Google, Facebook dominated online ad revenue in Q3

Dec 12, 2017 0

New Delhi– Google and Facebook dominated the online advertising in the third quarter this year as global online advertising revenue growth reached a record 29.6 per cent, market research firm Forrester said on Tuesday.

Google was by far the biggest contributor to market growth, with an additional $4.2 billion in spending compared to a year ago — 40 per cent of the $10.5 billion growth in spending for 13 digital media companies.

Mark Zuckerberg

With year-over-year growth rate of 21.4 per cent, Google’s ad growth was the fastest in at least six quarters.

The Forrester’s Digital Marketing Tracker looked at 13 digital firms which included Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, together constituting more than 75 per cent of the online advertising market.

“At the moment, Google appears to be dealing just fine with challenges like the unintentional placement of YouTube advertisements next to questionable content and the encroachment of Amazon into eCommerce advertising,” the report added.

While Facebook had been predicting its ad revenue to decelerate in 2017, it actually saw strong growth of 48.8 per cent, which was in line with previous quarters and actually a slight acceleration from 46.9 per cent in Q2 2017.

China-based search engine Baidu suffered from the increased Chinese government regulation of healthcare-related ads on search platforms starting in May 2016, resulting in an average quarterly decline of 6.5 per cent.

However, it now appears to be on the path to rehabilitation, with growth of 22 per cent in Q3 2017 helped by “a recovery in search and strong news feed monetisation.”

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, continues to be a disappointment with only 0.5% of the global market, and its revenue is already decelerating sharply – down to 62.2 per cent after growing at an average of 329.9 per cent in the prior four quarters.

Despite the return of Jack Dorsey more than two years ago and the implementation of strategies for improving engagement, Twitter seems to be struggling to
hold its ground.

“Even with more video content, longer tweets, and improved monitoring, Twitter still experienced a 7.7 per cent decline in Q3 2017 – its fourth straight quarter of decline,” the report added. (IANS)

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Prof. Lalji Singh: A man of dreams, courage and commitment

Dec 11, 2017 0

By Dr. Moinak Banerjee with Dr. Satish Kumar

Prof. Lalji Singh, who died after suffering a massive heart attack late on Monday night, worked single-handedly, without mincing any words, to present his vision of Indian biological sciences.

He was a very straight-forward and to-the-point scientist, who would never gravitate to get his things done. Starting his career as a Group Leader at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, he subsequently went on to become its Director. During his time, CCMB rose beyond the dreams of its Founder Director, Dr. Pushpa Bhargava, who was instrumental in identifying this gem.

Prof. Lalji Singh’s work fetched him the very earnestly deserved title of Father of DNA Fingerprinting in India. Based on his translational work on DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, the government asked him to establish the Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) with a mandate of making it a nodal center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics for all species and several diseases. He wanted it to be a center for excellence as a part of CCMB but the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, was keen on converting it into an autonomous Institute.

When he took over as Director, CCMB in 1998, he single-mindedly transformed the scientific infrastructure and built several centers of excellence within CCMB, starting with the National Facility for Transgenic and Gene Knockout Mice and adding several other such major facilities.

To name a few, these were the Advanced Laboratory for Structural Biology research, a center for undertaking research aimed at conservation of endangered species (LACONES), BSL-II and BSL-III facilities for undertaking research on infectious diseases and a dedicated centre for translational research on regenerative medicine (CRF).

This was the real phase of CCMB’s diversification of activities not only in terms of creating infrastructure but in finding and persuading many outstanding investigators in these areas to join CCMB. Indeed, several of these colleagues have been contributing immensely to the cause of biology research in India.

Dr. Lalji Singh (Photo: DNA India)

These achievements and his credibility culminated in such heights that his alma mater, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) chose him to as its Vice Chancellor. The functioning of institutions and universities are diametrically opposite but here too, he was instrumental in taking several critical decisions in shaping a new future for BHU.

He was a man of very few words, but was always full of commitment and action. He defied all rules of remaining in power and thus never gravitated to anyone to remain at the top, either in his genre of science or administration. His scientific work of understanding the genetic structure of Indian human populations not only saw him writing some of the best research papers on the subject in the world but this researches will have implications for India’s future health policy.

