Thursday, October 16, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Huateng is the founder of Tencent and is a Chinese Web titan. Big multinational companies, eager to make a good impression with the local audiences during the Olympics, snapped up advertising spots on Tencent's instant messenger, blogging and portal services. Earlier this month, Tencent said its quarterly earnings nearly doubled from a year ago.
This is good news for Tencent and for Huateng, since he owns a huge chunk of his company's stock. In March, Forbes estimated that the 36-year-old Web mogul is worth $1.4 billion.
Huateng is one member in Asia's exclusive group of the young and extremely affluent. These 15 billionaires, all under the age of 40, are worth a staggering $31.3 billion combined.
Huateng is neither the wealthiest nor the youngest in the club. When we published our list of the world’s billionaires in March, both superlatives went to Yang Huiyan, a 26-year-old with a net worth of $7.4 billion. Yang, a graduate of Ohio State University, joined the family real estate company, Country Garden Holdings, in 2005. The next year she received a hefty chunk of shares that are worth billions of dollars today.
The stock came from her father, Yeung Kwok Keung, who co-founded Country Garden. Don't question his wisdom of giving so much money and responsibility to a recent college grad: Yeung knows the value of a yuan.
Growing up in an impoverished Chinese village, Yeung reportedly never wore new clothes before he was 17. He raised cattle and then worked as a bricklayer and contractor, which led him to build houses and work in real estate. (See "China's Richest, Thanks To An IPO And Dad.")
Huateng and Yang are two of China's eight billionaires under the age of 40. Others include Xian Yang, a 34-year-old coal magnate, and Zhang Cheng Fei, a 38-year-old paper baron.
Youth and exceptional wealth are a rare combination, but this fortunate group will likely grow in Asia in the coming years. The region is home to the world's fastest growing population of the wealthy. According to the World Wealth Report, the population of China's millionaires jumped 20% last year. The billionaire population grew even faster. The March Forbes' list included 42 Chinese billionaires, up from 20 the previous year.
Keeping pace in the money race is India. The country's millionaires jumped 23% last year. The billionaire count soared to 53 from 36 the previous year.
That group counts six members that are under 40, like Anurag Dikshit. The engineer started PartyGaming, which owns PartyPoker.com, with a college roommate and former porn entrepreneur. Dikshit spearheaded the development of technology that helped launch the online poker boom. "All our technology is proprietary, and most of it is Anurag," a PartyGaming spokesperson once said. (See "PartyGaming's Billionaire Dikshit Quits Board.")
PartyPoker stock is off its 2005 high since U.S. lawmakers cracked down on online gaming, but Dikshit still has plenty of chips. Forbes pegs his net worth at $1.6 billion.
Also representing India is a pair of brothers, Malvinder and Shivinder Singh. The two have plenty in common: They went to the same schools in India, attended business school at Duke and started families just months apart. They're also both billionaires.
The two control Ranbaxy Laboratories, a drug company founded by their grandfather. It won't be the family much longer though. In June, a Japanese pharmaceutical company announced it would buy the Singh family's stake for about $4 billion. Not bad for a couple of guys in their 30s.
A Chinese Challenge to Intel
Researchers have revealed details of China's latest homegrown microprocessor.
By Kate Greene
In California last week, Chinese researchers unveiled details of a microprocessor that they hope will bring personal computing to most ordinary people in China by 2010. The chip, code-named Godson-3, was developed with government funding by more than 200 researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Computing Technology (ICT).
China is making a late entry into chip making, admits Zhiwei Xu, deputy director of ICT. "Twenty years ago in China, we didn't support R&D for microprocessors," he said during a presentation last week at the Hot Chips conference, in Palo Alto. "The decision makers and [Chinese] IT community have come to realize that CPUs [central processing units] are important."
Tom Halfhill, an analyst at research firm In-Stat, says that the objective for China is to take control of the design and manufacture of vital technology. "Like America wants to be energy independent, China wants to be technology independent," Halfhill says. "They don't want to be dependent on outside countries for critical technologies like microprocessors, which are, nowadays, a fundamental commodity." Federal laws also prohibit the export of state-of-the-art microprocessors from the United States to China, meaning that microchips shipped to China are usually a few generations behind the newest ones in the West.
Despite its late start, China is making rapid progress. The ICT group began designing a single-core CPU in 2001, and by the following year had developed Godson-1, China's first general-purpose CPU. In 2003, 2004, and 2006, the team introduced ever faster versions of a second chip--Godson-2--based on the original design. According to Xu, each new chip tripled the performance of the previous one.
Godson chips are manufactured in China by a French-Italian company called ST Microelectronics and are available commercially under the brand name Loongson, meaning "dragon chip." Loongson chips already power some personal computers and servers on the Chinese market, which come with the Linux operating system and other open-source software. "They use a lot of open-source software because it's free," says Halfhill. "The Chinese government wants to get as many PCs into schools and as many workplaces as they can."
The latest Godson chips will also have a number of advanced features. Godson-3, a chip with four cores--processing units that work in parallel--will appear in 2009, according to Xu, and an eight-core version is also under development. Both versions will be built using 65-nanometer lithography processes, which are a generation older than Intel's current 45-nanometer processes.
