Data Analytics

Software Chooses Consumer Over Engineering

There’s a new emphasis in the software world with a focus on ease of use and more standardised platforms that support speed to market and innovation by makers.

In today’s world, the differences between consumer-friendly software and the software used by technicians like engineers and scientists are increasingly hard to point out. In the past, these two types of software were dramatically different, not just because of the groups who were using them but also because of the user experiences they provided.

Now the industry demand for cross-functional and user-friendly software is higher than ever and software vendors are tasked with developing flexible technologies to meet these demands.

The maker movement is a perfect example of this in action. Makers are creating and building robots, motherboards and other ground-up technologies based on low cost components and software resources now commonly available and used by engineers. The maker movement has reinvigorated the engineering industry and proven that there’s a little bit of engineering in everyone.

IT Headed For Fundamental Changes, SIM Survey Shows

IT organisation budgets look happy and positive on the surface, but there’s less money for maintenance and more for cloud and software development. The signs point to tumultuous times ahead.

IT organisations are increasing their budgets and hiring and salaries, according to the most recent SIM IT Trends study for 2017. But while the report looks very positive on the surface, IT pros need to gird themselves for uncertain times.

That’s according to Leon Kappelman, primary investigator on the survey for the Society for Information Management organisation (SIM) and professor of information systems at the University of North Texas, College of Business.

Kappelman told InformationWeek in an interview that we are in the midst of a “very tumultuous” period, as corporate technology spending is undergoing a significant change. There are big drops in the budget amounts going to hardware, software, and facilities, and more money spent on cloud.

“Everything looks very happy and positive from 50,000 feet,” Kappelman told InformationWeek in an interview. “But when you look under the hood, things are very tumultuous.”

Record Number of Vulns For Adobe, Microsoft, Apple In ’16, Says Zero Day Initiative (ZDI)

Like rules, records were made to be broken, and the security industry’s largest-ever vulnerability reporting and remediation didn’t disappoint, with 674 total advisories in 2016 – eight more than the year before, according to a report this week from the Zero Day Initiative.

ZDI, launched in 2005, encourages responsible reporting of zero-day vulnerabilities to affected vendors by financially rewarding researchers, and protecting customers while the affected vendor creates, tests, and delivers a patch. ZDI paid out nearly $2 million in rewards in 2016, the group reported this week.

More information on the vulnerabilities can be read in here.

Compiled by Shreyansh Surana

Finance

BSE IPO sailing, but some analysts have concerns over growth estimates

The initial public offering (IPO) of BSE has been seeing huge interest among investors, who have already subscribed to half the issue size on the very first day. But some market analysts are not convinced the domestic equity course has a strong growth story to command this kind of investor interest. India’s market capitalisation is projected to grow from $2 trillion at present to $5 trillion over the next 10 years.Vikas Khemani of Edelweiss Securities, says BSE definitely has growth drivers, but some of the concerns over its business are real. It is difficult to believe that Indian capital market will grow, but BSE will not grow. I think some of those some of those concerns are there for sure. Even though growth drivers are there, but we will still have to wait and watch.

Central Bank to buy back perpetual bonds worth Rs 500 crore

Public sector Central Bank of India will go for a premature buyback of 9.4 per cent perpetual bonds worth Rs 500 crore.The decision was taken at the lender’s board of directors meeting held today.

“The Board of Directors of the Bank at their meeting held on January 23, 2017 considered and approved the proposal for premature buy-back of 9.40 per cent perpetual bonds of Rs 500 crore,” it said in a regulatory filing.

The board has also authorised the Chairman and Managing Director for taking various procedural decision related to the buyback.

Idea in High Court against TRAI’s Rs 950 crore penalty recommendation 

Idea Cellular today moved Delhi High Court against TRAI’s recommendation to impose penalty of Rs 950 crore on the telecom firm for allegedly not providing interconnection to Reliance Jio (RJIO), even as DoT said the plea was premature.

The matter is pending before another bench of the high court where the DoT and TRAI have contended that the plea was not maintainable.

TRAI had recommended imposition of Rs 50 crore penalty per circle on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, which came to Rs 1050 crore each on the first two for their 21 circles and Rs 950 crore on the third for 19 circles.

Government raises Rs 30,000 crore via disinvestment proceeds

The government has raised around Rs 30,000 crore from disinvestment proceeds, said department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) secretary, Neeraj Gupta. This is the highest amount grossed through the stake sale programme. In this fiscal, the government has budgeted around Rs 56,500 crore from disinvestment proceeds, of which Rs 20,500 crore was to come through strategic sales.The government will also divest its 10% stake in Moil Ltd. on Tuesday where it currently holds 75.58% stake.

Compiled by Hrishikesh K Poduval

 Public Policy

 Has the Modi govt walked the talk on reviving public investments?

Soon after the Narendra Modi-led government assumed office, key officials began stressing the role of public spending on capex to revive investments and growth. Halfway into the government’s term in office, talk of such spending still dominates news but data on actual spending suggest that the government has failed to raise the level of public investments significantly over the past few years. Read more on Livemint.

Kyoto Protocol: Cabinet approves ratification of second commitment period

The Union cabinet approved ratification of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of green house gases (GHGs). The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 2012. So far, 75 countries have ratified the second commitment period. Read more.

Jaitley may deny railways’ social obligation costs relief demand in budget

Indian Railways’ demand to be relieved of its social obligation costs may come a cropper when Union finance minister Arun Jaitley presents the annual budget on 1 February. The cash-strapped railways has been requesting the finance ministry to relieve the national carrier of its social obligation costs such as discounted fares for senior citizens, sportspersons, cancer patients among others amounting to around Rs1,600 crore annually. Here’s more about this topic.

UP, Bihar sending more migrant labourers to Gulf than Kerala, Tamil Nadu

Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar are sending more migrant labourers abroad mainly to the Gulf countries presently than Kerala and Tamil Nadu, says data available with the Protectorate General of Emigrants (PoE), reversing trends seen in the decades earlier. According to the PoE, the top preferred destinations for these migrants are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait, despite employment options shrinking in recent years thanks to a slump in oil prices. Read more.

Why Trump’s withdrawal from Trans-Pacific trade deal is a boon for China

President Donald Trump’s formal withdrawal from a long-planned trade deal with Pacific Rim nations creates a political and economic vacuum that China is eager to fill, offering a boost for beleaguered US manufacturing regions while damaging American prestige in Asia, argues this oped from Livemint.

A case study of how Iceland curbed alcohol consumption, smoking and use of drugs amongst its young population and what others could try to replicate. Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent.

The way the country has achieved this turnaround has been both radical and evidence-based, but it has relied a lot on what might be termed enforced common sense. Read the case.

Compiled by Archit Puri

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