Archive for the ‘Controversial Issues’ Category

How Entrepreneurs are Building Successful and More Efficient Companies

Every good entrepreneur knows it’s true: besides having a brilliant business idea, employees are any firm’s most valuable asset. But once a business takes off, the romantic idea of founding a successful business in the proverbial garage quickly fades and reality settles in. Fact is, day-to-day issues of HR management can distract you from another key to success: growing your business.

Saving Hours by Outsourcing
The average small business owner spends more than 25 percent of his or her day handling employee-related paperwork. With additional tasks added for recruitment, hiring and training of new employees, this number quickly grows to 35 to 45 percent. In other words, rather than innovating and expanding the business, they spend almost half of any workday on administrative tasks that are a necessary evil.

While 401(k) plans or a premium benefits package keep current employees happy and attract high-caliber candidates, most entrepreneurs prefer to focus on their passion for the business, rather than on HR. They have very limited interest in federal and state regulations regarding everything from workers’ compensation to workplace health and safety, not to mention additional complexities related to employee benefits with the recent passage of the Affordable Care Act. HR outsourcing firms like TriNet, provide small, growing companies a proven way to scale, protect and streamline their business. What’s more — this approach allows entrepreneurs to focus on what matters most to them.

Power and Efficiency Through Integrated Technology Solution
Employees have come to expect anytime access to their HR information. But the cost of implementing and maintaining a state-of-the-art HR information system (HRIS) is simply out of reach for the average small and medium firm. But that’s precisely what TriNet has done — creating an affordable, cloud-based solution and mobile app to enable employees, managers and executives to access the information they need, when they need it.

Risk Mitigation: Share the Liability, Focus on Your Business
In this litigious climate, there is little room for administrative error. HR companies, like TriNet, stay on top of all employment laws and regulations so they can help their clients remain compliant.

With TriNet as your partner, you’ll have the expertise, capabilities and scalable infrastructure to grow. Our core HR services and cloud-based technology streamline the HR process for managers and employees alike. Learn more by calling 888.874.6388 or go to It’s time to start achieving some incredible results of your own.

The Disrupters 2013: The Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing Their Industries

Disruption isn’t cool. Historically, disruptive ideas and companies haven’t been those behind the groundbreaking technologies or products–i.e., the cool stuff. Disrupters aren’t usually first to market with a new invention. They are, however, visionaries who grasp how an existing idea can be made better or cheaper or accessible to millions.

History is littered with examples: Ford’s assembly line and stripped-down Model T brought cars to the everyman. Steve Jobs took the computer mouse, at the time a custom-built and expensive gadget, and had someone figure out how to make it for less than a quarter of the cost. didn’t create online shopping, but it did bring millions of products to one storefront and deliver a better price.

The same goes for our disrupters here. They saw opportunities, ignored by existing players in their fields, to get in, grow big, change the game–and get rich along the way.

Read more:

9 Famous Quotes on Sachin

Sachin Tendulkar – GOD of Cricket
9 Famous Quotes on Sachin

1. “I want my son to become Sachin Tendulkar.” -Brian Lara(WI)

2. ”We did not lose 2 a team called India , we lost 2 a man called Sachin” – Mark Taylor(aus)

3. “Nothing bad can happen 2 us if we were on a plane in India wit Sachin Tendulkar on it.”-Hashim Amla(SA)

4. ”He can play that leg glance with a walking stick also. -Waqar Younis(Pak)

5. ”There r 2 kind of batsman in the world. 1. Sachin Tendulkar and 2. all the others .-Andy Flower(ZIM)

6. “I have seen God. He bats at no.4 for India in tests.-Matthew Hayden(AUS)

7. “I see myself when i see Sachin batting.-Don Bradman(AUS)

8. “Do your crime when Sachin is batting, bcos even God is busy watching his batting. -Australian Fan The Best One

9. Barack Obama – “I don’t know about cricket but still I watch cricket to see Sachin play..Not b’coz I love his play its b’coz I want to know the reason why my country’s production goes down by
5 percent when he’s batting”

24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

Jiuzhaigou Valley

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Biggest Mushroom

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Opera House Sydney, Australia

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Panchoran Retreat Bali

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Patagonia Argentina The Smoking Mountain

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Pisa Italy

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

Pool Resorts Step outside and take a dip Bali Indonesia

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Predjama Castle a renaissance castle built within a cave mouth in Southwestern Slovenia