He had one regret in his life — India could not participate in the International Human Genome Initiative thanks to unwise cynicism on the part of Indian scientific fraternity. True to his nature and like a real leader, he was not demoralised and went on to fulfill this dream by deviating into the Human Genome Diversity of Indian population.

His work led to many cover page articles in Nature. His presence and proximity was so infectious that he created a battalion of scientists who are capable of fulfilling his dreams to their logical conclusion. He instilled the enthusiasm and excitement in everyone who came in contact with him.

In addition to building institutions and capacities, he also conceptualised the Association of DNA Fingerprinting and Associated DNA Technologies (ADNAT) with the sole objective of imparting exhaustive hands-on-training, interacting with the best scientists in the world in the form of symposia and preparing quality control guidelines for emerging technologies.

Today, ADNAT symposia and workshops are one of the most sought after meetings by India’s younger scientists. Incidentally, ADNAT will, in 2018, celebrate its Silver Jubilee by organising an international symposium and multiple workshops in the country’s northeastern region.

Prof. Lalji was always attracted to his roots. He came from a small village, Kalwari in Jaunpur and rose to become one of the most illustrious scientists of India. His commitment helped him to conceptualise, the Genome Foundation with the objective of taking the most advanced technologies to rural India, where healthcare is barely available.

He was been very actively pursuing his initiatives with Genome Foundation and as late as on December 2, 2017 he was working with two of us to write grant applications on behalf of the Foundation since he could not be a Principal Investigator on the applications, having crossed 70 years of age. For all of us who knew him, age was just a number which has nothing to do with enthusiasm and dynamism. Lately, he was dreaming that all the genome research being supported by various agencies in India needed to come under one umbrella.

The CCMB, BHU, Genome Foundation, ADNAT and his extended family of researchers and scientists mourns the unfortunate early demise of Prof. Lalji Singh with utmost gratitude and humbleness. We pray to almighty for his peaceful heavenly abode. The ADNAT and the Genome Foundation, without Prof. Lalji Singh, are unimaginable but we pledge to fulfill his dreams.

Finally, at times, he would have appeared to some of the urban sophisticated lot a bit raw but that only reflected his rural upbringing, commitment to the cause, his uprightness and the courage to say things which needed to be said. (IANS)

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Opinion: Getting Legal Details Right is Key to Success for Indian Firms Entering US Market

Dec 9, 2017 0

By Manish Mehta

In 2008, as a junior associate at a large American law firm, I saw immense opportunity to help Indian pharmaceutical and technology companies as they expanded into the US market.

My firm’s executive committee, however, did not agree with me that the firm should devote resources to building client relationships in India. Perhaps it was my age—I was just 27 then—that provoked their skepticism. Or perhaps it was my own Indian-American heritage, a perspective not represented in the all-white leadership ranks that did not view India as having innovative potential.

Manish Mehta

But I knew these views were outdated, and I didn’t give up. I found a colleague who shared my enthusiasm for this venture, and we cobbled together a travel budget from a small discretionary fund, as well as money from our own pockets, to travel to India, meet with companies we thought we could help—many of whom had no idea who we were or why we were there—and convince them that skilled legal advising was the key to expanding their business in the United States.

Building relationships with these executives took time, but, ten years down the line, work with Indian companies makes up a significant portion of my legal practice.

Two important dynamics made this possible. First, the opportunities have expanded—and grown more sophisticated. For instance, a decade ago, Indian pharmaceutical companies worked primarily in production of generic drugs for the US market; now, these companies are heavily invested in research and development, and are bringing their own innovative drugs to market. Second, and equally important, I’m now a partner at a firm that sees the value of what’s being created in India today.

