Monday, September 28, 2009

Global cuisine

Books of Account
Why Your World is about to get a Whole lot Smaller
Jeff Rubin
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ )

A different life, with less oil around

If music be the food of love, play on, says Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night. But if food be the oil you burn, it may be tough to play on. Consider this: The average farmgate-to-store distance rose by about 25 per cent between 1980 and 2001, as Jeff Rubin writes in Why Your World is about to get a Whole lot Smaller.

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Digital practices

Books 2 Byte
Digital Literacies
Victoria Carrington and Muriel Robinson
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Contentious technologies in the classroom

New teachers must be prepared to teach in schools that are embedded in a world where technologies, particularly portable digital technologies, are changing the ways in which we make meanings and engage with each other, say editors Victoria Carrington and Muriel Robinson in Digital Literacies: Social learning and classroom practices.

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Energy-saving tips

Books 2 Byte
Grow a Greener Data Center
Douglas Alger
( http://www.ciscopress.com/)

Green measures

Data centre energy costs are typically 15 times those of typical office buildings, states a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Another study, Best Practices for Data Centres (2006), found that some server environments were as much as 40 times as energy-intensive. Citing these findings in Grow a Greener Data Center, Douglas Alger computes the potential savings to be around $90-230 a sq.foot in the power-hungry data centres.

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Strategy vs technology

Books 2 Byte
The Spider’s Strategy
Amit S. Mukherjee
( http://www.ishanadvisors.com/)

Four capabilities from technologies

Advocates of technology are stuck on the ‘technology without strategy’ side of the fence, while many executives are stuck on the ‘strategy without technology’ side of the fence, rues Amit S. Mukherjee in The Spider’s Strategy. “They resemble an unhappily married couple that cannot figure out how to effect a divorce without one side slipping into poverty and the other side fearing being saddled with burdens, particularly financial, that it cannot afford.”

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Programming techniques

Books 2 Byte
The Genie in the Machine
Robert Plotkin
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Inventing by programming

Giving programmers technology for instantly and automatically transforming their written code into running software enables them to use the computer as sculptors use clay, allowing them to sustain the state of uninterrupted flow that is so essential to creative work, writes Robert Plotkin in The Genie in the Machine.

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Lines that grab attention

Book Mark
Powerlines
Steve Cone
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

The ‘sound’ connection

Lines that grab attention and turbocharge people’s memory banks are usually spoken aloud with skilful inflection, says Steve Cone in Powerlines: Words that sell brands, grip fans, & sometimes change history. “We instinctively pay attention when the message has a cadence, when the words rhyme, or are repeated in the same sequence.”

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Champion of champions

Book Mark
The Organizational Champion
Mike Thompson
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Raise ideas with passion

Enthusiasm doesn’t necessarily call for a loud rah-rah or a project cheerleader, but one can definitely capture the importance of the effort by one’s emotional commitment, says Mike Thompson in The Organizational Champion. He finds that leaders who significantly lack energy and passion underperform in their roles compared to energised and passionate leaders.

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Creating better connections

Book Mark
Law of Connection
Michael Losier
( http://www.hodder.co.uk/)

Communicate more effectively

Reframing, future pacing, installing, and positive presupposition are four easy methods anyone can master in order to communicate more effectively and therefore create better connections in all kinds of everyday situations, says Michael Losier in Law of Connection.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

The economic storms

Say Cheek
The Storm
Vince Cable
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

‘Those who claim to foresee the future are lying’

Recent times have been tough for foretellers. “When I was paid for attempting to predict future economic developments for a leading multinational company, I was frequently reminded of the Arabic saying: ‘Those who claim to foresee the future are lying, even if by chance they are later proved right,’” recounts Vince Cable in The Storm: The world economic crisis & what it means.

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Recruitment and selection

Manage Mentor
HRM Strategic Integration and Organizational Performance
Ashok Chanda and Jie Shen
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Link people to job requirements

To make the most appropriate selection from applicants, it is necessary that the right candidates apply for the jobs, say Ashok Chanda and Jie Shen in HRM Strategic Integration and Organizational Performance.