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Romantic canalside cafe Trattoria Sempione Venice Italy Photo by La Citta Vita

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

Ronda Spain

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Sanphet Prasat Palace at Ancient Museum in Samutprakran Thailand

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

Sydney Australia

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life



 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

The Appennine Colossus just north of Florence Italy

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


The old red grist mill near Eminence Missouri

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Tropea Province of Vibo Valentia Italy

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life

Tübingen Germany

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Tyrol Austria

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Victoria falls as seen from Zambia

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Zakynthos Island Ionian Sea Greece.Looks like the boat is floating in the air

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Lunch at Waterfalls Restaurant (Villa Escudero)

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life


Aescher Hotel In Appenzellerland, Switzerland

 24 Angelic Places That You Must Visit in Your Life



Google introduces natural language search and machine recognition for photos

You know what photos we're searching for, right? (Image credit: Photographer / Shutterstock)

You know what photos we’re searching for, right? (Image credit: Photographer / Shutterstock)

Search is increasingly becoming human. While users from my generation have been used to search operators like “and”, “or” and the plus and minus signs, search queries are becoming more and more natural language like. Take for instance Facebook‘s Open Graph search, which launched earlier this year with mixed reception. You can use natural language like “photos of my friends taken in Tokyo,” for instance.

Google has announced a better way to find photos, which uses natural language, as well as photo recognition. This new feature lets you search for photos within your Google+ network using simple queries. To make search even better, Google is now employing “computer vision and machine learning,” which will recognize even generic images based on their characteristics.

With this update, you can simply do a search for “my photos of flowers” and Google will come up with images of flowers from your Google+ photos. You can then add qualifiers to focus your search: “my photos of flowers in New York,” for instance. This has a few implications, of course. First, Google is moving toward doing away with tags and captions. With the new update, Google’s algorithms (neural networks?) will attempt to identify the image based on image recognition.

Photos of flowers from Google search

Product manager Matthew Kulick says this is limited to English searches within (no support for other country domains, yet), and when you are logged in via Google+.

Going beyond photo search, of course, the bigger implication that comes to mind is that this improvement will tie in well with Google Glass. With Google improving its image recognition technologyand having an improved ability in recognizing faces and objects, tying this in with persistent photo and video captured through wearable computers will become a rich source of data and analytics for the search giant.


HSPA+ vs LTE: Which one is better?

We have all marveled at the revolution in mobile communications technology. The 1980′s saw the introduction of the “brick” style wireless mobile phone accessible to a privileged few. Since then, we have seen a lot of shifting trends in designs and capabilities, but an exponential increase in availability and popularity. We now live in a world boasting over 6 billion mobile phone users, with most high-end devices mimicking the capabilities of a computer, featuring dual-core or even quad-core processing capability.

Ah, the Zach Morris brick.

I still recall a time when the primary purpose of a mobile phone was voice communication. Now, with smartphones bursting onto the scene in ever growing numbers, the mobile landscape is changing rapidly. With devices now featuring messaging, social networking connectivity, email and browsing capabilities, and the ability to stream or download high-quality music and videos, making and receiving calls has almost become a secondary feature.

Of course, none of this would be possible without an equally impressive evolution in mobile networking technology. From first generation communication networks to the current 4G craze, these advances have made it incredibly easy for any user to always be connected. Today we will compare the latest networking technologies, namely HSPA+ and LTE, and take a look at what the future holds.


Courtesy of Ofcom

First generation mobile networks were basic analog systems designed purely for voice calls. Mobile devices and call rates were very expensive and therefore not available to everybody. The early nineties saw the introduction of the first digital cellular networks. 2G brought with it improved sound quality and a higher capacity, allowing for data services, albeit at very low speeds up to 14.4 kbps. Further advances in this technology introduced GPRS and EDGE features with quicker data speeds between 40kpbs to 100kbps.

This was followed by the 3G revolution. Apart from wide-area voice telephony, it introduced high-speed internet access, far improved audio and video streaming capabilities, support for video calls and conferences, and internet TV. With effective speeds ranging from 128kbps to 384kbps, the advent of 3G completely changed the way people use their mobile phones.

The effective entry of the tablet and increasing dependency on handheld mobile devices led to demand for even faster speeds and connectivity options, leading to a new standard, HSPA+, followed by 4G LTE.

What is HSPA+ and LTE?


