Miscellany

Miscellany

Virtual reality’s boy wonder draws fire at Facebook ‘tech theft’ trial

The young entrepreneur credited as the brains behind Facebook Inc’s virtual reality headset was accused in court of betraying a company that had worked with him to display the technology at a trade show.
Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, whose startup was bought by the social media giant for about $2 billion in 2014 when he was 21, did not dispute that he used software developed by ZeniMax Media Inc to show the prototype for his headset to investors in a California hotel room two years earlier.

AI threatens workplace revolution

If your job involves inputting reams of data for a company, you might want to think about retraining in a more specialised field. Or as a plumber.
After industrial robots and international trade put paid to many manufacturing jobs in the West, millions of white-collar workers could now be under threat from new technology such as artificial intelligence (AI).
The issue of how best to face up to this “Fourth Industrial Revolution” has been exercising politicians and business leaders this week at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alpine town of Davos.

8 men own half of world’s wealth

Eight men own the same wealth as half the world’s population, a level of inequality, which “threatens to pull our societies apart”, Oxfam said on Monday ahead of the World Economic Forum opening in Davos.
The wealth of the world’s poorest 3.6 billion people is the equivalent to the combined net worth of six American businessmen, one from Spain and another from Mexico. Picked from Forbes’ billionaires list, they include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg who co-founded Facebook, and Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.

5 Indian-origin lawmakers in key House panels

All five Indian-American lawmakers, the highest in the history of the US Congress, have been nominated to influential Congressional panels.
Congressman Ro Khanna representing Silicon Valley has been nominated to the powerful House budget committee, while Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, elected to the House of Representatives from Seattle, would serve on yet another powerful House judiciary committee.

We are reducing hiring costs

UML Motorcycles, a joint venture between Florida (US)-based UM International & Lohia Auto, is offering products that have changed the dynamics of transportation and riding in India. These include three models from the Renegade range of cruiser motorcycles. The company, which has invested nearly Rs 200 crore in its Indian manufacturing facility, has kept aside Rs 100 crore for its future expansion plans in the country. Globally, UM International has more than 1,500 stores in over 30 countries across the US, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Blue Sky Education now bets big on brain gain

Call it a reverse flow of students from abroad or brain gain! Kolkata’s home grown Blue Sky Educational Services, a leading study abroad and career consultancy firm, is now betting big on the growing interest of students from Saarc and African countries to study in India. The company is simultaneously focusing on the emerging educational destinations of South East Asia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand for Indian students.

We were born in the digital age

An engineering (mechanical) graduate and MBA (HR) by training, Ashutosh Mishra is well versed with the nuances of HR practices along with production, engineering and operations. With over 24 years experience in HR functions, having served large companies like Raymonds, Larsen and Toubro, JK Tyre, Haier and Electrolux Kelvinator, he is now responsible for all HR disciplines at DishTV, aimed at sustaining healthy people and employee relationships.

Hollywood giants headed to trial to kill a Star Trek fan film

CBS Corp. and Paramount Pictures Corp. are headed to a trial against the makers of a crowd-funded Star Trek fan film after a judge concluded in what he described as a “Vulcan-like” analysis that it mined the movies and TV-series down to “excruciating details.”

Bill targeting H1B visas reintroduced in US Cong

A bill backing key changes in the H1-B programme that allows skilled workers from countries like India to fill high-tech jobs in the US has been re-introduced in the US Congress by two lawmakers who claim that it will help crack down on the work visa abuse.
The ‘Protect and Grow American Jobs Act,’ which makes important changes to the eligibility requirements for H1-B Visa exemptions, was re-introduced on Wednesday by Republican Darrell Issa and Scott Peters — both from California.

Howzat! Google plans $30 smartphone for India

With Sundar Pichai at the helm, Google is pushing for a $30 smartphone with high quality features for India. Addressing a packed open-air amphitheatre at IIT-Kharagpur, his alma matter, Pichai identified affordability as one of the major challenges in India’s digital move.

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