Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Adverse effects of the meltdown

BookValue
Political Economy of Global Financial Crisis
Vijay R. Thite
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Economic patriotism

Lethargy has come to our rescue, Vijay R. Thite wryly comments in Political Economy of Global Financial Crisis. At a time when many countries are in deep economic crisis, India has been fortunate mainly due to slowness of financial reforms, slower dismantling of regulation constraints, and a cautious approach to permitting foreign investors, Thite says.

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The three requisites of a leader

BookValue
More Than You Know
Michael J. Mauboussin
( http://www.harpercollins.co.in/ )

Qualities of biz leaders

If, as an investor, you are trying to assess the quality of a business leader, look for three qualities, viz. learning, teaching, and self-awareness, says Michael J. Mauboussin in the updated and expanded edition of More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

'Becoming wealthy requires some discipline'

BookValue
Wealth Management
Dun & Bradstreet
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Creating wealth

How do you measure your happiness? If ‘money’ is your yardstick, it may shock you to know that you are caught in an ‘unwealthy’ habit. To think that happiness is directly proportional to the amount of money on hand will make you a slave to work harder for generating more money, reasons Wealth Management from Dun & Bradstreet.

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Follow your passion

Books 2 Byte
A Mathematical Mosaic
Ravi Vakil
(Westland)

Problem-solving skills are portable

Try lots of things when you're young, so you can find out what you like to do, reads a nugget of wisdom that Ravi Vakil captures in a portrait of Richard Rusczyk, founder of Art of Problem Solving ... These resources focus on mathematical problem solving because problem solving skills are broadly transferable to other disciplines, Vakil observes in `A Mathematical Mosaic: Patterns & problem solving' (Westland).

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Look at physics inside the problem

Books 2 Byte
Head First Physics
Heather Lang
(http://www.shroffpublishers.com/)

Painless physics

"Do we have to clean up tonight, or can we just wait until tomorrow?" Use the power button on your calculator, to multiply by the same number lots of times without having to type it all out, advises Heather Lang in Head First Physics: A learner's companion to mechanics and practical physics.

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RPO and RTO

Books 2 Byte
MCTS
Joel Stidley
(http://www.wileyindia.com/)

High availability

Do you get to hear the phrase `high availability' too frequently during discussions with application and hardware vendors? If `yes,' it may help to know that the catchphrase has different definitions, as Joel Stidley observes in MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure Configuration Study Guide.

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The story of SBI

Books 2 Byte
The Evolution of the State Bank of India
Abhik Ray
(http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/)

Growing a bank through the punched card era

Machines were imported and the mechanised section began functioning from June 21, 1961, recounts Abhik Ray, in The Evolution of the State Bank of India: Volume 4, The era from 1955 to 1980. "Listing machines were also installed at the Bombay and Calcutta LHOs (local head offices) for preparing statements of accounts and other periodic advices for constituents."

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Categorising the investors

Say Cheek
Value Investing and Behavioral Finance
Parag Parikh
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Why past bubbles do not serve as a guide

Investors do their research on companies; but do companies similarly study their investors? Thus, wonders Parag Parikh in Value Investing and Behavioral Finance: Insights into Indian stock market realities.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

'It’s all about cycles'

Say Cheek
The Bull Inside the Bear
Robert Stein
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

‘The next expansion is around the corner’

Much like the tale of sheep in wolf’s clothing, or the forecast of calm after the storm, here is something you may hunger to hear: “Real estate has had its run, and now it’s time for stocks to begin the race,” as Robert Stein declares in ‘The Bull Inside the Bear: Finding new investment opportunities in today’s fast-changing financial markets’.

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'White' vs 'Green'

Books of Account
Hungry Nation to Agro Power
Anil Shinde
(http://www.ameyaprakashan.com/)

Raising rural income

Poverty elimination programmes and the improvement of income of rural population are intimately linked to integrated farming operation, avers K. K. Iya in one of the essays included in Hungry Nation to Agro Power: Annasaheb Shinde, sculptor of Indian agriculture development, edited by Anil Shinde.

