Monday, May 25, 2009

Cost of operations of MFIs

Books of Account
Understanding Microfinance
Debadutta K. Panda
( http://www.wileyindia.com/ )

Cost vs outreach

The cost of operations of MFIs (microfinance institutions) depends on the level of outreach, observes Debadutta K. Panda in Understanding Microfinance. The cost of fund, operating cost and bad debts decrease when the number of clients increases, he notes.

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'Scarcity value’ than ‘scarcity'

Books of Account
Water, Ecosystems and Society
Jayanta Bandyopadhyay
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Valuation of water

A common piece of advice that Jayanta Bandyopadhyay offers to those in the Cauvery basin and Colorado is that they can be better off by growing low water-consuming crops. He argues that regions under chronic water scarcity, such as the Cauvery basin, come under further stress by cultivating high water-consuming crops like rice. “Similar is the case with Colorado that produces a high water-consuming fodder crop like alfalfa,” writes Bandyopadhyay in Water, Ecosystems and Society: A confluence of disciplines.

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The world of web generation

Books 2 Byte
Enterprise Web 2.0 Fundamentals
Krishna Sankar, Susan A. Bouchard
( http://www.ciscopress.com/)

Semantic Web

Unless you belong to some old generation, you would have noticed that the shifts in the world of web generation – from static to dynamic, from publishing to participatory, that is, from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. The next level of innovation, from the second generation to the third, the Semantic Web, will be a transition from linked documents to linked data and will be focused around context, foresee Krishna Sankar, Susan A. Bouchard in Enterprise Web 2.0 Fundamentals.

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Switched-capacitor resistor

Books 2 Byte
Linear Integrated Circuits: Analysis, design & applications
B. Somanathan Nair
( http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Chip design

In integrated-circuit (IC) manufacturing, the cost of an IC is dependent on the chip area, and since resistors occupy maximum chip area, cost of chip can be reduced by reducing the number of resistors, writes B. Somanathan Nair in Linear Integrated Circuits: Analysis, design & applications.

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The directory to locate remote objects and applications

Books 2 Byte
MCTS Configuring Windows Server 2008 Active Directory: Study guide
Dennis Suhanovs
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Enter the ‘AD forest’

Computer directories used to be explained through the common example of telephone directory, ‘where records are normalised (last name, initials, phone number, address) and listed in a certain order (alphabetically, ascending). But the definition of ‘directory’ as we know it today has expanded a great deal beyond its original purpose, says Dennis Suhanovs in MCTS Configuring Windows Server 2008 Active Directory: Study guide.

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IT, a tool for social development

Books 2 Byte
Knowledge to Policy
Fred Carden
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

‘Cyber shepherd’ for grazing tips

Political turmoil is almost always the top news about Nepal, and not many may be aware that, at a different level, the tiny landlocked country is striving to harness the powers of ICT (information and communication technology) for development. “Until 1996, the country did not even have a government department responsible for science and technology. When the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) was created, however, it signalled a modest step into the technological age,” writes Fred Carden in Knowledge to Policy: Making the most of development research.

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It is best to save up before you start

BookValue
So You Have a Great Idea for a Business… Now What?
Justin Hera
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/ )

B-plan, what next?

Justin Herald, an iconic Australian entrepreneur and motivational speaker, is aghast that some people live off their business plan and business forecast instead of the actual money that is coming into their bank account from their business turnover. “They look at their business plan instead of their bank statement, which I guarantee will be two very different figures,” writes Herald in So You Have a Great Idea for a Business… Now What?.

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The paradox of money

BookValue
The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing
Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf
( http://www.wileyindia.com/ )

Keep emotions in check

Mastering your investments means mastering your emotions, reads the title of a chapter in The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf.

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To become a good trader

BookValue
Technical Analysis of Stock Trends
Robert D. Edwards and John Magee
( http://www.visionbooksindia.com/ )

Know the market

What happens when, as a trader, you do not set up a basic strategy and are bereft of a sound philosophy of what the market is doing and why? You will be at the mercy of every panic, boom, rumour, tip, and every wind that blows, cautions the ninth edition of Technical Analysis of Stock Trends by Robert D. Edwards and John Magee.

