads on pages with images?

You can definitely place Google ads on pages containing images -- just make sure that the ads and images are not arranged in a way that could easily mislead or confuse your visitors. For example, if you run a stock photography site with a catalog of thumbnail images, don't line the ads up with the thumbnails in a way that could be misleading. Consider using a full border around your ads or changing your ad colors, for example.

What do unacceptable implementations look like?

Here are some examples that wouldn't comply with our policies.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Jaxtr lets friends phone you on your blog

A Silicon Valley start-up is gearing up to embed free, Web-based telephone services on a variety of popular social networking and blogging services, including MySpace, Friendster and Blogger.

By contrast with existing Web calling services such as Skype that are typically computer-based, or require consumers to buy special headsets or microphones, Jaxtr plans to allows users to make inbound calls to bloggers from any phone in the world.

Jaxtr, a 14-month-old closely held company based in Palo Alto California, said it is beginning a test by private invitation of its new calling service, with plans to make it widely available to Web users sometime early in the new year.

In addition, Jaxtr said that Konstantin Guericke, co-founder of business social networking site LinkedIn, has joined the Web-calling company as chief executive. Jaxtr was founded by entrepreneurs Phillip Mobin and Touraj Parang.

For Jaxtr's target audience of young Web users, when they are not spending time chatting with one another on their social network pages, they are probably available on a mobile phone. "We bring those two phenomenon together," Guericke said.

Once registered on Jaxtr's site at, a user can embed an interactive phone feature into selected blogs or social network profiles -- News Corp.'s MySpace, Tagged, Friendster, Hi5, Xanga and Google's Blogger.

Consumers will be able to click on any Jaxtr link, enter their own phone number, which triggers an instant call to their phone. Answering the phone connects the caller to the Jaxtr user's own phone. Callers then speak phone to phone.

The private test underway this week will be extended to friends of initial participants later this month. Jaxtr expects to earn revenue from power users, advertising and enhanced calling features, the company said. "I think this is going to spread very quickly," Guericke said.

The service provides local phone numbers that allow callers to eliminate expensive international long distance charges from any of 29 national markets in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Initial countries range from United States to most of Western Europe to Brazil, Chile and Mexico and Japan and Singapore.

While one of a proliferating number of voice over Internet companies challenging conventional phone industry economics, Jaxtr is not a direct phone company rival, as it still pays interconnection charges and encourages use of standard phones.

Jaxtr, a play on the phrase "jack your phone," promises its users can hear from callers through their Web site profiles while preserving the privacy of their existing phone numbers.

An alternative is for users simply to add a personalized Jaxtr link to their e-mail signature -- creating a second way to invite their friends to call them back for free -- by clicking on the link or by placing an inexpensive local call. Similarly, an Evite party invite could have a Jaxtr call link.

No special software needs to be downloaded, nor do users need to first sign up their friends or family to benefit. Only the recipient of Jaxtr calls need to sign up for the service. It's a Web-based version of the decade-old dial-around services that allow callers to bypass international phone charges.

When a call recipient is unavailable, the caller can leave a voice mail message. Recipients can block unwanted callers or only invite selected callers. Callers need not be registered with Jaxtr, only the recipient of the call needs to be.

A recipient gets to choose which of their phones receive the call. One can switch between a home, office or mobile phone, for example.

Source : Yahoo News

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hackers to step up 'cyberwar' in 2007

CNN reports that Hackers may step up Cyber War and online attacks becoming more sophisticated. Here are some excerpts ..

Computer hackers will open a new front in the multi-billion pound "cyberwar" in 2007, targeting mobile phones, instant messaging and community Web sites such as MySpace, security experts predict.

As people grow wise to email scams, criminal gangs will find new ways to commit online fraud, sell fake goods or steal corporate secrets.

"The attacks are becoming more sophisticated," said Dave Rand of Internet security firm Trend Micro. "It's all about making money. And they're making a lot of it," he told Reuters.

In 2007, hackers will be scouring social networking sites such as MySpace to gather information for more focused attacks on people's computers.

"It is definitely an area that is ripe for more exploitation by malware (malicious software)," said Ed English, Trend Micro's Chief Technology Officer for anti-spyware.

People could find their computers infected with viruses that secretly record all their keystrokes or send out millions of spam email messages.

Source: Click here for more ...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Google AdSense for content in 4 new languages

Just read this from Inside Adsense. Non English bloggers will gear up with more content and in turn for more money. Indian bloggers writing in any of the Indian languages still have to wait.

"We're excited to tell you that AdSense for content is now supported in Croatian, Czech, Slovak, and Traditional Chinese. If you manage a site in one of these four languages, you can now complement your existing AdSense for search boxes (and revenue) with contextually-targeted AdSense ads!

To get started with generating your AdSense for content code, just visit the AdSense Setup tab in your account. Please keep in mind that after you add the ad code to a new page, it can take up to 48 hours for our crawler to access your site. Once your site has been crawled, our system will automatically detect the primary language of your pages and serve targeted ads in the correct language.

Welcome (or Dobrodošlica / Vítame / 歡迎) to our new AdSense for content publishers!

Source: AdSense for content in 4 new languages

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Advertise online - even if you don't have a website

AdWords advertisers know that online advertising is an effective way to promote their businesses. What do you do, however, if you want to advertise online, but you don't have a website? Does this sound familiar? Here is help.

Hosted business pages, a new feature for AdWords Starter Edition, will let you do just that. A hosted business page is an informational webpage that new advertisers can create when they sign up for AdWords Starter Edition. You can use a hosted business page to tell people more about your business when they click on your ad. For example, if you own a restaurant, you might write about your award-winning cannoli; if you are a tailor, potential customers would be thrilled to read about your 48 hour turnaround on alterations.

Hosted business pages are now available for new US advertisers using AdWords Starter Edition. It's important to note that a hosted business page is not a full-featured website with its own domain name, but rather a single landing page for your AdWords ads. Hosted business pages are free with a new AdWords account, and can be set up with no knowledge of HTML.

If you're already an AdWords advertiser, perhaps you'd like to tell your favorite local restaurant owner that they can now advertise online, even if they don't have a website. Just watch out for the crowds of new customers.


Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Other Advertising Networks Besides Google AdSense

Popular blogger John Chow has managed to put a list of Money Making Networks other than Goolge Adsense.

He says "When bloggers think of online advertising, the words Google AdSense immediately pops to mind. Google had done an amazing job capturing the internet advertising market with the AdSense product. However, Google is not the only game in town. As a webmaster, it is your duty to seek out other ways to monetize your site. As we all know, putting all your eggs in one basket isn’t the smartest thing to do."

Primarily CPM Based Ad Networks

Primarily CPA/CPL Ad Networks

Primarily CPC AND/OR Text Based/Contextual Ad Networks

Shopping/Comparison Networks

“Non-Standard” Ad Networks (PopUps, Expandables, Pay Per Post, etc.)

Specific Demographic Ad Networks

NON-US Primarily CPM Based Ad Networks

NON-US Primarily CPC AND/OR Text Based/Contextual Ad Networks

NON-US Primarily CPA/CPL Ad Networks

Source: John Chow