This latest chip will also be fundamentally different from those made before. Neither Godson-1 nor -2 is compatible with Intel's so-called x86 architecture, meaning that most commercial software will not run on them. But engineers have added 200 additional instructions to Godson-3 to simulate an x86 chip, which allows Godson-3 to run more software, including the Windows operating system. And because the chip architecture is only simulated, there is no need to obtain a license from Intel.
Erik Metzger, a patent attorney at Intel, says that the chip will only perform at about 80 percent of the speed of an actual x86 chip. "That implies that [the Chinese government] is going after a low-end market," he says. This is the same market that Intel is targeting with its classmate PC and low-power atom microprocessor. Metzger adds that the inner workings of the chip, known as its instruction set, have not yet been disclosed, making it difficult to know if or how any x86 patents may have been breeched.
The Chinese team hopes to further boost its chip program through collaboration with other companies and researchers. "We still lag behind the international partners a lot," says Xu. "But we are doing our best to join the international community."
Copyright Technology Review 2008.
What Most Doctors Won't Tell You About Colds and Flus
You just won't get this information on why colds and flus can help you stay healthy over the long run from medical textbooks and mainstream media - please consider sharing it with family and friends.
Although experiencing a cold or the flu once in a while can help rid your body of your weakest cells, I'm willing to bet that there are times when you would really prefer to delay such a period of cleansing and malaise.
Here's how you can stand a good chance of preventing a cold from developing:
As soon as you experience that sore, tickly feeling in your throat that precedes a full-blown cold, gargle with warm salt water.
And when I say gargle, I mean really gargle; take in a mouthful of warm salt water, look up at the ceiling, and gargle aggressively. You may want to tap at your throat (the Adam's apple region) with your fingers while you gargle to encourage the warm salt water to trickle deeply into your throat.
Gargle like this several times with a glass of warm salt water, and repeat as often as possible throughout the day.
Warm salt water can remove viruses from the tonsils and adenoids that line the back of your throat region. Viruses that cause colds and flus typically get caught by your tonsils and adenoids before they spread through your body. Your tonsils and adenoids are important parts of your immune system because they are located near the entrance of your breathing passages, and they serve as a first line of defense against undesirable airborne microorganisms and substances.
This, by the way, is why it is best not to remove tonsils and adenoids from your throat region.
Cold salt water may also help to remove viruses from your tonsils and adenoids, but warm salt water tends to be more effective. Warm water may help to melt the fatty coating that protects viruses that cause the cold and flu.
What if you gargle for all you're worth but still end up developing a full-blown cold?
Get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take comfort in knowing that countless viruses are at work destroying your weakest cells. And don't forget to blow your nose as often as it runs; help your body get rid of what it wants to get rid of.
By Dr. Ben Kim on March 09, 2008
Natural Health Solutions
Sunday, May 04, 2008
In cases of Emergency, a matter of LIFE & DEATH (eg Heart-attack, Strokes, Accidents) NEVER.. NEVER.. NEVER use a medical card! Why?....
1. In the emergency room, you will be asked to register and make a 'Deposit' BEFORE the patient is TREATED!
2. When you show the medical card….the doctor MUST complete the claim form and fax to the insurance company BEFORE they can treat the patient. The hospital MUST wait until the insurance company Confirms coverage & limit of policy.
3. ALL these procedures may take 1-2 HOURS!! By this time the patient may have lapsed into a coma!!
4. Use your credit card or Cash FIRST. AFTER the patient has been treated & attended by the doctor, then show the admission counter nurse the medical card. She will then liaise with the insurance company directly for the approvals. She will tear the earlier credit card deposit once the insurance company has approved.
5. By now the patient would have been wheeled into the room to rest or to the surgery room for immediate surgery.
Sincerely we pray no one has to go through such an ordeal. Share this info with your loved ones, your colleague & friends.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Daily Flights 8.30-10.30pm
Standing at stunning 165m, the Flyer is the height of a 42-storey building – that’s some 30 metres taller than the famed London Eye. Taking a flight on this S$240 million dollar wheel is a one-of-a-kind experience you wouldn’t want to miss.
At a height of 165m, Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest Giant Observation Wheel and is set to be one of Asia’s biggest tourist attractions.Featuring fixed capsules the size of a bus, the spectacular monument is capable of holding up to 784 passengers. Each capsule has a 28 person capacity and each revolution takes approximately 30 minutes.Singapore Flyer was conceived and designed by Dr. Kisho Kurokawa and DP Architects, Singapore. It held its groundbreaking ceremony in September 2005 and was launched in 2008. It promises more than just a view, but a panorama that captures Marina Bay’s skyline with a glimpse of neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia.With high standards of service, the dedicated team at Singapore Flyer Pte Ltd is committed to providing visitors an experience to remember.
Singapore Flyer is under the umbrella of Great Wheel Corporation, developer and operator of Great Wheels and Observation Platforms worldwide.
