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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TECH SPECIAL..................... Graphene paints a corrosion-free future


Graphene paints a corrosion-free future


A thin layer of graphene paint can make impermeable and chemically resistant coatings which could be used for packaging to keep food fresh for longer and protect metal structures against corrosion, new find-ings from The University of Manchester show.
The surface of graphene, a one atom thick sheet of carbon, can be randomly decorated with oxygen to create graphene oxide; a form of graphene that could have a significant impact on the chemical, pharmaceutical and electronic industries. Applied as paint, it could provide an ultra-strong, non-corrosive coating for a wide range of industrial applications.
Graphene oxide solutions can be used to paint various surfaces ranging from glass to metals to even conventional bricks. After a simple chemical treatment, the resulting coatings behave like graphite in terms of chemical and thermal stability but become mechanically nearly as tough as graphene, the strongest material known to man.
Exceptional barrier properties
The team led by Dr. Rahul Nair and Nobel laureate Sir Andre Geim demonstrated previously that multilayer films made from graphene oxide are vacuum tight under dry conditions but, if exposed to water or its vapour, act as molecular sieves allowing passage of small molecules below a certain size. Those findings could have huge implications for water purification. This contrasting property is due to the structure of graphene oxide films that consist of millions of small flakes stacked randomly on top of each other, but leave nano-sized capillaries between them. Water molecules like to be inside these nano-capillaries and can drag small atoms and molecules along.
In an article published in Nature Communications this week, the University of Manchester team shows that it is possible to tightly close those nanocapillaries using simple chemical treatments, which makes graphene films even stronger mechanically as well as completely impermeable to everything: gases, liquids or strong chemicals. For example, the researchers demonstrate that glassware or copper plates covered with graphene paint can be used as containers for strongly corrosive acids.
The exceptional barrier properties of graphene paint have already attracted interest from many companies who now collaborate with The University of Manchester on development of new protective and anticorrosion coatings.
According to Dr. Nair graphene paint has a good chance to become a truly revolutionary product for industries that deal with any kind of protection either from air, weather elements or corrosive chemicals. Those include, for example, medical, electronics and nuclear industry or even shipbuilding, to name but the few.

CHWKLY 140923

CEO SPECIAL : Difficult times define a true leader

Difficult times define a true leader






SLCM is India’s largest agrilogistics company that provides warehouse management, procurement, and financial solutions to farmers, processors, traders, agri exchanges and government across India and now in Myanmar. Nexus Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, Everstone and Emerging India Fund (EIF) are among its major investors. Sandeep Sabharwal, CEO and Founder of SLCM, spoke to HT on a range of issues on leadership.

Excerpts:

How do you define leadership?
Leadership is a way of life. According to me a leader is one who through his normal routine inspires, motivates and sets the path for his peers and subordinates. No single action defines leadership.

How do you cultivate leaders in your company?
Leadership is a byproduct of decision making. Mostly we see that people shirk from taking decisions as they believe that they will be procrastinated if the decision turns out to be wrong. This attitude of not taking decision is contrary to leadership. At SLCM people are motivated to take measured decisions, with the thought that the decisions have to objective and built on logic. Leaders have to often carry the cross of other’s wrong doings and inefficiencies.

What role can a good leader play to counter balance this image?
It is in moments of difficulties a true leader is defined. Mistakes and inefficiencies are foundations for a stronger, deeper and measured leader. A good leader has to learn from them and put them in action. I believe this very systematic intervention goes a long way to counter balance this image.

What has been the biggest leadership challenge you have faced?
My biggest leadership challenge has been to change people’s perception. SLCM has been in the forefront of defining agri-logistics in India and now also the third world countries. The perception of the agri-logistics was that of an archaic infrastructure riddled inefficient industry with little hope of redemption. By our actions we have demonstrated the contrary. We now have a network of more than 595 warehouses spread across India and Myanmar with an area of more than 78 lakh square feet and a throughput of 50 lakh metric tonnes and have illustrated that technology can not only add speed but also efficiency (we have reduced post harvest agri losses which in Industry are pegged at 10% to 0.5% in our managed locations).

What is the biggest leadership lesson(s) you have learnt?
The biggest leadership lesson that I learnt is perseverance. I think if a leader believes in something, especially if the same is contrary to the popular belief then perseverance is the only redeeming factor. What is the best and worst leadership decision you have taken so far? The best decision that I have taken is that I have stuck with my beliefs and not swayed with populist measures in difficult times. I do not think that a true leader has the worst decision tag on him, because the moment he starts thinking that he has taken the worst decision of his life he abandons the ability to salvage the same and hence stops acting like a leader.

Being a leader in agri commodity management, how do you keep track of innovation across the globe? How you plan to manage competition? How important is innovation in leadership?
Innovation like leadership is a way of life with me and the team of SLCM. We continuously strive to find efficient paths to problems and solutions that are elegantly simple to implement. Necessity is the mother of innovation. Hence the very fact that a solution is required for a problem leads to innovation. How does a leader manage a bad economic scenario, especially when your performance is constantly under media scrutiny? Leaders have to manage situations, and since leaders are under constant scrutiny not only from the media but from industry peers their ability to constantly follow their visions and demonstrate their capability is important.



