Did Microsoft Corp. Really Spend More on R and Dlast year than any other company in the world? We thinkso, but we can't be sure. The reason is that roughlyUS $1.3 billion of the software giant's $8 billionR and D outlay was actually paid out as shares of stockto its researchers. At the moment, hardly any companybesides Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft bothers to trackstock or stock options as an R and D expense. The fewthat do account for this expense in widely differentways. But before the end of this year, all companies listed on U.S. stock markets may have to begin figuring stock outlays into their R and D expenses. That would be the result of a new rule proposed by a private sector organization in Norwalk, Conn., called the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which establishes U.S. accounting standards. If the rule is not outlawed by an act of Congress this fall, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will soon require all publicly traded firms to abide by it. The looming … [Read more...] about IEEE Spectrum R and D 100
Top supply chain management schools
At the end of March, it was announced that the largest e-commerce company in the Middle East and North Africa, Souq.com, would be acquired by Amazon for nearly $600 million. This was unusual: when Amazon enters a new geographic market, it typically does so by launching its existing platform and investing a lot of money to grow it. Instead, Amazon—apparently impressed by Souq.com’s management team, its technology, and its ability to navigate a complicated region—decided on a different strategy. A week after the announcement, at the Step Conference in Dubai, one of the most popular startup gatherings in the region, it felt as if lightning had struck. Over 2,000 aspiring entrepreneurs filled the arena, standing room only, for a panel with Souq.com founder Ronaldo Mouchawar. Mouchawar, a native of Aleppo, Syria, spent over an hour onstage with his cofounders and lead investor, explaining in painstaking detail what it was like to build an e-commerce giant. In … [Read more...] about A Different Story from the Middle East: Entrepreneurs Building an Arab Tech Economy
Slight changes to the system for allocating deceased-donor kidneys could result in higher rates of organ procurement and lead to more kidney transplants across the country, according to new research co-authored by an Indiana University Kelley School of Business professor. "Any increase in supply will result in saved lives," said Rodney P. Parker, an associate professor of operations management at Kelley. "The lists of patients awaiting a kidney transplantation are lengthy and growing. Many of these patients undergo expensive and inconvenient dialysis treatment while waiting." Parker and three other researchers studied three risk factors that explain the geographic differences in procuring deceased-donor kidneys across the United States: organ quality, the median wait time for donation and the degree of competition between transplantation centers in the area. They found an expected annual increase in procured organs ranges from 58 (an increase of 0.5 percent of all procured kidneys) to … [Read more...] about Small changes to organ procurement system could lead to more life-saving transplants
By all accounts, use of the Internet continues to grow steadily, undaunted by an economic slowdown and the 18-month-old dot-com shakeout.In fact, Nielsen//NetRatings recently estimated that the number of online users grew 16 percent from July 2000 to July 2001, with nearly 60 percent of Americans now online. The Internet, NetRatings said, is "now reaching the latter half of mainstream America," with late adopters helping to push Web use to new heights.But as Internet use continues to flourish, is e-commerce keeping up? Are online sales keeping pace with Web growth, or are they starting to fall back?Although statistics can be misleading, some numbers do indicate a sizeable gap between surfers and shoppers. For example, while NetRatings tells us that 60 percent of Americans are online, U.S. Department of Commerce data shows that in any given quarter, online sales account for less than 1 percent of all retail activity in the country.Another way of looking at it: NetRatings says that 102 … [Read more...] about Is E-Commerce Keeping Up with the Net?