Monday, April 14, 2008
While you should be easily able to explain where the company's pricing power comes from (i.e. a strong regional brand image, a business tollgate, its main products are #1 or # 2 in its field and has been on the market for years and hasn’t changed at all, a consumer or business ends up buying the same product many times in a year, etc. or having the lowest production cost among its competition), there are certain figures that one can look at that can qualify the company as having a durable competitive advantage.
LOOK FOR CONSISTENTLY HIGHER THAN AVERAGE RETURN ON EQUITY:
LOOK FOR CONSISTENTLY HIGHER THAN AVERAGE RETURN ON TOTAL CAPITAL:
LOOK AT CAPITAL EXPENDITURES:
LOOK AT MANAGEMENT'S USE OF RETAINED EARNINGS:
The preceding concludes Buffett’s qualitative analysis. If and when he gets positive responses to all the above criteria, he would then proceed with a price analysis. The price analysis will determine whether or not the stock should be bought. The following is how he would evaluate JNJ quantitatively.
CALCULATE THE INITIAL RATE OF RETURN: [No Pass/Fail]
COMPARE THE INITIAL RATE OF RETURN WITH THE LONG-TERM TREASURY YIELD: [PASSES WARREN BUFFETT’S TEST]
CALCULATE THE FUTURE EPS: [No Pass/Fail]
CALCULATE THE EXPECTED RATE OF RETURN BASED ON THE AVERAGE ROE METHOD: [No Pass/Fail]
CALCULATE THE EXPECTED FUTURE STOCK PRICE BASED ON AVERAGE EPS GROWTH: [No Pass/Fail]
CALCULATE THE EXPECTED RETURN USING THE AVERAGE EPS GROWTH METHOD: [No Pass/Fail]
LOOK AT THE RANGE OF EXPECTED RATE OF RETURN: [PASSES WARREN BUFFETT’S TEST]
In September 2006, PepsiCo, Inc. acquired IZZE Beverage Company, a maker of all-natural fruit juices. During the fiscal year ended December 30, 2006 (fiscal 2006), the Company also acquired Stacy’s bagel and pita chips, Duyvis nuts in the Netherlands and Star Foods snacks in Poland. On January 2, 2007, it acquired Naked Juice fruit beverages, and in 2007, completed the acquisition of Bluebird snacks in New Zealand.
3) WALGREEN COMPANY (WAG)
Strategy: Warren Buffett’s Long-Term Value (The Patient Investor)
Walgreen Company (Walgreen) operates retail drugstore chains that are engaged in the retail sale of prescription and non-prescription drugs, and general merchandise. General merchandise includes, among other things, beauty care, personal care, household items, candy, photofinishing, greeting cards, seasonal items and convenience foods. Customers can have prescriptions filled at the drugstore counter, as well as through the mail, by telephone and on the Internet. During the fiscal year ended August 31, 2006 (fiscal 2006), the Company opened or acquired 570 stores after relocations and closings. The total number of stores at August 31, 2006 was 5,461 located in 47 states and Puerto Rico.
The Company made three acquisitions in fiscal 2006, which include Schraft's A Specialty Pharmacy, Medmark Inc. and SeniorMed LLC. In fiscal 2006, Walgreens merged with 76 Happy Harry's stores, primarily in Delaware. In May 2007, the Company acquired Take Care Health Systems.
This stock passes Validea’s Patient Investor strategy based on our interpretation of the published criteria of Warren Buffett with a score of 93%. The strategy looks for stocks with consistent long-term track records of earnings growth that also trade at reasonable valuations based on their future growth prospects.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
2) Do not drink coffee TWICE a day.
3) Do not take pills with COOL water.
4) Do not have HUGE meals after 5pm.
5) Reduce the amount of OILY food you consume.
6) Drink more WATER in the morning, less at night.
7) Keep your distance from hand phone CHARGERS.
8) Do not use headphones/earphone for LONG period of time.
9) Best sleeping time is from 10pm at night to 6am in the morning.
10) Do not lie down immediately after taking medicine before sleeping.
11) When battery is down to the LAST grid/bar, do not answer the phone as the radiation is 1000 times.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
> Low in Carbs
> 99% Fat Free
> Low in sugars
Coconut Water contains organic compounds possessing healthy growth promoting properties that have been known to help:
Keep the body cool and at the proper temperature
Orally re-hydrate your body, it is an all natural isotonic beverage
Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
Naturally replenish your body's fluids after exercising
Raise your metabolism
Promote weight loss
Boost your immune system
Detoxify and fight viruses
Cleanse your digestive tract
Aid your body in fighting viruses that cause the flu, herpes, and AIDS
Balance your PH and reduce risk of cancer
Treat kidney and urethral stones
Boost poor circulation
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
with the symbol Pb (Latin: plumbum) and atomic number 82. A soft, heavy, toxic and malleable poor metal, lead is bluish white when freshly cut, but tarnishes to dull gray when exposed to air. Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shot, weights, and is part of solder, pewter, and fusible alloys. Lead has the highest atomic number of all stable elements, although the next element, bismuth, has a half-life so long (longer than the estimated age of the universe) it can be considered stable. Like mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time.