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'Implement full-cost market pricing'

Books of Account
Agenda for a New Economy
David C. Korten
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

A fundamental market principle

Implement full-cost market pricing, says David C. Korten as one of the twelve points that he lists in Agenda for a New Economy: From phantom wealth to real wealth. Full-cost pricing is a fundamental market principle, he adds. “For the market to allocate efficiently, the market price of a good or service must include the full cost of its production and use, including ‘externalities’ like worker, consumer, family, community, and environmental health, which economists and accountants generally ignore.”

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The four pillars to success

Book Mark
The Four Pillars of Profit-Driven Marketing
Leslie H. Moeller and Edward C. Landry
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Make marketing accountable

Analytics, decision-support tools, process, and organisational alignment. These are the requisites for maximising creativity, accountability and ROI (return on investment), say Leslie H. Moeller and Edward C. Landry in The Four Pillars of Profit-Driven Marketing.

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'Sip the tea and sink the stress'

Book Mark
Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul
Alexandra Stoddard
(Westland)

Spa for the soul

The tea party is a spa for the soul, reads a quote of Alexandra Stoddard in Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul (Westland). “You leave your cares and work behind. Busy people forget their business. Your stress melts a way, your senses awaken.”

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Accepting the unacceptable facts

Book Mark
Key Concepts in Marketing
Jim Blythe
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Organisations acquire reputations

Spin-doctoring is a process of putting a good face on unacceptable facts, whereas managing reputation is a process of ensuring that the facts themselves are acceptable, differentiates Jim Blythe in Key Concepts in Marketing. He urges organisations to create the accurate reputation (good or bad) rather than try presenting a ‘good’ reputation.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

PowerPoint Presentations across the globe

Manage Mentor
Stand and Deliver
Mark and Mary-Jane Barnes
(Westland)

Cultural differences

Expectations differ on how a presentation should be. For instance, in the UK and Europe, audiences are perfectly happy if there is little or no PowerPoint, making a presentation very presenter-centric, write Mark and Mary-Jane Barnes in Stand and Deliver: A Master Class in Making Powerful Presentations (Westland).

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Adopt good meeting practices

Manage Mentor
Motivate Like a CEO
Suzanne Bates
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Do more in less time

Do you find yourself in meetings that are long, disorganised and unproductive? Nothing unusual, if your company is a large or a medium-sized one, and the only comfort to you can be the fact that you are not alone. But, if you are the one running the meetings, it is possible to create a productive and efficient meeting environment, assures Suzanne Bates in Motivate Like a CEO.

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Importance of 'knowledge management'

Books 2 Byte
International Business
Gabriele Suder
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Go the extra KM

KM or knowledge management can be a great asset, assures Gabriele Suder in International Business. She explains how KM becomes a skill when business intelligence enables it to share the most relevant and highly targeted information (not be biggest quantities but the best quality) filtered for the interests and needs of particular users.

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'Being ‘busy’ is not a sign of success'

Books 2 Byte
Stress Less
Don Colbert
( http://www.magnamags.com/)

Business vs busyness

Most people who try to cram more and more into their hours feel ‘shocked’ at how quickly time passes, says Don Colbert in Stress Less. “They aren’t enjoying the minutes as they are lived, and then one day, they awaken to realise with sadness that they have missed out on a great deal of enjoyment,” he bemoans, in a chapter on ‘building margin into your life.’

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'Intelligence' without 'action'

Books 2 Byte
Intelligence Is Not Enough
Edward de Bono
(Westland)

Scribes circumscribed

Many centuries ago, when most people did not know how to read and write, do you know who did the reading, writing, and number work? The ‘scribes,’ says Edward de Bono in Intelligence Is Not Enough (Westland). “Everyone else got on with the daily business of living and working. So education was intended for these scribes.

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Invention of creative method

Books 2 Byte
Edison on Innovation
Alan Axelrod
( http://www.josseybass.com/)

Invention factory

The single most significant invention of Thomas Alva Edison was his creative method, says Alan Axelrod in Edison on Innovation: 102 lessons in creativity for business and beyond. Edison shattered two enduring and pervasive patterns of production, the author observes.