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Four aspects of communication style

Manage Mentor
Managing Across Cultures
Charlene M. Solomon and Michael S. Schell
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

The culture fit of communication

One of ‘the seven keys to doing business with a global mindset’ is communication style, say Charlene M. Solomon and Michael S. Schell in Managing Across Cultures. The authors discuss four aspects of communication style, viz. direct-indirect, high context-low context, non-verbal communication, and avoiding conflict or saving face.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Queries on tax

Books of Account
Dictionary on Tax Laws: Goods, Services & VAT
K. R. Sampath
( www .cliofindia.com )

‘Indirect’ lexicon

What do you call ‘an arrangement, plan or understanding whether enforceable in law or not, and all steps and transactions by which the arrangement is sought to be carried into effect’? The answer is ‘agreement,’ as per Bihar VAT (value-added tax) legislation, included among the entries under ‘A’ in Dictionary on Tax Laws: Goods, Services & VAT by K. R. Sampath.

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Concern about corruption

Books of Account
India: Monetary Policy, Financial Stability and Other Essays
C. Rangarajan
( http://www.academicfoundation.com/ )

Two-fold fight against corruption

Concern about corruption is as old as the history of government, bemoans C. Rangarajan in India: Monetary Policy, Financial Stability and Other Essays. He cites a snatch from The Politics, by Aristotle dating back to 350 BC, that ‘to protect the treasury from being defrauded, let all money be issued openly in front of the whole city, and let copies of the accounts be deposited in various wards.’

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Learning organisations

Books 2 Byte
Management of Technology and Innovation
P. N. Rastogi
(http://www.sagepublications.com/)

LABORATORY FOR LEARNING

If the nature of your job at any time is defined by problems and challenges facing the organisation as a whole, you can pat yourself on the back that you are in a learning organisation. In such a place, every member is involved in suggesting problems and solutions, and there is concern coupled with respect for persons with high expectations of performance from them, as P. N. Rastogi describes in Management of Technology and Innovation, second edition.

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Slicing techniques

Books 2 Byte
Photoshop CS4 Bible
Stacy Cates, Simon Abrams, and Dan Moughamian
(http://www.wileyindia.com/)

ART OF SLICING

Ask Stacy Cates, Simon Abrams, and Dan Moughamian, and they'd talk about four types of slices, viz. user slice, layer based slice, no image slice, and auto slice. "To create a slice, select the Slice tool and draw a rectangle around the portion of the image that you want to treat as a distinct region," they write in Photoshop CS4 Bible.

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IT, the catalytic agent

Books 2 Byte
Human Values and Professional Ethics
S. Kannan and K. Srilakshmi
(http://www.taxmann.com/)

ANCIENT WISDOM FOR TODAY'S PROBLEMS

Making IT (information technology) green, enabling green to happen through IT, and creating green warriors are some of the recent initiatives of the IT industry body Nasscom, cited in Human Values and Professional Ethics by S. Kannan and K. Srilakshmi.

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Myths relating to desktop computers

Books 2 Byte
Foundation of Green IT
Marty Poniatowski
(http://www.informit.com/)

You need 500 trees to offset one computer's emissions

If you are like most of us, you would have heard things like, `Never turn off your computer,' or `Screen savers save energy.' Alas, these are but common myths relating to desktop computers, frets Marty Poniatowski in Foundation of Green IT: Consolidation, virtualization, efficiency, and ROI in the data center.

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Anger management tips

BookValue
Anger Management
Swati Y. Bhave and Sunil Saini
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Coping with stressors

These scenarios perhaps sound familiar: Stress and overload at work, excess responsibility, late working hours, making way through daily traffic jams… If you cannot cope with your anger at these day-to-day stressors at work, a job can be a most unpleasant experience, warn Swati Y. Bhave and Sunil Saini in Anger Management.

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Security Manuals

BookValue
Benjamin Graham on Investing
Rodney G. Klein
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/ )

Value investing insights

Accurate as the markets are, they cannot claim infallibility, reads a nugget of wisdom in Benjamin Graham on Investing: Enduring lessons from the father of value investing, edited by Rodney G. Klein. “Economists picture a thousand buyers and sellers congregating in the market place to match their keen wits and finally evolve the correct price for each commodity.