HSPA+ or Evolved High Speed Packet Access, is a souped-up version of HSUPA and HSDPA 3G standards with speeds comparable to the newer LTE networks. Theoretical speeds are said to feature download speeds up to 168Mbps and uplink of 22Mbps. These are of course theoretical speeds, with the actual speed available to users being much lower. While most HSPA+ networks around the world boast a theoretical 21Mbps(download) speed, T-Mobile(USA) and Deutsche Telekom(Germany) feature 42Mbps networks. A hotly debated issue is the 4G tag offered by cellular network companies to advertise their HSPA+ networks(T-mobile and AT&T), while most accept that it should be considered, at most, a 3.75G network.


On the other hand, LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is considered a “true” 4G network. Theoretical speeds boast downlink speeds of 300Mbps and uploads of 75Mbps. LTE, which is an IP-based system, is a complete redesign and simplication of 3G network architecture resulting in a marked reduction in transfer latency. Because of this, LTE is not compatible with 2G and 3G networks and thus, functions on an entirely different wireless spectrum. Unfortunately, this means that erecting an LTE network requires it to be built from the ground up. This is one of the main factors behind the delayed launch of  complete 4G LTE networks.

Bottom Line

HSPA+ is the tip of the mountain with 3G technology, and LTE is simply the foundation for a new mountain. LTE, also known as 4G, is the most advanced telecommunications technology currently available, and is one that defines a clear path toward future developments, making it the most attractive choice for carriers these days.

Speed Comparison

Neil Shah

The biggest question consumers have is whether the additional cost of buying an LTE-enabled device and the higher data charges are worth it, compared to the “slower” but relatively cheaper 3G and HSPA+ networks. Let’s take a look.

Under consideration are speed comparisons based on the recently conducted wireless speed tests byPCWorld, of the major network carriers in the US (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint). For our purposes, we are going to compare the LTE-based AT&T and Verizon 4G networks, against the 42 Mbps HSPA+ based T-Mobile “4G” network. While Sprint and T-Mobile both aim towards launching their LTE networks soon, as of now, they are based on Wi-Max technology and HSPA+ respectively.

PCWorld, along with their testing partners Novarum, conducted the tests using Ookla’s speed test app in 13 cities across the US including San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Washington D.C., and Boston.

There are a few key points to note from the chart above:

  • T-Mobile’s HSPA+42 network performs admirably against, what is supposed to be, far superior LTE networks. The high speeds offered by this network should be more than enough for most users.
  • LTE is fast! While HSPA+ is definitely good enough, the LTE networks(in their current state) are 20-30% faster. A big plus for all the speed demons out there.
  • Unrelated to the topic, but is anyone as surprised as I am at how poorly Sprint’s Wi-Max network performed?

Granted these results for HSPA+ aren’t standard the world over, with most networks featuring 21Mbps download capabilities. But all these network carriers are planning to upgrade to 42Mbps and even 84 Mbps networks, so HSPA+ still has a lot of potential, and is certainly “good enough” for now.


Courtesy of GSA

As you can see from the map above, 4G LTE is certainly the network of the future. With the much faster speeds, higher efficiency, and increased reliability, it is the next logical step in network technology development. There are some key points to note about the map though, which shows that LTE coverage isn’t as “colorful” as it seems:

  • While a lot of countries are marked “red” indicating countries with commercial LTE services, it is slightly misleading. For example, while India as a whole is marked, only one carrier(Airtel) offers 4G LTE services in only one city(Kolkata) thus far. Of course, plans are in the works to rollout the network eventually, it will take quite a lot of time before complete coverage is achieved.
  • The above point is true for most countries, with none boasting a full coverage LTE network. Full coverage in some regions will be achieved at the earliest by late-2013 to early-2014, with most others much later.

On the other hand, HSPA+ is more along the lines of a software enhancement that elevates 3G data network performance. Of course, the process isn’t as simple as it sounds, but it is definitely easier than building a completely new LTE supported network. As such, any carrier that has an established 3G network, have upgraded to an HSPA+ network. With over 100 network carriers worldwide featuring HSPA+ networks with most boasting over 80% coverage. To keep up with current LTE speeds, carrier networks are also upgrading the their “slower” 21Mbps networks to 42Mbps or even 84Mbps (theoretical) download speeds.


As mentioned earlier, the biggest issue with taking advantage of the faster speeds of a 4G LTE network is coverage. Availability is still quite limited but that will of course, get better. What surprised me is the lack of a difference in cost between a carrier’s HSPA+ and LTE networks.