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A peek into the BPO industry

Books 2 Byte
True Stories from India’s BPO & Call Centres
Sudhindra Mokhasi
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

True stories from call centres

Here is a book ‘dedicated to all of India’s BPO and call centre men and women who took the leap of faith into a new industry, braved the initial chaos and growth pains, weathered the outsourcing backlash, fought their circadian clocks to work the nocturnal shifts, endured envious and often misguided public perceptions and ultimately prevailed, thrived and even triumphed to cement India’s position as the outsourcing destination in today ’s knowledge economy’ — True Stories from India’s BPO & Call Centres, compiled and edited by Sudhindra Mokhasi.

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Solving problems with a gut feel

BookValue
Unlock Your ESP Potential
Deepak Rao
(http://www.magnamags.com/)

Logic vs intuition

With volumes having been written on the wisdom of logic, it may be logical to believe that logic is the right method of decision-making; yet, focused research has proven that most actions we perform daily are based on gut feel, argues Deepak Rao in Unlock Your ESP Potential.

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FDI and the services sectors

BookValue
Trade in Services in South Asia
Sama Kelegama
( http://www.sagepublications.com/ )

Growth in services

Services sector has been the main driver of growth in South Asia, writes Rashmi Banga in one of the essays included in Trade in Services in South Asia: Opportunities and Risks of Liberalization, edited by Sama Kelegama.

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Provoke your thoughts

BookValue
The Importance of Possibili
Edward de Bono
(Westland)

Look for possibilities

In traditional thinking you need to be right at each step so that your end result is necessarily right; but in ‘provocation’ there may not be a reason for saying something until after it has been said, Edward de Bono writes in The Importance of Possibili… (Westland). Provocation is part of the formal process of lateral thinking, he explains.

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'Overconfident' investors

BookValue
50 Psychological Experiments for Investors
Mickäel Mangot
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Single women & investing

When it comes to investing, women show more prudence than men, observes Mickäel Mangot in 50 Psychological Experiments for Investors. Because of their greater risk aversion, when women invest, they tend to choose less risky investments than men in the same income and wealth categories, he reasons.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

All in the 'money'

Books of Account
IPL
Alam Srinivas and T. R. Vivek
(http://www.rolibooks.com/)

The hammer game

Whether it is football, baseball or cricket, commercialisation implies the same thing, and the financial model is simple and straightforward in all the major sports leagues across the world, observe Alam Srinivas and T. R. Vivek in IPL: An inside story - cricket & commerce.

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Asian market dynamics

Books of Account
Life Insurance in Asia
Stephan Binder and Joseph Luc Ngai
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Strategy for insurance growth

Acquisitions are not likely to play a big role in MNC entry into Asia, since there are not that many acquisition targets, say Stephan Binder and Joseph Luc Ngai in Life Insurance in Asia: Winning in the next decade.

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Tips for your 'brand' growth

Book Mark
Killer Differentiators
Jacky Tai and Wilson Chew
(Westland)

Narrate your product story

Even if all your competitors make their products the same way, you can still use the manufacturing process as a differentiator, urge Jacky Tai and Wilson Chew in Killer Differentiators: 13 Strategies to Grow Your Brand (Westland). “All you have to do is be the first to tell the story,” the authors advise.

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Advertising campaign in foreign market

Book Mark
International Entrepreneurship
Robert D. Hisrich
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Get the message right

The key issues in establishing a good advertising campaign for the foreign market are the advertising budget, the media strategy, and the message, writes Robert D. Hisrich in International Entrepreneurship: Starting, Developing, and Managing a Global Venture.

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Asian marketers' challenges

Book Mark
Create Connect Convince
Jörg Dietzel
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Building locally relevant brands

There are two primary challenges that marketers in Asia face, says Jörg Dietzel in Create Connect Convince: Fundamentals of Advertising, Branding, Communication. “First, they need to build a consistent brand across Asian markets. Second, the brand needs to be locally relevant to their target groups in order to stimulate sales, while at the same time minimising funds spent.”