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The bubble époque

BookValue
Financial Reckoning Day Fallout
William Bonner and Addison Wiggin
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

In the post-bubble era

Much like dogs on a tight leash, soothsaying authors can only do so much. They voice their messages of concern about impending disasters. And after the inevitable happens, they bark again. The revised edition of Financial Reckoning Day Fallout: Surviving today’s global depression by William Bonner and Addison Wiggin is one such example.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The 'value' of Brand

Book Mark
Brand Immortality
Hamish Pringle and Peter Field
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Defying death

Success for companies will increasingly depend on the longevity of their brands, say Hamish Pringle and Peter Field in Brand Immortality: How Brands can Live Long and Prosper. The authors rue that most companies, lacking an accurate understanding of the value of their brands, allow them to decline even while retaining ownership.

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Marketing techniques

Book Mark
No Money Marketing
Jessie Paul
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Flat and frugal

Tired of simple living, high thinking? How about thinking flat and living frugally, instead, as Jessie Paul recommends in No Money Marketing: From Upstart to Big Brand on a Frugal Budget.

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Sporting crossover

Book Mark
Globalization & Football
Richard Giulianotti and Roland Robertson
( http://www.sagepublications.com/)

Cosmopolitan appreciation

As major football clubs and competitions become increasingly transnational, diverse kinds of sporting crossover start to emerge, note Richard Giulianotti and Roland Robertson in Globalization & Football.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Collection of quotes

Say Cheek
Advanced Banter
John Lloyd and John Mitchinson
(http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

A good quotation is window to world

Adventure is just bad planning. If little else, the brain is an educational toy. Advertisement is the rich asking for more money. Always live within your income, even if you have to borrow money to do so. Everyone has a book in them and that, in most cases, is where it should stay. Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. There’s a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker. Sadness is almost never anything but a form of fatigue. Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get…
These are but a few sample wisecracks from ‘Advanced Banter: The QI book of quotations’ by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson.

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New managers' mistakes

Manage Mentor
What To Do When You Become The Boss
Bob Selden
( http://www.macmillanpublishersindia.com/)

Five worst mistakes

Treating people as ‘resources’ and not people is the first of the five worst mistakes new managers make, observes Bob Selden in What To Do When You Become The Boss. “As a manager, you employ the entire person, not just their mind and body during working hours. In fact, it is probably because of who they are as an entire person that you originally hired them,” he reasons.

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'Energetic' leadership

Manage Mentor
The Extraordinary Leader
John H. Zenger and Joseph R. Folkman
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Fatal leadership flaws

The top three of the 10 fatal leadership flaws are the lack of inspirational energy, the acceptance of mediocre performance, and absence of clear vision, list John H. Zenger and Joseph R. Folkman in The Extraordinary Leader, revised edition.

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Message about massage

Books of Account
How to Run Successful Employee Incentive Schemes
John G. Fisher
( http://www.vivagroupindia.com/)

Money vs massage

“Participants were invited to take part in a word game on campus in pursuit of an incentive. One group was rewarded with cash. The other group qualified for a therapeutic massage of varying length, depending on their performance. The market values of the rewards were equal,” recounts John G. Fisher in How to Run Successful Employee Incentive Schemes, third edition.

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Dealing with different financial assets

Books of Account
Accounting for Investments
R. Venkata Subramani
( http://www.wiley.com/ )

Life-cycle of financial instruments

“Indicators of impairment include the financial health of the counterparty, intention of the investor to hold the asset for a reasonable length of time to permit recovery in value, the duration and extent that the market value has been blow cost, and the prospects of a market price recovery,” explains R. Venkata Subramani in the first volume of Accounting for Investments: Equities, futures and options.

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Bypassing physical locks

Books 2 Byte
Hacking Exposed 6
Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray, and George Kurtz
( http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Vulnerable locks

A chapter you can avoid reading before you want to sleep is ‘Hacking hardware’ – in the tenth anniversary edition of Hacking Exposed 6: Network security secrets & solutions by Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray, and George Kurtz.

