c m y k c m y k
11New Delhi ●● Monday ●● 2 May 2011
Amazon sorry
for server
outage that hit
cloud services,
offers credit....
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Gaming tools in Surgery : Kapil Khandelwal, EquNev Capital, www.equnev.com


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Kapil Khandelwal
EquNev Capital

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Gaming tools in Surgery : Kapil Khandelwal, EquNev Capital, www.equnev.com

  1. 1. c m y k c m y k 11New Delhi ●● Monday ●● 2 May 2011 Amazon sorry for server outage that hit cloud services, offers credit. Technomics FTC is preparing for a probe against Google. Samsung first quarter profit falls 30% on chips, TVs. Infosys eyes Europe, Japan buys Bengaluru, May 1: Infosys, India’s second-biggest soft- ware services exporter, is on the hunt for acquisitions in Europe and Japan in areas including healthcare and public services, its chief executive said on Sunday. Speaking to Reuters a day after the company announced changes in its top-level management, S. Gopalakrishnan said Infosys could acquire companies with annual revenues of up to $600 million. “Up to $600 million may not pose too much of a risk or burden on the company. But it’s a thumb rule or a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule,” said Gopalakrishnan, who is set to step down as chief execu- tive in August to become executive co-chairman. Infosys was also seeking acquisitions in new areas like cloud computing, he said. The company had cash and cash equivalents of $3.8 billion as of the end of March. “Our philosophy has always been that you plan organic growth,” Gopalakrishnan said. “ (But) you keep your eyes and ears open, you have a dedicated team look- ing at acquisitions.” “We do not want to set a tar- get for acquisition because we are not doing acquisition for growth. We are doing acquisitions for strategic fit and adding capability at this point in time,” he said at the company’s sprawling head- quarters campus on the out- skirts of Bangalore, India’s information technology hub. Several Indian technology players including Infosys’s larger rival Tata Consultan- cy Services and smaller rival Wipro have been looking for overseas acquisitions to boost growth amid growing competition from global rivals such as IBM and Accenture. Indian software firms are also looking to reduce a dependency on their U.S. market, which accounts for more than half of the sec- tor’s revenue, and want to expand operations in Euro- pean and Asian markets. “There are multiple strategic requirements for acquisition so those are the things we are looking at. Typically a smaller acquisition rather than a large one,” said Gopalakrishnan, one of the seven engineers who found- ed Infosys in 1981 with $250. REORGANISATION Infosys, which is also listed on Nasdaq, on Saturday announced top management changes linked to the retire- ment of its billionaire chair- man and stuck to its practice of giving its founders a shot at running the firm. . In a separate interview, CEO-designate S.D. Shibu- lal said Infosys planned to complete an ongoing reor- ganisation of its business divisions in about two months. Infosys, which counts Gold- man Sachs, BT and BP as clients, is struggling to meet growth expectations and its shares have fallen over 15 percent so far this year. It is dividing its business into five global industry seg- ments — financial services and insurance; manufactur- ing; energy, utilities, com- munications and services; public service practices and healthcare; retail and life sciences. Infosys will also look to strengthen its geographical focus by having separate heads for the Americas, Europe and emerging mar- kets, said Shibulal, who is also one of the founders of Infosys, and is currently its chief operating officer. Wipro earlier this year also reorganised its key out- sourcing business weeks after it decided to replace its joint CEOs with company veteran T.K. Kurien in an effort to boost growth. — Reuters Yahoo CEO pay cut by 75 pc Y ahoo Inc. cut CEO Carol Bartz’s com- pensation by 75 per- cent to $11.9 million last year as the Internet compa- ny struggled to revive its revenue growth. The sharp drop in the value of Bartz’s pay pack- age stemmed from the lav- ish awards she got when Yahoo hired her in January 2009 to engineer a turn- around. The incentives included 5 million stock options with an exercise price of $11.73. None of those options have vested yet because Yahoo’s stock price still hasn’t reached any of the thresholds out- lined in Bartz’s contract, which expires in January 2013. Bartz, 62, also received $10 million in cash and restricted stock during 2009 to make up for the benefits and stock options she gave up when she left her previous employer, software maker Autodesk Inc., to run Yahoo. Since her arrival, Bartz has eliminated hun- dreds of jobs and jettisoned online services that didn’t fit into her plan to cement Yahoo’s status as the Web’s leading hub for news, sports and entertainment. The cost-cutting helped Yahoo double its operating income to $748 million, exceeding a goal set by board. — AP Hacker is ICANN security chief J eff Moss, a prominent computer hacker who founded the annual Black Hat and DefCon security conferences in Las Vegas, has been hired as the chief security officer for the organization that coordi- nates names of the world’s Web sites. The organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Num- bers, or ICANN, plays a vital role in making sure that when you type a site name into a Web browser, your computer knows where to go to find the site you’re trying to reach. ICANN manages the domain name system that underlies that chain of communication. “I can think of no one with a greater understand- ing of the security threats facing Internet users and how best to defend against them than Jeff Moss,” Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s CEO and