According to me it is the path that you follow is more important than the comments of people who scrutinise that path. Leaders get defined in adversity and hence if the path is correct the scenario will definitely correct itself. In crises, how does a leader motivate himself and his team? Define your leadership mantra. Leaders have to continuously dig deep inside themselves and find reassurance from within. Once they do that they have the ability to not only lead, guide but also motivate their team. Their persona has to magnify their resolve which itself motivates their team. My leadership mantra is perseverance, perseverance and perseverance



  • Gaurav Choudhury HT 140925

GADGET GIZMO SPECIAL ...............................HTC unveils Desire 816 GSM-only model at lower price point of Rs 18,990

GADGET GIZMO SPECIAL 

HTC unveils Desire 816 GSM-only model at lower price point of Rs 18,990



NEW DELHI: Smartphone maker HTC unveiled GSM-only model of its Desire 816 range at lower price point of Rs 18,990 that will be available from mid-October.

The current model 816 E, which is a dual SIM 3G phone (CDMA+GSM), is now available for around Rs 21,000.


"We are looking to diversify our portfolio across various price points. Desire 816 E is a world phone and 816 G launched now is a 3G phone that supports GSM SIMs only," HTC Chief Financial Officer and President of Global Sales Chiang-Lin Chang said here .

The company also unveiled its 4G dual SIM smartphones with latest 8-core processor, Desire 820 and another version with quad-core processor 820 Q which it will start selling after a month in the country but did not disclose price

"Prices of Desire 820 will be unveiled around mid-October as per local market assessment," Chiang said.

HTC sells medium priced phone in its Desire range. The 5.5 inch screen size 816 G too has quad core processor. It comes with 13 megapixel primary camera and 5 mp front camera.

At Rs 18,990 price, dual nano SIM enabled 816 G will compete with the likes of Samsung Galaxy Grand, Nokia Lumia 1320, Sony Xperia T2 and even to HTC's own 816 E.

The phone has 8GB internal storage and supports up to 32 GB external storage.

The 4G models unveiled by HTC too have 13 MP main camera but their front camera is 8 MP. These phones promise to support download speed of up to 150 megabit per second. This means a video equivalent to full size normal Bollywood movie can be downloaded in about half a minute.

Desire 820 have internal storage capacity of 16 GB and support external storage of up to 128 GB.

Chiang said that HTC will launch more 4G phones across various price points once the network are launched in India.

"Desire 820 smartphones support both the variant of LTE (4G) which is fit for Indian market," Chiang said.

In India, Reliance Jio, Bharti AirtelBSE -2.06 %, Augere, Aircel and Tikona Digital have spectrum that can be used for deploying TDD-LTE - a variant of 4G technology.

Recently telecom companies in India acquired spectrum in 1800 Mhz band, widely known as 2G spectrum, in which ecosystem for another 4G technology, FDD-LTE, has been developed.


By PTI |140923

INNOVATION/ MARKETING SPECIAL................. How to Market a Revolution

 How to Market a Revolution



Every so often, an innovative product fails to achieve widespread adoption because companies don’t connect the dots for consumers.

It has been 15 years since the DVR (digital video recorder) debuted to much fanfare at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It was instantly hailed as a revolutionary innovation, a paradigm shift like none yet seen in the half-century-old TV industry. If adopted widely, it had the potential to transform TV audiences from passive channel-surfers into programmers of highly personalised experiences, through its ability to record and play back analogue TV signals.

Having captured the attention of the industry, DVR soon went on to capture the public imagination by giving it a brand to latch onto: TiVo. After blanketing the airwaves with commercials featuring an empowering slogan (“TiVo: TV your way”) and a mass-market-friendly logo, the brand became a household word. With the public apparently ready to make the technological leap, DVR seemed poised to break through in a big way. Technology market research firm Forrester predicted that by 2005, more than half of American households would have DVR.

A decade and a half on, reality has yet to catch up with these initial predictions. At the end of 2012, DVR had penetrated 41 percent of TV-owning households in the U.S.; current predictions have the technology achieving 48 percent penetration by the end of 2017. During the second quarter of 2013, “time-shifted” viewing (i.e. DVR or video-on-demand use) accounted for only 8.6 percent of total viewing hours in the U.S., according to Nielsen statistics.
So where did the sector fall short?

 Assuming initial estimations of DVR’s potential had some truth to them – and the rave reviews of early adopters suggest they did – why has its market penetration lagged behind such comparatively dull products as DVD and Blu-Ray players? The lessons here apply to all companies that have accomplished, or seek to accomplish, possibly market-upending tech breakthroughs.


Mousetrap Marketing”

As the developer of the first commercially available DVR, TiVo fell victim to classic “mousetrap marketing” assumptions, as in the aphorism often ascribed to the 19th-century American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson: “If you build a better mousetrap, people will beat a path to your door.”
The mousetrap mindset clearly drove TiVo’s mass-market approach in its early days. The firm spent heavily to reach as wide an audience as possible, with blind faith that getting the word out about this great new product was all the strategic focus needed. TiVo’s 30-second TV spots left audiences with plenty of excited questions, but few concrete answers. For those, they would mainly have to head to electronics stores, the Internet being a less robust resource at the turn of the millennium than today.

