IndUS Business Journal

Apple building team to develop own health chips

Aug 15, 2018 0

San Francisco– Apple is building a team and also working on a dedicated custom health chip that would help it process biometric data from its suite of devices, the company’s recent job listings have revealed.

“Apple has a team exploring a custom processor that can make better sense of health information coming off sensors from deep inside its devices, job listings show,” CNBC reported on Tuesday

The Cupertino-based company currently designs custom chips for its iPhone and is reportedly going to switch to custom processors for its Mac line-up of computers by as early as 2020.

“A July 10 job posting from Apple’s Health Sensing hardware team says: We are looking for sensor ASIC architects to help develop ASICs for new sensors and sensing systems for future Apple products. We have openings for analog as well as digital ASIC architects,” the report added.

However, it is not clear what the sensors would measure, but it is most likely to be some information from the body.

Apple has been interested in healthcare market in general and currently, its Apple Watches come with optical sensors that can measure heart rate.

The iPhone also features health-monitoring features and the company’s areas of interest include exercise, cardiac health, and sleep quality through its acquisition of the health monitor Beddit.(IANS)

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Tips for restarting your career after a long sabbatical

Aug 15, 2018 0

By Arshan Vakil and Neha Bagaria

Sabbaticals are still viewed with scepticism and fear, though their purpose is to either take some time off to rest and relax or have a chance to step back from work and focus on personal enrichment and professional development. Whether the sabbatical is for a few weeks or a year, employees aim to return to work with more focus and energy.

Here are some effective tips to kick-start your second innings.

* Stay informed: Industry keeps evolving. Taking a sabbatical increases your chances of getting cut off from happenings in the industry. In case you aim to get started from where you left off in your professional journey, ensure your foundation is solid and can withstand unexpected changes. Come back with updated knowledge and skills.

* The value of networking: There is unanimous agreement among researchers that building and nurturing relationships with current and former people in the industry provides a strong medium to building a vibrant career and acts like a cushion for unplanned things.

* Speak up: After a break, some people do experience a natural reticence while speaking in group sessions and team meetings. It’s okay to keep quiet but withholding a helpful comment or pertinent questions won’t do any good.

* Reasons to decide if it is time to hang on or move on: In a study on women returners by PWC, three in five professional women returning to the workforce are likely to experience an immediate earnings reduction of up to a third or likely to move into lower skilled or lower paid roles. Though it might be tempting to quit an unsatisfying job, there are several reasons to pause before submitting a resignation. One of the crucial reasons would be having higher self-confidence or having a better bargaining position as a job seeker if you are presently employed elsewhere.

* Exploring Opportunities: A gap in the resume does not look good, but trying to cover it up makes it worse. Align your social and professional networks with your resume as recruiters often check your digital footprint. Ensure your resume is created as per the trending format and is updated. Face the interview with the right attitude. Have a legit reason explaining your decision to go on a sabbatical and rejoining the work now. (IANS)

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Microsoft ‘Your Phone’ Android app available to Windows 10 users

Aug 15, 2018 0

San Francisco– Microsoft’s “Your Phone” application, which provides a seamless experience between users’ smartphones and their PCs, is now available for mainstream Windows 10 users, at least the 1803 “Spring Creators Update” built in the US, the media reported.

The app will allow users to make calls, send and receive SMSs and manage their photo library.

Users can download the “My Phone” app for Windows 10 from the Microsoft Store and subsequently connect their smartphones to it.

“Microsoft hasn’t publicised availability of ‘Your Phone’ to non-Insiders as of August 14. But I — along with a number of other Android phone users who are not running an Insider preview of Windows 10 on their PCs — were able to get the app to work after seeing a post about its availability,” ZDNet reported on Tuesday.

“Your Phone” app is designed to allow Android and iOS devices to more tightly synchronise with Windows 10 computers.

The tech giant had been testing “Your Phone” app as part of the company’s upcoming Redstone 5 update for Windows 10, but it now appears it will be made broadly available without the requirement for a future update, according to The Verge. (IANS)

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India now world’s sixth largest economy: Modi

Aug 15, 2018 0

New Delhi– India is celebrating its 72nd Independence Day amid positivity and confidence stemming from its robust economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday.

