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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

L&T More Innovative Than Google And Apple

The Forbes list of the world's most innovative companies features India's Larsen & Toubro ahead of US-based Apple Inc. and Google. Four more Indian companies have made it to the top 50.

The innovation premium is a measure of how much investors have bid up the stock price of a company above the value of its existing business based on expectations of future innovative results (new products, services and markets). Members of the list must have $10 billion in market capitalisation, spend at least 2.5 percent of revenue on R&D and have seven years of public data.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

The US-based Salesforce.com with aninnovation premium of 73 percent tops the list as the world’s most innovative company. The founder and CEO Marc Benioff has taken pride in innovating from within. This year salesforce.com has spent $1 billion acquiring two firms: Radian6 and Buddy Media.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

Alexion Pharmaceuticals with an innovation premium of 72.3 percent is next. Its shares have outperformed Apple since 2007. Found in 1992, the company’s $440,000 drug: Soliris is turning it into biotech's innovation powerhouse. Soliris was launched to treat a rare cause of anemia. In 2012 that drug is expected to bring more than $1.1 billion in revenue.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

Amazon.com, arguably the world’s largest online retailer has an innovation premium of 58.3 percent. The company has more than 20 million products in stock, and thousands of startups depend on its cloud computing services. Amazon is also a technology company that produces consumer electronics such as the Kindle. It operates software- development centers on four continents.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

Ranking four on the list is US-based Red Hat with an innovation premium of 58.1 percent. Red Hat, the only publicly traded open source software company, passed $1 billion in revenue for the first time last year. Red Hat makes money by making enterprise supported versions of products that do well in open sourcing and helping big business personalize systems.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

China’s Baidu is next with an innovation premium of 57.6 percent. China’s largest search engine has surpassed the world’s largest search engine in terms on innovation. The company operates its own semantic search engine called “Box Computing.” Baidu formed a partnership with Agency for Science, Technology and Research to establish an R&D center in Singapore that focuses on developing South Asian language processing technology

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci surgical robots (seen here in the picture) allow a doctor to watch a live, high-resolution feed of a patient’s insides and operate through a one- to two-centimetre-wide incision. The company’s innovation premium is 54 percent. Around 2,300 of its machines are installed in hospitals worldwide.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

The world’s number 3 e-commerce firm, Rakuten, which owns a big stake in the social networking website Pinterest has aninnovation premium is 51.5 percent. Rakuten’s founder and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani (seen in this picture) reportedly has one aim and that is to beat Amazon. Rakuten has also employed 500 e-commerce consultants who dispense free advice on marketing, operations and hiring

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

Edwards Lifesciences that invented the artificial heart valve in 1960 has aninnovation premium of 46.9 percent. Valve replacements are now one of the most common cardiac surgeries in the US and the company) is a global player in products and technologies designed to treat advanced cardiovascular disease.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

Bringing India to the top 10 is Larsen & Toubro, which pushes aside companies like Apple and Google, with an innovation premium of 46.1 percent . L & T is India’s largest engineering firm that builds ships, railroads, highways and bridges and is all set to sell Toshiba’s plastics machinery business

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

UK-based ARM Holdings is next with aninnovation premium of 45.4 percent. The company designs the microprocessors in the majority of the world’s smartphones and tablets, and by 2015 may run a quarter of all notebook PCs.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

Four more companies from India have also made it to the top 50.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

At number 12 is Hindustan Unilever with aninnovation premium of 43.9 percent. India's consumer-products powerhouse Hindustan Unilever developed an innovative network-marketing approach to sell its goods via thousands of underprivileged rural women throughout 1,35,000-plus villages, thereby becoming one of the most-trusted brands in the nation.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

Infosys comes at number 19 with aninnovation premium of 43.9 percent. It offers consulting, software development and outsourcing services. The company’s research and innovation arm Infosys Labs will institute a co-creation lab to explore ways to solve critical maternal and child health challenges.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

Tata Consultancy Services stands at number 29 on the list with an innovation premium of 35.1 percent. It is India’s largest IT services firm added 40,000 employees in the past year and boasts a workforce that’s 32 percent women. In 2007, TCS launched its Co-Innovation Network, a network of TCS Innovation Labs, startup alliances, University Research Departments, and venture capitalists.

L&T more innovative than Google and Apple

The last Indian company on the list, Sun Pharmaceuticals is at number 38 with aninnovation premium of 32.7 percent. In April last year, US drugmaker Merck and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries have formed a joint venture to bring innovative formulations to emerging markets, including India

DDoS and SQL Attacks Lead the Chart

A recent report into hacker antics revealed that SQL injection remains a hot topic among the security experts. The result of the research, conducted by the insecurity experts,claimed that the issues discussed on hacker forums mostly focus on training and tutorials for information theft techniques like SQL injection.