In the US, companies “retain” a lawyer to accomplish certain tasks on its behalf, and often that relationship can feel compartmentalized: the company receives the specific service it needs, and the lawyer sends the bill, with each phone call and email drawing a separate charge. But I have found that my work with Indian companies is most fruitful when we work as partners. This means listening—really listening—to the company’s goals, and identifying ways I can facilitate success across multiple aspects of their business. I’ve also learned that some of the standard practices of American law firms, such as inflexible hourly billing models, can get in the way of building the trust and credibility that is so essential to this partnership. Innovative solutions to stumbling blocks like these benefit both the companies and their legal advisors, and keep our goals aligned.

It goes without saying that business is conducted differently in India than in the United States. For instance, in India, many companies focus their energy on growth and can be reluctant to invest in legal services early on, before the company is well established. This is a sensible decision in a laissez faire environment, but in the US, companies face far greater legal accountability, and legal due diligence at the outset of any new or expanding venture is essential to navigating the American system properly and saving a great deal of money in the long run. Helping Indian companies understand the American climate is an important part of the work legal advisors provide.

I am proud of my Indian American heritage and thrilled to see the tremendous pool of technical and entrepreneurial talent India brings to the world economy.  What’s most gratifying to me is that I’ve been able to build a career with my American education that still keeps me connected to India. As a young lawyer, facing that skeptical leadership, I wasn’t sure this would be possible, but, in fact, being rooted in both places has been the key to my professional success so far—and to my clients’ as well.

(Manish Mehta is a partner at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP)

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HP Inc to sell 3D printers in India from early next year

Dec 8, 2017 0

New Delhi– After sensing tremendous opportunities in both commercial and industrial 3D printing in India, global PC and printer major HP Inc on Friday announced it would start selling its Next-Gen 3D printers in the country by early next year.


(Photo: IANS)

According to Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP Inc India, the company is in discussions with various industry stakeholders to help them begin 3D printing in the country.

“We will bring our 3D printers in next 2-3 months to India as part of our commitment to contribute to the India growth journey,” Chandra said during an interaction here.

With its Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D printing technology, HP plans to disrupt the $12 trillion global manufacturing market and hopes to push 3D printing’s prototyping into developing manufacturing components.

“Initially, the focus will be on sectors like automobile and health care in India but the opportunities are immense,” Chandra added.

Although in a nascent stage, the 3D or Additive Manufacturing (AM) is gradually taking shape in India.

In September, HP demonstrated the continued growth of customer demand of its Jet Fusion 3D Printing solutions in Asia Pacific and Japan, announcing the appointment of Metro Systems as the first reseller of its 3D printing solution in Thailand.

This expanded the commercial availability of HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution in Asia Pacific and Japan to Australia, Greater China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

With more than 500,000 high-quality, 3D-produced parts in the last year alone, HP’s Jet Fusion solutions lead the industry in speed, economics, quality and reliability.

According to HP CEO Dion Weisler, after producing plastic-based products, the company now aims to sell 3D printers that produce metal objects.

In 2016, HP Inc unveiled the world’s first production-ready commercial 3D printing system to bring disruptive manufacturing solutions to markets.

“The HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution will deliver superior-quality physical parts up to 10 times faster and at half the cost of current 3D print systems,” Chandra said.

The HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution offers simplified workflow and reduced cost for radical prototyping, delivery of final parts manufacturing with breakthrough economics.

In a bid to accelerate 3D printing for industrial production, HP Inc recently announced integration of its ‘Multi Jet Fusion’ 3D printer with Siemens’ Additive Manufacturing (AM) software module.

HP has also announced the expansion of its 3D-printing portfolio with “HP Multi Jet Fusion 4210 platform”.

When it comes to PCs, HP Inc maintained its leadership position in the overall traditional PC market in India with 31.1 per cent share in the third quarter this year.

HP Inc recorded a healthy 30.2 per cent growth (year-on-year) owing to a state-owned education project along with strong consumer demand, said global market research firm IDC.

“It’s a proud moment for HP to have consistently sustained market leadership in the personal computing industry. We are at an exciting juncture in our journey as we reinvent ourselves on the basis of design, innovation and customer value,” Chandra said.