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Successful partnership

Manage Mentor
Global Comparative Management
Ralph B. Edfelt
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Personal network

Many Chinese entrepreneurs, through extensive personal, domestic, regional, and global business networks, are successfully partnering with other businesses, forming virtual extended enterprises that transcend size limitations, observes Ralph B. Edfelt in Global Comparative Management: A functional approach.

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Self-assessment questions

Manage Mentor
The Five Most Important Questions
Peter F. Drucker
( http://www.josseybass.com/)

Your mission must fit on a T-shirt

What is our mission? Who is our customer? What does the customer value? What are our results? And what is our plan? If these appear too ordinary questions to ask, think again. “Simple questions can be profound, and answering them requires us to make stark and honest – and sometimes painful – self-assessments,” says Frances Hesselbein in the foreword to The Five Most Important Questions.

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The e-mail 'interrupter'

Books 2 Byte
Time to think
Mark Barnes
(Westland)

Inbox addiction

E-mail adds speed to communication, but with poor discipline, e-mail can be a major cause of work-related stress, cautions Mark Barnes in Time to think: Seize control of your time and life (Westland). "Some users check their e-mail twenty or more times during the course of the day, with usage in general peaking late afternoon and early evening."

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The innovation pyramid

Books 2 Byte
Entrepreneurship for Everyone
Robert B. Mellor
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Diversity, a major source of innovation

While invention is right at the top of the innovation pyramid, and the middle layer is creativity, what lies at the base is mundane `diversity,' which is responsible for the majority of everyday problem solving (incremental innovation), says Robert B. Mellor in Entrepreneurship for Everyone: A student textbook.

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Working with UPS

Books 2 Byte
Punching In
Alex Frankel
(http://www.harpercollins.com/)

Heart of UPS

Large-scale technology systems have both front and back ends, writes Alex Frankel in Punching In: One man's undercover adventures on the front lines of America's best-known companies. The front end collects input and processes it so that it conforms to specifications that the back end can use, and the two sides connect through an interface, he explains.

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`Waiting waste'

Books 2 Byte
Office Kaizen
William Lareau
(http://www.pqp.in/)

Information waste

What happens when people wait for information, a meeting, a signature, a returned phone call, a copier or computer that is broken? `Waiting waste,' frets William Lareau in Office Kaizen: Transforming office operations into a strategic competitive advantage.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

The 'online' experience

Books 2 Byte
Click
Bill Tancer
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

`We are what we click'

If you want an example of how the Internet is changing the way we experience, look no further than the newspaper industry, says Bill Tancer in Click: What millions of people are doing online and why it matters.

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Change your attitude

BookValue
Happier than God
Neale Donald Walsch
(http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Stay positive in a sea of negativity

The statement `I want more money' may not draw money to you, but may actually push it away, cautions Neale Donald Walsch in Happier than God: Turn Ordinary Life into an Extraordinary Experience.

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‘Tasteful spaces’

BookValue
Timeless Ventures
Haruo Funabashi
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Think long term

When Japan was hit by the Great Tenmei Famine in the 1780s, what did Kozan, a local cake-maker in Nagano Prefecture do? He offered food to the hungry, and converted his warehouses for the famine-affected. This work also provided temporary jobs for carpenters and builders; as a result, incomes revived people’s pride and well-being, writes Haruo Funabashi in Timeless Ventures: 32 Japanese Companies that Imbibed 8 Principles of Longevity.

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Tips to sustain corporate reputation

BookValue
Reputation
Charles J. Fombrun
(Harvard Business School Press)

Reputational capital

As investors, we expect companies to be credible, says Charles J. Fombrun in Reputation: Realizing Value from the Corporate Image (Harvard Business School Press). “We ask that managers live up to the claims and commitments they make in press releases, annual reports, and other communications. Having entrusted them with our hard-earned savings, we demand that they show good faith in their dealings with us.”