Nevertheless, the report titled “Monitoring Hacker Forums” points out that no more than 5% of IT budgets include products aimed at mitigating attacks in the data center. Security experts claim that by examining what information the attackers share in the forums, they can understand where they focus their efforts. The main problem is that companies ignore SQL injection security at their peril while the hackers are focusing on their attacks. Today DDoS and SQL injection remain the most popular intrusion methods. One of them is used 19% of the time.

In the meanwhile, the survey on the security infrastructure worldwide shows that companies spent $25 billion on security software and network equipment last year, which is less than 5% of security budgets intended to products which mitigate SQL injection attacks. Today hackers also make attempts to push into social networking services: the report revealed that Facebook (at 39%) and Twitter (at 37%), were the most frequently discussed networking sites.

Security experts, when reviewing social network related online discussions, observed a black market for purchasing and selling illegal social network likes, followers, and endorsements. They paid particular attention to the origin of those likes and followers. It also turned out that most of the hacker forums were training newbies, with over 28% of the publications being related to hacker training, and 5% linking to hacking tutorials. 

Streaming Site’s Operator Fined with $13,000

In the wake of February’s takedowns of a few largest sport-streaming websites, American authorities apprehended Yonjo Quiroa, an individual alleged of operating a number of portals which provided links to unauthorized sports streams. Now, the suspected operator is demanded to pay $13,000 in damages to 5 major sports leagues.


This past February, the US Department of Justice, in cooperation with ICE, seized a number of domains that offered sport streaming services for people all over the world. In February, the authorities also caught a 28-year-old individual – Yonjo Quiroa of Comstock Park, Michigan – and accused him of operating 9 of those domains. Among those, there were such portals as hq-streams.tv, sportswwe.com and sports95.com. Despite the fact that none of them hosted any violating content, all the services contained links to 3rd-party services.

According to an ICE officer’s statement, such links led to illegal streams of NBA, NHL and WWE events. Furthermore, the authorities claim that within the previous 2 years, Yonjo Quiroa earned $13,000 through advertisements. In the meantime, the suspected person was kept in custody, without right to bail. 6 months after his arrest, Yonjo Quiroa pleaded guilty for copyright infringement.

In 9 months, District Court Judge ruled that the 28-year-old individual served his time and should be deported, but only after paying $25 in criminal penalties and $2,600 for each sport league participating in the trial. This was the first known case when a sports streaming portal operator got convicted in the United States, and will most likely set the path for other cases.

For instance, Brian McCarthy, the founder of the Channelsurfing.net (another sports streaming service), was arrested last March. Finally, Richard O’Dwyer may also share Quiroa’s fate for running TVShack.

FBI Hunting Hackers 24/7

The Federals announced that they were improving their hours to tackle the problem of online attacks. This was quite a surprise for many, because most American citizens assumed that catching hackers was something the authorities assigned the experience person to do. Moreover, nobody can understand how many hours FBI spent hunting hackers before.

According to press reports, the agency admitted it has been developing an initiative for the past year. FBI was going to identify and investigate Internet-based intrusion attacks and create a team of specially trained computer experts able to extract the hackers’ online signatures from the malicious code.

It seems that the FBI is going to bring in specialists from various critical infrastructures, including finance, business, and transportation. In addition, they have also hired experts to work at its Cyber Division’s Cyber Watch command. FBI investigators will send their findings to a centre operating 24/7, which will be looking for patterns in certain cases.

The Feds see this job as addressing hacker attacks by cooperating with their own Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence divisions. Moreover, information, dubbed the “National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force”, will be provided to other law enforcement agencies, like the National Security Agency, the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security for further investigation. According to Special Agent Richard McFeely, who is also an executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch, the goal of the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force is to find “attribution piece” of an online intrusion.

In the meantime, the attribution piece is spook talk for someone conducting the attack or the exploitation and their motive. The authorities are intended to conduct all the necessary analysis in order to find out who is at the other end of the keyboard perpetrating the attacks. The industry observers believe the FBI doesn’t want to consider the idea of dealing with a full on terrorist attack, only to reveal a luckless British looking for aliens. However, the FBI claims that its aim is to ensure that the nation’s secrets don’t leak to adversaries, and the agency is ready to work 24/7 to do its job.

Mobile Access to the Web Will Soon Exceed PC

It was said that the number of people accessing the web via their mobile devices will exceed PC users by 2015 in the United States,followed by the Western Europe.