“India has registered its name as the sixth largest economy in the world. It has created positivity. We are celebrating the festival of freedom in such a positive atmosphere,” Modi said in his last Independence Day speech before the 2019 elections.

“The country is brimming with self-confidence and is regularly crossing new heights.”

Modi began his fifth speech from the Red Fort by talking about how his government had been working for the upliftment of Dalits and backward sections.

He said the government, at the recently concluded monsoon session of parliament, gave constitutional status to the OBC and SC-ST Commission to protect the rights of the underprivileged.

“The session was devoted to social justice. The session witnessed the passage of the bill to create an OBC Commission. Dalits, women and other weaker sections of the society have been empowered,” he said. (IANS)

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Forex reserves comfortable to counter rupee fall: Jaitley

Aug 15, 2018 0

New Delhi– A day after the rupee fell to its record low, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that India holds sufficient foreign exchange reserves to mitigate any undue volatility in the foreign exchange market.

Geo-political pressures, along with outflows of foreign funds and high crude oil prices dragged the Indian rupee to its lowest ever intra-day level of over 70 against the US dollar on Tuesday when it plunged to 70.08 — the lowest ever — against the greenback.

Arun Jaitley

However, intervention by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and stabilisation in the global currency markets pared the rupee’s early fall.

At the end of the intra-bank trade session on Tuesday, the Indian rupee strengthened by four paise at 69.90 against the dollar, compared to Monday’s close of 69.94 per greenback.

“India’s foreign exchange reserves are comfortable by global standards and sufficient to mitigate any undue volatility in the foreign exchange market,” Jaitley tweeted.

“However, India’s macro fundamentals remain resilient and strong. The developments are being monitored closely to address any situation that may arise in the context of the unsettled international environment,” he said in another tweet.

“Recent developments relating to Turkey have generated global risk aversion towards emerging market currencies and the strengthening of the dollar.

“The developments are being monitored closely to address any situation that may arise in the context of the unsettled international environment,” Jaitley, who is currently convalescing, said in a separate tweet.

According to analysts, the rupee’s swift move past 69 happened due to foreign institutional investor outflows and the impact of global sentiment.

“On a medium term basis, the rupee will need to depreciate further to keep up with the inflation differentials with other trading partners. However there could be a minor reversal of this depreciation on a short term basis when the global situation stabilises,” said ICICI Bank Global Markets Head B. Prasanna.

“Since currencies of emerging and developed markets are falling, the RBI is not intervening aggressively in the market. It is intervening selectively to contain volatility,” said Rushabh Maru, Research Analyst, Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers. (IANS)

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In retaliation, Turkey raises tariffs on US imports

Aug 15, 2018 0

Ankara– Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree to raise tariffs on certain US imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco, an official report said on Wednesday.

According to the decree published in the official gazette, Turkey raised the tariffs on passenger cars to 120 per cent, on alcoholic drinks to 140 per cent and on leaf tobacco to 60 per cent. Duties on cosmetics, rice and coal were also increased.

The move was a response to Washington’s “economic attack” on Turkey, the country’s Vice President Fuat Oktay tweeted.

The US doubled tariffs on steel and aluminium imports last week over Turkey’s refusal to extradite American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in the country nearly two years ago over terrorism allegations.

The impasse led to the depreciation of the Turkish lira, which lost 25 per cent of its value in August and impacted on other countries’ currencies as well, including the Indian rupee, as investors feared the lira’s wobbles could spread to developing nations.

Explaining the new tariffs, Oktay said the rises were ordered “within the framework of reciprocity in retaliation for the conscious attacks on our economy by the US administration”.

Turkey previously said it would boycott US electronic products.

Erdogan accused the US of trying to “bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor”. But the US insists that Brunson, a long-time Turkish resident who ran the tiny Izmir Resurrection Church, was “a victim of unfair and unjust detention”.

He also said that Turkey was taking measures to stabilize the economy and should not “give in to the enemy” by investing in foreign currencies.

Since January, the Turkish lira has lost more than 34 per cent of its value against the dollar, pushing up the price of everyday items. (IANS)

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Tinder co-founders sue parent companies for $2 bn

Aug 15, 2018 0

San Francisco– Dating app Tinder’s co-founders and former employees are suing parent companies Match Group and IAC for $2 billion in damages for allegedly manipulating financial information in order to reduce the platform’s valuation and taking away employees’ stock options.