  • AT&T and Verizon have standard data rates of $50 for 5GB regardless of whether you have access to 3G, HSPA+, or 4G LTE networks.
  •  T-Mobile, which currently features a 42Mbps HSPA+ networks, also features the same data rates.
  • In India, while available only in Kolkata so far, 4G LTE costs Rs 1399(~$28) for 9GB, with HSPA+ being Rs 1250(~$25) for 10GB.

Of course, I’ve only used the information from two places I’m most familiar with, so there might be other networks worldwide where there is a more evident price difference (or not), so if there are, do let us know in the comments section.

Device availability

HSPA+ and LTE variations of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Device availability is another area where I consider LTE to be at a disadvantage. Here’s why:

  • Most smartphones and tablets (3G versions) released in the last 2 years or so can access the faster speeds offered by HSPA+ networks.
  • On the other hand, accessing a LTE network requires a significant hardware change, i.e. the need for an LTE radio.
  • Options for LTE capable devices are comparatively limited and generally range towards the higher end of the price spectrum.
  • There has been an incompatibility issue with latest Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3 processor and LTE radios, as seen with the HTC One X where the international version features the quad-core processor, and the US releases with LTE radios “falling back” on Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon S4 processors. Whether this issue will be prevalent in other quad-core processors such as the Samsung Exynos 4412, is yet to be seen.
  • LTE radios are also infamous for being a huge drain on battery life.

The Future


Evolution of HSPA

HSPA+, with its theoretical 168Mbps downlink speeds, still wasn’t the pinnacle of HSPA technology. Back in 2010 began talk of LTHE or Long Term HSPA Evolution. LTHE brought with a lot of advantages including:

  • Backward compatibility with existing WCDMA and HSPA networks. This provided the possibility of an easy transition to LTHE as opposed to a network upgrade to LTE.
  • Theoretical download speeds up to a whopping 672 Mbps.
  • Carriers and hardware companies claimed that LTHE could have been ready for deployment by 2013.

Unfortunately, almost every network around the world has decided to move onto LTE as their network for the future. HSPA+ networks will likely be upgraded to the 42Mbps or even 84Mbps download capability, but now, it seems like that is as far as this evolutionary technology will be pushed.


Courtesy of Teliasonera

While HSPA+ was the peak of 3G technology, the current variation of 4G LTE is only the first step in this next stage, opening up numerous possibilities for much further advancement in this field. It is somewhat strange that advances in LTE technology are already being spoken about when the “original” standard networks aren’t even close to being fully established. Yet, that is the rapid speed in which the tech world progresses. Let’s take a look at some of these developments:

  •  TD-LTE:  TD-LTE or Time-Division LTE was developed by China Mobile over the last few years. Unlike LTE networks which carries two separate signals for data traveling in either direction, TD-LTE features a single channel and allocated upload and download bandwidth depending on your usage. This accounts for higher data speeds. TD-LTE is also compatible 4G WiMax and it will easier to upgrade from WiMax to TD-LTE than to LTE.
  • LTE Advanced: LTE Advanced is a further evolution of current LTE networks which brings with it theoretical peaks of 1GBps download speeds, increased spectrum efficiency(upto 3 times more bandwidth), and reduced latency. Like the upgrade from HSPA to HSPA+, a move from LTE to LTE-Advanced is also a software deployment upgrade.
  • TD-LTE will also see a shift to TD-LTE advanced in the future.


Advantages of LTE over HSPA+

  • The most obvious advantage is the higher data speeds
  • Much better spectrum efficiency
  • Far lower latency
  • LTE has a simpler architecture compared to an HSPA+ network

Advantages of HSPA+ over LTE

  • HSPA+ is an already established network, whereas complete LTE coverage still has a while to go
  • HSPA to HSPA+ evolution required much less investment in infrastructure and was less costly to upgrade as opposed to LTE which needs a completely new network built from the ground up.
  • LTE requires specific LTE radio featured devices, whereas HSPA+ is available to any user with a 3G enabled phone.

As you can see, LTE is definitely the way of the future, and the potential with this technology is incredible. But I still think there are a lot of factors that lead me to conclude that HSPA+ networks are certainly more than enough for now.

What are your thoughts? Is HSPA+ good enough for now? Is LTE not here fast enough? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to know what you think!


Do You Hate Mondays?

Do You Hate Mondays?