“PCs are not going anywhere. Smartphones have their relevance but to generate content, people will have to come to PCs and laptops,” the top HP India executive said, adding that going forward, the company will plan more investments towards manufacturing in the country. (IANS)

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Try this! Researchers devise better recommendation algorithm

Dec 6, 2017 0

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The recommendation systems at websites such as Amazon and Netflix use a technique called “collaborative filtering.” To determine what products a given customer might like, they look for other customers who have assigned similar ratings to a similar range of products, and extrapolate from there.

The success of this approach depends vitally on the notion of similarity. Most recommendation systems use a measure called cosine similarity, which seems to work well in practice. Last year, at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, MIT researchers used a new theoretical framework to demonstrate why, indeed, cosine similarity yields such good results.

This week, at the same conference, they are reporting that they have used their framework to construct a new recommendation algorithm that should work better than those in use today, particularly when ratings data is “sparse” — that is, when there is little overlap between the products reviewed and the ratings assigned by different customers.

The algorithm’s basic strategy is simple: When trying to predict a customer’s rating of a product, use not only the ratings from people with similar tastes but also the ratings from people who are similar to those people, and so on.
The idea is intuitive, but in practice, everything again hinges on the specific measure of similarity.

Devavrat Shah

“If we’re really generous, everybody will effectively look like each other,” says Devavrat Shah, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and senior author on the paper. “On the other hand, if we’re really stringent, we’re back to effectively just looking at nearest neighbors. Or putting it another way, when you move from a friend’s preferences to a friend of a friend’s, what is the noise introduced in the process, and is there a right way to quantify that noise so that we balance the signal we gain with the noise we introduce? Because of our model, we knew exactly what is the right thing to do.”

All the angles

As it turns out, the right thing to do is to again use cosine similarity. Essentially, cosine similarity represents a customer’s preferences as a line in a very high-dimensional space and quantifies similarity as the angle between two lines.

Suppose, for instance, that you have two points in a Cartesian plane, the two-dimensional coordinate system familiar from high school algebra. If you connect the points to the origin — the point with coordinates (0, 0) — you define an angle, and its cosine can be calculated from the point coordinates themselves.
If a movie-streaming service has, say, 5,000 titles in its database, then the ratings that any given user has assigned some subset of them defines a single point in a 5,000-dimensional space. Cosine similarity measures the angle between any two sets of ratings in that space.

When data is sparse, however, there may be so little overlap between users’ ratings that cosine similarity is essentially meaningless. In that context, aggregating the data of many users becomes necessary.

The researchers’ analysis is theoretical, but here’s an example of how their algorithm might work in practice. For any given customer, it would select a small set — say, five — of those customers with the greatest cosine similarity and average their ratings. Then, for each of those customers, it would select five similar customers, average their ratings, and fold that average into the cumulative average. It would continue fanning out in this manner, building up an increasingly complete set of ratings, until it had enough data to make a reasonable estimate about the rating of the product of interest.

Filling in blanks

For Shah and his colleagues — first author Christina Lee PhD ’17, who is a postdoc at Microsoft Research, and two of her Microsoft colleagues, Christian Borgs and Jennifer Chayes — devising such an algorithm wasn’t the hard part. The challenge was proving that it would work well, and that’s what the paper concentrates on.

Imagine a huge 2-D grid that maps all of a movie-streaming service’s users against all its titles, with a number in each cell that corresponds to a movie that a given user has rated. Most users have rated only a handful of movies, so most of the grid is empty. The goal of a recommendation engine is to fill in the empty grid cells as accurately as possible.

Ordinarily, Shah says, a machine-learning system learns two things: the features of the data set that are useful for prediction, and the mathematical function that computes a prediction from those features. For purposes of predicting movie tastes, useful features might include a movie’s genre, its box office performance, the number of Oscar nominations it received, the historical box-office success of its leads, its distributor, or any number of other things.

Each of a movie-streaming service’s customers has his or her own value function: One might be inclined to rate a movie much more highly if it fits in the action genre and has a big budget; another might give a high rating to a movie that received numerous Oscar nominations and has a small, arty distributor.