“Through deception, bullying and outright lies, IAC/Match stole billions of dollars from the Tinder employees, who include founders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen, and three current senior executives,” said a statement issued by the co-founders late on Tuesday.

The lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court, added there were written contracts between IAC and the employees for Tinder to be valued on dates in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021 when they would be given the chance to exercise stock options and sell them to IAC or Match Group.

“IAC/Match manufactured a fake Tinder valuation of $3 billion — the very same valuation they had assigned to Tinder two years earlier, despite its revenues having grown 600 per cent and user base grown 50 per cent.

“Only hours later, IAC/Match secretly merged Tinder out of corporate existence and into Match Group — diluting Tinder into a stagnant holding company,” the statement added.

Tinder is one of Match Group’s biggest and most profitable brands, which includes features such as “Tinder Gold” and other in-app purchases that led the platform to be the top-grossing iOS app in September 2017, according to The Verge.  (IANS)

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Rupee devalues to record low of 70 to a USD; recovers

Aug 15, 2018 0

Mumbai– Geo-political pressures, along with outflows of foreign funds and high crude oil prices dragged the Indian rupee to its lowest ever intra-day level of over 70 against a US dollar on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, the Indian currency plunged to 70.08 — the lowest ever — against the greenback.

However, a likely intervention by the Reserve Bank of India and stabilisation in the global currency markets pared the rupee’s early fall.

At the end of the intra-bank trade session on Tuesday, the Indian rupee strengthened by four paise at 69.90 against the dollar, compared to Monday’s close of 69.94 per greenback.

“A near 4 per cent intra-day rebound in the Turkish Lira, on the back of talks between NSA from USA and Turkish Ambassador to US, was not enough to prevent the rupee from sliding past 70 handle against the greenback,” said Anindya Banerjee, Deputy Vice President for Currency and Interest Rates with Kotak Securities.

“RBI intervention has kept the pair below 70 since then on spot. However, demand from offshore speculators and also demand from importers have not allowed the rupee to appreciate.”

Banerjee pointed out the trend in USD/INR for the rest of the week will be dictated by the trend in greenback against major currencies like Euro and GBP.

Recent US-imposed sanctions and tariffs on Turkey has had an impact on its and other emerging market currencies over fears of further global protectionist measures.

“Since currencies of emerging and developed markets are falling, the RBI is not intervening aggressively in the market. It is intervening selectively to contain volatility,” Rushabh Maru, Research Analyst, Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers, told IANS.

“Since 70 level has been breached today we may see importers rushing to buy dollars on every dip in the USD/INR. On the other hand exporters may avoid selling dollars at current levels as the rupee is depreciating sharply.”

Apart from global cues, outflow of foreign funds from the Indian equity and bond markets has had an adverse impact on the rupee.

Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 378.84 crore.

“The swift move past 69 happened due to Foreign Institution Investor (FII) outflows and the need to hedge existing short dollar positions in the market, driven by global market sentiment rather than actual importer demand,” said B. Prasanna, Group Executive and Head for Global Markets Group, ICICI Bank.

“On a medium term basis, the rupee will need to depreciate further to keep up with the inflation differentials with other trading partners. However there could be a minor reversal of this depreciation on a short term basis when the global situation stabilises.” (IANS)

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Modi showcases economic achievements in I-Day address

Aug 15, 2018 0

New Delhi– Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday avoided major economic announcements in his last Independence Day address before the next Lok Sabha elections and instead highlighted his government’s achievements, citing GST as the centrepiece and the commendations from multilateral agencies on the reform measures.

He said his government will not relent on its unwavering commitment to weeding out corruption and black money.

Narendra Modi (Photo: Twitter)

“India has registered its name as the sixth largest economy in the world. It has created positivity. We are celebrating the festival of freedom in such a positive atmosphere,” Modi said.

“Before 2013, institutions and economists across the world used to refer to India as a risky economy, but today the same institutions and individuals are saying with confidence that reforms have given India a new momentum and strong fundamentals.”

