Warwick Students Compete to Win $1 mn to Help Slum Dwellers in India

A team of five students from Russia, India, Bahrain, Canada and the UK are competing to win USD1 million of funding for their social enterprise to help slums in Mumbai in the Hult Prize Global Challenge, a competition judged by former USA President Bill Clinton.

The full-time MBA students from Warwick Business School are aiming to address the main issues that urban slum dwellers, one stage from the very bottom of the pyramid, face on a day to day basis.

The team consists of Supriya Mundra, of Mumbia in India, Mohamed Matar, of Manama in Bahrain, Adam Lawrence, of Solihull, Birmingham in the UK, Nikolay Samoylov, of Moscow in Russia, and Jane Kwong, of Vancouver in Canada.

They have prepared a short video to describe their comprehensive solution, which styles itself on a “smartphone” concept. The winning video is the one that gets the most “Likes” on and the team are using every channel they know to raise awareness of their solution to the problem.

The solution takes parts of existing solutions that are inefficient and do not work together, and brings them all together under one umbrella. The FEED model comprehensively addresses empowerment through education, renewable energy solutions, distribution and waste management problems simultaneously.

The team strongly believe their idea could make a huge difference to the lives of 100 million people in India and beyond – over 1 billion people worldwide live in slums which is unthinkable in this day and age.

The Warwick team narrowly lost out to Hult San Francisco in the previous round of the Hult Global Challenge, where they competed at the Hult Campus in San Francisco against 45 other world-leading business schools and universities, and defeated the likes of Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford en route to the final four.

“Even though the Warwick MBA by full-time study is a challenging undertaking, we strongly believe that it’s crucial to apply our learning to try and help those less fortunate than ourselves,” said Lawrence, 34, who previously worked as a property developer.

“We firmly grasped the opportunity to help the millions of people living in urban slums worldwide with both hands.”

Only one team progresses to the Global Finals in New York in September and the team are thankful for the support they have received from Warwick Business School.

Team leader is Indian Mundra, who has first-hand experience of the difficulties faced in urban slums and experience in strategy consulting.Lawrence has a background in economics and property; Kwong is an operations and human resources practitioner; Mr Matar is a chartered financial analyst; and Nikolay Samoylov is an energy professional.

Facebook generated 2 cents per user last month in income

Facebook made two pennies per user per month.

A billion people offer their two cents every month to Facebook, literally.  That’s about how much income Facebook generated per user each month over the last quarter.

 Add it all up and the company made just $64 million on revenue of $1.59 billion. That means the company is generating about half a buck a month of revenue per user, and just $0.02 a month in income. Facebook says that a run-up in R&D hurt their profitability for the quarter.

Nonetheless, compared with the other tech giants (save Amazon, which has its own profitability problems), Facebook is not much of a money machine. It isn’t even within an order of magnitude of old-school companies like Microsoft or Oracle, let alone Apple.

But hey, it’s young. And detailed data on all of our lives has got to be worth something, right? Right? And the good news is that for the full year 2012, Facebook generated $13.58 in revenue per user in its most developed markets, the US and Canada. That’s up more than $2 over 2011 and $4 over 2010.

Update: Facebook would also probably like me to note that if you don’t follow the GAAP method and use Facebook’s own accounting, they made $426 million for the quarter, which is considerably more money than $64 million. Then again, there’s a reason they’re called Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

The Atlantic

#WhatsApp breached data privacy laws by storing non-user contact details


WhatsApp has been found guilty of breaching international privacy laws because it forces customers (bar those using iOS 6) to grant it access to their entire address book. It indiscriminately retains all that information, meaning millions of non-consenting, non-users have had their data given up over the years.

The announcement was made by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Dutch Data Protection Authority, which both maintain WhatsApp directly breached its privacy laws. However, the joint investigation took place in 2012, giving the company time to make some adjustments before the public ever found out — it has encrypted messages (from September 2012), strengthened its authentication process and also plans on developing manual addition of contacts. There are, however, still “outstanding issues” that the authorities intend to follow-up on, despite the instant messaging provider claiming non-users’ numbers are encrypted and that they don’t store corresponding names and emails.