Globalization, supply chain complexity, and commodity and currency volatility combine to produce mountains of business data. In the past, just being able to collect and manage the data was task enough, but now companies are looking to mine the data mountain to drive actionable value.Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems provide much-needed capabilities, such as management of financial, product/inventory, human capital, purchasing, and other transactional data within one environment. The value proposition for investing in ERP has traditionally been tied to the standardization of business processes and centralization of information that makes it easier and faster to collect and manage data across many areas of the business. Increasingly, ERP customers have come to realize that the value from ERP investments can be increased dramatically through analysis of the consolidated data captured within and around the ERP system. Enterprises of all shapes and sizes today are sitting on … [Read more...] about ANALYSIS Distilling ERP Data Into Tasty BI Brew
Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturing firm that assembles Apple's iPhone, said it is implementing labor reforms in an attempt to address allegations of harsh working conditions and low wages."Foxconn is introducing measures to enhance employee representation in the Foxconn Labor Union and to raise employees' awareness of the organization," the Foxconn Technology Group said in a statement provided to MacNewsWorld by Yvonne Tung.The Taiwan-based company, which assembles products for several major technology companies, has faced scrutiny from fair labor advocacy groups in the past. Rumors of abusive practices at the company's plants began spreading in 2010 after several Foxconn workers in the Shenzhen, China, factory apparently committed suicide.Last year, Apple asked the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to assess Foxconn's factories. The FLA recommended increased wages, reduced overtime, improved communications and better safety measures.Foxconn said it used those suggestions when implementing … [Read more...] about Foxconn Pledges to Give Workers Greater Say
Demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to far outpace supply, according to aBurning Glass Technologies report released last week.Cybersecurity hiring remains concentrated in government agencies and among defense contractors, the third annual cybersecurity job market report notes, but hiring has started to boom in industries handling consumer data.Over the last five years, for example, hiring in the finance sector spiked 137 percent, healthcare climbed 121 percent, and retail jumped 89 percent."This has driven up salaries for cybersecurity workers, but it also means that jobs stay open longer," the report says.Cybersecurity jobs are commanding a significant premium in the market, noted Burning Glass CEO Matt Sigelman."If you compare the spectrum of cybersecurity jobs to the salaries of IT jobs overall, you'll find an (US)$8,000 premium," he told TechNewsWorld. "That's not chump change."Burning Glass also found that more than one third of cybersecurity jobs (35 percent) call … [Read more...] about SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY Cyberwarrior Demand Outpaces Supply
At first, I was surprised to see the flurry of blog and comment traffic recently over Scott Forstall, the Apple "CEO-in-waiting," as portrayed by a new book about Apple coming out next week.I thought, What's wrong with current CEO Tim Cook? Is he going somewhere? Didn't he just get a bunch of new compensation packages worth hundreds of millions of dollars? And weren't some of these packages designed to keep top Apple management working at Apple?I thought, Where is this coming from? Why is this getting attention?And then it hit me. First, this appeared to be a carefully packaged promotional excerpt designed to catch attention and drum up excitement for the book, which is Adam Lashinsky's Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired - and Secretive - Company Really Works. The book comes on the heels of the widely popular authorized biography Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.But why did it catch so much attention? Is Forstall that amazing? He's been on the stage at Apple's announcements before, … [Read more...] about OPINION What If Cook Really Isn’t a Product Guy?
Apple on Tuesday revealed exactly how explosive holiday sales were for its iPhone 4S. The latest version of the company's smartphone packed enough dynamite to double Apple's earnings in its first fiscal quarter of the year and blow the company right past its previous sales records.The company reported a rise in net income to US$13.06 billion, or $13.87 per share, compared to a net income of $6 billion a year ago. Revenue was up 73 percent, going from $26.74 billion last year to $46.33 billion for Q1 2012.In addition to its 37 million unit iPhone sales surge, Apple sold 15.43 million iPads, a 111 percent jump from the same period a year ago. Mac sales rose 26 percent with 5.2 million units sold. iPods were the only device to slip -- a 21 percent unit decline from last year.The company's Wall Street antics followed its announcement last week that it's further investing in the education field with updated programs to help publish et-extbooks. Apple's already dipped its toes in the … [Read more...] about CUPERTINO BUSINESS REPORT Apple Schools Wall Street
Recent high-profile distributed denial of service attacks on the Internet's infrastructure and an investigative journalist's website have spiked concerns over possible disruptions of traffic during the biggest online shopping weekend of the year.Online spending last year exceeded US$5.8 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to Adobe, and that figure is expected to be even higher this year."If you want to mess with the economy, that's the most disruptive time to do that," said John Wu, CEO of Gryphon."A lot of retail sales have shifted from brick and mortar to online these days," he told TechNewsWorld. "Cyber Monday is a huge day for a lot retailers."If hackers want to disrupt shopping during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, they'll likely use a botnet composed of devices connected to the Internet of Things to do it. Such botnets recently attacked DNS server provider Dyn, disrupting Internet service in the United States.Attackers also used them to launch one of the … [Read more...] about SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY Cyber Grinches Could Disrupt Holidays’ Biggest Shopping Weekend