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Compelling aspects of media

Book Mark
The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture
Deanna D. Sellnow
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Media logic

You Google something and you get fidgety because the information you are looking for is not on the first page. When watching a movie, the screen presence of computers or cell phones, radios or TVs don’t get your attention. This is media logic at play, explains Deanna D. Sellnow in The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture: Considering Mediated Texts.

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India’s income distribution

Book Mark
The Indicus Consumer Handbook
Laveesh Bhandari
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

Back decisions with right consumer data

There is no workable definition of who the affluent are and how their affluence impacts their consumption, notes The Indicus Consumer Handbook: The Marketer’s Guide to Indian Consumers, edited by Laveesh Bhandari.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Internet marketing

Book Mark
What They don’t Teach You about Marketing
Ketan Joshi
( http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/)

Tech-edge

One of the ways to use mobile phones for ads is ‘Bluetooth marketing,’ says Ketan Joshi in What They don’t Teach You about Marketing: Filling the Gap between Curriculum and Real Life.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Five characteristics of Asian executives

Manage Mentor
Unleashing Your Entrepreneurial Potential
Raghu Nandan
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

ROADS to success

Five characteristics that Asian executives can adopt are ROADS, says Raghu Nandan in Unleashing Your Entrepreneurial Potential. He explains the acronym: Relentless drive for upgradation, Organised and systematic approach in daily life, Attitude to quality, personal Dignity and self-respect, and being Sharp and observant.

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Replication and re-engineering

Manage Mentor
Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen
Porus Munshi
( http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

Break out of the ‘fitting-in’ mindset

Product innovation often flows from the developed world into India, bemoans Porus Munshi in Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen: How 11 Indians pulled off the impossible. “The belief we have managed to create for ourselves is that we are good at replication and ‘re-engineering.’

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Challenges for online researchers

Books 2 Byte
A Guide to Conducting Online Research
Ted J. Gaiser and Anthony E. Schreiner
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Participant observation

One of the challenges for online researchers is the concern about lurking, caution Ted J. Gaiser and Anthony E. Schreiner in A Guide to Conducting Online Research. “In the case of a researcher, the major issues are related to being ‘present’ but silent, and gathering information for the purposes of research and analysis without the knowledge and consent of the participants.”

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Risk analysis

Books 2 Byte
Authorized Self-Study Guide: Implementing Cisco IOS Network Security (IINS)
Catherine Paquet
( http://www.ciscopress.com/)

Risk analysis in information security

Two types of risk analysis in information security are quantitative and qualitative, writes Catherine Paquet in Authorized Self-Study Guide: Implementing Cisco IOS Network Security (IINS).

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Indian labour, cheap and the best

Books 2 Byte
Indian
Krishnan Arunachalam
( http://www.pentagon-press.com/)

Garden coolies and cyber coolies

India is fast becoming ‘the best servant US ever had,’ laments Krishnan Arunachalam in Indian: An ideal labour or slave. “Every year the government has been liberalising its restrictions on the foreign companies who are now looking at India as the best market to get cheap labour, which will increase their productivity and profit without spending for additional capacity.”

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Indian software and hardware industries

Books 2 Byte
New Industries from New Places
Neil Gregory, Stanley Nollen and Stoyan Tenev
( http://www.worldbank.org/)

Behind the software success...

Labour is usually the first reason given for Indian software export success, but it is not a sufficient explanation of the country’s performance vis-À-vis China, argues New Industries from New Places, a recent publication of The World Bank and Stanford University Press. “China also had an ample supply of educated, low-wage labour. If skilled labour was a critical factor of production, and China had it too, why did China not become a software export powerhouse?” ask the authors, Neil Gregory, Stanley Nollen and Stoyan Tenev.