As potential customers neared the point of purchase – brick-and-mortar stores – TiVo’s friendly brand message fell away, replaced by whatever message salespeople believed would sell the product. Not investing in education for salespeople was a key error, but perhaps TiVo never should have sought to sell millions right out of the gate. Being more focused about target customer and distribution would have allowed for more control over the sales process, as well as given TiVo time to tinker with its marketing message and help viewers ease into the changes it was aiming to introduce. Believing the early hype about itself, the company overestimated the average consumer’s ability and willingness to buy into the DVR revolution.

Identity Crisis

TiVo emerged at a particularly rocky crossroads period for the tech and media industries: Analysts agreed that TV’s conversion from analogue to digital was inevitable, if not imminent; the Internet had pushed through to mainstream consciousness, but the extent of its impact was not yet fully felt. In the absence of a coherent marketing message, TiVo’s growth was severely hindered by the uncertainties of the moment. Where DVR stood in relation to VHS was of particular concern for customers. From a marketing perspective, there was a Catch-22: Positioning TiVo as a beefed-up VCR (as many salespeople did) risked underselling its coolest features, but pushing the advanced features such as commercial-skipping might have overwhelmed and intimidated consumers.

TiVo’s messaging was muddied further by the company’s stated bid to become “the operating system for your TV set”. Like an Internet service provider such as AOL, TiVo required users to pay for subscriptions on top of buying a device – so was TiVo a gadget or a service? And which household fixture was it designed to replace: the VCR or the computer or both? Without a firm grasp on the value created by the new technology, consumers had no trouble performing a cost-benefit analysis, with an unfortunate outcome for TiVo.
The high price point didn’t help matters either. The first TiVo devices cost US$499, not including an annual subscription fee of US$99. Then as now, TiVo encouraged “lifetime subscriptions”, which do not cover, as one might assume, the lifetime of the consumer – but rather the lifespan of the TiVo device. Given the technological uncertainty of the time, it’s not hard to see why likely buyers stayed away in droves.

TiVo Today

Even TiVo’s sole unequivocal triumph – its brand ubiquity – wound up working against it as rival manufacturers inked deals with pay TV operators and became serious competitors. Without a clearly established category with points-of-parity (i.e., features that are shared by all category members) and points-of-differences (i.e., features that allow you to stand out) the brand name entered common usage as a term for any DVR, causing a TiVo executive to complain, “People will know we talked about TiVo and think they have TiVo, [but will have] a generic product that isn’t even ours.”

But the good news for the firm is that, thanks to its own partnerships with cable TV providers around the world, TiVo is in more homes than ever before – about 4.8 million, a far cry from the sorts of numbers bruited in the early days. And the company is trying mightily to regain its innovation mojo with its latest line of Roamio hybrid set-top boxes that can stream content to mobile devices. Just as in 1999, TiVo has a daunting marketing challenge on its hands.

Advice for Innovators

To avoid repeating past mistakes, TiVo, and by extension all ambitious innovators, should remember the three key obstacles to innovation adoption: the understanding gap, attractiveness gap, and behaviour change gap. Failing to bridge any one of these can lead to a fatal disconnect between company and consumer, no matter how great or beneficial the product. Bridging the gaps means finding clear, compelling answers to the following questions:

  1. Understanding gap: What is it? What is it for?
  • Does it naturally fall into existing categories?

  1. Attractiveness gap: What does it give/take away?
  • Is it easy to see or experience the value?

  1. Behaviour change gap: What do I need to change?
  • How much change is required to get these benefits?
  • Who has to change?
Innovative products do not create the conditions for their adoption in the market; rather, market change is a process that must be managed. The contrast between TiVo and Netflix is illuminating. TiVo was more ground-breaking and visionary than Netflix, but the latter much better managed to keep the three obstacles low. Even when an innovation is truly revolutionary, it should not be marketed as such. 

Market your revolution in carefully delineated stages, always with reference to what the consumer is already familiar with. Points of reference are just as important in product design: The face that a product presents to the world should always be recognisable. TiVo got the customers’ attention, Netflix got the customers’ business.


Failure to manage the change process was a main cause of the eventual DVR letdown. Unable to bridge the critical gaps for consumers on its own, TiVo could gain adopters only through (often economically unfavourable) deals with cable and satellite operators, its ostensible competitors. You could say that DVR was caught by its own mousetrap.


Markus Christen, INSEAD Associate Professor of Marketing, and Benjamin Kessler, Web Editor http://knowledge.insead.edu/entrepreneurship-innovation/how-to-market-a-revolution-3598#HCAtzfFsPAfwTSFr.99

Monday, September 29, 2014

JOB/ RESUME SPECIAL................... Applying for a new job? Avoid these bloopers on your resume

Applying for a new job? Avoid these bloopers on your resume



Senior VP of People Operations at Google, Laszlo Bock, has reviewed over 20,000 resumes in his career. From typos to bad formatting and lies, he lists some of the common blunders he spots.