Lead is a poisonous metal that can damage nervous connections (especially in young children) and cause blood and brain disorders. Long term exposure to lead or its salts (especially soluble salts or the strong oxidant PbO2) can cause nephropathy, and colic-like abdominal pains. The concern about lead's role in cognitive deficits in children has brought about widespread reduction in its use (lead exposure has been linked to schizophrenia). Most cases of adult elevated blood lead levels are workplace-related. High blood levels are associated with delayed puberty in girls.
Older houses may still contain substantial amounts of lead paint. White lead paint has been withdrawn from sale in industrialized countries, but the yellow lead chromate is still in use; for example, Holland Colours Holcolan Yellow. Old paint should not be stripped by sanding, as this produces inhalable dust.
Lead salts used in pottery glazes have on occasion caused poisoning, when acid drinks, such as fruit juices, have leached lead ions out of the glaze. It has been suggested that what was known as "Devon colic" arose from the use of lead-lined presses to extract apple juice in the manufacture of cider. Lead is considered to be particularly harmful for women's ability to reproduce. For that reason, many universities do not hand out lead-containing samples to women for instructional laboratory analyses. Lead acetate (also known as sugar of lead) was used by the Roman Empire as a sweetener for wine, and some consider this to be the cause of the dementia that affected many of the Roman Emperors.
Lead as a soil contaminant is a widespread issue, since lead is present in natural deposits and may also enter soil through (leaded) gasoline leaks from underground storage tanks or through a wastestream of lead paint or lead grindings from certain industrial operations.
Biochemistry of lead poisoningIn medicine, lead inhibits α-aminolevulinate (ALA) dehydratase and ferrochelatase, preventing both porphobilinogen formation and the incorporation of iron into protoporphyrin IX, the final step in heme synthesis. This causes ineffective heme synthesis and subsequent microcytic anemia.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Platinum, palladium and silver also fell. New York's COMEX gold futures fell over 3 percent to hit their lowest in more than four weeks, while Shanghai futures sank by their 5 percent limit.
Gold tumbled to as low as $920.30 an ounce, down from $944.20/945.00 late in New York on Wednesday and off Monday's record high of $1,030.80 an ounce.
"We have to see whether the funds will continue selling. If they do, of course there is a possibility that it will go down and test $900," said Ronald Leung, director of Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
A smaller-than-expected U.S. interest rate cut was an excuse for the funds to exit gold and the absence of Japanese speculators also exaggerated movements, said Leung.
Gold tumbled 6 percent on Wednesday, its biggest one-day percentage drop in nearly two years as funds exited commodities, leading to declines in oil, base metals and agricultural products. Trading was thin on Thursday as the Tokyo Commodity Exchange was closed for a national holiday.
"The upshot is we hold our current view that gold prices will fall over the next six months as the U.S. dollar firms and oil prices fall," ANZ senior commodities analyst Mark Pervan said.
"We forecast spot gold to fall to $850 an ounce by the end of September before firming back towards $900 an ounce by end of the year as oil prices bottom."
Gold futures for April delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $8.2 an ounce to $937.1 an ounce, after hitting a low of $915. The contract struck a record of $1,033.90 on Monday.
"It is most probably liquidation on margin calls. It looks like players are exiting the market after gold hit the $1,030 level and there's no reason for physical buyers to buy at high levels," said a dealer in Singapore.
"Retailers are also starting to cash in. That's why I think the market will still fall for another day. It's hard to say where the support level is, but I think it's going to fall below $900 today," he said.
The dollar firmed against the euro and came near 1-month highs versus the Australian dollar on Thursday, underpinned by sliding gold and oil prices, falling stocks and in spite of investor anxiety over troubled credit markets.
Spot platinum fell to $1,885/1,890 an ounce from $1,900/1,910 -- off a record high of $2,290 hit on March 4.
Silver dropped to $18.12/18.17 an ounce from $18.38/18.43 an ounce. Spot palladium fell to $447/454 an ounce from $455/460 an ounce.
The most active June contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell by 5 percent to 214.55 yuan a kilogram, tracking declines in cash gold.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The faces and voices of the world's most innovative company.
Careful readers of this magazine may be scratching their heads right now, in light of our recent cover story laying out the many challenges facing Apple. But the company has had, indisputably, one hell of a run. In the past year alone, three major new products -- iPhone, iPod Touch, and Leopard OS -- fueled triple-digit revenue growth. So while analysts forecast a more earthbound Apple in 2008, it deserves praise. And extra points for style.
In 2007, the social-networking juggernaut had variously impressed with its ability to reinvent the wheel (opening its platform to outside developers) and drawn cyberpickets with its boneheaded missteps (trying to sell advertising by telegraphing its users' every move). But after a year lived dangerously, Facebook is officially A-list, with a $15 billion valuation to boot, thanks to Microsoft's $240 million investment. That's nothing to throw a sheep at.
GE makes our list not on reputation but on the strength of its breakthrough products. Among them: an HD CT scanner that reduces radiation exposure by half, a reengineering of the best-selling CF34 jet engine for the booming Chinese aviation market, and a hybrid locomotive that cuts emissions by 50% -- evidence that Ecomagination is more than just marketing babble. Coming up, commercially viable OLED lighting by 2010.