formerly the director of the U.S. National Cyberse- curity Center, said in a statement. “He has the in-depth insider’s knowledge that can only come from fight- ing in the trenches of the ongoing war against cyber threats.” — AP Sony breach could cost card lenders $300 mn MARIA ASPAN and CLARE BALDWIN NEW YORK May 1: Credit card lenders could be facing more than $300 million of card replacement costs if cus- tomers affected by the Sony Corp data breach decide to replace their credit cards. Analysts have previously estimated that the incident could cost Sony more than $1.5 billion, but this is the first time they have put a price tag on how much major lenders will also suf- fer. “It’s not insignificant,” Sanjay Sakhrani, analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, told Reuters at the sidelines of a payments industry con- ference in Miami Beach on Wednesday evening. The FBI is working with federal prosecutors in San Diego as agents try to deter- mine the facts and circum- stances surrounding the alleged crimes, FBI spokesman Darrell Fox- worth said on Thursday. Each customer request to replace a credit card would cost lenders about $3 to $5 per card, several analysts said on Wednesday and Thursday. Those costs would include the new piece of plastic itself, postage, and various customer service costs. Hackers earlier in April broke into Sony’s PlaySta- tion Network, stealing names, addresses and possi- bly credit card details from 77 million users. Sony shut down the network on April 19 but waited about a week to disclose that the system had been hacked and users’ data could have been stolen. INTO THE CLOUD Credit card lenders could also lose business from the customers affected by the breach, even if they were quick to replace the cards. New cards take time to be activated, and in the mean- time consumers could use a different card, said Aite Group analyst Julie Conroy McNelley in an email to Reuters on Thursday. Consumers may also be reluctant to use a card that they perceive as higher risk because it might have been involved in a hacking episode, even if the breach of security was not the issuer’s fault, Conroy McNelley said. By some measures, $300 million is a relatively small amount for the credit card industry. U.S. credit card banks that issue Visa cards and MasterCards made about $2.12 billion in after- tax profit in 2010, according to the industry publication PaymentsSource. That fig- ure excludes American Express Co and Discover Financial Services, which both lend directly to con- sumers and process the transactions on those cards themselves. The Sony breach was one of the biggest online data infiltrations ever and is a sign that the industry may face new threats. “As we move into the digi- tal world, we put more and more of our digital identity into the cloud, or digital devices... Security is going to be a tremendously impor- tant part of what we do,” Daniel Schulman, American Express group president of enterprise growth, told Reuters at the sidelines of the annual conference, host- ed by PaymentsSource pub- lisher SourceMedia. A FACT OF LIFE Schulman and other credit card executives speaking at the conference declined to comment directly on the breach or the implications for their security standards, but they said there generally is increased attention being paid to protecting customer data. Global credit card security standards are increasingly necessary as payment tech- nology evolves, MasterCard Chief Emerging Payments Officer Ed McLaughlin told Reuters. Payments security is evolving along with “intelli- gent devices,” like smart- phones and contactless cards, he said. Upgrading certain security standards — for example, adopting chip- and-pin credit cards, which are widely used outside the United States — also depends on merchants, who typically only upgrade their terminals every five to seven years, he said. — Reuters DATA THEFT KAPIL KHANDELWAL O ver the last few weeks, we have seen Apple iPod Touch and Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect actually come into the surgeon’s opera- tion theatre and assist them in performing complicated surgeries that require high accuracy and precision, very successfully! Last week an orthopedic surgeon in Mumbai con- ducted a knee replacement surgery using an app down- loaded from the Apple app store using his iPod Touch. To assist in the surgery, iPod could well have been the Apple mobile phone or iPad. The iPod is easier to use and gives better accuracy and precision as a comput- er device to the surgeon. Elsewhere, Microsoft Xbox Kinect was used by surgeons in their operation theatre to provide hands- free control to view radio- logical images for refer- ence during the surgery and help in saving time. Moreover, the same motion sensors are being used along with surgical robotic systems such as da Vinci and Zeus. These were a landmark on its own as devices and applications primarily designed for entertain and gaming were adapted by healthcare pro- fessionals will increase in the future. Precision in surgery is the key to building a huge armory of robots and tools. These iPods and Xbox Kin- nect could create a more precise connection between a surgeon’s move- ments and the reaction of the surgical tools he uses to perform the surgery. So what does the future behold? In my column, a few months ago I had men- tioned that robotic and sur- gical assistance systems are very complex. They depend on many enabling technologies and pose many challenges of how to integrate these into a func- tional system. These technologies and challenges require a signif- icant amount of R&D, are dependent on ICT tech- nologies and each other progress at different speeds. Human-machine interface designs, sensor systems, mobile energy supply, energy efficiency and biocompatible materi- als are some of the main issues. However it is now clear from these entertainment and gaming devices are