Typos

This one seems obvious, but it happens again and again. A 2013 Career Builder survey found that 58 per cent of resumes have typos.
In fact, people who tweak their resumes the most carefully can be especially vulnerable to this kind of error, because they often result from going back again and again to fine tune your resume just one last time.
I see this in MBA resumes all the time. Typos are deadly because employers interpret them as a lack of detail-orientation, as a failure to care about quality. The fix?
Read your resume from bottom to top: reversing the normal order helps you focus on each line in isolation. Or have someone else proofread closely for you.
Length

A good rule of thumb is one page of resume for every 10 years of work experience. Hard to fit it all in, right? But a three or more page resume simply won't get read closely.

As Blaise Pascal wrote, "I would have written you a shorter letter, but I did not have the time."

A crisp, focused resume demonstrates an ability to synthesise, prioritise and convey the most important information about you.
Formatting

Unless you're applying for a job such as a designer or artist, your focus should be on maki n g yo u r resume clean and legible.

At least ten point font. At least half-inch margins. White paper, black ink. Consistent spacing between lines, columns aligned, your name and contact information on every page.

If you can, look at it in both Google Docs and Word, and then attach it to an email and open it as a preview.

Formatting can get garbled when moving across platforms. Saving it as a PDF is a good way to go.
Confidential information

I once received a resume from an applicant working at a top-three consulting firm. This firm had a strict confidentiality policy: client names were never to be shared.
On the resume, the candidate wrote: "Consulted to a major software company in Redmond, Washington." Rejected. While this candidate didn't mention Microsoft specifically, any reviewer knew that's what he meant.
As an employer I should never hire those candidates.
Lies

This breaks my heart. Putting a lie on your resume is never, ever, ever, worth it.
Everyone, up to and including CEOs, gets fired for this. People lie about their degrees and where they went to school.
People lie about how long they were at companies, how big their teams were and their sales results, always goofing in their favour.
The problems with lying: You can easily get busted, lies follow you forever and you can get fired, and it's never easy trying to explain that in your next interview. 


By Lifehacker | 140924

MANAGEMENT SPECIAL........................ Peer Coaching as a Tool for Culture Change

Peer Coaching as a Tool for Culture Change

How does an incoming CEO make systemic changes in an established company when its employees have become demoralized or fearful? I’m thinking of a storied manufacturing firm that only recently emerged from a decade of turmoil and drift. An independent analysis concluded that an overly ambitious expansion effort in the mid-2000s had resulted in the company launching projects it lacked the resources to deliver. Managers and engineers, reluctant to bring bad news to bosses who had advocated for expansion, let troubled projects fester until problems became acute.
The firm’s new CEO is promising to address the resulting dysfunction by creating an “ownership culture” in which employees are rewarded for warning about problems early and held responsible for letting them get out of control. He believes this approach will “empower” people throughout the firm to hold themselves accountable for their actions. In pursuit of greater “transparency,” he’s signed a deal for enterprise software that will enable his executive team to track the progress of the company’s myriad contracts around the world.
As you can tell from the ironic quotes, I don’t find the CEO’s fondness for buzzwords reassuring. Rather than articulating a plan or method for instilling the kind of culture change he professes to desire, he blends the aspirational with the punitive and dresses it in business jargon.
Perhaps this is not surprising––even the most successful companies struggle when confronted with the need to change behaviors  among thousands of employees, especially behaviors that are rooted in legacy conditions. And while software programs offer an excellent means of monitoring processes and providing status updates, they are of little use in addressing the fear and demoralization that have been dragging down this company’s performance.
Even the most successful companies struggle when confronted with the need to change behaviors.
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At heart, these are cultural problems. Given the complex nature of global organizations today, as well as their growing reliance on full-hearted engagement of human talent, culture is increasingly recognized as the nub of challenges resistant to logistical fixes.
Yet culture change is difficult, in part because to be effective it must spread throughout the organization; strenuous efforts to reach out to top teams or focus on high performers can only go so far. Continued skepticism among groups that feel excluded or disengaged can undermine the most beautifully designed change effort –– particularly when fear plays a role in the equation.
So what does it take to support far-reaching behavioral shifts of the kind our CEO needs to put into place? There are many routes, but I would like to suggest one of the least expensive and most underutilized tools for spreading needed change throughout an organization: the simple but effective practice of peer coaching.
Until a decade or so ago, peer coaching was most widely used by educators as a means of helping less experienced teachers get up to scratch. More recently, a few companies have been adapting the method as a way to extend some of the benefits of coaching to large numbers of employees in a cost-efficient way. In essence, peer coaching works by giving people a forum, a process, and a means of support for addressing their own development challenges, as well as holding themselves accountable for needed change. Rather than working with a professional, each member of a peer coaching pair acts as a sounding board and resource for the other.
Peer partners typically work together for a specific period. Assignments are made based partly on a self-assessment of each participant’s strengths and weaknesses, and partly on the project leader’s view of specific things that participants may need to address.
For example, a financial services company was seeking to break down divisions that existed in the aftermath of merger. The senior team laid out a goal to align the two entities, but the leader of a large, newly constituted client services team saw weak or even nonexistent relationships as jeopardizing the cohesion needed to achieve that. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that employees were still working in different cities where the merged companies had been based.
Rather than go to the expense of co-locating, the leader decided to use peer coaching to get people not only talking but directly involved in each other’s success. Individuals from the merged companies were paired and taught the basics at a full-day session. Pairs interviewed one another to get a sense of one specific thing each could do to help strengthen their internal connections and extend their networks more broadly.
Peers were then asked to create lists of five to 10 specific actions that would demonstrate measurable progress in meeting their goals. They were urged to focus on concrete steps, rather than the generic or aspirational: for example, “I will follow up with two people I meet at this session,” or “I will make a point of having lunch with X when I visit her site.”
Peer pairs then committed to a brief phone exchange on a regular basis. Each kept the other’s list available so they could pose questions during these sessions, asking for examples that demonstrated one another’s progress. At the end of each month, pairs evaluated their progress and updated their lists of questions. When the group reconvened after 90 days, participants reported not only a significant extension of internal networks but also measurable improvements in challenges such as handling stress and effective time management. Having a peer hold them accountable for actions they themselves had committed to proved to be a real boon in terms of improving their performance.
The CEO of the manufacturing firm cited above could learn by studying this example. Although he is clear about the need for people to hold themselves accountable for alerting leaders to troubled projects, he is proposing to achieve this by “empowering” them with the stick of a punishment or the carrot of a reward.
In other words, he only plans to address extrinsic motivation, which comes from the outside. But people are more likely to make sustainable shifts in their behavior when their capacity for intrinsic motivation is addressed. This is the way of culture change, as opposed to process improvement: It recognizes that an organization can’t change unless its people do. Peer coaching can be helpful because it engages people in their own growth and development.

