Thursday, July 30, 2009

Energy conversion

Books 2 Byte
Energy Opportunities & Social Responsibility
Satyesh C. Chakraborty
( http://www.jaicobooks.com/)

Energy technology

Do you know that Edward Yu of the University of California is leading a team of electrical engineers on a ‘thin-film single junction solar cell’ project with the potential for nearly 45 per cent sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency? This would allow crossing the theoretical limit of 31 per cent efficiency for conventional single junction cells, writes Satyesh C. Chakraborty in Energy Opportunities & Social Responsibility.

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Advice for students using mobile phones

Books 2 Byte
Motivating School Kids
Mukhopadhyay Suvasish
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Young users of mobile phones

Should school students carry mobile phones? This is one of the questions that Mukhopadhyay Suvasish raises in Motivating School Kids. For most students the mobile phone is just a toy and they use it for exchanging fun stuff through SMS, he opines. “Deprived of quality playgrounds and outdoor activities, children in our cities use their mobile phones as pastime devices.”

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E-Business Suite

Books 2 Byte
Oracle Procure-to-Pay Guide
Melanie Anjele Cameron
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Manual understanding of automated processes

Are you a company that uses manual purchase orders to procure items, writes up receipts to match with invoices when deliveries are made, and makes records of payments? Or, is your cycle a complex one “that is fully automated, where manufacturing demand generates purchase orders on which suppliers are determined by sourcing rules and sent out via XML, items are received into inventory according to supplier advanced shipping notifications, and invoices are created from the inspection process and paid with scheduled payment runs that remit the funds directly into the suppliers’ bank accounts”? In both the cases, EBS (E-Business Suite) of Oracle can be helpful, says Melanie Anjele Cameron in Oracle Procure-to-Pay Guide.

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The 'daringly different' ad

Books 2 Byte
I Will Survive
Sunil Robert
(Westland)

Ad skirmishes

When Acer launched its new brand ‘Veriton’ in India, a few rules got broken. “I decided that it was time to halt the safe, consensus-based advertising game. We needed to be daringly different and bold and I proposed a different strategy,” narrates Sunil Robert in I Will Survive (Westland).

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Workspace designing

Books 2 Byte
Cats
Stepehen C. Lundin
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Workspaces for innovation

When you walk through the offices of IDEO in Palo Alto, you will see evidence of prototyping, informs Stepehen C. Lundin in Cats: The nine lives of innovation. “I saw a jar full of computer mouses, a product innovated by IDEO, and I asked why so many? The answer was that on the mouse project, the company wanted to be able to ‘see’ the subtle differences,” he nar rates.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The meaning of 'success'

BookValue
Precious Gems of Wisdom
Karishma Bajaj
( http://www.magnamags.com/ )

Dynamism with calmness

Everyone wants to be successful in life, but do you know what success is, asks one of the quotes in Precious Gems of Wisdom: His Holiness Poojya Sri Sri Ravishankar, compiled by Karishma Bajaj.

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Forex trades in banks

BookValue
TDG Practitioner Guide to Forex Market
A. C. Reddi and P. Yesuthasen
(http://www.tdg.in/ )

When ‘prop’ got bitten

Proprietary (‘prop’) trading and commercial transactions are the two separate books in which banks generally record forex trades, inform A. C. Reddi and P. Yesuthasen in TDG Practitioner Guide to Forex Market. Proprietary trading is euphemism for speculation in which a bank maintains a position, which results in profit or loss, the authors add. “For these transactions, bank does not need a customer; it deals with another dealer in the market.”

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The endowment effect

BookValue
The Little Book of Main Street Money
Jonathan Clements
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Markets may be rational, but we aren’t

Market rallies often last far longer than sceptics expect, observes Jonathan Clements in The Little Book of Main Street Money: 21 simple truths that help real people make real money. Bearish investors declare that the end is nigh, only to see skyrocketing share prices make a mockery of their forecasts, he adds.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Engage in creative marketing

Book Mark
How to Sell and Market your way out of this Recession and get your Business buzzing like never before
Nicholas Bate
(Research Press)

Three essentials

An essential task now is to ask, says Nicholas Bate in How to Sell and Market your way out of this Recession and get your Business buzzing like never before (Research Press). One of the biggest challenges in a recession is the way everybody switches off, shuts down and doesn’t want even to talk to you, the author adds.

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Signing on celebrities

Book Mark
Googly
Ramanujam Sridhar
( http://www.books.iupindia.org/)

The celebrity fit

All too often, signing on celebrities seems to be done too mechanically and smacks of lazy thinking, rues Ramanujam Sridhar in Googly: Branding on Indian turf.