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Beat the ‘sense of I’

BookValue
The Path to Good Health and Inner Peace
David Vennells
( http://www.atfullcircle.com/ )

Pain vs peace

A reason why successful people feel a sense of achievement is that they have challenged their ‘sense of I’ and beaten it, says David Vennells in The Path to Good Health and Inner Peace. Indirectly these people do much good for the world by inspiring others to set their sights a little higher and overcome the inner barriers to happiness, adds Vennells.

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Debt market vs equity market

BookValue
Investing in India’s Emerging Resilience
Sivaprakasam Sivakumar
( http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/ )

Wanted, ‘bond’ action

Compared to the phenomenal improvements in the functioning of the stock market over the last decade with nationwide real-time trading, depository mode settlement, and diversified base of investors, the debt market has been a disappointment, rues Sivaprakasam Sivakumar in Investing in India’s Emerging Resilience.

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Foreign exchange markets

BookValue
Foreign Exchange
Mark Mobius
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Forex as an asset class

The major attraction of currencies as an asset class is for portfolio diversification, as their movements are often uncorrelated to other asset classes, says Mark Mobius in Foreign Exchange: An Introduction to the Core Concepts. Although we identify the countries where foreign exchange trading takes place, this trading is distinct from equities markets or commodities markets insofar as foreign exchange markets have no fixed location, Mobius informs.

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Retail store design

Book Mark
Marketing
Chris Hackley
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Retail environs as marketing strategy

With an intention to maximise sales per square foot of shelf space, it is not uncommon for retail stores to “undertake detailed analysis of the way consumers wander through the shop and browse the displays.” For instance, supermarkets often assume that most customers will come into the shop for bread and milk, and most customers will naturally want to walk to the left, writes Chris Hackley in Marketing: A Critical Introduction.

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The 'ad' effects

Book Mark
Business Ethics
A. C. Fernando
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

Advertisement ethics

Faced with the challenge of a clutter of ads, marketing professionals may at times think they have a licence to do anything that will make their ads noticed, cautions A. C. Fernando in Business Ethics: An Indian Perspective.

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'Meet people to find that one, right person'

Book Mark
Get the Life You Want
Richard Bandler
( http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/)

Better get moving

Meeting people is not just about going to parties, it is also about creating opportunities for relationships, says Richard Bandler in Get the Life You Want: The Secrets to Quick & Lasting Life Change. If you are desperately alone and unhappy, then maybe it’s time you stopped worrying about it and started looking for one of those other six billion people out there who are fe eling the very same as you, urges Bandler.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

View 'time' as a strategic tool

Manage Mentor
Time Mastery
John K. Clemens and Scott Dalrymple
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Time, a leadership opportunity

Time management is the undergraduate school of time, and what leaders need is a graduate degree in time, say John K. Clemens and Scott Dalrymple in Time Mastery: How temporal intelligence will make you a stronger, more effective leader.

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Three ‘rules of engagement’ for talk

Manage Mentor
The McKinsey Engagement
Paul N. Friga
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Four tips on listening

The most important of interpersonal elements is ‘talk,’ says Paul N. Friga in The McKinsey Engagement: A powerful toolkit for more efficient & effective team problem solving. Three ‘rules of engagement’ for talk, which the author lays down, are: communicate constantly, listen attentively, and separate issues from people. Costs of undercommunication far exceed those of overcommunication, he cautions.

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SBI saga

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

Stately strides, with no flourish of trumpets

As if defying the global gloom, and the slowdown mood closer home, the State Bank of India (SBI) is working on adding one thousand more branches, and achieving a 25 per cent growth this fiscal, even while extending home and car loans at concessional interest rates. To those watching the bank, all this news should be comforting enough to permit the luxury of retiring to a nook with the latest volume of The Evolution of the State Bank of India: Volume 4, which covers the period 1955-1980.