by Sally Helgesen STRATEGY+BUSINESS

GADGET GIZMO SPECIAL ....................How to turn your smartphone into an e-book reader

GADGET GIZMO SPECIAL How to turn your smartphone into an e-book reader





If you want to gain access to e-books without investing in an e-book reader, you can use your existing smartphone or tablet to get started.
Access e-books from your mobile device for free

e-Books are available on all mobile operating systems. Download these applications from your app store (BlackBerry App World, Google e-books, iOS iBooks) to get the optimum reading experience on your existing device. 

Android
Aldiko Book Reader supports ePub and PDF formats on Android. It allows you to sort books via tags and displays them in a bookshelfstyle interface. You can adjust the font size, type, alignment, background colour and switch to night reading mode. You can buy e-books from the app. The free version is fully functional (ad supported).
Blackberry
While free cross-platform apps like the Kindle are available for BlackBerry, it does not have a free BB reading app. So, you can download the PlayEpub Book Reader for Rs 50. This app works with ePub, Mobi and PDF formats. You can read text in portrait and landscape modes, as well as sort books. It offers a full file browser and supports compressed files. You can choose the font size, brightness and switch between day and night modes.
iOS
iBooks is Apple's free reader app. It has a streamlined interface and lets you download books directly from the iBooks store. The app offers 10 font styles, three page layout options, and three colours to customise the view. It supports ePub and PDF formats in 18 different languages and keeps your books in sync with other iOS devices via Apple's iCloud. It also has builtin search, bookmarking and AirPrint support.
Windows Phone
With Legimi e-Book Reader you can store books on your device as well as access those on OneDrive cloud storage. You can customise fonts, format and bookmark a page. It allows you to change the orientation and also offers night mode reading. You can save quotes from books to share on social networking sites. 

Cross- platform applications
There are a number of free e-book reading apps available across mobile operating systems. The apps we recommend include Kindle, Kobo, Wattpad, Nook and Calibre. These apps allow you to customise font size, brightness and various other display settings for optimum reading experience. Moreover, they have their own built-in e-book stores. You simply have to sign in and download the free and paid books on the device.
Less known facts about e-books

1. On 3G Kindles, the cost of 3G is built into the price. There are no download limits and no recurring costs. You can use your 3G connection to download books from across the world.

2. You can read colour magazines for free. For instance, Zinio has a large collection of free magazines. The other sites from where you can access free magazines are www.turnit.com and http://free.yudu.com.

3. If you search 'e-book' on any app store, it will get you several free books that work as standalone apps. Once you have read it, uninstall the app and hunt for the next one.

4. When you read e-books on a mobile device with an LCD screen, reduce the brightness. You can swap the text and background colour for better reading experience.

5. Most e-book readers and apps allows you to read PDF, ePub and Mobi files. If you have any of these file formats, you simply have to transfer them to your device and they will appear in your books library.

6. All Kindles offer an easy way to transfer files. Head to www.amazon. com/myk to find out your device's e-mail ID. Send files to the ID and they appear automatically on your device.

7. Monochrome e-book readers use low-power e-ink displays. However, all e-ink displays are not equal. Some offer a higher resolution and display more shades of grey (better for images).

8. e-ink looks like paper but you cannot read the content in the dark. External lights don't light up the screen evenly and this explains why innovations, such as front lights, were necessary. 