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Successful campaigning through ethnic route

Book Mark
Consumer Behaviour and Branding
S. Ramesh Kumar
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/)

Marketing through the ethnic route

Food, apparel and rituals are among the ethnic emblems through which consumers express their identification, says S. Ramesh Kumar in Consumer Behaviour and Branding: Concepts, readings and cases.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

To win the business battles

Manage Mentor
Beat the Recession
Nicholas Bate
(Research Press)

Make tough decisions throughout the business

The angst of this tough time in the economy will pull you into fight-or-flight thinking, cautions Nicholas Bate in Beat the Recession: A blueprint for business survival (Research Press). He urges you to balance that `evolutionary pull' with some good leadership that ensures every short-term decision also takes into account the long-term impact.

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V4L, the success formulae

Manage Mentor
Toyota Supply Chain Management
Ananth V. Iyer, Sridhar Seshadri, and Roy Vasher
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Four `v's for learning

Don't dismiss `v4L' as a queer SMS code; it's one of the formulae behind the success of a world-famous auto maker, as Toyota Supply Chain Management reveals. The four Vs are variety, velocity, variability, and visibility, and L stands for learning, explain the authors Ananth V. Iyer, Sridhar Seshadri, and Roy Vasher.

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To keep ‘smiling down the telephone'

Books 2 Byte
The Call Centre Training Handbook
John P. Wilson
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Positive persona vs deep acting

Working in a call centre has a number of similarities to being employed in retail or catering, says John P. Wilson in The Call Centre Training Handbook: A complete guide to learning & development in contact centres. “For example, when you go to a restaurant and find the waiter rude or offhand, this influences the overall quality of the evening. Although the food may be of the highest standards, it is not normally good enough to fully compensate for the poor service you experienced.”

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The story of research enterprise in India

Books 2 Byte
Indian Higher Education
Pawan Agarwal
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Boost research productivity

‘Whoever acquires knowledge but does not practise it is one who ploughs but does not sow.’ With this quote of Sa’di begins an essay titled ‘Research and higher education,’ in Indian Higher Education: Envisioning the Future by Pawan Agarwal. The author rues that the story of research enterprise in India is a story of hopes and despair. He, however, sees a general optimism about India’s potential in the new knowledge-based economy.

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AMP, the open source projects

Books 2 Byte
Beginning PHP6, Apache, MySQL Web Development
Timothy Boronczyk, Elizabeth Naramore, Jason ‘Goldburg’ Gerner, Yann ‘Bunkermaster’ Le Scouarnec, Jeremy ‘Stolzboy’ Stolz, and Michael ‘BuzzLY’ Glass
( http://www.wrox.com/)

Dynamic web site is like a fancy restaurant

What brings together Timothy Boronczyk, Elizabeth Naramore, Jason ‘Goldburg’ Gerner, Yann ‘Bunkermaster’ Le Scouarnec, Jeremy ‘Stolzboy’ Stolz, and Michael ‘BuzzLY’ Glass is AMP, and the result of their collaboration is Beginning PHP6, Apache, MySQL Web Development.

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Google lessons

Books 2 Byte
Google Speaks
Janet Lowe
( http://www.wiley.com/)

‘Does Google really do no evil?’

One of the lessons from the Google story of Larry Page and Sergey Brin is that a high-quality education system is an important incubator, says Janet Lowe in Google Speaks. Thanks to Montessori schools, public schools, great state universities, and Stanford University, the Google guys were able to learn what they needed to know to formulate and develop their ideas, she finds.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Market-maker of last resort

BookValue
Global Economic & Financial Crisis
Arjun Jayadev and Anush Kapadia
(http://www.orientblackswan.com/)

Two-fold challenge

At the current fluid juncture, the central bank ought to have the ability to `take the punch bowl away from the party,' that is, undertake counter-cyclical actions, say Arjun Jayadev and Anush Kapadia in one of the articles included in Global Economic & Financial Crisis: Essays from Economic & Political Weekly.

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A win-win situation

BookValue
Corporate Ethics, Governance, and Social Responsibility
A. C. Fernando
( http://www.pearsoned.co.in/ )

Value systems: Two can tango

When Lalu Prasad and J.J. Irani met in the early 1990s in Patna, the conversation revolved around an important issue: money. Around that time, the former had just come to power in Bihar; and the latter had become the new chief executive of Tata Steel.
“I told him that we could not give him any money as a person, we could not give his party any money, but if he had any social causes like building a school, digging wells in the summer in his constituency, giving people protection in the cold Bihar nights with blankets, flood relief, fire relief, cleaning up Patna, anything which is of the nature where the community would benefit, we have plenty of funds for that,” writes Irani, in one of the essays included in Corporate Ethics, Governance, and Social Responsibility: Precepts and Practices, edited by A. C. Fernando.