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Buy-and-hold strategy

BookValue
Bonds
Hildy and Stan Richelson
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/ )

Strategy for bonds

There is little evidence that even top economists can consistently predict the health of next year’s economy, much less the direction of interest rates, say Hildy and Stan Richelson in Bonds: The Unbeaten Path to Secure Investment Growth.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

'The rule of two'

Books of Account
Starting & Running a Successful Consultancy
Susan Nash
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Computing billing rate

As a wannabe consultant, if you want to know how to compute your billing rate, here is some guidance from Susan Nash in Starting & Running a Successful Consultancy, third edition. Two things you need to know before getting into billing rate are billable hours and utilisation rate, says Nash.

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Cost cutting methods

Books of Account
South Asian Yearbook of Trade and Development
B. S. Chimni, Saman Kelegama, Mustafizur Rahman and Linu Mathew Philip
( http://www.academicfoundation.com/ )

Cut transport costs to boost trade flows

A 10 per cent saving in transport costs is likely to increase trade by about 6 per cent in Asia, reports an essay included in South Asian Yearbook of Trade and Development, edited by B. S. Chimni, Saman Kelegama, Mustafizur Rahman and Linu Mathew Philip. Trade flows are likely to be greatly benefited more by reduction of transport cost than by tariff reductions, the essay adds, citing research studies.

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'Win the battle but lose the war'

Book Mark
The Marketing Accountability Imperative
Michael Dunn
( http://www.josseybass.com/)

Easy ROI can lead to lazy marketing

Is ROI (return on investment) the best measure of marketing spending performance? This is one of the many questions that Michael Dunn takes up in The Marketing Accountability Imperative: Driving Superior Returns on Marketing Investments. Easy ROI can lead to lazy marketing, he warns. “Ready access to precise ROI can become an excuse for avoiding the upfront work needed to find new customer insight.”

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'Speak in human terms'

Book Mark
Crisis Communication
Peter F. Anthonissen
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

When facts can fail

Facts are important but when ‘faced with crisis-laden video pictures, blogs gone wild, interest groups presenting their information (or disinformation) across new media,’ companies need to speak in human terms, counsels Roger Bridgeman in one of the essays included in Crisis Communication: Practical PR Strategies for Reputation Management and Company Survival, edited by Peter F. Anthonissen.

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'Go and grow with the customer'

Book Mark
India’s Global Powerhouses
Nirmalya Kumar
( http://www.harvardbusiness.org/)

The three ‘R’ approach

Go and grow with the customer. This is the philosophy that Essel Propack adopted to become a success across the world, says Nirmalya Kumar in India’s Global Powerhouses, a new publication from Harvard Business Press.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Rushing at things can worsen a situation

Manage Mentor
Tough Tactics for Tough Times
Patrick Forsyth and Frances Kay
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Make calculations, not assumptions

Guard against the distinct tendency to seek instant solutions, caution Patrick Forsyth and Frances Kay in Tough Tactics for Tough Times: How to maintain business success in difficult economic conditions.

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Project reviews

Manage Mentor
Discovery-Driven Growth
Rita Gunther McGrath and Ian C. MacMillan
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Let review rhythms reflect biz dynamics

What happens when time and business dynamics exert a certain tyranny on business? “Everybody runs around like crazy as the peak seasons in the fiscal year descend upon them; people attempt to make decisions fit neatly into a given planning horizon,” describes a recent book from Harvard Business Press. The dilemma with such calendar-oriented review cycles is that they can waste a lot of everyone’s time on pointless preparation and discussion, rue Rita Gunther McGrath and Ian C. MacMillan in Discovery-Driven Growth: A breakthrough process to reduce risk and seize opportunity.

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Virtualisation, an emerging technology

Books 2 Byte
Technology Forecast
(http://www.pwc.com/)

World of virtualisation

Adoption of virtualisation solutions is expected to accelerate for the next few years, says Technology Forecast. The quarterly journal (summer 2008) cites the survey findings of Forrester Research - that x86 server virtualisation would increase from half to two-thirds of enterprise IT organisations.


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Real-world Web applications

Books 2 Byte
ASP.NET 3.5 in Simple Steps
(Dreamtech)

Master page

Real-world Web applications, such as those for online banking or shopping, demand a consistent look and feel so as to enrich users' experience of visiting the site, and that is facilitated by a feature called `master pages and themes,' informs ASP.NET 3.5 in Simple Steps (Dreamtech).

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