How to make your tweet credible

Jan 28, 2017 0

New York–An India-origin researcher has put together a system that would help analyse whether your tweet is credible or not, a report said.

A team led by Georgia Tech Ph.D. candidate Tanushree Mitra scanned 66 million tweets linked to nearly 1,400 real-world events to build a language model that identified words and phrases that lead to strong or weak perceived levels of credibility on Twitter.

“There have been many studies about social media credibility in recent years but very little is known about what types of words or phrases create credibility perceptions during rapidly unfolding events,” Mitra said in a statement.

The team looked at tweets surrounding events in 2014 and 2015, including the emergence of Ebola in West Africa, the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris and the death of Eric Garner in New York City.

The team asked people to judge the posts on their credibility — from “certainly accurate” to “certainly inaccurate” — and then fed the words into a model that split them into 15 different linguistic categories.

The Georgia Tech computer then examined the words to judge if the tweets were credible or not.

It matched the humans’ opinions about 68 per cent of the time. That’s significantly higher than the random baseline of 25 per cent, the research said.

“Tweets with booster words, such as ‘undeniable,’ and positive emotion terms, such as ‘eager’ and ‘terrific,’ were viewed as highly credible,” Mitra said.

“Words indicating positive sentiment but mocking the impracticality of the event, such as ‘ha,’ ‘grins’ or ‘joking,’ were seen as less credible. So were hedge words, including ‘certain level’ and ‘suspects,'” she added.

Higher numbers of retweets also correlated with lower credibility scores. Replies and retweets with longer message lengths were thought to be more credible.

“It could be that longer message lengths provide more information or reasoning, so they’re viewed as more trustworthy,” she said.

“On the other hand, a higher number of retweets, which was scored lower on credibility, might represent an attempt to elicit collective reasoning during times of crisis or uncertainty,” she added.

The system, when deployed, could eventually become an app that displays the perceived trustworthiness of an event as it unfolds on social media. (IANS)

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Gold prices drop for the first time in 2017

Jan 27, 2017 0

New Delhi–Gold prices in Indian markets fell for the first time this year on Friday.

The price of the yellow metal of 24 carat purity was hovering around Rs 29,000 per 10 grams on Friday as against the previous Rs 29,400.

“Actually the price started falling in the global markets yesterday (Thursday) but Indian markets were closed (due to the Republic Day holiday). On Friday the price dropped for the first time in this year,” Bachhraj Bamalwa, Director, emichand Bamalwa & Sons told IANS.

He said the prices went up by 6-7 per cent in January as investors started buying the yellow metal speculating equity markets would drop following US President Donald Trump’s inauguration speech.

“But it was all speculative buying. There was nothing significant in the speech which could jeopardise the equity market. The equity markets all over the world reacted positively following his speech,” Bamalwa said.

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Delegates from 51 countries to attend Partnership Summit in Vizag

Jan 25, 2017 0

Visakhapatnam–Over 2,000 delegates from 51 countries will attend business chamber CII’s Partnership Summit, beginning here on Friday.

Senior officials from both the Central and state governments as well as a galaxy of leading industrialists will attend the two-day event with the theme ‘Partnerships for shared new realities’.

The summit is the annual flagship event of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and is organised in association with the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry and the Andhra Pradesh government.

The Partnership Summit 2017 is a unique platform that would enable close examination of the partnerships and synergies that will spark the next phase of global growth and develop strong multi-country linkages and networks to assist the transformation of the global economy, CII said in a statement.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will address the inaugural session.

India’s sunrise state Andhra Pradesh will be using the platform to attract investment as the state government is expected to sign MoUs with various companies.

Andhra Pradesh is a gateway to growing markets and promising opportunities. It is endowed with rich natural resources and mineral wealth and boasts of the second longest coastline in the country, said CII.

With visionary political leadership, strong government mandate and proactive administration, the state has mapped its 2029 vision blueprint with a global outlook and a target to be amongst the best three states in India by 2022, the business chamber said, adding that the state’sgrowth trajectory has been on the rise, making it the fastest-growing state in India with 10.99 per cent GSDP growth in 2015-16.