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The craft of finance

BookValue
Fool’s Gold
Gillian Tett
( http://www.hachette.co.uk/ )

Money, a vital fluid that must flow freely

If you are still trying to make sense of what went wrong in the grotesque financial markets of the West, you may find help in social anthropology, suggests Gillian Tett in Fool’s Gold. The finance world’s lack of interest in wider social matters cuts to the very heart of what has gone wrong, he reasons.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Asians in Britain

Book Mark
Balti Britain
Ziauddin Sardar
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

From middle class to millionaires

The 1980s saw the emergence of a British Asian middle class, writes Ziauddin Sardar in Balti Britain: A journey through the British Asian experience. Asian businesses until then were largely the corner newspaper shop, halal butchers and grocery stores, he recounts.

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To defeat the spectre of pessimism

Book Mark
The Optimist
Laurence Shorter
( http://www.meetatthegate.com/)

Brighter side of life

If depression and anxiety are filling your living rooms through TV news bulletins about recession, slowdown and all such grim happenings, what you may urgently require is The Optimist by Laurence Shorter.

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Think out of the box

Book Mark
Do Polar Bears Get Lonely? And 101 other intriguing science questions
Mick O’Hare
( http://www.profilebooks.com/)

Optimal search

Want to think out of the box? Try Do Polar Bears Get Lonely? And 101 other intriguing science questions, edited by Mick O’Hare. For instance, Here is a question, in a section titled ‘air traffic control’: Why don’t insects – particularly flies, wasps and bees – fly in straight lines like most birds do? Their flight patterns seem chaotic and often circular in motion; surely it is inefficient for them to fly in such a random way, wonders a questioner.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cost-benefit analysis

Books of Account
The Gridlock Economy
Michael Heller
( http://www.basicbooks.com/)

Optimal use of resources

Cost-benefit analysis may be an answer to know whether we are overusing, under-using, or optimally using resources, but the process can be full of moral and political dilemmas, cautions Michael Heller in The Gridlock Economy: How too much ownership wrecks markets, stops innovation, and costs lives.

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A two-way, reflexive connection

Books of Account
The New Paradigm for Financial Markets
George Soros
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Market prices vs fundamentals

The belief that markets tend towards equilibrium has given rise to policies which seek to give financial markets a free rein, observes George Soros in The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The credit crisis of 2008 and what it means. He calls such policies ‘market fundamentalism’ — something that is ‘no better than Marxist dogma.’

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Price discrimination

Books 2 Byte
Basic Instincts
Pete Lunn
( http://www.marshallcavendish.co.uk/)

Fair price

We expect that prices of high-tech products fall substantially with time, but not very fast, says Pete Lunn in Basic Instincts: Human nature and the new economics. He cites the example of how the early buyers of iPhone felt ripped off when Apple could knock a third off the price and could still make a profit.

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Virtual reality

Books 2 Byte
Against Happiness
Eric G. Wilson
( http://www.fsgbooks.com/)

Artificial culture

Our recent culture has made it startlingly easy to live only in a world of personal dreams, a realm from which hard reality has largely been vanquished, rues Eric G. Wilson in Against Happiness.

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The ‘pure’ sounds

Books 2 Byte
Alpha Beta
John Man
( http://www.rbooks.co.uk/)

Speech synthesiser

Pure sounds may exist for seconds in music, but in speech no sound stays ‘pure’ for more than milliseconds, unless uttered in special laboratory conditions, writes John Man in Alpha Beta: How our alphabet shaped the modern world.

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Modern capitalism - high fixed costs, but low production costs

Books 2 Byte
Creative Capitalism
Michael Kinsley
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Win-win possible in creative capitalism

“If you figure out how to give good customer service, you are allowed to brag about how you have great customer service. If you figure out how to make governments love you by helping the poor people in that country, you get both the benefit of the government loving you and you get to say you helped the poor in that country,” reads a snatch of the dialogue in Creative Capitalism: A conversation with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and other economic leaders, edited by Michael Kinsley.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Three classes of 'the erring philosophers'

BookValue
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
Charles MacKay
( http://www.randomhouse.com/ )

Study of presumption

It is happy for man that he does not know what the morrow is to bring forth, but, unaware of this great blessing, he has, in all ages of the world, presumptuously endeavoured to trace the events of unborn centuries, and anticipate the march of time, rues Charles MacKay in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

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Art transactions

BookValue
Everything you Wanted to know about Investing in Difficult Times
Deepa Venkatraghvan
(Network 18)

Art as an asset class

How has Indian art performed as an asset class over the last few years? The numbers can leave you totally surprised, says Deepa Venkatraghvan in Everything you Wanted to know about Investing in Difficult Times (Network 18). In 2005, when shares gave a return of 46.7 per cent and gold, 24.6 per cent, art gave no less than 154.8 per cent, she informs.