now redefining how the basic design, form factor and how we interact. The same transformation will take place in how surgeons will interface with the sur- gical and medical equip- ment will be in the future, through natural user inter- face (NUI). One thing is very clear. Many of the surgical and medical equipment of the yesteryears required the surgeon to go through years of training and men- toring. NUI in the next gen- eration of medical and sur- gical equipment will allow surgeons to be able to quickly transition from novice to expert. While the in the next gen- eration of medical and sur- gical equipment interface requires learning, that learning will be eased through equipment design which gives the surgeon the feeling that they are instantly and continuously successful. This can be aided by tech- nology which allows sur- geon to carry out relatively natural motions, move- ments or gestures that they quickly discover control the medical equipment or manipulate the on-screen content such as a scan or radiographic report. This will definitely boost robot- ic telesurgery or a robotic nurse to triage a patient in the remotest corner of India in the future using the same gestures in the Microsoft Xbox Kinect or the inter- face of the iPod Touch. A Dose of IT Kapil Khandelwal is Director, EquNev Capital and a leading healthcare and information communica- tion technology (ICT) expert. iPods, Xbox Kinect assist in surgeries Apple’s might shakes industry PETER SVENSSON NEW YORK May 1: Consumer technolo- gy companies reporting financial results this week are looking like rowboats bobbing in the wake of Apple Inc.’s supertanker. Close to oblivion in 1997, Apple is now the world’s second-most valuable com- pany, after Exxon Mobil Corp. On April 20, it report- ed net income of $5.99 bil- lion for the January-to- March period, nearly double that of a year ago. It shipped a record 18.65 million iPhones during the quarter. Its iPad tablet computers are so popular, the company couldn’t make enough. Apple’s ascendancy has produced many losers and a few winners, as underscored over the past two weeks. MICROSOFT : LOSER. Apple dethroned Microsoft as the world’s most valuable technology company a year ago. In its mid-fall report, it surpassed Microsoft in quarterly rev- enue. In the January-March period this year, it surpassed Microsoft in net income, too. On Thursday, Microsoft reported that revenue from the Windows operating sys- tem declined for the second straight quarter because people are buying fewer Windows computers. Some prospective buyers are going to Macs instead - Apple reported that it sold 28 percent more units. Oth- ers are going to iPads. Gold- man Sachs now believes that more than 30 percent of iPads sold may be replacing PC sales. NOKIA : LOSER Nokia said this week that it will slash 7,000 jobs through layoffs and out- sourcing. It still sells more phones than anyone else, but it’s losing share to Apple, especially when it comes to smartphones. Research firm Strategy Analytics also said revenue from Apple’s iPhone sales surpassed that of Nokia’s phones in the January-to- March period, as iPhones are much more expensive than the average Nokia phone. That makes Apple the world’s largest phone maker by revenue. To better compete with the iPhone, Nokia is ditching its old Symbian software and adopting Microsoft’s Win- dows Phone 7. But the tran- sition will take time; the first Windows-powered Nokia phones aren’t expected until late 2011 or early 2012. RIM: LOSER The maker of the Black- Berry is in a predicament that’s similar to Nokia’s. RIM warned Thursday that net income, revenue and unit sales for the quarter ending in May will come in below its previous forecast. The company’s high-end phones are looking old com- pared with the iPhone and ones running Google Inc.’s Android software. They aren’t selling as well as the company expected. RIM promised investors that new phones with revamped software will bring sales roaring back in the latter half of the year, but investors are skeptical, send- ing RIM’s stock down Fri- day. HTC , SAMSUNG , MOTOROLA: WINNERS Although all three compa- nies compete with Apple’s iPhone, they are doing well. Unlike Nokia and RIM, the three are betting on Google’s Android system, which comes the closest to mimicking the look, feel and functions of the iPhone. For South Korea’s Sam- sung, smartphone sales were a bright spot in the first quarter as overall phone sales declined. — AP PlayStation services to be resumed SONY SAID it would resume some services on its PlayStation Network this week and offer incentives to customers to try to prevent them turning to competitors after the theft of personal information belonging to 78 million user accounts. Top Sony executives apologized for the massive data breach at a news conference in Tokyo on Sunday, the first public comments from senior management on the crisis. “We apologize deeply for causing great unease and trouble to our users,” Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s number 2 and the frontrunner to succeed CEO Howard Stringer, said bowing deeply three times during a lengthy news conference. Stringer was not at the event. Many PlayStation users around the world had been angered by the fact that the first warning of one of the largest Internet security break-ins ever came a week after Sony detected a problem with the net- work on April 19. “Infosys could acquire companies with annual rev- enues of up to $600 million.Up to $600 million may not pose too much of a risk or burden on the com- pany.But it’s a a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule.” One thing is very clear. Many of the surgical and medical equipment of the yesteryears required the surgeon to go through years of training and mentoring. NUI in the next generation of medical and surgical equipment will allow surgeons to be able to quickly transition from novice to expert. AGE THE