By Karan Bajaj & Hitesh Raj Bhagat, ET 140922

ENVIRONMENT SPECIAL...................... Environmental costs, health risks and benefits of fracking examined




Environmental costs, health risks and benefits of fracking examined


The environmental costs and benefits from “fracking,” which requires blasting huge amounts of water, sand and chemicals deep into underground rock formations, are the subject of new research that synthesizes 165 academic studies and government databases. The survey, study published in the Annual Review of Environment and Resources, covers not only greenhouse gas impacts, but also fracking’s influence on local air pollution, earthquakes and, especially, supplies of clean water.
The authors are seven environmental scientists who underscore the consequences of policy decisions on people who live near the wells, as well as some important remaining questions.
Society is certain to extract more gas and oil due to fracking,” said Stanford environmental scientist Robert Jackson, who led the new study. “The key is to reduce the environmental costs as much as possible, while making the most of the environmental benefits.”
Water demand
Fracking’s consumption of water is rising quickly at a time when much of the US is suffering from drought, but extracting natural gas with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling compares well with conventional energy sources, the study finds. Fracking requires more water than conventional gas drilling; but when natural gas is used in place of coal or nuclear fuel to generate electricity, it saves water. From mining to generation, coal power consumes more than twice the water per megawatt-hour generated than unconventional gas does.
Unconventional drilling’s water demand can be better or worse than alternative energy sources, the study finds. Photovoltaic solar and wind power use almost no water and emit no greenhouse gas, but cheap, abundant natural gas may limit their deployment as new sources of electricity. On the other hand, fracked gas requires less than a hundredth the water of corn ethanol per unit of energy.
Local air pollution
Fracking’s impact on both climate change and local air pollution is similar to its impact on water.
Getting a fractured well going is more intense than for conventional oil and gas drilling, with potential health threats arising from increases in volatile organic compounds and air toxics. But when natural gas replaces coal as a fuel for generating electricity, the benefits to air quality include lower carbon dioxide emissions than coal and almost none of the mercury, sulphur dioxide or ash.
Globally, though, relief to climate change is uncertain, the study finds. “While the increased gas supply reduces air pollution in U.S. cities downwind from coal-fired power plants, we still don’t know whether methane losses from well pads and pipelines outweigh the lower carbon dioxide emissions,” said Jackson.
Little impact on water aquifers
In the eastern US, fears of contaminated drinking water have raised more concerns than fracking’s water consumption. Gas and chemicals from man-made fractures thousands of meters underground very rarely seep upward to drinking-water aquifers, the study says. The real threats are failures in the steel and cement casings of wells nearer to the surface and the disposal of wastewater, the study finds. Numerous previous studies have shown that casings fail between 1% and 10% of the time, depending on geology and well construction.
Cases of groundwater contamination have been hotly debated, but the new study finds that the overwhelming evidence suggests it has happened, albeit not commonly. Is the methane contamination observed in drinking water a precursor to other toxins – arsenic, various salts, radioactive radium and other metals – making their way up slowly? The researchers do not yet know. A few recent studies suggest the answer could be “yes” in rare cases.
Wastewater handling
Wastewater disposal is one of the biggest issues associated with fracking, according to co-author Avner Vengosh, a professor of geochemistry at Duke University.
Most fracking wastewater in the US is injected deep underground, and an increasing amount is recycled for subsequent drilling or sent to advanced water treatment facilities. However, a handful of states still allow the wastewater to be used for watering cattle, sprayed onto roads for dust control or sent to municipal water-treatment plants not equipped to handle the chemicals involved. All bad ideas, according to the authors of the new survey. One study they cite found that the agricultural use of fracking wastewater killed more than half of nearby trees within two years.
Injection of wastewater deep underground presents its own problems, the study finds. The practice occasionally has caused earthquakes strong enough to be felt by human beings, while the fracturing of shale miles below the surface rarely has done so. The dangers of seismicity can be reduced, however, if energy companies follow basic guidelines and undertake careful monitoring.

CHWKLY 140923

Sunday, September 28, 2014

BOSS SPECIAL ......................17 Things Great Leaders Always Say to Their Employees

17 Things Great Leaders Always Say to Their Employees


Want to be a great leader? Say these phrases to your employees.