Playing the odds

In the new analytic scheme, “You don’t learn features; you don’t learn functions,” Shah says. But the researchers do assume that each user’s value function stays the same: The relative weight that a user assigns to, say, genre and distributor doesn’t change. The researchers also assume that each user’s function is operating on the same set of movie features.

This, it turns out, provides enough consistency that it’s possible to draw statistical inferences about the likelihood that one user’s ratings will predict another’s.

“When we sample a movie, we don’t actually know what its feature is, so if we wanted to exactly predict the function, we wouldn’t be able to,” Lee says. “But if we just wanted to estimate the difference between users’ functions, we can compute that difference.”

Using their analytic framework, the researchers showed that, in cases of sparse data — which describes the situation of most online retailers — their “neighbor’s-neighbor” algorithm should yield more accurate predictions than any known algorithm.

Translating between this type of theoretical algorithmic analysis and working computer systems, however, often requires some innovative engineering, so the researchers’ next step is to try to apply their algorithm to real data.

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No problem cannot be solved if India, US work together: Obama

Dec 1, 2017 0

New Delhi– While hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his role in the Paris climate accord, former US President Barack Obama on Friday said that there is no problem that cannot be solved if India and the US work together.

“If India and the United States are working together, I believe there is no problem we cannot solve,” Obama said while addressing the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here.

Stating that both countries have much in common, he said: “That’s why I have always believed there is something more than the strength of the US-India alliance. I believe the partnership between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy is a defining partnership of the 21st century.”

He said that this partnership could chart the course for a better future at a time when democracy itself was being questioned.

“Globalisation, technical advances, terrorism, rising inequality, rapidly transforming climate, these have not only shaken the foundation of individual families but also our collective politics and our common institutions,” Obama stated.

He said that though the world today was less violent than most of human history, it was still being driven by old divisions, new conflicts and slaughter of innocent people.

He said that in these times of uncertainty, countries should shed the politics of “us versus them” and should instead embrace the commonalities that they share.

“Just look at how our two countries have succeeded having thrown off the yoke of colonialism, we crafted Constitutions that begin with the same three words – we the people,” Obama, the first US President to visit India twice while in office, said.

He said that the history together of India and the US speak through a common set of values – values of pluralism and tolerance, openness and rule of law, a liberal market-based economy that places the primacy of people’s individual rights, including the freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

“We have to promote these values everyday because there is a competing narrative. These values are often under attack and if we are not constantly reinforcing them and passing them on to the next generation, they can wither away,” he said.

Obama said that he and Modi met an unprecedented nine times because all the key challenges in the world would be easier to achieve if India continued to play a larger role not only in the Asia-Pacific region but on the world stage.

“Just as we have to work to continue to alleviate inequality in our own countries, we still need to do more work to close the gap between rich and poor nations and making sure that fragile states don’t collapse, making sure that countries where young people have no hope finally get some hope, ” he said, while listing out some suggestions.

“That’s not just the right thing to do, the charitable thing to do, it is in our self interest, it is the smart thing to do for long-term stability.”

The second point he made was that most of the challenges that the world was facing have to be worked together in a multi-lateral fashion

“As powerful as the United States or India is, it cannot solve any of these problems alone,” Obama said.

“I was very appreciative of the critical role that India played and Prime Minister Modi played in forging the Paris accord to fight climate change. That was not an easy thing to do politically but it was the right thing to do.”

Referring to US President Donald Trump pulling his country out of the Paris accord, he said that though “there has been a pause in the American leadership”, the good news was that states, companies, universities and cities in the US were continuing to work to ensure that the country lived up to the obligations that it had made to the agreement.

“Third, I would point out that diplomacy still matters and that although we have not seen great power contests as we saw in the 20th century , with rogue states like North Korea and their missile launches, with disinfection in places like the Middle East where terrorism is still a constant threat, we can’t just rely on our military and our weaponry to solve those problems,” Obama stated.

He said that he deeply believed “in the liberal international order that together we have forged” that was not based on military power or national affiliation, but was based on principles, rule of law, human rights and individual freedoms. (IANS)

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Google to mentor 4 new Indian startups

Dec 1, 2017 0

New Delhi– Google on Friday announced the four shortlisted Indian startups for its hands-on mentorship programme ‘Launchpad Accelerator’. With this batch, a total of 30 Indian startups have so far joined the class.