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An advice to China

BookValue
Fixing Global Finance
Martin Wolf
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

The China effect

The US is at least as much the victim of decisions made by others as the author of its own misfortunes, argues Martin Wolf in Fixing Global Finance.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Fanzines: Their production, culture and future

Book Mark
Alternative Journalism
Chris Atton and James F. Hamilton
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Power of fanzines

Fanzines often arise because the objects of their study (such as football, film, comics and popular television serials or music) are ignored by mainstream journalism, find Chris Atton and James F. Hamilton in Alternative Journalism.

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Great content from new sources

Book Mark
Get Content Get Customers
Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Targeted content

Search engines such as Google have democratised content, and so you have the opportunity to replace formerly vital media choices with your own high-quality content, advise Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett in Get Content Get Customers: Turn prospects into buyers with content marketing.

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Live brand experiences

Book Mark
Experiential Marketing
Shaz Smilansky
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Move from CRM to CEM

Life is ultimately an amalgamation of daily experiences, writes Shaz Smilansky in Experiential Marketing: A practical guide to interactive brand experiences. She assures that live brand experiences — that is, brand-relevant, two-way communications between consumers and brands — can be delivered face to face or remotely.

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Assimilate past experience

Manage Mentor
How Lance Does It
Brad Kearns
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Three dimensions of specialised intelligence

If you can assimilate past experience, cultivate intuition, and gain big-picture perspective about your endeavours, you can be assured of specialised intelligence in your area of peak performance, says Brad Kearns in How Lance Does It: Put the success formula of a champion into everything you do.

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Managing the recession

Manage Mentor
The Upside of the Downturn
Geoff Colvin
( http://www.nicholasbrealey.com/)

Riding the economic storm

Seeing the current downturn as a bunch of statistics is easy, tempting, and almost useless, observes Geoff Colvin in The Upside of the Downturn: Ten management strategies to prevail in the recession and thrive in the aftermath. This recession is constantly talked about as some kind of freestanding event, but thinking of it that way won’t help you manage it, he instructs.

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`Bullnomics', the pied-piping of America

BookValue
Bad Money
Kevin Phillips
( http://www.penguin.com/ )

Battered ‘bullnomics’

Derivatives, even though mere fifteen- to twenty-year-old conceptual adolescents, were, well… as safe as houses,” recounts Phillips in Bad Money: Reckless finance, failed politics, and the global crisis of American capitalism.

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When you are in a financial mess ...

BookValue
Debt Cures
Kevin Trudeau
(Equity Press)

Take control

Shazam! Abracadabra! These may be the words that magicians use for introducing an extraordinary deed, story or transformation, but if you are in a financial mess, with debt sharks in hot pursuit, the two magic words you would need are ‘take control,’ counsels Kevin Trudeau in Debt Cures (Equity Press).

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Morals and markets are adaptable

BookValue
Morals and Markets
Daniel Friedman
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

New market structures

Can we solve the present economic crisis by launching ‘a new moral crusade to shame corporations into social responsibility,’ or by building ‘big bureaucracies to micromanage them’? No, we can’t, says Daniel Friedman in Morals and Markets: An Evolutionary Account of the Modern World.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Engaging in leisure activities

Book Mark
Indian Youth in a Transforming World
Peter Ronald deSouza, Sanjay Kumar, and Sandeep Shastri
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Understanding the youth

Are there any clear patterns in the leisure activities of the younger generation? Some answers emerge from a chapter in Indian Youth in a Transforming World: Attitudes and perceptions, edited by Peter Ronald deSouza, Sanjay Kumar, and Sandeep Shastri.

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Challenging PR jobs

Book Mark
Public Relations
Iqbal S. Sachdeva
( http://www.oup.com/)

PR pyar

The days of PR people working as errand-boys between the organisation and media are over, declares Iqbal S. Sachdeva in Public Relations: Principles and Practices. “The multipli city of TV channels, the mind-boggling number of newspapers, particularly the emergence of financial journalism…

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'Branding' in marketing

Book Mark
In Search of the Obvious
Jack Trout
(Westland)

When branding runs aground

Branding has become a subject in marketing that has been turned from a molehill into a mountain, rues Jack Trout in In Search of the Obvious (Westland). The subject of branding has spread from products to rock groups, movie stars, and even symphonies, he notes. “Maybe it’s time to cut through all the silliness and clarify things.”

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