The words that leader used and the encouragement you received is a big part of what made the boss good at his or her job. You can do the same. Here's how.
1. "You hit a home run." It's the best phrase for baseball fans and even works if your employee likes football instead. It's acknowledging a win, sharing the credit, and getting excited about a task all in one.
2. "Let me answer that right now." This means you are not going to waffle on the issue or question at hand. You are empowering yourself to answer and empowering the employee to act.
3. "Let's find a solution that works for you." The phrasing here is key. You are expressing a desire to find an answer right now and it is specific to that employee.
4. "Tell me your reasons." It's a great opening because it gives the employee a wide girth to speak and share his or her logic with you. Oh, and then you can give immediate feedback.
5. "Let's look for the data on that."You are stating clearly that you won't make a decision until you have data first. You are giving your employee a clear directive.
6. "What does your gut tell you?"With this phrase, you are communicating quite a few things. That you trust the employee and, when you hear their idea, you'll act.
7. "What's holding you back?"This is a good phrase to use when an employee has a good idea and you like it, but for some reason he or she is holding back. Free them to act.
8. "The company supports you."Employees like to know the company as a whole is behind what they want to do and that you are the obvious representative.
9. "You're the best at X."I remember a boss who told me I was the best tech expert he had ever known. That was 20 years ago when tech barely existed! Think of something (anything) to say that lets the employee know about their skill.
10. "I'll be honest with you."Be clear with your employees that you have integrity and remind them you are a stickler for the truth. What you say will be honest and clear.
11. "I've never seen anyone do that."Get excited about innovative ideas, creative workarounds, and brilliant ways to get things done. Single out people who do creative work.
12. "Let's table that topic for now."It's OK to let employees know the discussion is closed and you want to move onto other things. If you let topics linger, people tend to get confused.
13. "I'm giving you a raise for that."Be specific. If an employee deserves credit for nailing a work assignment, give them a raise and tell them it's specifically for that project or that activity.
14. "You did your homework."It's catchphrase, but it means you are acknowledging the employee for doing research, communicating the findings, and backing up their actions.
15. "Let's circle the wagons."Another old-school sentiment, but I like it because it means a project has taken a wrong direction and you need to start steering it again.
16. "I approve."Say it aloud to your employees and say it often. Write it in e-mails and send text messages. Make sure they know you approve of what they are doing.
17."I couldn't have done it better myself."Make sure employees know you see they are working hard and that you don't have any special skills to do their work for them.

 BY JOHN BRANDON

http://www.inc.com/john-brandon/17-things-great-leaders-always-say-to-their-employees.html?cid=em01014week39c




PERSONAL SPECIAL.............................. 5 WAYS TO STAY MOTIVATED EVEN WHEN YOU REALLY, REALLY DON'T WANT TO

PERSONAL SPECIAL 5 WAYS TO STAY MOTIVATED EVEN WHEN YOU REALLY, REALLY DON'T WANT TO

WHERE DID YOUR MOTIVATION GO? HERE'S HOW TO GET IT BACK.

You know you're capable of great work. What gives?
Motivation burns hot at some points during a career, and runs like molasses uphill at others.
When the occasional case of demotivation turns into a real problem of suffering work, weeks of disengagement, and listlessly staring at your to-do list, it's time to shake things up. Here are a few ideas to get started:

1. ACCEPT THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOVE EVERY PART OF YOUR WORK ALL THE TIME

Not everyone loves what they do. It might even be safe to assume that most of us aren’t doing jobs that make us leap out of bed trailing rainbows of purpose. But somehow, we’ve had the “Do what you love” mantra setting such a high bar that a daily grind ends in a grinding stop.
Blinkist cofounder Sebastian Klein sums up the "passion trap":
People with the passion mindset ask “What do I really want?” which breeds an obsession with whether or not a job is “right” for them. They become minutely aware of everything they dislike about their work and their job satisfaction and happiness plummets.
Should you pursuing a passion that brings an amazing socially conscious businesses into the world? Of course. But settling for nothing less that what you absolutely love is a great way to burn out.

2. CONSIDER WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT


Looking around at all of your peers doing it better, faster, and more special-snowflake-awesome than you is discouraging. If you’ve forgotten what sets you apart, it’s time to reevaluate. Leadership coach Lolly Daskal suggest asking yourself these questions:
  • What talents do I have?
  • What do people come to me for advice about?
  • What are my strong points?
If those are too tough to answer, reach out to a friend or mentor who can remind you.

3. DO SOME MENTAL TIME TRAVEL


I wish I could skip to Friday.” Those words that ring true for most of us, at some point. If you’re wishing the days away, just to reach the end of the project from hell, get some perspective. Psychologist Art Markman suggests "mental time travel." Look back at the past few years and consider what opportunities you regret missing. Don’t dwell there: Fast-forward to years in the future, where you can imagine feeling the same way about whatever decision you’re dragging your feet on today.
Anticipating future angst based on past mistakes is a form of intuition-honing--which, in itself, can spur action. Guilt is a great motivator... but so is the anticipation of feeling accomplished.

4. VENT, BUT ONLY A LITTLE


Ranting feels good. Yet, we know that venting frustrations actually makes you feel worse in the long run, but in the short term, giving your frustrations a few moments to breathe lets you unburden--whether it’s on a confidant or a piece of paper no one will ever see. Once your reasons for being stuck are laid out in front of you, they might not seem so insurmountable.

5. EMBRACE THE SUCK


Hard, boring parts of the job are, well, part of the job. Or, as writer Gwen Moran puts it:
You may be doing some rote job, but perhaps it gives you a few hours away from the phone so you can think. Perhaps you have to have a difficult conversation, but once it’s done, you will have taken a step toward solving a problem.
You can turn this around on yourself, too. Accepting that you suck at some things, and excel in others, means accepting that a motivation-lull is part of the process.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3036120/hit-the-ground-running/5-non-bs-ways-to-find-your-lost-motivation?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fast-company-daily-newsletter-featured&position=4&partner=newsletter

CAREER SPECIAL .................................. 18 Things You Should Never Say During An Exit Interview

 18 Things You Should Never Say During An Exit Interview


When you quit a job, there's a good chance HR will ask you to partake in an exit interview

