Thursday, 13 December 2012

Facebook Named ‘Best Place to Work’ by its Employees

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, center, smiles with unidentified co-workers at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.

Forget “like” — most Facebook employees absolutely love working for the company, a new survey found.

The social media network topped this year’s list of the 50 best places to work in jobs and careers site’s fifth annual Employees’ Choice Awards.

Facebook earned an average score of 4.7 out of a maximum of 5, with employees lauding the company for its “fun” and challenging work environment, its global impact on society — and their admiration for CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“Facebook is really thriving as a place to work, and much of that can be attributed to Mark Zuckerberg, whose approval rating among employees is up to 99% this year,” Glassdoor spokeswoman Samantha Zupan told the Daily News.

“You see they all talk about the great culture there and certainly the perks also, but it’s a unique atmosphere when you know your work is impacting nearly a billion people.”

It was the second time in the past three years the California company was rated No. 1.

Starbucks came in last in Glassdoor’s survey, which has workers rate the pros and cons of their companies anonymously.

Among the most common Starbucks cons: low pay, bad managers — and dealing with rude customers.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

12/12/12: Kashmir Govt Steps In As Online Rumour About Cosmic Rays Goes Viral

People in Kashmir on Tuesday had a sleepless night when an online message went viral that cosmic rays from Mars will enter into Earth and damage mobile phones. The government had to come up with an official statement to dispel the rumour.

Late on Wednesday evening, a message attributed to NASA and BBC news service went viral online with people sharing it on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The message, which sparked panic, reads: “Attention please: Tonight 12:30am to 3:30am cosmos rays are entering earth from Mars. So switch off your mobile at night. Don't keep your cell with you and put it away while you are sleeping because they are too much dangerous rays.”

The message had people switching off their phones and calling each other to take precaution. “After reading the message, we immediately cut off power supply to the mobile tower in our premises,” said Naseer Ahmad, a resident of south Kashmir’s Bijbehara area.

At several places, mobile users complained that towers were shut by people who have it at private premises. Newspapers offices were flooded with queries by the mobile users.

Late on Tuesday night, the Kashmir’s divisional office issued a state to put to rest the viral rumour. “Don’t panic please. It’s just a rumour,” said Kashmir’s divisional commissioner’s office.

Amir Ali, spokesman of Kashmir divisional commissioner’s office, clarified, “People all around the world are receiving false messages attributed to NASA and BBC that cosmos rays are entering into Earth from Mars. It is clarified that neither BBC nor NASA has released any such news related to Cosmo rays and it is only a rumour.”

The state government asked cellular users “not to pat pay heed to these rumours and help educate others”.

“Spreading rumours and unsubstantiated warnings is unethical and against the law,” said the divisional commissioner’s office.

Rumours and myths around numbers are common in Asia. Many people attribute many myths to 12/12/12, which is 12, Dec of 2012. While many people are using it for memorable dates, some believe untoward incident are bound to unfold.

Amarnath's Remark On Dhoni: BCCI Insists Selectors are Independent

Amarnath's remark on Dhoni BCCI insists selectors are independent
The BCCI on Wednesday refuted former selector Mohinder Amarnath's accusation that board president N Srinivasan had blocked a move to sack under-fire skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, insisting that the selectors are 'independent'.

Amarnath had created a flutter by openly admitting that 'certain internal reason' stopped the selection committee from replacing Mahendra Singh Dhoni as Indian captain after eight successive Test defeats in England and Australia.

But BCCI vice-president and Indian Premier League chairman Rajeev Shukla rebutted the allegations.

"I will not go into what he has said. I don't think this has ever happened. I don't think it is appropriate to give statements like this," Shukla told reporters in New Delhi.

"Whatever one has to say, one can say while participating in the (selection) meeting. Making comments about it, I think it is not appropriate as it creates some kind of perception in the minds of players and fans," he said.

"Selectors are independent. They are not under any pressure," he asserted.

Amarnath, while making the allegation, did not divulge the exact reasons for not sacking Dhoni despite India's Test humiliation which has continued at home as well in the ongoing series against England.

"Definitely, there were discussions to replace Dhoni and people were agreeing to do so but for some internal reason, it didn't happen. I will not like to divulge what were the reasons. But when the time is right, I will let the people of this country know about the reasons," Amarnath, the hero of India's 1983 World Cup victory, had said.

In a roundabout manner, Amarnath had also admitted that there were external pressures on the selection committee when the topic of Dhoni's removal was broached.