Nobody can accuse the Palo Alto -- based design firm of taking on easy clients in 2007. The CDC asked Ideo to help tackle childhood obesity; the Acumen Fund enlisted the shop to collaborate on delivering clean water in the developing world; and the Red Cross hired it to help encourage blood donations. "As social issues increasingly become business issues," says Ideo CEO Tim Brown, "this will be a critical new direction for design." Of course, there were awards too. The company's designs for the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet cabin and cockpit instrument panel won IDEA Gold medals, as did its LCD monitor for Samsung. But it was Ideo's "Keep the Change" campaign for Bank of America that had perhaps the most impact. Based on research showing that boomer women with kids tend to round up their financial transactions, Ideo developed a service that rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar, then transfers the monetary difference from the customer's checking account to her savings. In its first year, 2.5 million customers signed up.
You expect fancy footwear from Nike. But its latest masterstroke is social networking, online and off. From events to the Web to unique retail hubs, Nike is blurring the line between brand and experience.Mark Borden
Once a maker of wood products and tires, the Finnish firm has thrived in the wireless world. Today, Nokia has a 37% (and growing) share of the global cell-phone market, more than twice that of its closest competitor, Motorola. How? A two-tiered design process that identifies the "remarkable similarities in what global consumers want and need in their mobile devices," says senior design manager Rhys Newman, then adds local insight. Bright colors are key to success in India, China, and the Middle East, "where a phone can show status," he says. Markets with low literacy rates get phones without written menus. The company's next challenge is to gain momentum in the U.S., where it has less than 10% of the market. It's betting big on the feature-rich N95 smartphone -- and a strategy of welcoming third-party apps.
When Alibaba went public last November and raised a stunning $1.5 billion -- the biggest Internet IPO since Google's -- it also raised eyebrows around the world. But probably not those of founder Jack Ma, who back in 1999 recognized that China's 42 million small and medium-size companies (the vast majority of businesses in the country) just might create some opportunities for e-commerce. Alibaba provides a point-and-click system for suppliers to get online and connect with distributors and consumers all over the world. The Chinese site today boasts 16 million users, and the English iteration has 9 million. Watch out, eBay.
Without much fanfare, Amazon has more than tripled its revenues since 2002, to $13 billion. The key: giving customers choices, not just among products, but also between buying from Amazon directly or from outside vendors on the site. Amazon's new digital offerings -- in e-books, videos, and music -- present a fresh menu of options. The company's digital music store, launched in May, already comprises 3 million songs, all compatible with any device and any music software. Similarly, Unbox allows Amazon customers to rent or buy films and TV shows, and watch them on a variety of players. In an era of fighting formats and fears of piracy, that's uncommonly ecumenical.
By now you know the story: After Sony and Microsoft kicked the Mario out of Nintendo's GameCube in the Video Game War of 2001, the cutest and smallest of the three platform makers needed a new plan. "Nintendo took a step back from the technology arms race and chose to focus on the fun of playing, rather than cold tech specs," says Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America. The resulting Wii system, with its intuitive motion-sensitive controller and interactive games, appealed not only to teen boys but also to their sisters, moms, and dads. In 2007, Wii outsold both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. But get this: Unlike its competitors--which lose money on each console and earn it back on software -- Nintendo turns a profit on its consoles, makes more selling games, then takes in still more in licensing fees. "Not to sound too obvious," Fils-Aime says, "but it makes good business sense to make a profit on the products you sell." Wall Street thinks so too. The company's stock has more than doubled over the past year. Nintendo's upset is doing more than attracting new gamers and bruising Sony and Microsoft. Says Sega of America president Simon Jeffery: "It has opened doors of creativity throughout the video-game business."
#11 PROCTER & GAMBLE
When Procter & Gamble's stock tanked by more than half in 2000, CEO A.G. Lafley knew he was facing the dilemma of giant companies everywhere: Despite pouring money into R&D, P&G couldn't create new products fast enough to keep growing. The only way out, Lafley realized, was to innovate innovation. So he launched the Connect + Develop program, which allows outside developers to get their concepts and designs into P&G's product pipeline. An applicator developed by Cardinal Health (now Catalent), for example, helped P&G launch Olay Regenerist Eye Derma-Pods, now its top-selling skin-care item. Today, 42% of P&G products have an externally sourced component. And this giant is growing: Revenues rose 8%, to $78 billion, last fiscal year, while profits climbed 14%, to $11 billion.
#12 NEWS CORP.
As if buying MySpace didn't cement News Corp. as a maverick, Murdoch & Co. last year pledged to go carbon neutral by 2010, launched the Fox Business Network, and, oh yeah, snapped up Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal.
Imagine going for a half-hour doctor's visit and coming out with a treatment plan tailored to your unique genetic blueprint. That's the vision at Santa Clara, California-based Affymetrix, which makes lab tests that scan tissue samples for variations in thousands of genes. The company banked an estimated $405 million in revenue last year, a payday spurred by the Amplichip test -- developed in partnership with Roche Diagnostics -- which identifies people who metabolize drugs slowly and therefore are especially vulnerable to side effects. Now the race is on to develop advanced tests for genetic predisposition to heart disease and the most common types of cancer.