WhatsApp has been dogged with security flaws since its launch, with one hacker releasing a Windows tool to show how easy it is to change user statuses in early 2012. This latest find, with even non-users being drawn into a privacy data dispute, has somewhat irked the authorities since international law clearly states data should only be kept “for so long as it is required for the fulfilment of an identification purpose”.

“This lack of choice contravenes privacy law,” said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority, in a statement. “Both users and non-users should have control over their personal data and users must be able to freely decide what contact details they wish to share with WhatsApp.”

It flags up an issue Facebook, Google and others are currently having to deal with: user consent, or the lack thereof.

“This case puts the spotlight on a key issue within privacy law: can the use of a service be made conditional on access being given to personal data?” Stewart Room, a partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse specialising in privacy law, told Wired.co.uk. “On my reading of the law, the EU data protection regime does recognise the legitimacy of making service use conditional in this way, but the law will expect sufficient mechanisms to be put in place to draw the user’s attention to the data access before the service commences. In other words, people need to know what they are signing up for in advance.”

It’s taken the Dutch and Canadian authorities a good few years, and plenty of warnings from the public over the app’s security issues, to carry out its investigation and apply some pressure on the US-based company. So what other less high-profile apps are getting away with more?

“I suspect that these breaches are much more common than we think, with many businesses not paying due attention to their data collection practices when developing or deploying their services,” Daniel Cooper, head of global privacy and data security at Covington and Burling, told Wired.co.uk. “Many companies simply collect data, despite having no clear business need for it, on the basis that it may be useful in the future [WhatsApp says it keeps the data on file to populate its own contact list]. This situation has not been helped by the relatively limited amount of regulatory enforcement that has occurred to date.”

So we’ll probably start seeing more cases such as these arise as attention is drawn to the issue.

With that in mind, Stewart says: “I would encourage all app developers to look at how they bring key privacy issues to the attention of users during signing-up… I expect that where there are problems these are more often the result of a lack of focus or clarity of thought, rather than a deliberate attempt to have people over. I do expect that many app developers are in a similar position to WhatsApp.”


Ozone hole second smallest in 20 years

Bringing great reprive to scientists monitoring ozone hole over the Antarctic, the the average area covered by the hole this year is smallest in the last 20 years. 
The ozone hole reached its maximum size Sep 22, covering 8.2 million square miles (21.2 million sq km), or the area of the US, Canada and Mexico combined, according to data from NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites.
The average size of the 2012 ozone hole was 6.9 million sq miles (17.9 million square km). The Sep 6, 2000 ozone hole was the largest on record at 11.5 million square miles (29.9 million sq km). 
Ozone layer acts as Earth’s natural shield against ultraviolet radiation, which can cause skin cancer. The ozone hole phenomenon began making a yearly appearance in the early 1980s. 
“The ozone hole mainly is caused by chlorine from human-produced chemicals, and these chlorine levels are still sizable in the Antarctic stratosphere,” said atmospheric scientist Paul Newman of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, according to a NASA statement. 
“Natural fluctuations in weather patterns resulted in warmer stratospheric temperatures this year. These temperatures led to a smaller ozone hole,” added Newman. 
The Antarctic ozone layer likely will not return to its early 1980s state until about 2065, Newman said. The lengthy recovery is because of the long lifetimes of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere. 
Overall atmospheric ozone no longer is declining as concentrations of ozone-depleting substances decrease. The decrease is the result of an international agreement regulating the production of certain chemicals.

Diavik Diamond Mine

Diavik Diamond Mine is located in Canada’s charmingly named North Slave Region – hopefully no reflection on the way the 700 workers here are treated. This is an open cast mine like no other. Gouged into a 20 square km island, 220 km from the Arctic Circle, there are particularly jaw-dropping views of this cold spot when the surrounding waters freeze over.

Diavik Diamond Mine

Ten Hottest Women In Technology

‘Beauty with Brains’, it is hard to find girls who don that perfect body, wear a perfect smile and still have brains on their shoulders. But here is a list of women who are a contradiction to the above statement. They are smart, they are tech-savvy and yes, they are SMOKIN HOT!!