It’s Sunday morning. My alarm is off. The sun is peeking through the blinds, but instead of getting up, I roll over into my husband’s arms and fall back asleep. I don’t get out of bed until I feel like it. Later, I put on some great music, make French toast, and enjoy a lovely brunch. The rest of the day unfolds without a to-do list or any feelings of obligation to anyone.

Why can’t every day be like this?

At first, my logical mind jumps in with the status quo answer:

If every day were like Sunday, you would be broke, hungry, and homeless. You wouldn’t have a job, and you wouldn’t be able to afford your rent. Plus, you’d be terribly bored. Do you really want to sleep in and eat French toast every day?

Sometimes I think I would.

Lately, I’ve been contemplating the idea of time and the five-day workweek that holds many of us hostage. Who came up with the idea of a five-day workweek anyway? Does it have something to do with the biblical notion that it took God six days to create the universe, and only the seventh day was reserved for rest?

I recently started watching Downton Abbey (which I was skeptical about at first but have since grown to enjoy). The stars of the show (members of an aristocratic British family) view having a job as something below them. Even doctors and lawyers are considered middle class because they have to work. In one episode, the matriarch of the family is speaking with a lawyer, who says that he enjoys going to the country on the weekend. She looks puzzled and asks, What is a weekend?”

She might have been responding facetiously, but still, her answer made me think.

Why do we make a distinction between the workweek and the weekend? And would it be possible to live a life where the two become one?

Jump out of your conditioning and really think about this for a moment. The five-day workweek is a completely human creation. There is absolutely no logical reason why we have to work for five days and only get two days off. But many of us fall into this pattern even when we don’t have to.

I’ll use myself as an example. For the past three years of my professional life, I’ve been flying solo—first as an entrepreneur and now as a postdoctoral research fellow. I have no fixed schedule in either of these roles. As an entrepreneur, I could work whatever hours I wanted, whenever I wanted, from home. As a postdoc, my supervisor has told me on multiple occasions that he doesn’t care where I work or when I work, as long as the work gets done. I have absolute freedom with regard to my schedule.

But guess what? I still tend to subscribe to the nine to five.

Monday to Friday, I wake up at 6:30 a.m. (even though I could sleep until noon if I wanted). I make a healthy breakfast, meditate, and head to work. I’m usually at my desk by nine; I take an hour lunch break, and I leave at around five.

Lately I’ve been asking myself, why?

Why do I only make French toast on Sundays?
Why do I only give myself permission to take my time on the weekend?
Why have I (and so many others) enshrined the nine to five grind?

I don’t really have an answer.

Perhaps it’s because humans love routine. We’re habitual creatures, and old habits die hard. I’m sure it’s also healthy to get up at the same time every day, eat well, and get plenty of rest by going to bed at the same time every night. Maybe it’s true that we would be bored without this routine. Maybe working hard during the week helps us appreciate the weekend.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that weekends feel awesome. And I want every day to feel awesome.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my work. But I also enjoy getting away from the computer and taking in everything else that life has to offer. I don’t think humans are meant to sit at desks for eight hours a day in artificial light. I don’t think cubicles are designed to promote happiness.

So what is the solution?

The nine to five is a perfect fit for some people, and that’s great. For the rest of us, I think we need to be courageous enough to buck the system. I already did this once, when I left my cubicle in 2010. But I’ve realized that I’m going to continually need to do this, to prove to myself and others that it is possible to do what you love, make money, and not have to subscribe to a five-day workweek.

Let’s be honest. The minute I say, “Screw the nine to five!” many of you experience a jolt of fear straight through your heart. This fear is about money. You most likely think, “Without the nine to five, I won’t be able to afford my house or send my kids to college.”

I encourage you to bust out of this traditional line of thinking. There are examples of people all over the world who don’t subscribe to a typical workweek but who live very comfortably. Or who live very modestly but are insanely happy.

Why do you feel as though this life is only reserved for a chosen few?

Why not you, too?

Seriously question your beliefs about what it means to live a happy, comfortable life. Don’t force yourself into a box—or a cubicle—just because the robots around you are doing so. The world wants and needs your gifts. Have the courage to put these gifts out there.

As for me, I’m setting an intention to experience more Sundays. I know that this is going to be uncomfortable at first. I’m going to feel like I should be producing and achieving instead of relaxing. But I’ll just close my eyes, take a bite of my French toast, and allow myself to ease into the day and break out of my routine.

What about you?



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