Photograph: Chris Greenberg/The New York Times/Redux
Two years into the job, CEO Bob Iger continues to mold Disney into the digital-media innovator to watch. ABC was the first network to sell TV episodes on iTunes and to stream them for free on its Web site. Pirates of the Caribbean and High School Musical showed multiplatform agility. And Pixar's latest hit, Ratatouille, was a masterful blend of technical brilliance, artistry, and narrative that evoked Walt's original magic. Pixar cofounder Ed Catmull, now president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, is encouraging the Big Mouse to rediscover and build on its rich tradition.
FC: How are you reviving hand-drawn animation?Ed Catmull: People focus on the art of the old Disney films, not the interplay between art and technology. Disney did the first blue-screen matting, the first multiplane camera. We brought back that interplay. The art and technology inspire each other. One of our experiments is going paperless. Changes are easier on a digital tablet.
What worked at Pixar that is now helping Disney?Catmull: We've made two short films at Disney like we do at Pixar. A small team does everything--the story, the technology--and it allows them to stretch. "Glago's Guest" is more somber and realistic than the usual Disney look.
How do you encourage innovation?Catmull: In a hierarchy, everyone is working for the person making the film, but we push control far down into the organization. Does everyone own the project? Are we taking an honest-to-goodness risk? If we're not scared, really scared, we're not doing a good project.
The first bendable OLED screen. An ultrathin double-sided LCD. A solid-state drive to replace the hard disk in your laptop. And soon, in a collaboration with game company Reactrix: a TV that lets viewers move what's on the screen with the wave of a hand. Just a taste of the impact of the world's fastest-growing consumer-electronics company.
The year 2007 will go down as a historic one for Toyota, its 50th in the United States. The company won 16% of the American market -- more than double its share 10 years ago -- and passed Ford to take the number-two spot in U.S. car sales, despite an uncharacteristic slip in quality ratings. The company unveiled its next-gen Prius (due in 2010), a plug-in with a carbon-fiber body, but ironically, its most successful rollout was the redesigned Tundra pickup. Toyota sold 3,800 of the jumbo 18-mpg trucks per week this year -- 300 more than Prius.
#40 REAL D
When Beowulf hit theaters in November, it marked the dawn of the next -- some say ultimate -- wave of 3-D movies. Making the display possible was a California outfit called Real D, whose technology uses circularly polarized light from digital projectors, avoiding the eye fatigue of the old 3-D. Theaters are banking that the technology will stop the box-office slide, and Hollywood's biggest players have projects in the pipeline. That's not enough for Real D: "Our view is that 3-D images change the business on all visual displays," says CEO Michael Lewis, who envisions Real D at home and even on mobile screens. The company is already experimenting with alternative content, from multiplayer in-theater video games to an NBA game converted into 3-D in real-time. A U2 3-D concert film (above) is out now.
Critics like to crow about Redmond's stumbles. The struggling Zune. The Xbox 360's "red ring of death." And as for Vista, well, cue the clearing of throats. Then again, ever hear of a little game called Halo 3? And maybe you missed the biggest surpise to emerge out of the PR squall this year, the tabletop computer Surface, a foray into multitouch technology that rivals the iPhone in coolness. Windows and Office continue their dominance, of course, and Microsoft's stock was up about 20% in 2007.
Last September, when actresses Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill) and Brittany Snow (Hairspray) landed backstage in Lela Rose's showroom at New York Fashion Week, they swooned over the designer's new shoe collection that was about to debut on the runway. Rose, best known for $1,500 frocks, happily handed pairs of navy peep-toe pumps and polka-dot round-toe pumps over to the young celebs, who would soon be flaunting them on the sidelines of the catwalk. "Did they know they were Payless shoes?" says Rose, who's now designing her fifth exclusive line for the discounter. "Absolutely. They didn't care. They looked cute to them and that's all that mattered."
Payless? Since when did the dusty dungeon of cheap footwear have anything to do with the front lines of fashion? Since 2005, when Matt Rubel, who previously turned around Cole Haan, took the helm of the now $3.5 billion company and decided it needed a design intervention. While the 4,500-store chain had thrived for years on the low-price, self-service model it pioneered in the 1950s, the last decade saw the company losing the discount wars to beasts such as Wal-Mart. If thrift was no longer its competitive edge, reasoned Rubel, then Payless would have to design shoes that Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw would drool over at prices Roseanne could afford.
To do that, Rubel has injected a fashion sensibility into every arm of the Topeka, Kansas-based company. Last year, he built its first design studio in Manhattan and recruited Robert Mingione, Kenneth Cole's head of footwear, and Bernard Figueroa, top footwear designer for Michael Kors, to run it. Taking a cue from fashion democratizers like Target and H&M, he has lured up-and-comers such as Rose, Laura Poretzky, and Alice + Olivia's Stacey Bendet -- even Sex and the City's very own Patricia Field -- to design exclusive shoe and handbag lines that sell at higher prices and employ sophisticated materials such as silk crepe, snake skin, and perforated kidskin. At the retail level, Rubel has given a 21st-century facelift to the chain's 1970s-hued stores with two new formats. He has opened 22 "fashion labs" -- more-upscale hubs, with modern decor bathed in pristine white, that offer the pricier fashion-forward lines -- and retooled nearly 400 existing locations with an airier design that puts trendy collections in the spotlight. "More and more women who never would have shopped at Payless are becoming Payless customers," says Lori Holliday Banks, a senior analyst at fashion consultancy the Tobe Report. "Rubel's reinventing the whole self-service business."