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Database failures

Books 2 Byte
Oracle 11g for Dummies
Chris Zeis, Chris Ruel and Michael Wessler
( http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Two types of recoveries

Many types of failures can befall your database. For example, a user may accidentally remove a file, or drop a table, or corrupt data, write Chris Zeis, Chris Ruel and Michael Wessler in Oracle 11g for Dummies. “Recovery Manager (or RMAN) is Oracle’s backup and recovery solution to protect the files in your database.

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Light emission technology

Books 2 Byte
Electronic Devices and Circuits
Anil K. Maini and Varsha Agrawal
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Emerging display techniques

Among the emerging display techniques are OLED, DLP, FED, plasma, and electronic ink. OLED or organic light-emitting diode is composed of ‘a light-emitting organic material sandwiched between two conducting plates, one of N-type material and the other of P-type material,’ explain Anil K. Maini and Varsha Agrawal in Electronic Devices and Circuits.

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'Great teams do not need to be together all of the time'

Books 2 Byte
The 80 Minute MBA
Richard Reeves and John Knell
( http://www.headline.co.uk/)

Set your people free

A common anxiety among bosses is how there can be a united team if everyone is self-governing, free-wheeling around and working from home. But the rise in home-working is being driven by people who work from home for a day or two a week, rather than all of the time, argue Richard Reeves and John Knell in The 80 Minute MBA: Everything you’ll never learn at business school.

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'Zero plus zero equals something’

Books 2 Byte
The Age of the Unthinkable
Joshua Cooper Ramo
( http://www.hachette.co.uk/)

Ceaseless mix and match

Bash up, we know, and mishap, we know. But what is mashup? A sign of a different landscape of power, more or less what Cubism was one hundred years ago, describes Joshua Cooper Ramo in The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the new world disorder constantly surprises us and what to do about it.

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Investing techniques

BookValue
Breakthroughs in Technical Analysis
David Keller
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Gauging collective psychology

What is the difference between fundamental analysis and technical analysis? The former tells you the ‘what’ and the ‘why,’ and the latter, the ‘when’ and ‘how,’ says David Keller in Breakthroughs in Technical Analysis: New Thinking from the World’s Top Minds.

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'Just enough’ an alternative to ‘prosperity consciousness'

BookValue
Doing Nothing
Steven Harrison
(http://www.wisdomtreeindia.com/ )

How to say ‘enough’ to greed

It is simple to come up with aphorisms about money, frets Steven Harrison in Doing Nothing: Coming to the End of the Spiritual Search. “Books are sold by the millions that teach people how to be ‘money machines,’ how to ‘attract money,’ how to be a ‘money magnet’ and so forth. The authors of these books prove their point by their own example, by selling the books. They do not understand money, they understand greed.”

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The language that matters

BookValue
House of Cards
William D. Cohan
( http://www.penguin.com/ )

Who is to blame for the tsunami of liquidity?

Observers familiar with Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns believe that the quality of the people at each is similar but the language of the two firms could not be more different, recounts William D. Cohan in House of Cards: How Wall Street’s Gamblers Broke Capitalism.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Caution is a virtue for banks

Books of Account
Asia’s Banking CEOs
Peter Hoflich
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Why price-warfare when there is no shortage in demand?

It may seem remote to imagine a bank being started with six employees in an abandoned textile mill in Mumbai. But that’s how the story about Aditya Puri begins, a little more than a decade ago, in a chapter on HDFC Bank, which Peter Hoflich chronicles in Asia’s Banking CEOs: the future of finance in Asia.

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Learning the lesson the hard way

Books 2 Byte
The Upper Hand
Michael Benoliel
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Deal swirl

Sometimes negotiators are so intent on the overall objective of cutting the deal that they fail to analyse the many variables that can influence whether the ultimate business transaction will succeed or fail. Thus observes Michael Benoliel in The Upper Hand: Winning strategies from world-class negotiators.

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To become an IT manager ...

Books 2 Byte
The A-List of B-Schools
K. V. Kamath
( http://www.mbauniverse.com/)

Is somebody sitting behind ATMs?

