Politics & the Nation
  • Infosys Narayana Murthy turns Venture Capitalist
    • "TWENTY-EIGHT years after he started Infosys Technologies with Rs 10,000 borrowed from his wife, NR Narayana Murthy, whose personal fortune today is said to be worth around $1.8 billion, wants to start a venture fund to invest in new ideas that create value for society."  So starts today's lead story in ET.
    • With the kind of experience and money that he brings to the table, we can expect better days ahead for India's young entrepreneurs.
  • Public sector oil PSUs told to spend at least 2% on CSR activities
    • The government seems to have mandated that they should spend at least 2% of their net profits on Corporate Social Responsibility activities.  At present, PSU oil companies spend 0.5% to 0.75% on corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, which is voluntary.
  • Should people who are too busy to receive our national awards be conferred the honours?
    • The absence of national cricket captain M S Dhoni and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh from the Padma Shri awards ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on April 14 is not getting that much serious attention that the issue deserves.  Should not such conferment be at least kept on hold till they come in person and receive it from the President?
    • We leave the floor open for a debate on this issue in our shoutbox.
Finance & Economy
  • IPL II expected to swing the fortunes of many a business in India in these troubled times
    • This version is expected to generate revenues of close to Rs 800 CR in 5 weeks flat.
    • Even before the first match — between Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians and MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings — Multi Screen Media (MSM, previously Sony Entertainment Television), which plans to rake in close to Rs 400 crore through the event, claims to have sold 85% of its advertising space. 
    • The franchisee teams put together are estimated to earn about Rs 250 crore from sponsorship deals. In addition, the travel-tourism and restaurant sectors stand to gain revenues of Rs 50 crore each. 
    • India’s Rs 300-crore restaurant and pub industry, struggling with sagging sales amid poor customer traffic, is hoping that IPL will bring it the much-needed respite. 
  • India's met sees 'near normal' monsoon this year
    • “Near normal” means the monsoon season rainfall is likely to be 96% of the long period average (LPA) with a model error of 5%, less or excess. The LPA rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1941-1990 is 89 cm. The operational forecast issued by IMD for the 2008 seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole for the first and second stage forecasts were 99% and 100% of LPA, respectively. The actual rainfall was 98% of LPA. In effect, the overall rainfall forecast for the country this year will be lower than the forecast for last year. 
  • Internet spam and greenhouse gas emissions
    • An interesting excerpt from an ET editorial:
    • The bane of the internet age — spam — has been associated with irritation and wastage of time. Now a study by the climate change consultants ICF, has linked the two with the startling statistic that the energy used to transmit, and then detect and delete spam could power 2.4 million US homes. The Carbon Footprint of Spam study also contends that the 33 billion kilowatt hours of energy used in the spam detection process emits 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, or the same amount of greenhouse gases as 3.1 million passenger cars, burning 7.6 billion litres of petrol. Therefore, if every inbox has a filter, some 75% of the spam energy could be reduced — the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the road. Each spam has a comparatively minuscule carbon footprint of 0.3 grams of carbon dioxide, which researchers aver, equals driving one metre. Further, they have calculated that on average, business users spend a total of 131 kg of carbon dioxide a year on emails. 
  • Pirate Bay people get one year jail term
    • Ever heard of this web site?  It is akin to LimeWire, Napster etc. in its service offering.  It is a peer to peer file sharing service that has lot of content and has dedicated following among geeks.
    • The men linked to The Pirate Bay — Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom — were charged early last year by a Swedish prosecutor with conspiracy to break copyright law and related offences. The Stockholm district court said in a statement the four were found guilty of breaching copyright laws.  It reportedly sentenced them to one year prison sentences and were asked to pay $3.58 mn in compensation.
    • The music industry is obviously joyous.  If you want to read the full news story do so here.
Language lessons
  • impervious: Adjective
    • Not admitting of passage or capable of being affected
    • eg: "a material impervious to water"; "someone impervious to argument"
  • detritus: Noun
    • The remains of something that has been destroyed or broken up
    • Loose material (stone fragments and silt etc) that is worn away from rocks