Analysts at IDC claimed that the number of people using the web through a personal computer in the United States will decrease from 240 million this year to 225 million in 3 years. In the meantime, the number of mobile users will grow from 174 million to 265 million over the same period. This trend is expected to be followed in other parts of the world – for instance, the Western Europe will face the same proportion a couple of years later.

With smartphones becoming increasingly widespread, the chances are that the situation will remain the same if not more so in emerging markets while the users switch from feature phones. At the same time, sales of personal computers are expected to stay lower. More and more often you can see the mobile phone icon next to your friends’ “online” status. The experts claim that at the same time the mobile advertising throughout the globe will increase from $6 billion last year to $28 billion in 3 years.

Anyway, this change will most likely have an impact on overall advertising revenues. The statistics shows that a lot of companies have struggled to get money from Internet advertising despite generating large revenues from PC use. One of the bright examples is Facebook, which has struggled to really effectively monetize online advertising, as you can see from its dropping share value. The predictions are that the 66% of the social network members visiting the service through a personal computer this year will drop to 52% in 2016.

Hurricane Sandy Saved Facebook Share Price

The storm appears to be good only for Facebook, as it saved the share price of data harvesting operation for a while. A lot of shares were predicted to end up in the market when Facebook employees were finally allowed to sell them off. Before, they couldn’t sell them and just had to watch as their value fell.


Although the sudden injection of shares would definitely make some people at Facebook very rich, it would also lead to the overall share price fall. Fortunately for the company, Facebook received a few days grace because of a rough hurricane hitting New York, closing Wall Street and a lamb laying down on Broadway.

Media reports say that employees at Facebook are expected to be tearing their hair and stamping on their rabbit. Actually, the staff has spent half of year by watching helplessly as the value of the company’s shares dropped.

In the meantime, both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were closed this Monday because of the hurricane – it turned out to be the exchanges’ first shutdown because of the weather in the last 27 years. Up to date, there are 234,000,000 shares of the social network’s stock owned by company staff, which were eligible for trading on Monday.

The largest social network throughout the globe had moved up the lock-up expiration date for employees by a few weeks in an attempt to bolster morale among Facebook staff who couldn’t sell shares even after other insiders and early investors have done that.

The company is gambling that the recent increase in the share price of 12% after good quarterly results would stop the share price from dropping that much. Facebook shares closed last Friday’s regular session at $21.94, but the experts continue to predict that they will be no more than $13 by the end of 2012.

Dotcom Warned by Authorities over Relaunching MegaUpload

Kim Dotcom has recently announced his plans to restart his file-sharing service. The US Department of Justice reacted quickly, claiming that if Kim furthers his plans he would violate the terms of his bail and face new criminal charges.

Of course, the news that Kim Dotcom is planning to introduce another alternative to the file-sharers didn’t make the entertainment industry and its legal guardians very happy. Department of Justice stated in a filing against Kim’s lawyers’ effort to dismiss the case against MegaUpload that Defense Counsel’s claim that the corporate defendant is able to and should be allowed to operate would undermine the sworn statements of MegaUpload’s founder that he doesn’t have any intention or ability to continue file-sharing operation or fund the businesses in the indictment during pendency of the extradition process.

The US pointed out that if Kim intentionally misled the New Zealand court about his plans and capabilities to get released from pre-extradition confinement, it might endanger his bail situation and subject him to additional criminal charges.

In the meantime, Kim’s announcement also came as a surprise for those who remember his statement about future business plans made this past January in New Zealand. He claimed that there was no realistic prospect or possibility to restart his file-sharing business because of the seizure of the requisite servers and data storage equipment, along with the seizure of all funds held both by the company and Dotcom personally. Kim added that it was likely that former MegaUpload users would consider any new iteration of the file-sharing service as unreliable, because it could again be subject to a further incident, with the American government taking action to shut it down and deprive users of having legitimate access to their content.

But now one of Dotcom’s lawyers stated that the US was simply attacking a technology before the full investigation, and not for the first time. They claim that Dotcom is innocent and entitled to be involved in both technology and business. It is quite interesting for many how this will eventually turn out and if Kim will manage to restart the same type of business that has already brought him both an empire and a heavy prosecution.

Indian Mobile Companies to Link with Interception Server

The country’s telecommunication department is ready to demand that all mobile phone companies link their networks up with RIM’s interception server by 2013.


Despite the request of the telecommunication groups to the Indian government for a 4-month extension before they had to comply, the terms remained the same and by the end of 2012 everyone has to be linked. The country’s government has also been leaning on the Blackberry maker to check if the interception system is working as they expected. They want to demonstrate its work via trials with Vodafone.