ICICI Bank saw a growth rate of more than 180 per cent in its very first year, but with only 50 branches, K. V. Kamath found himself ‘sandwiched between the State Bank of India and the foreign banks that had an excellent retail presence.’ The idea that would bridge the big gap was the installation of ATMs across the country, he reminisces, in one of the essays included in The A-List of B-Schools: Your definitive guide to the best in management education from Network18.

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Intelligence is like the horsepower of a car

Books 2 Byte
Intelligence Information Thinking
Edward de Bono
(Westland)

Information will not do your thinking for you

Around the world there are thousands of people writing software for computers, but how much effort have we made to write software for the human mind, asks Edward de Bono in Intelligence Information Thinking (Westland).

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‘From free to fee’

Books 2 Byte
From Products to Services
Laurie Young
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Put simplicity on view

Have you ever noticed that though many consumer businesses, such as McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, are highly complex, ‘they keep that complexity inside their business and make it simple for their customers to use them’? Drawing attention to this, Laurie Young observes that “by complete contrast, many IT companies have let their complexity fall straight through to their customers who have had to pay extra to manage their ‘platforms’ or ‘ infrastructures.’ The integrators and outsourcers have, as a result, built up multimillion dollar businesses by managing this complexity, he adds, in From Products to Services.

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'Focus on enhancing skills'

BookValue
The Fine Print of Life
P.S. Wasu
( http://www.harpercollins.co.in/ )

Bull and bull-driver

There is an inner bull, along with an inner bull driver, in every one of us, writes P.S. Wasu in The Fine Print of Life. The comparative strengths of the inner bull (the wayward tendency) and the inner bull driver (will power) vary in each person, Wasu observes.

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The five (non)behaviours

BookValue
The Persistence of Poverty
Charles Karelis
( http://www.oup.com/)

An approach to poverty

Why do poor people often stay poor? Exploring this question, Charles Karelis writes in The Persistence of Poverty: Why the Economics of the Well-off Can’t Help the Poor, that among the most important causes are five behaviours, or better, non-behaviours: “Not working, not finishing school, not saving for a rainy day, not moderating alcohol consumption, and not living within the law.”

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About stock markets

BookValue
Market Panic
Stephen Vines
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Stock market panics

A common belief is that the best opportunities occur in bull markets. However, one of the strongest lessons from history is that investors rarely know when to get out of a bull market and thus end up seeing the bulk or possibly all of their gains wiped out, writes Stephen Vines in Market Panic: Wild Gyrations, Risks and Opportunities in Stock Markets second edition.

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Do the right activity at the right time

Book Mark
10 Steps to Sales Success
Tim Breithaupt
( http://www.macmillanindia.com/)

Manage your time equity

During valuable selling hours, you must organise yourself to maximise face-time or talk-time, advises Tim Breithaupt in 10 Steps to Sales Success. “Don’t perform administrative obligations during selling time. Do those activities during the janitorial hours, outside the 8 am to 5 pm selling hours.”

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Three steps to engineer discussion

Book Mark
Serious Fun
Mark Barnes
(Westland)

Excellent service

Here is a simple activity to engineer discussion around products and services, as Mark Barnes explains in Serious Fun: Adding Buzz to Meeting, Training and Communications (Westland). Write the title ‘Excellent Service’ as a heading on a flipchart, and theme for the session.

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In the mythology of fans

Book Mark
If Cricket Is a Religion, Sachin is God
Vijay Santhanam and Shyam Balasubramanian
( http://www.harpercollins.co.in/)

Where Sachin is still 16 years old

This is not a book for those who are allergic to cricket – If Cricket Is a Religion, Sachin is God, by Vijay Santhanam and Shyam Balasubramanian. The lovers of the game, and more so the ardent followers of their iconic batsman with the ‘10’ jersey, should be keenly tracking the unfolding news – be it about the unveiling of the wax figurine at the Madame Tussauds museum in London recently, his birthday, or the exploits of the ‘Mumbai Indians’ in South Africa.

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