Some of the overseas dignitaries addressing the Summit include Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Nepal’s Commerce Minister Romi Gauchan Thakali, Ukraine’s First Vice Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv, United Arab Emirates’ Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Zambia’s Commerce Minister Margaret Mhango Mwanakatwe, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister for Industry and Commerce C.I. Mabuwa and Sudan’s Minister of Trade Salah Mohamed El Hassan Mohamed Saeed. (IANS)

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US stocks end at record highs at above 20,000 milestone

Jan 25, 2017 0

New York– US stocks extend gains with the Dow closing above the 20,000 milestone for the first time ever, as investors digested a batch of generally positive corporate earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday rose 155.80 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 20,068.51, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 added 18.30 points, or 0.80 per cent, to 2,298.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 55.38 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 5,656.34.

Before Wednesday’s opening bell, the Boeing Company announced fourth-quarter revenue of $23.3 billion, with GAAP earnings per share of $2.59 and core earnings per share (non-GAAP) of $2.47 dollars, reflecting overall solid execution on production programs and services.

Shares of the aircraft maker surged 4.24 per cent to $167.36 apiece on Wednesday following the release of the company’s strong quarterly results.

United Technologies, another Dow component, also posted quarterly profit and revenue on Wednesday that roughly in line with Wall Street expectations. Its shares fell 0.58 per cent to $110.96 apiece.

The latest data from Thomson Reuters showed that the S&P 500 companies’ blended earnings in the fourth quarter of 2016 are expected to rise 6.8 per cent year on year, while the revenues are forecast to increase 4.1 per cent.

Some analysts believed that US President Donald Trump’s new executive orders also boosted bullish sentiment on the Wall Street.

US stocks posted solid gains after Trump won the presidency election as investors bet that he would pursue massive corporate tax cuts, deregulation, and infrastructure spending.

Dow closed above 19,000 for the first time ever on November 22 and has increased about 9 per cent since the November 8 Election Day. (IANS)

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Don’t think Trump can change US economy much

Jan 21, 2017 0

By Vikas Datta

Jaipur–New US President Donald Trump is certain to move the American economy towards protectionism but it is a moot point how much he will be able to reshape it given existing international commitments and institutional constraints, says leading South Korean development economist Ha-Joon Chang.

“He (Trump) will push the US economy to some form of protectionism. But I really wonder how much he can change.”

“There is more rhetoric than substance to Trump’s words… The US, under Trump, cannot break its existing obligations. He is authoritarian but he is not someone like (South Korean dictator) Gen Park and there are institutional constraints in the US,” Chang, a reader in the Political Economy of Development at Cambridge, told IANS on the sidelines of the Jaipur Literature Festival here on Saturday.

South Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang at the Jaipur Literature Festival

“The US is a member of the World Trade Organisation, has free trade agreements with Mexico, Canada, South Korea and Australia and cannot renege on or break its obligations

“Even renegotiating the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Area) will take two to three years at least. And what if he is only a one term President. Even if he is re-elected, it will be difficult to do all he has said,” he said.

“If he raises tariffs, the American corporations will be up in arms. 35 per cent tariffs will mean that Nike shoes and I-phones will be costlier by 35 per cent. He can’t do it,” said Chang.

He noted that Trump has some plans to reshape the US Constitution but said this will also take time and the way it is framed, there will be obstacles at every point, though Trump also enjoys a Congressional majority which makes him the strongest President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Trump’s “barks are louder than his bites,” quipped Chang. (IANS)

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Microsoft’s Satya Nadella not nervous of Trump

Jan 17, 2017 0

Washington–US President-elect Donald Trump does not make India-born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella nervous, and he is confident about the tech giant’s place as a job creator.

“We’re a US-based company that operates worldwide and our predominant employment is in the United States,” Indian-American Nadella told CNNTech at the Digital Life Design tech conference in Munich on Monday.

“We’ve already created a tremendous amount of high-paying jobs in the US.”

Satya Nadella

Microsoft employs over 113,000 people worldwide, more than 64,000 of whom are in the US, mainly in Washington state, according to the company.

But Nadella said Trump’s ascent to become the President has not changed the roadmap much for Microsoft.

“If anything, we’ll double down on what we’ve always done, which is be a US company that operates in the United States very responsibly, but also being a multinational company that contributes into every country that we work in.”

In the wake of Trump’s win in the November 8 election, companies are eager to play up the number of Americans they employ, CNN reported.

Companies like Amazon have made very public announcements about the jobs they expect to add, with messaging that seems to be in direct response to the real-estate magnate’s win.