While the country was earlier counted among the fragile five economies of the world, “today India is considered a multi-trillion dollar destination for investment,” Modi said.

“They say the sleeping elephant has woken up and started walking. For the next three decades, India is going to guide and speed up the world economy.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said last week that India’a near-term macroeconomic outlook is “broadly favorable” and that the country is on course to hold its position as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. IMF mission chief for India Ranil Salgado said the Indian economy is like “an elephant starting to run”.

Targeting the Congress-led UPA without naming it, Modi said if his government had worked with the speed followed in 2013, it would have taken a century in making India open defecation free or electrifying every part or even providing LPG connection to every woman.

“The demand for higher MSP (minimum support price) was pending for years. From farmers to political parties to agriculture experts, everybody was asking about it but nothing happened. The decision was taken by our government to provide the MSP of 1.5 times of production cost,” The Prime Minister said.

He talked about the Goods and Services Tax (GST), saying it had given a new confidence to small and big traders who “wholeheartedly embraced” the new tax regime despite facing “initial problems”.

“From 70 lakh indirect tax payers after 70 years of Independence, within a year of GST implementation this number has gone up to 1.16 crore,” Modi said.

He said the various initiatives to plug leakages in government subsidy distribution had benefited the exchequer to the tune of Rs 90,000 crore.

“We will not spare people who generate illicit income and black money. As many as 3 lakh shell and suspicious companies have been closed and their directors blacklisted by my government,” he added.

Pointing to the government’s inclusive programmes, Modi noted that under the Mudra loan scheme for disadvantaged sections, including women, as many as 13 crore loans had been disbursed, of which 4 crore people were first-time loan takers. (IANS)

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Lower food prices cool India’s July wholesale inflation to 5.09%

Aug 15, 2018 0

New Delhi– Lower prices of food items and primary goods decelerated rise in India’s annual inflation rate based on wholesale prices to 5.09 per cent in July from 5.77 per cent in June, official data showed on Tuesday, a day after retail inflation for July too softened to 4.17 per cent.

The data on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) furnished by the Commerce Ministry showed that the rate of inflation had increased to 1.88 per cent during the corresponding month in 2017.

“Build-up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 2.92 per cent compared with 0.62 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year,” the Ministry said in a statement here.

On a sequential basis, the expenses on primary articles, which constitute 22.62 per cent of the WPI’s total weightage, inched up by 1.73 per cent, from an increase of 5.30 per cent in June 2018.

Similarly, the prices of food articles dipped. The category has a weightage of 15.26 per cent in the WPI index. It deflated by (-) 2.16 per cent from a rise of 1.80 per cent.

However, the cost of fuel and power category, which commands a 13.15 per cent weightage, increased at a faster pace of 18.10 per cent from a growth of 16.18 per cent.

In addition, expenses on manufactured products registered a rise of 4.26 per cent from 4.17 per cent.

On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, onion prices soared higher by 38.82 per cent and for potatoes by 74.28 per cent.

In contrast, the overall vegetable prices in July declined by 14.07 per cent, against a rise of 22.01 per cent in the same month a year ago.

Further, the data revealed that wheat became dearer by 6.31 per cent on a YoY basis while prices of pulses came down by 17.03 per cent, though paddy became expensive by 3.96 per cent.

The prices of protein-based food items such as eggs, meat and fish went up marginally by 0.87 per cent.

Fuel-wise, the price of high-speed diesel rose by 22.84 per cent on a YoY basis, petrol by 20.75 per cent and LPG by 31.68 per cent.

Lower food prices eased India’s July retail inflation to 4.17 per cent from 4.92 per cent in June even as it continued to rule over the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s medium-term inflation target of 4 per cent, official data showed.

Continuing with the reversal of accommodation begun in June, the RBI earlier this month again hiked its key lending rate by 25 basis points to bring its repo rate to 6.50 per cent citing upside risks to inflation.

Commenting on the wholesale price numbers, the Confederation of Indian Industry welcomed it as “very good news”.

“Having benefited from the decline in primary articles, particularly food prices, hopefully, this is the beginning of a downswing in prices. The moderation in both CPI (consumer price index) and WPI inflation should induce the RBI to resume the benign interest rate regime,” CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said in a statement. (IANS)

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