1. Amber MacArthur

Profession: Net-casting personality

Number 1 in the list of hot women in technology is the Canadian national who has worked with Microsoft and Razorfish and many more. She has a career that many will be envious of and it will leave many kill for. She started her career as a reporter with Canadian CBC and rose to fame  as a cohost of G4 Tech TV Canada’s Call for Help. She played an important role on other shows of the network that includes Gadgets, Gizmos and Torrent. She had a ling tenure in Toronto’s City TV news broadcast where she worked as a media specialist and is currently working on the same profile for CP24. She comes as an irresistible beauty that one would die for. It is her looks and personality that is next to perfection that has made her to the top in the list of hottest women in the world of technology.

2. Morgan Webb

Profession: Website administrator

This Canadian babe is a well known personality in the tech world and her includison in the hottest women’s list is completely justified. She got a job as a website admin soon after finishing her college and later went on to become a producer and web researcher in TechTV’s The Screen Savers program. The best part about this lady is her girl-next-door looks and her cheerful persona. Her seductive photographs acted as a fuel to her fame to success and she never looked back. This helped her in gaining popularity for her show and because of this she was invited to host the series on several occasions. She also had her chance to cohost the X-Play series and went on to pile up her success as a columnist of the FHM magazine. She can also be seen video blogging often where she talks about the prominent and interesting technology related tiny bits.

3. Jessica Chobot

Profession: On-Camera host.

This beauty rose to fame with her photo in which she was licking the PSP. Her naughty photograph with the PSP proved to be the best decision she ever took in her career. After the success of that photograph she gave up her modeling career to take advantage of the opportunities that were coming her way in the gaming and entertainment sector. The blond beauty has appeared in The Baroness, Mania.com and on G4;;s Filter and Attack of the show. Shw also hosted the video game Fuel TV’s The Daily Habit. She went  on to host the IGN weekly show in which she appears in the audio and on the street pieces. She is also penning a script with the TRON famed writer Steven Lisbeger. Her seductive photographs acted as a fuel to her fame to success and she never looked back. Her  charm combined with her beauty were the perfect mix of a beauty with brain.

4. Olivia Munn

Profession: Actress, Comedian, Model, Television Personality and Author.

Olivia Munn, look at her photo and you can see an image of a ‘geek-goddess’. She started with her career as an actress and a sportscaster. Her seductive looks helped the series Scarecrow Gone Wild and The Road to Lake gained immense popularity and viewership. In 2006, she substituted Sarah Lane as a co-host for Attack of the Show program and became an instant hit among viewers and made her reach the top of ‘hot’ list. Her beauty hardly leaves her with a chance to act as she leaves everybody spell bound with her charisma. She is currently working for a return to the world of acting and appearance in some theatrical shows. Her return will surely bring a new charm to the screen and we all will be waiting for the hottest tech women to make an appearance as many times as possible for us to acknowledge the hard work God has put in.

5. Cali Lewis
Profession: American Podcaster

Cali has a success story that will make anyone jealous. She is a well known Internet personality famous for her podcasts for GeekBeat.TV. She has also featured in a TV commercial for GoDaddy.com and her hotness was acknowledged by many who viewed that commercial during Super Bowl. Her seductive photographs acted as a fuel to her fame to success and she never looked back. She started with a website along with husband Neal dedicated to short tech-based podcasts entitled GeekBrief.TV. The main reason behind the success of the website is often credited to her drop-dead insane looks. The viewership of her website reached to millions of downloads in just a month because of which she quit her regular job and focused herself completely to this venture. She has also launched a tech –advice blog entitled ‘Dear Cali’ that comes on Ustream.tv and has a podcast dedicated completely to Apple’s iPhone.

6. Veronica Belmont

Profession: Popular Host

Veronica was born to top executives and she used this to her full advantage. An audio production and new media studies graduate from Emerson College she worked as an intern at CNET. She was an audio producer with their business technology division. From all the experience that she gathered, she used iit in becoming a producer for CNET’s online videos. She went on to become a co-host of Buzz Out Loud and in less than a year, she resigned from CNET and joined another high profile job at search engine Mahalo where she worked as a producer for a daily centric video show till April 2008. Her other ventures include a stint at Revision 3 as a staff co-host, at Qore that was a monthly lifestyle gaming program by Sony in which she was hired as a host. She also worked in Sword and Laser and TWiT.TV.