Last month, the President-elect met with Nadella and 12 other technology titans in a bid to heal rifts and get them on board with his programme of creating more jobs and increasing investments in the US.

Trump, who had slammed the technology sector during his campaign for exporting jobs and manufacturing overseas, hailed them as an “amazing group of people”, and promised them, “I am here to help you folks do well”.

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SC seeks Mallya’s response on banks plea on transfer of $40 million to his children

Jan 11, 2017 0

New Delhi–The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya to respond to the allegation by a consortium of banks led by the SBI that he had transferred $40 million to his children in violation of the orders by the Debt Recovery Tribunal and the Karnataka High Court.

The bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice A.M.Khanwilkar sought response from Mallya after senior counsel Shyam Divan told the court of the development.

Vijay Mallya (Photo: Twitter)

Divan told the court that Mallya has to pay Rs 9,000 crore to the consortium of 13 banks, led by the State Bank of India, that were loaned to his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and instead of repaying the money, Mallya transferred it to his children.

Mallya had received $40 million as part of a $75 million settlement with Diageo to step down as Chairman of the Diageo-controlled United Spirits.

Divan argued that $40 million should have come to banks.

Asking Mallya to file a response, the court fixed the next hearing on February 2.

In the course of the last hearings of the matter on October 25, the top court had lashed out on Mallya for failing to make full disclosure of his assets including the details of the $40 million he got in February 2016 from British liquor major Diageo.

Observing that “We are not happy the way disclosure was made,” the court had said it was “prima facie of the view that Vijay Mallya has not made proper disclosure in terms of the order of April 7, 2016”.

Besides SBI, other banks on the consortium are the State Bank of Baroda, State Bank of Mysore, Axis Bank, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, UCO Bank and United Bank of India. (IANS)

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Air India seeks explanation from FlightStats

Jan 10, 2017 0

New Delhi– National passenger carrier Air India on Tuesday sought explanation from data services company FlightStats for its report that ranked Air India as the third worst global performer in terms of on-time operations in 2016.

In a letter to FlightStats, Air India contested the data, calling it “unconfirmed information” which was directed at misleading customers.

“The data published in your report is based on unconfirmed information and is directed at misleading the customers and audience at large,” the letter read.

“The report clearly targets Air India and its image. The report has been made public at a time when Air India has just announced major expansion plans by way of induction of fleet and commencement of new international and domestic stations.”

“And, this also leads one to speculate of the intentions behind the entire exercise. Air India will take very strong action and leave no stone unturned to ascertain and bring to light any biased or malicious intent to spoil Air India’s image.”

The development comes a day after an international media reported that Air India has been ranked the third worst airline in the world in terms of its on-time performance during 2016.

According to the letter, Air India ranks among the top 10 carriers in terms of on-time performance amongst the airlines in the prestigious Star Alliance consortium.

“Air India had a consistent good record for the last two years of having clocked an OTP (On Time Performance) of over 78 per cent on its domestic and international network,” the letter said.

“The OTP of Air India ranks at par with its competitors in the domestic sector taking into consideration the fact that Air India operates to every corner of India where there are several infrastructural constraints like sunset limitations and weather conditions affecting schedules.”

“On international sectors, too, Air India’s OTP can no way be termed poor going by the sheer volume of its operations to most international stations.”

In contrast, low-cost carrier IndiGo on Monday reported that it has been recognised as one of the leading “On-Time Performers” in the Asia-Pacific region by FlightStats in its 8th Annual Airline On-Time Performance Service Awards, January 2017.

IndiGo was recognised among major carriers including Japan Airlines, Virgin Australia, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Jetstar and Jet Airways (India).

The data services company’s website describe its role: “As a leader in flight data services FlightStats, part of FlightGlobal, is in a unique position to be able to provide an in-depth view into how airlines are performing globally.”

“For the past eight years we have been recognizing airlines with our On-time Performance Services (OPS) Awards acknowledging the ‘Best of the Best’.”

The website elaborated that FlightStats OPS Awards recognises airlines around the world that deliver the highest percentage of flights to their arrival gates within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.(IANS)

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S4 Inc. Captures Enterprise IT Management Contract, Ceiling Value of $99 Million

Jan 5, 2017 0

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – S4 Inc. has been awarded a prime contract to provide Information Technology Service Management to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Northern Command (NORAD and USNORTHCOM) at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, the company said in a statement.