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Tasks of the internal auditor

Books 2 Byte
Technical Guide on Internal Audit of Intangible Assets
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
( http://www.icai.org/)

Intangible audit

Obtain a list of all workstations attached to the network. Compare the number of client access licences to the number of workstations. Investigate any difference between the number of licences and the number of workstations. Similarly, obtain a list of all PCs and other computers and compare the number with that of licences for basic applications such as MS Word and Excel. Also, find out what action is taken if use of unlicensed software is detected. These are among the tasks required of the internal auditor, as explained in Technical Guide on Internal Audit of Intangible Assets of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

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Security textbooks

Books 2 Byte
Mark Stamp’s Information Security
Deven N. Shah
( http://www.wileyindia.com/)

Restricting access

If your application is on the enterprise’s Intranet, configure it to use Windows integrated security, advises Deven N. Shah in Mark Stamp’s Information Security: Principles and practice. That way, he says, the user’s logon credentials can be used for accessing resources.

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Learnings from China

Books 2 Byte
Billions of Entrepreneurs
Tarun Khanna
( http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/)

Bill Gates at the Great Wall

The Chinese sent delegation after delegation to Bangalore and Hyderabad to study and learn from India’s software success, but the Indian government has failed to create even the semblance of a framework within which Indian firms can learn from Chinese prowess. Thus rues Tarun Khanna in Billions of Entrepreneurs, citing the observations of Kiran Karnik, former head of Nasscom.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Financial statement analysis

BookValue
Financial Management
Paresh Shah
(http://www.biztantra.in/)

Snags in fiscal analysis

Despite the significance of analysis and interpretation of financial statements, financial analysis suffers from limitations that analysts and investors should keep in view, cautions Paresh Shah in Financial Management, second edition.

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Cost-reduction campaign

BookValue
The House of Dimon
Patricia Crisafulli
(http://www.wiley.com/)

Waste-cutting

One of the chapters in The House of Dimon by Patricia Crisafulli is `The turnaround of Bank One,' where you get to read about the huge challenge of waste disposal. "With $1.5 billion in expenses to be reduced at Bank One, Jamie Dimon was on a search-and-destroy mission when it came to wasteful spending. Gone were the pagers, cellphones, multiple subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, and other perks.

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The five hallmarks

BookValue
The Inside Advantage
Robert H. Bloom
(http://www.tatamcgrawhill.com/)

Uncommon advantage

Will all the small shops in India simply disappear under the onslaught of Wal-Mart and the other giant merchants who are sure to follow? Will the Indian consumers abandon their small-shop owners for a broader selection of goods at lower prices? These are some of the questions that Robert H. Bloom raises in The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in your Business.

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Company's strength lies in innovation

Book Mark
Truth, Lies & Advertising
Jon Steel
( http://www.wiley.com/)

Response to innovation

A bad consumer response in creative development research isn’t necessarily the end of the world, says Jon Steel in Truth, Lies & Advertising: The Art of Account Planning. “It is rare for any advertising campaign, however great, not to attract negative comment. The real skill of the planner is in distinguishing between those negative comments that are relevant and need to be addressed and those that are either irrelevant to the ideas as they currently stand, or that can easily be dealt with in production.”

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Getting ready for a Grand Prix

Book Mark
My Story
Lewis Hamilton
(http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/)

Formula preparation

In My Story, Lewis Hamilton captures the details of plant visits as part of his training and development. “I visited all the different departments and engineers both at McLaren in Woking and Mercedes-Benz in Brixworth, England and Stuttgart, Germany so I could learn about the brakes, suspension, rear-suspension geometry, the controls, the dashboard, the launch procedure,…” he writes.

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Advice to enterprises

Book Mark
Chaotics
Philip Kotler and John A. Caslione
( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/)

Marketing cuts in turbulence

When the time comes to make cuts, marketing always seems to get the first swipe, and new product development the second, find Philip Kotler and John A. Caslione. The authors rue that such a response is always a mistake because it destroys market share and innovation in Chaotics: The Business of Managing and Marketing in the Age of Turbulence.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Hedge funds

Books of Account
Who Runs Britain?
Robert Peston
( http://www.hodder.co.uk/ )

Opposite of democratisation of finance

In hedge funds and in the investment banks which provide them with the infrastructure and services that support them, thousands of individuals are accumulating personal wealth running to tens of millions of dollars each, informs Robert Peston in Who Runs Britain?

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The key performance indicators

Books of Account
Professional Opportunities for Members: An appraisal
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
( http://www.icai.org/ )

Partner performance counselling

Among the many ways to improve a professional firm’s success, what can be quite powerful is ‘partner performance counselling,’ says the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in Professional Opportunities for Members: An appraisal.

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