7. Amanda Congdon
Profession: Video Blogger

This New Yorker can confuse you with her well-carved looks for being a super model but no, Amanda is a popular video blogger who hosts an audience of nearly half a million people across the globe. She was an aspiring actress who had to give up on her dream to make a living. She started working for an advertising agency consequently pursuing her graduation from the Northwestern University. She somehow found her way into the entertainment industry by taking up any job that came her way but luck struck her favor when she landed with Rocketboom, a daily video blog. Her charming and bubbly persona made her an instant hit among masses and soon she was hosting to 300,000 people. She worked with Rocketboom for another 2 years before starting with her own online venture called AmandaAcrossAmerica that shows her travelling around the country in her hybrid vehicle.

8. Kristin Holt
Profession: Television Personality

This beauty from Texas is a popular television personality. The fact that she was earlier a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys is enough explanation for her inclusion in the top hottest women. With her aspirations to become a playback singer, she participated in the famous series American Idol’s second season. Though she failed to emerge as the winner of the show, her splendid beauty impressed the executives at FOX who hired her as their special correspondent for season three. She is currently hosting the popular show Cheat! that airs on G4 and the show has helped her in establishing her image as an effortlessly cool anchor with excellent sense of humor and prettiest looks. Kristen is also recording an album with her band Stranger Days, working as a reporter for G4’s Attack of the Show, and hosting a new DVD game, Shout About Television. She’s sure a girl to watch out for!

9. Blair Butler

Profession: Stand-up comedian, television host

A stand-up comic by profession this blonde can tickle your funny bones and flatter you with her stunning looks both at the same time. Her comic background gives her the reputation of one of the most naturally funny and splendidly gorgeous tech pundits of all times. She started working with some stage shows and lined herself some loyal followers. She has a career that many will be envious of and it will leave many kill for.Blair soon got noticed for her comic timing and started featuring in a spot on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend program. The attention combined with her killer looks helped her in getting hired as a head writer for X-Play. Blair’s charisma makes her a perfect fit for a career on-screen and that is when she became a prominent figure in X-Play’s recurring sketches. Blair, currently, has an online segment on the G4 website called ‘Geek Out’ where she scrutinizes things from the world of geeks.

10. Wendy Chang

Profession: Blogger

This Chinese beauty ranks number tenth in our list. A blogger by profession, Wendy blogs about her personal life, fashion, and local issues. The story of how she got into blogging is also interesting, a little less interesting than her hotness though. Wendy used to maintain a diary to pen her thoughts which were thrown out by her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend. In order to publish her thoughts on a platform that no one can throw, she started with her blog in April 2003. Her looks do work wonder for this Chinese diva as she writes about hot pumping topics such as sex, dating and fashion with blunt honesty.

BlackBerry: Caught Yet Again in Tussle for Name

The Canadian based manufactures of BlackBerry Smart phones, Research In Motion (RIM) face legal challenge over the trademark use of its instant messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

RIM faces trademark challenge from BBM Canada, a company which provides broadcast measurement and consumer behavior data. The CEO of BBM Canada, Jim MacLeod wants RIM to stop advertising its services under the trademark BBM, but would also consider changing his company’s name at a price.


The instant messenger allows BlackBerry users to send and receive text and video files and also allow them to know when they are delivered and read. RIM has recently launched its BBM Music song sharing service and promoted the third party apps which boast of having 50 million active customers. RIM has been promoting all this under the trademark BBM.

But according to MacLeod, RIM is using a trademark which they don’t even own. BBM Canada was established in 1944 which currently has 650 employs and an annual revenue of around $ 50 million compared to RIM’s  last quarter sales of above $5 billion. MacLord added, “We have to be practical because RIM operates worldwide and we don’t, but we are not prepared to just walk away from the name.”

 BBM Canada launched its legal action late last year following the denial letter from RIM saying that there could not possibly be any confusion between two names as the services from both companies don’t overlap with one another. RIM is not ready to lose the name BBM and is determined not to pay anything to BBM Canada saying it is attempting to obtain trademark protection for BBM acronym which is well beyond the narrow range of services that BBM Canada provides.

However, Industry Canada has already denied RIM’s request in 2009 to register the trademark BBM, saying that the name was already in use. Earlier this month, RIM was forced to change the name of its operating system from ‘BBX’ to ‘BlackBerry 10’ following the trademark battle with BASIS International, a US based company.