"In Indian politics and cricket, it's always the same. There are people who are controlling the game and other people are scared to take a stand," he had stated.

"I believe that Dhoni should be removed as captain from the Tests. He hasn't set the Test stage on fire. A captain's place in the team should be secure and I don't see his place secured in the side. He doesn't have the technique for Test cricket," he added.

It was widely believed that the veteran of 69 Tests and 74 ODIs, who was in line to become the chairman of selectors, was removed at the behest of BCCI president N Srinivasan as he had a fall-out on Dhoni issue.

Source : HT

Indian MoD: No Chinese Parts in U.S.-Supplied Aircraft

Indian MoD: No Chinese Parts in U.S.-Supplied Aircraft
NEW DELHI — Responding to an earlier U.S. investigation about the possible use of defective parts from China in military equipment, the Indian Defence Ministry has said that no Chinese suppliers were among the companies providing parts to aircraft sold by the United States to India.

Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Indian Parliament Dec. 10 in a written reply, “the Indian Air Force (IAF) has acquired a list of supplier from the U.S. government with respect to aircraft procured from the USA and none of the suppliers are found to be Chinese manufacturers.”

The Defence Ministry carried out the investigations following media reports in May that said a U.S. Senate investigation had concluded that between 2009 and 2010, 1,800 incidents were detected in which more than a million fake parts had been sourced from China. The U.S. Senate panel report states that counterfeit electronic parts from China were used in the Air Force’s C-130J cargo plane, helicopters for special operations and the Navy’s Poseidon surveillance plane.

Both the C-130J and Poseidon have been contracted by India under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program with the U.S.

“While Government is aware of certain media reports regarding possible usage of Chinese counterfeit electronic parts in military aircraft manufactured in the U.S., no P8I aircraft has so far been delivered to India. Moreover, during the last four years of operation of the U.S. defence equipment, including C-130J transport aircraft, the IAF have not encountered any faulty spare parts and equipment,” Antony told Parliament.

India has purchased six C-130J aircraft from Lockheed Martin and the aircraft have joined the Indian Air Force. In addition, India has contracted to buy 12 Poseidon P8I surveillance planes from Boeing in two separate contracts worth more than $3 billion. The long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft will replace the Indian Navy’s Russian-made TU-142 aircraft.

This year, the Air Force finalized procurement of Chinook Ch-47F heavy-lift helicopters and AH-64D Block-III Apache helicopters from Boeing, and final contracts are likely to be inked by the end of March.

India, Ukraine Ink Defence Cooperation Agreement

A broad defence cooperation agreement was among five pacts signed following delegation-level talks between the visiting Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday.

With Ukraine having consolidated its military enterprises into bodies under governmental control, on the lines of what Russia did to its military-industrial complex a decade ago, New Delhi feels the path has been smoothened for a more intimate defence relationship.

Instead of dealing with a number of defence enterprises scattered over Ukraine, India will find it easier to conduct focussed negotiations, which could help it get a better deal.

During the Soviet times, Ukraine was home to 30 per cent of the country’s military industrial complex and it is now attempting to modernise its defence industry. In this scenario, India senses it will be able to duplicate its approach towards Russia of moving away from the buyer-seller relationship and going in for an R&D-joint production model such as the pacts with Moscow for Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, Military Transport Aircraft and BrahMos.

Ukraine is already modernising India’s 100-plus fleet of military transport aircraft and has been active in providing engines for naval vessels and military spares.

Ukraine in turn assured India of its support in a bid to join four international export control organisations, including the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group. Kiev voluntarily gave up the nuclear weapons arsenal it had inherited from the Soviet Union and its backing to India in this respect is considered important.

The two sides also inked an agreement on exchanging nuclear safety-related information. Ukraine operates 15 reactors of the same type as the ones being put up by Russia at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu. As the Ukrainian reactors are a decade or more older, transfer of safety-related expertise would be of help to Indian nuclear engineers.India pressed hard on the visa issue which, it feels, is a major non-tariff barrier. Official don’t know if the fortnight-long wait for business visas is Ukraine’s retaliation for India clamping down on visas to women of a certain age group from Ukraine and Central Asian countries, but the subject was deemed crucial enough for Dr. Singh to mention it to the Ukrainian President.

India feels one reason for the huge trade deficit with Ukraine is visa issuance delays. It made progress with another approach to reduce the imbalance, currently 5:1 in Kiev’s favour, with Ukraine agreeing to Indian investments in the fertilizer sector.