Rubel, crowned Footwear News's Person of the Year for 2007, isn't stopping the extreme makeover there. In 2006, Payless nearly doubled its earnings. Then last spring, the CEO shook up the industry with two major acquisitions: $91 million for Collective Licensing International, a brand-management company that owns names such as Airwalk and American Eagle, and $800 million for Stride Rite Corp., whose brands include Keds and Saucony. Collective Brands Inc. (the parent company's new name) is now the largest non-athletic-shoe company in the western hemisphere, giving Rubel a triple threat of retail, wholesale, and licensing leverage. Says Rubel, who has become a regular at Fashion Week: "Initially it was pretty difficult getting designers on board to sell cheap shoes. Now we're getting phone calls from designers who want to work with us." -- Danielle Sacks
Seven years ago, former music exec Tony Fernandes paid 25 cents for an ailing carrier with two creaky planes and $12 million in debt. Today, AirAsia's bottom-of-the-pyramid strategy has created one of the world's fastest-growing, most-profitable carriers, with the lowest operating costs in the industry and fares as cheap as $3. "It's like our bus," says Yap Choo Ying, who runs a market stall in eastern Malaysia and now regularly jets to Kuala Lumpur to see her grandkids. In November, the Malaysian company made a risky bet by going long-haul, adding flights to Australia; this year, it will add flights to China and India, where billions of people have yet to take to the skies.
#44 CURRENT TV
"We wanted to democratize television," Al Gore told us last summer, of his quest to create a cable network that piped content pitched to -- and created by -- young people. But if the initial idea was Gore's, credit for Current TV's subsequent traction goes to CEO Joel Hyatt. Launched in August 2005, Current became profitable in 18 months. "I knew nothing, and I mean nothing, about the cable industry," Hyatt says. But that ignorance freed his team to dream big, and by the end of 2007, more than a third of Current programming was being created by viewers and delivered to Current via the Web. Hyatt reinvented the ad model as well, inviting the likes of Sony and Toyota to tap his audience's creativity; to date, 39 viewer-generated ads have aired.
#45 SUN MICROSYSTEMS
Data centers account for some 3% of world energy use, and Sun has taken that as a dare. Last year, its mad-scientist approach to energy efficiency -- and $2 billion R&D budget--caused ripples across the industry as the company released the UltraSPARC T2, the world's most efficient processor; Project Blackbox, the first modular data center; and a new Silicon Valley data center that increases computer power by 456% while cutting energy costs by more than 60%. With four straight profitable quarters for the first time since 2001 and 6% revenue growth, the forecast is sunny.
The opening of the new $275 million BMW Welt (BMW World) in Munich was a high-water mark for the automaker's marketing department. Some 1 million pilgrims a year are expected to push their noses to the glass; 45,000 customers will pick up their cars here. But there's a better reason BMW remains the world's number-one premium marque. After overhauling its much-criticized onboard computer, the company has refocused on what's important: the badass automobile. Look for the $30,000 rear-wheel-drive 1-Series coupe (debuting in the United States this year), the 2008 Mini Clubman (a supersize version of the Cooper), and, most impressive, the prototype Hydrogen 7. Yes, Honda has a hydrogen car too -- but if you're going to be stranded by the roadside for lack of H, wouldn't you rather it be in a BMW?
#47 TATA GROUP
Within the first 10 days of 2008, Ratan Tata, the magnate behind India's $72.8 billion Tata Group, made a reported $2 billion bid for Ford's Jaguar and Land Rover brands and unveiled its long anticipated $2,500 "People's Car" (called Nano) at a New Delhi auto show. Think about it: In the same week, India's largest conglomerate shook up both the high-end and the rock-bottom car markets, and made a clear statement that Indian business is not just a tech and outsourcing ghetto.
In truth, it wasn't the first time that Tata himself, the fifth generation in his family to run the company, had demonstrated his global savvy. In the 1990s, when he first took the helm of Tata, its trucking unit was posting the biggest losses in India's history. Since then, through a series of international acquisitions (Tetley Teas, steelmaker Corus), the 70-year-old has transformed the company into a mosaic of 100 diverse businesses. Clearly, Tata knows what India's 300-million-strong emerging middle class is hungry for. Apparently he knows the rest of us, too: This year, more than half of the company's revenue is expected to come from non-Indian operations.
