Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bill Gates to India: Go high end on R&D

Billionaire Bill Gates on Friday urged India to move away from low-cost labor toward high-end research and development to keep its giant IT sector competitive.

On a visit to New Delhi, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp called on the Indian government to speed up its commitment to R&D and to boost low number of home-grown PhD students.

Gates told a panel discussion that India's "IT success story" should strive to add value and move away from low-cost labor as other developing countries play catch-up.

"At first some of that (IT boom) was built on low-cost labor. And, of course, as time goes on, you don't want to have that as the only differentiator and it's not a sustainable thing, because others can come along with that as well," Gates said.

India's R&D sector has made strides in recent years and attracted some big foreign hitters, including Microsoft, in keeping with its IT- and service-driven economic boom.

But hampered by structural problems and a lack of government commitment, India's R&D still lags behind the United States and Asian rival China. China has more than 1,100 R&D centers compared to less than 800 in India.

"Leading companies here are contributing a lot of ideas and techniques. Even more of that has to happen and bring it to its full potential," Gates said.

"You've got to get the government, universities ... and companies like Microsoft to deepen their commitment to R&D."

India produces 100 computer science PhDs a year -- a fraction of China or the U.S. -- even as it exports a large number of students abroad. While English-speaking India is cheaper than China for R&D, New Delhi gives few incentives to researchers.

Beijing offers incentives like tax breaks for R&D centers, and special economic zones provide infrastructure for hi-tech and R&D industries.

10 Shopping Tricks Stores Can't Stand!

Ohhhhh ladies will love this....

When shopping, stores aren't always looking out for
your best interests. There are some things you can do that will help
you save money and make sure that you always get the best possible
deal. The stores probably would rather you not know about these tips,
but we would rather you come out ahead! Here are 10 shopping tricks
that stores don't want you to know.

1. Buy the Loss Leaders and Nothing Else

A loss leader is a product that a store puts on sale
for below cost to lure you into the store. They want you to come in for
that item and buy additional items or accessories that are not on sale.
Most of the time, there are limits to how many of each loss leader you
can buy-- for example, the ad will say "limit 3 per customer". Buy only
this item and get out!

2. Use the Credit and Pay it Off on Time

Stores will sometimes offer a credit offer on big
ticket items such as TVs or appliances. The offer will be something
like "6 months, no interest, no payments." The stores are not to help
you afford things, it's to trick you into paying more for the item than
if you had paid cash. These offers are dangerous, because if you miss a
payment or don't pay off the balance on time, you will get hit with
interest retroactive to your date of purchase. However, if you are
organized and pay off the balance on time, you will have used the
store's money for free-- the value of the item can be sit in a
high-yield savings account for the period of the interest free offer!

3. Say NO to the Extended Warranty

Stores will try to make you think that electronics
are a big investment to scare you into buying an extended warranty.
Don't do it! This is another trick to get you to pay more for the item
than you have to. The extended warranty business is a huge profit
center for the stores. If you are worried about not having an extended
warranty, purchase your electronics with a credit card that offers
extended protection.

4. Activate Your Own Phone Directly With the Cell Company ( US only)

You can buy a used or unlocked phone for full price
and avoid signing a contract, then activate the phone directly with the
cell company your self. Cell phone companies want you to sign a
contract, most of the time, for a 2 year term. You can purchase your
own phone elsewhere and contact the cell phone company to activate it
with no contract!

5. Shop the Store, Buy Online

Do your shopping in the store-- you can try the
product and ask questions. Then, go online to purchase it later for
cheaper. Stores have overhead, such as employees, electric bills, and
rent-- all of this is priced into your item. Most of the time, you can
find the item you want online for cheaper because online stores may not
have as much overhead.

6. Buy Only One When It's Two for $5

Most of the time, you don't have to buy 2 to take
advantage of the "2 for" deals. Though laws may vary nationwide, you
can usually buy just one at the unit price. The stores just want you to
buy more than you need.

7. Open A Store Credit Card for the Discount, then Cut It Up

Many stores will offer a discount for signing up for
the store credit card to make you purchase. Credit card companies make
money from interest and fees. If you sign up for the card, get the
discount on your purchase, then pay off the balance, you can take
advantage of the discount without letting the credit card companies
take advantage of you. As long as there is no further activity on the
card, they cannot charge you!

8. Use Websites to Track 30 Day Price Guarantees

Many stores have "30 day price guarantees" to make
you think the price of your item will not go any lower. They may not,
but they also know you're not going to keep watching the price of an
item that you've already bought. If you do keep track of your purchase
prices, you may take advantage of this rarely taken offer. There are
even some websites that will watch prices for you and email you if your
item drops in price during your guarantee period.

9. Buy Seasonal Items at Clearance Prices and Save Them For Next Year

Seasonal items are big deals for retail stores, and
once the holiday is over they need to make room for the next one. You
can take advantage of their rush to switch inventory and buy now for
next year. Stores want you to buy seasonal items at huge markups-- show
them who's boss buy buying them at or below cost once the holiday is

10. Buy Accessories on eBay Rather Than Paying Huge Markups

Stores will often discount big ticket items, usually
electronics, only to charge insane prices for accessories. These
include connectors, controllers, cables, cases, or storage/memory. Buy
these things online later and don't let the store screw you. For
example, Best Buy sells the Monster Ultra Series 8' HDMI cable for
$119.99. On Ebay, the most expensive price for this cable is $75 + $10
shipping for the exact same thing. And that's if you go name brand--
you can get a generic 8' HDMI cable for $8 on eBay. If you got a good
deal, don't let the store take your money back by pressuring you into
buying high priced accessories!

Built back in the 10th century, the incredible well of Chand Baori, India was a practical solution to the water problem in the area. The arid climate forced the locals to dig deep for a dependable water source, one that would last throughout an entire year. Chand Baori well is 30 meters deep, it has 13 floors and 3,500 steps. Legends say that ghosts build it in one night and that it has so many steps to make it impossible for someone to retrieve a coin once it's been dropped in the well.

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