People tend to have mixed feelings about these conversations. Some say an exit interview is the ideal opportunity to be completely honest about your experiences with your employer and offer them critical and constructive feedback; while others argue it's awkward and not worth the risk of burning bridges, as your criticism probably won't inspire any significant changes, anyway.
But regardless of your attitude toward the exit interview, it's imperative that you be cordial and professional.
"This could be the last impression you'll leave your employer with," says  Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of "You Can't Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work ." "And don't think this conversation doesn't matter since you're leaving anyway. People talk. It's your reputation and your personal brand on the line. And those will travel with you wherever you go."
You also never know when you'll work for that HR manager or boss again. "I can't tell you how many boomerang stories I've heard where employees return back to their former employer after a year or two, or even wind up working with those colleagues elsewhere," Kerr says. "No matter how certain you are you won't return or come in contact with these people again, never burn bridges."
Here are 18 phrases you should avoid in every exit interview:
"I never really liked [coworker]," or, "[Name] was never very nice to me."
Don't get personal. "Attacking certain managers or employees will only reflect poorly on you, and make you come across as bitter or vengeful," Kerr says. "It's okay to discuss some behaviors that you feel had an impact on your decision to leave, but resorting to name calling or character assassination will never get you far and will only make it look like you were the difficult person to get along with."
"My boss was the worst because..."
Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job, " says you must remember that just because  you're not speaking directly with your boss, doesn't mean you should lose your cool or make any last-minute snarky comments. " By being too honest about your manager you can shoot yourself in the foot if you ever want to return to the company, or expect a good reference from that boss," she says. "Remember to keep your comments general, concise, and make them overall positive."
"This place is a sinking ship."
" Why do people feel compelled to make remaining employees feel badly just because you are moving on? I don ' t get it. But stop it, " says Dana Manciagli., a carer expert.
Kerr agrees. "Never wish them poor by saying things like, 'I hope this company dies a slow, painful death.' If you are leaving on bad terms you may feel this deep inside, but using your outside voice to express this is a big no-no that will only serve to make you look petty and spiteful, and it'll will say more about you than it does about the company."
"I heard [name] did [xyz]," or, "[Name] was actually the one responsible for that error."
Don't gossip, and definitely don't throw your colleagues under the bus. It's unprofessional and unkind.
"I was really amazing at this job," or, "Good luck running this business without me."
Don't gloat about how fabulous you were, thus implying that it's a huge loss on their part, Kerr says. The time to boast a bit may have been on the way in, not on the way out. "It's fair to say that you felt like your talents weren't being used fully and to offer examples, but it's not wise to tell them you were the greatest thing since sliced bread and they're going to be sorry after you're gone."
"No comment."
Now's not the time to be curt, non-responsive or offer a terse, "no comment." "Being evasive or tight lipped will only make it seem as though you are hiding something and not cooperating with the process," Kerr explains.
"This company's pay is not market-competitive," or, "I'm leaving because I was offered a lot more money elsewhere."
Don't make it about money. "A statement about your compensation, even though it may be true, will be perceived as a negative slam against the company in your future career endeavors," Taylor says.
Manciagli agrees: "Unless you have done a statistically sound market study, then you do not know if your pay was market-competitive."  
"I never really liked where I sat," or, "The printers never worked."
Don't focus on trivial matters, Kerr says. "Focusing on minor, trivial items will make you appear high maintenance and be viewed as wasting everyone time. Instead, offer constructive ideas on larger systemic issues that you feel might have a serious and lasting impact on the culture."
"This is the worst company I have ever worked for."
"You're basically nailing the coffin shut on any opportunity to return to that company, or have the company be a positive reference," Manciagli says. "There is no upside to bashing the company you are exiting. None."
Taylor says your time to try to change things and communicate any issues you had was during your employment, not as you leave.
"My new job/company is amazing."
"Don't minimize your former employer by bragging about how you're moving onto much bigger and better things," Kerr advises. "It's great to be positive about the future and show enthusiasm, but don't do it in such a way that comes across as a backhanded compliment."
"I think [name] is really unhappy here," or, "Nobody is happy here."
Don't speak for others. "This can hurt you in the eyes of people who may have shared confidences with you," Kerr says. "Just make this about your story, no one else's."
Also, d on't try to suggest the ship is going down with you. "Even if it's true, your coworkers won't appreciate it, and you're not their spokesperson," Taylor says. "If they're about to jump ship, that will be their task."
"I'd never work here again"
"If it was so miserable for you while you were earning a paycheck and benefits, then why did you stay?" Manciagli asks. "Every employee has choices to make. I don't see bars on the windows and doors or your feet chained to the floor. Yet now, because you are on your way out, you disclose it was that bad. A little dramatic for my taste and makes you look totally unaccountable for your own career."
Plus, remember that your last day is rarely the last affiliation you'll have with your employer.
Kerr says it may be difficult to find the right balance between being honest and cordial, especially if you've got any pent up anger or frustrations — but he says if you frame your opinions in such a way "that you are first and foremost thinking about what's best for the company, you'll have a far greater chance of having a real impact and leaving a more positive impression."


By Jacquelyn Smith | Business Insider –