Most interactive-ad shops master either the creative or the technical; AKQA is expert at both. Whether building a Pixar-quality interactive online universe for Coke's breathtaking "Happiness Factory" campaign (below), or masterminding a multimedia "alternate reality game" for Microsoft's Halo 3, the digital powerhouse doesn't just dream up mind-bending ideas, it actually writes the code that brings them to life. Which is why, after five consecutive years of profitability, AKQA is one of the most dangerous global forces in the ad industry. While ad holding companies and tech firms spent billions in 2007 to snap up digital shops, AKQA fended them off, opting instead for a $250 million investment from private-equity firm General Atlantic. In the meantime, the 700-person agency boosted revenues 39% to $100 million and added new clients such as Unilever, DoubleClick, and Cadbury Schweppes -- on top of existing accounts with Nike and McDonald's.
"What we're really trying to do is to create an eBay for money and credit," says Chris Larsen, CEO of two-year-old Prosper (and founder of E-Loan, which he sold in 2005). The company melds the debt market with online social networking, allowing people to borrow money from one another without any banks in the middle. So far, Prosper has facilitated the transfer of more than $100 million, and delinquency rates have been low. Borrowers include stretched homeowners, college-goers, credit-card junkies, and entrepreneurs; lenders are average folks, including Larsen himself (who has funded more than 450 loans).
We started this list with Google; we end it with a startup that has dared to go up against Google -- and has won the first round. Baidu, the king of Chinese search (60% market share in 2007), performs better in Mandarin and has more features customized for locals. Cofounder Robin Li is convinced that Baidu will "become bigger than Google," and he is in a hurry to get there: He recently launched a Japanese search engine, introduced search for ad-supported streaming music, and was first to offer mobile search in China.
Corrections: In the original version of this article the name of Sega of America president Simon Jeffery was misspelled. Also, the original version neglected to cite Roche Diagnostics as a partner with Affymetrix in developing the Amplichip test.
Monday, March 17, 2008
The answer is to your LEFT ear from Scientists discovery.
Microwave from your mobile phone will trigger changes to protein structure in endothelial cells that allow toxins to enter your brain.
This is the right way of answering calls.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
許茹芸 & 阿穆隆 - 男人女人 MTV
Friday, March 14, 2008
This include his move to waive all summonses involving hawker licences and parking fees before the general election, as well as to appoint a Malay and an Indian as his deputies.
"If I want to make populist moves, I will cancel many more things, not just traffic summonses," he said in Penang today when asked to comment on whether he is running the state government as a populist government.
Elaborating on the decision, he said there have been a lot of complaints on how the summonses were issued and policies which were not carried out in a transparent manner.
"We want a fresh start since this is a new government that is a complete departure from the previous government. So let’s have a fresh start from March 11," he added, referring to the day that he was sworn in as the fourth chief minister of Penang.
While the move to waive the summonses was well-received by Penangites, critics had said this may not be an appropriate as it is done at the expense of the government’s coffer. Lim was uncertain about the exact figure when asked earlier.
Asked on the same subject today, the CM replied: "We have an estimate of the cost, we will work it out (but remember) all these collections you don’t get in full. We are trying to get a final amount."
Lim has also named its ally PKR’s Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin and DAP’s P Ramasamy as the DCM (I) and (II) respectively to show his government represents all communities.
The move was hailed by many parties as it was the first time an Indian has been appointed to such a high post, in the wake of grouses that the Indian community has long been marginalised.
The appointment of Mohammad Fairus as DCM (1) in the state is also seen as a move to pacify anxiety among the Malays in Penang, a minority group, that they will be sidelined by the predominantly Chinese DAP.
State exco line-up unveiled
Lim was met by reporters after witnessing 10 state executive councillors, including his two deputies, sworn in this morning at the Dewan Sri Pinang on the island. (See chart below)
The state exco line-up comprises seven representatives from the DAP and three from PKR.
They are DAP’s Chow Kon Yeow (Padang Kota), Wong Hon Wai (Air Itam), Lim Hock Seng (Bagan Jermal), Ong Kok Fooi (Berapit), Phee Boon Poh (Sungai Puyu), Law Heng Kiang (Batu Lanchang), PKR’s Law Choo Kiang (Bukit Tambun) and Abdul Malik Abul Kassim (Batu Maung).
On the line-up, the CM disagreed that the prominent portfolios - such as economic planning, local government and international trade - were all allocated to DAP representatives.
"I don’t think so, I think the portfolios are well distributed. It didn’t go to any particular party and (it was finalised) after discussion with PKR. I will reject that sort of analysis," he said.
"This is a government for all and I will have regular discussion with my two deputies," he added.
Penang PKR chief Zahrain Mohamed Hashim when asked on the same issue said he was of the view that the portfolios given to the party’s state representatives were "proportionate".
"I think the portfolios are very relevant to us and I have got the assurance from Guan Eng that I am free to discuss with him at anytime (on state’s matters)," he told reporters when met at the sidelines of the ceremony.
Other PKR representatives felt that the PKR and DAP will work together for the betterment of Penangites regardless of the posts given.
"Nobody is not important. Whatever the arrangement is, we shall cooperate with each other," said PKR’s Kebun Bunga state assemblyperson Jason Ong.
Bukit Tambun’s Law conceded he was surprised at first when he was told of the portfolio given to him as he was more familiar in the areas of education and business.
"But every portfolio is equally important," he stressed.