“We are excited to continue our support to NORAD and USNORTHCOM,” said Chandu Shah, President and CEO of S4 Inc. “Our team understands the N&NC mission and is committed to ensuring that it is absolutely fulfilled.”

Chandu Shah

Bedford, MA-headquartered S4 is founded by Shah and co-founded by his wife, Eshani Shah.

“Many large Aerospace-Defense companies wanting to partner with S4 is the new beginning for our company,” said Eshani, who also serves as director of quality control at S4.

This five-year IDIQ contract is referred to as N2ITSM with places of performance including continental United State (CONUS) as well as Bahamas and Mexico (OCONUS). The ceiling value of the contract is $99 million.

The N2ITSM contract allows S4 Inc. and its team to provide information technology service management including classified and unclassified data, voice, and video networks.

S4 brings over fifteen years of experience providing innovative and responsive IT solutions to US Government and Department of Defense (DoD) customers to this effort.

“This is a great opportunity for S4 and compliments our already outstanding support to N&NC,” said Jay Davis, Vice President at S4 Inc.

Eshani Shah

S4 Inc. is a professional services firm specializing in Enterprise Information Technology (IT) Solutions; Advisory & Assistance Services (A&AS); and cyber security. S4 delivers mission critical support to such organizations as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Defense (DoD), the US Government, and subordinate agencies and commands.

Headquartered in Bedford, MA, S4 has offices in Colorado Springs, CO, Dayton, OH, Huntsville, AL, and Omaha, NE, as well as project sites across the United States. S4 Inc. is a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) and holds an ISO 9001certification, as well as a CMMI-SVC Maturity Level 2 rating.

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Helping build brands in the digital space, the Google way

Dec 22, 2016 0

By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai– As the threat looms of Gen Next terming existing brands as their “parents’ brand” and seeking newer alternatives, older brands are increasingly seeking to reinforce and reinvent themselves in the digital space to remain alive, a senior official of Google Inc said.

“With eight Google products having around one billion users per month, we help companies build their brands in the digital space,” Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist, Brand Marketing, told IANS here.

Kallayil said his job does not involve building/promoting Google or its other products, but helping other companies build their brands in the digital space using his company’s products.

The yoga guru at Google and the author of “The Internet to the Inner-neta”, Kallayil would easily pass as a movie industry personality with his jazzy shoes, designer socks, bright red pants, black shirt and black coat, and few would believe he is a corporate executive — and that too someone originally from Kerala.

“India is a land of colours. So I decided to wear clothes that are bright coloured. Also, working in Google one need not be very formally dressed,” said Kallayil, who was here to speak at a seminar on “Reaching Out to the Mobile Indian” organised by the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta Alumni Association, Chennai chapter.

Speaking on the trends in advertising on the internet, Kallayil said there will be more video advertisements in future, but said they would not be intrusive and cited You Tube spots that give the option to skip the ad in four seconds. It should also be noted that most TV commercials are for five seconds.

“The major trend is the increase in mobile phones, online videos and the use of artificial intelligence,” he said.

According to Kallayil, by studying what is being searched online and what is trending, one can provide corporates with data that would help them come out with appropriate products and citied how a cosmetics company came out with its product for ombre hair colouring.

Kallayil sees huge potential in India as the country’s internet population is soon expected to overtake that of the US.

He said the company is developing a product for the Indian market that is simple but declined to reveal details.

According to him, the digital space or the internet is a great leveller as it offers even a small company in an Indian village an opportunity to market its product globally.

“Small Indian companies can not only market their products to the Indian diaspora overseas but also to an entirely new market segment if targeted properly. That is where we come in,” Kallayil said.

“The cost could be even be as low as zero,” he added.

He said on digital space advertisements can not only be targeted but also appropriately timed whereas this is not the case for television or other media.

On what drives innovation at Google, he said nine core principles are distilled from the experiences gained over the last 18 years.

He said the first principle is that innovation comes from anywhere and Google does not have a Chief Innovation Officer like some companies.

The freedom given to employees does wonders. If an idea is backed up by convincing data then the green signal is given, he said. Focusing on the user is an obsession at Google, he added.

The other principles are Think 10X (making a product 10 times better); Radical solution bordering lunacy; Betting on technical insights; Launch and iterate; 20 per cent time (Employees are free to use 20 per cent of their working time to think about innovative ideas); Having a mission that matters; Fail well and Default to open (open to collaborate with others). (IANS)

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