Local media reports that both the India’s Intelligence Bureau and the telecoms department were unhappy with a trial on Vodafone’s network which took place earlier in 2012. Despite the fact that the company originally resisted, RIM has to introduce the technologies to decrypt its Blackberry Messenger service (also known as BBM), along with Blackberry Internet Services. Moreover, it also has to be able to decrypt call data, server locations, and Blackberry Enterprise Services used for corporate e-mails.

There was an internal note leaked to the press. It was dated last week and saying that the company has to arrange for testing as soon as possible. In the meanwhile, new CEO Thorstein Heins has announced his company’s commitment to cooperating with the authorities, but this would only be for lawful interception. In other words, RIM is supposed to care about customer security at the first place. While the Indian authorities continue insisting that they will be able to decrypt RIM’s services, Thorstein Heins promised that people would still have a completely secure communication. Earlier in 2012 the company denied the rumors that it had handed the authorities the encryption keys to its networks.

Top Wall Street Analyst Fired for Facebook IPO

Wall Street analysts have always been considered faultless and allowed to stuff up the economy just to end up earning even more money for their troubles. However, now the failed Facebook IPO seems to be the reason for blaming and firing someone.

At the moment, Citigroup stock analyst Mark Mahaney is cleaning out his workplace in the wake of an investigation into the IPO. He was a famous and well-liked person in Wall Street, so a lot of industry experts were pretty shocked to learn this news. In fact, if someone like him could be accused of dodgy financial advice, then they all could be.

Mark Mahaney was one of the best financial analysts on Wall Street, but the bank had to do something. Aside from firing Mahaney, it also had to pay a $2,000,000 fine to Massachusetts regulators in order to settle charges that they improperly disclosed research on Facebook ahead of its IPO. Of course, it wasn’t Manahey himself, but he seems to have failed to supervise a junior analyst who improperly shared the research in question with the press. In addition, he allegedly failed to consult with his management before giving interview about Google, and later claimed that there wasn’t any interview.

All these accusations are quite strange, taking into account that Mark Mahaney was named the top online analyst for the 5th straight year because he never waffled about a company’s chances, though his peers did that a lot. Although his involvement in the Facebook IPO stuff-up was minor, his junior analyst turned out to get him into trouble by leaking data about what the Wall Street thinks about Facebook IPO. The leaked information contained an outline which was supposed to eventually become the company’s 30-page initiation report.

Facebook’s stock was priced at $38 in the IPO, but recently the company has traded as low as $17.55. Industry experts believe that the share price will settle somewhere at $13 when the stock becomes unlocked.

Mark Mahaney was one of the analysts at the banks underwriting Facebook’s IPO who had quite cautious views of this offering and called it overvalued. His colleagues complain that it’s darkly ironic that one of the signature regulatory actions from Facebook IPO managed to involve punishing financial analysts for disseminating cautious data about the company.

Video Games Outfit Warned by Hackers

Troubled computer games company named Zynga is currently even in more trouble because of the well-known hacking group Anonymous. Zynga has laid off its employees a week ago and closed several of its offices just before its quarterly earnings call.

According to press reports, the hacking collective is miffed by the company and has already published a video warning. Anonymous openly says it is going to attack Zynga and Facebook next Monday. The hackers claim that Zynga and Facebook will be targeted because of the outrageous treatment of their staff, as well as their actions against some of the developers.

Anonymous claimed that the actions of the computer games outfit will lead to a massive layoff of 1,000 people along with legal actions against those who speak to the public about the plan. The hackers point out that these moves will finally result in the end of the American game market, with the jobs being replaced in other countries. However, the fact that infuriated the Anonymous was that Zynga was supposed to have a billion dollars in the bank while laying off its people. The hackers mentioned that they have confidential papers and the group will release all the games taken from the company’s servers for free. However, they promise to stop the free distribution if the company abandons the plan.

The acquired documents say that the company’s strategy for the next two quarters was set to delivery by the end of November, which means the loss of 800 jobs and raising of new capital from the market in order to support businesses. The matter is that Zynga is going to completely outsource the game development to its Bangalore office in order to hedge the company’s position in the long term. Zynga is currently buying new products from the 3rd parties like Lovers in a Dangerous Space time, Shove Prod and Music Invaders, where the company is writing business contacts to purchase content for the transaction value of around $20 million. These deals are expected to be concluded in the nearest future and Zynga is going to compete with these titles against competitors in mobile.

After the papers were published online, Zynga claimed they were copyright violation, so they have been pulled from the web. Thus far, company representatives didn’t provide any comment.