The shortlisted startups — BabyChakra, m.Paani, NIRAMAI and SocialCops — will join a group of startups shortlisted from all over the world at the Google Developers’ Launchpad Space in San Francisco in the US.

Class 5 of the mentorship will kick off on January 29 and will include two weeks of all-expenses paid training, as part of the the full six-month programme.

“These startups have been shortlisted based on their unique value proposition and use of latest technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence,” Roy Glasberg, Global Lead, Google Developers Launchpad, said in a statement.

BabyChakra is a trusted care companion to Indian parents, from pregnancy to parenting.

m.Paani powers real-time, direct to consumer engagement, marketing, loyalty and insights for mass market consumers and retailers.

NIRAMAI is a healthtech startup that has developed a novel breast cancer screening solution while SocialCops empowers organisations to make better decisions through data.

Launchpad Accelerator is Google’s six-month programme that includes an intensive two-week boot camp in San Francisco and mentoring from over 30 teams across Google and expert mentors from top technology companies in Silicon Valley and globally.(IANS)

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India will become $5 trillion economy before 2024: Mukesh Ambani

Dec 1, 2017 0

New Delhi– Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Friday said India will become a $5 trillion economy well before 2024.

Mukesh Ambani

“Thirteen years ago, when I spoke here, India was a $500 billion economy. And I said in 2004 that India would be an $5 trillion economy in 20 years. Today that prediction seems certain. Indeed, it will be achieved well before 2024,” Ambani said while addressing the HT Leadership Summit here.

He said: “Can we triple it to $7 trillion in the next 10 years and become the third largest economy in the world? Yes, we can. Can we cross the $10 trillion mark by 2030 and close the gap between India and China and India and USA? Yes, we can.”

He said energy and technology have been the key drivers of human progress.

“No country has ever emerged as a global power without embracing new technologies whole-heartedly… and without using new generation energy sources widely.”

Ambani said intelligent services were the next frontier of competitive differentiation and market leadership across industries.

“We are in the age of super-intelligence. What manufacturing was for China, super-intelligence will be for India. We have the opportunity to not only rapidly grow our own economy but also to be the provider of intelligent services to the rest of the world,” he added.

Saying that technology was a great leveller, he added: “It provides equal access to all without prejudice or judgment, benefiting only those who are best prepared.”

Ambani said India ranked first in the world in terms of mobile broadband penetration, consuming more mobile broadband data than users in the US and China.

“Just one year back, India was ranked 150th in the world for mobile broadband. Now it is number one, after the launch of Jio.

“Today, Indians consume more mobile broadband data than users in the US and China. If data is destiny, new India is well and truly ready for its new tryst with destiny,” he added. “In the coming years, we will see many such success stories from India.”

Even as Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have locked horns over several issues, Ambani on Friday said Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal was a friend and not a rival.

“Let me correct you. Sunil is a good friend and not a rival. I think what he said and what may have been interpreted may be different. But let me make my point of view clear. I think that for all of us in the industry, profits and losses are risks that we take. And I don’t think that we can rely on governments and regulators to guarantee our profits and losses,” Ambani said while replying to a question at the summit.

He was asked to respond to comments by Mittal recently that said Jio’s foray into Indian telecom market with its free voice and data offer had made incumbent players to write off investments of up to $50 billion.

“To me what is most important is, do we really move the country forward and does the consumer gain. And I think that the question that you should be thinking about is that even if there are profits and losses, who gains and who loses? And as long as the consumer gains and the country moves forward, it is worth taking those losses, right? Some of us are big boys, we can afford that,” Ambani added.(IANS)

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Ajaita Shah wins pitch competition at GES

Nov 30, 2017 0

Hyderabad– Ajaita Shah from India has been named the 2017 Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Catalyst pitch competition Grand Champion at Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).

The result was announced at closing plenary of the summit, which concluded here Thursday.

Her startup, Frontier Markets, is a last mile distribution solution for energy products with a focus on solar technology that empowers women. It gives women the tools they need to teach their communities about the benefits of solar power and sell solar products, said a statement.

As the Grand Champion, Shah will receive $50,000 in Amazon Web Services credits; a Dell laptop computer; admission to the 2018 Circular Summit from Alice; an exclusive virtual mentoring session with an Amazon Executive; $100,000 in Google Cloud credits; an interview for Inc. Magazine by Elizabeth Gore, Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Chairman of the Board of Alice; and admission to the 2018 Circular Board Accelerator cohort from Alice.

She will also be designated the Cognizant “Genesis Award” Winner and receive $2,000 in cash, courtesy of Cognizant.

Jainesha Sinha, founder of GyanDhan, from India; Fiona Edwards Murphy, founder of ApisProtect, from Ireland; and Vaishali Neotia, founder of Merxius Software, from India; all made to the finals for the GIST Catalyst pitch competition. As finalists, they will receive $10,000 in Amazon Web Services credits, a Dell laptop computer, a Circular Summit scholarship from Alice, and $100,000 in Google Cloud credits.

Molly Morse, founder of Mango Materials, from the US, received the Women First Award from Amazon Web Services. She will receive $50,000 in Amazon Web Services credits, an exclusive virtual mentoring session with an Amazon executive, and a Dell laptop computer.

Runner-ups will receive $5,000 in Amazon Web Services credits, $20,000 in Google Cloud credits and a Dell laptop computer. And each of the remaining semifinalists will receive $1,500 in Amazon Web Services credits. In total, GIST Catalyst semifinalists competed for over $400,000 in startup resources. (IANS)

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Facebook, Google join ‘The Trust Project’ to fight fake news

Nov 17, 2017 0

San Francisco– In their bid to fight fake news and help readers identify trustworthy news sources, Facebook, Google, Twitter and several media organisations have joined the non-partisan “The Trust Project”.

“The Trust Project” is led by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman of Santa Clara University’s Markkula Centre for Applied Ethics.

Mark Zuckerberg

Starting from Friday, an icon will appear next to articles in Facebook News Feed.

When you click on the icon, you can read information on the organisations’ ethics and other standards, the journalists’ backgrounds, and how they do their work.

“Leading media companies representing dozens of news sites have begun to display ‘Trust Indicators’. These indicators, created by leaders from more than 75 news organisations also show what type of information people are reading a” news, opinion, analysis or advertising,” the university said in a statement.

Each indicator is signalled in the article and site code, providing the first standardised technical language for platforms to learn more from news sites about the quality and expertise behind journalists’ work.

“Google, Facebook, Bing and Twitter have all agreed to use the indicators and are investigating and piloting ideas about how to best to use them to surface and display quality journalism,” the university said.

German press agency DPA, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, the Independent Journal Review, Mic, Italy’s La Republica and La Stampa, Trinity Mirror and The Washington Post are among the companies starting to go live with “Trust Indicators” this month.

The Institute for Non-profit News has developed a WordPress plug-in to facilitate broader implementation by qualified publishers.

“An increasingly sceptical public wants to know the expertise, enterprise and ethics behind a news story. The Trust Indicators put tools into people’s hands, giving them the means to assess whether news comes from a credible source they can depend on,” Lehrman explained.

The eight core indicators are: Best Practices; Author Expertise; Type of Work; Citations and References; Methods; Locally Sourced; Diverse Voices and Actionable Feedback.

New organisations like the BBC and Hearst Television have collaborated in defining the “Trust Indicator” editorial and technical standards, and in developing the processes for implementing these.

“Quality journalism has never been more important,” said Richard Gingras, vice president of news products at Google.

“We hope to use the Type of Work indicator to improve the accuracy of article labels in Google News, and indicators such as Best Practices and Author Info in our Knowledge Panels.”

“The Trust Indicators will provide a new level of accessibility and insight into the news that people on Facebook see day in and day out,” said Alex Hardiman, Head of News Products at Facebook.

A growing number of news outlets are expected to display the indicators over the next six months, with a second phase of news partners beginning implementation work soon. (IANS)

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