Friday, May 06, 2005

BAR banned for two races

The Honda-backed BAR team were yesterday banned from the next two Formula One races on Thursday after breaking weight and fuel regulations at the San Marino Grand Prix.

They will miss Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and Monaco.

Button has also lost the six points awarded to him in the previous race!

The punishment might sound too harsh keeping in view that rules in F1 are not so strictly enforced as in other sports but certainly will go a long way in detering such instances. (not so sure though)

Back to the race this Sunday, it's good news for McLaren and even Ferrari that they can use to their advantage by climbing in the points tally in the charts and Button won't certainly be as focused in the next race after comes back, let the good times roll for them.

Compared to last year, it's certainly is a new-year start that BAR would gladly forget.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Spain - Pole Position at F1?

Polling begins in Britain

Today's D Day when Tony Blair's future for the next four years will be decided, whether he stays in Number 10 or moves our will be clear after midnight.

A PTI press release:

London, May 5 (PTI): Polling began on a dull note in 645 Parliamentary constituencies in Britain today with four latest opinion polls projecting a historic third term victory for Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Labour party.
Of the 44,180,243 registered voters, a record six million people have opted to cast their vote by post.
The election has been postponed in one constituency, Staffordshire South, following the death of one of the candidates.
Along with voting in 645 Parliamentary constituencies, elections will take place in 34 county councils and three unitary authorities. There are also four mayoral contests.
Voting will take place from 07:00 am (11:30 hrs IST) to 10:00 pm (02:30 IST) and counting of votes will take place immediately thereafter.
In the 2001 General Elections, Labour had romped home with 412 seats, Conservative 166 and Liberal Democrat 52.
Four opinion polls published in national newspapers today gave Labour leads of between 3 and 6 per cent over the Conservatives. But Blair was determined to ensure that Labour supporters did not take his victory for granted insisting today's election would be a close contest.
"This thing is tight and it is tough and we have got to fight for every vote," he told his supporters last night. "There's no majority assumed at all at the moment," he added.

Indian Cabinet Clears 11 bills

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved 11 Bills for introduction in the remaining period of the current session of Parliament. They include those relating to right to information, amendments to the Banking Regulation Act and the Reserve Bank of India Act and abolition of cess on export of agricultural products.
The package comprises legislation for special economic zones, development of small and medium-scale enterprises and amendment to the Bill relating to regulation of credit information companies. The remaining proposals relate to prohibition of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and disaster management.
Union Minister Jaipal Reddy said the Cabinet also cleared a Bill to amend taxation laws to provide for differentiation between fiscal and non-fiscal matter. The present legislation was too cluttered. On the legislation on right to information, he said the Bill was an amendment to the Bill introduced last year on the basis of the recommendations of the parliamentary standing committee and the Group of Ministers, which subsequently went into it. It would seek to vest comprehensive rights on people to provide for total transparency in public administration.
Information commissions
The Cabinet cleared the setting up of information commissions in States and Union Territories. In the States, the commission would be headed by a State Chief Information Commissioner (SCICs) and assisted by State Information Commissioners (SICs). While the number of SICs would be decided as per the functional needs of each State, they would not exceed 10. The expenditure involved in the creation of the posts of SCICs and SICs is estimated to be Rs. 65 crores per year. In addition, funds would be provided for accommodation and other amenities.
On the legislation for special economic zones, he said the Bill would contain income tax concessions for both SEZ units and SEZ developers. The units would be eligible for 100 per cent tax exemption for five years, 50 per cent for the next five years and 50 per cent of the ploughed back export profits for the next five years.

Is this good news for exporters or what? :)) Seems like continuation of the Government's support for organizations in the SEZ's

The developers will continue to get 100 per cent tax exemption for 10 years in a block period of 15 years. The legislation would provide for a single-window clearance and approval mechanism for the establishment of SEZs as well as production units inside the zones.
The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Bill would provide a firm legislative basis to the country's commitment at the highest level to prevent weapons of mass destruction and fulfil the nation's obligations pursuant to the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540.
Updated dual-use export controls may also facilitate better access to advanced dual-purpose technologies.
As regards the abolition of cess on export of agricultural products, the Government proposed to repeal the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Cess Act and the Spices Cess Act and make suitable amendments to the Tobacco Cess Act, the Coffee Act and the Marine Products Export Development Authority Act.

CARTOSAT-1 Launch Successfull

Following up to my previous web log on CARTOSAT-1 launch yesterday (that I wrote before the launch) I'm very happy that the launch has now gone through and has been launched successfully.

a press release on the web:

The CARTOSAT-1 remote sensing satellite, which was successfully launched on Thursday, is expected to play a crucial role in several applications and will give a fillip to Indian remote sensing services with its high resolution images.
India has established the National Natural Resources Management System for which the Department of Space is the nodal agency.
The Indian remote sensing satellites form an important element of NNRMS for providing continuous data services for the management of natural resources.
A series of IRS satellites has been launched by India starting with IRS-1A in March 1988. There are six remote sensing satellites in service at present.
The data provided by IRS satellites is utilised for several applications, including land use/cover mapping for agro-climatic zones planning, wasteland mapping, forest cover mapping, wetland mapping, crop acreage and production estimation and coastal zone regulation mapping.
With high resolution imageries of CARTOSAT-1, with a spatial resolution of 2.5 metre, cadastral level applications will receive further impetus.
CARTOSAT-1 will be followed by CARTOSAT-2, which will have a spatial resolution of about one metre.
ISRO is also in the process of developing a Radar Imaging Satellite which will carry a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar with a spatial resolution of 3 to 50 metre and a swath of 10 km to 240 km. SIAT is slated for launch by 2007.
With all weather remote sensing capability, RISAT is expected to enhance remote sensing applications in the areas of agriculture and disaster management.

Slashdot | India Launches World's First Stereo Imaging Satellite

Slashdot | India Launches World's First Stereo Imaging Satellite

A pretty informative comment (Alas, I didn't have any mod points to mod up the poster)

Since you asked for a clarification.... (Score:5, Insightful)
by GillBates0 (664202) on Wednesday May 04, @04:29PM (#12435117)
( | Last Journal: Tuesday March 22, @06:42PM)
I know it's all hep and stylish to bash India as a "third world country" nowadays, because many Americans perceive "offshoring" our "outsourcing" as a mean scheme by Indians to "steal aar jaabs", but I would like to mention a few things:
1. The Indian economy [] happens to be the 12th largest in terms of GDP and 4th largest when adjusted for PPP (Purchasing Power Parity []). I quote from the Wikipedia article:

With a GDP of 568 billion (B$) ($3.096 trillion (T$) at PPP) India has the world's 12th largest economy (and the 4th largest when adjusted for PPP). However, the large population means that per capita income is quite low. In 2003 the World Bank ranked India 143rd in PPP per capita income and 160th in real terms, among 208 countries and territories.

2. India has (through the Indian Space Research Organization []) pursued a pretty widespread (and largely non-military space program) since the 60's. From this relevant Wikipedia article: []

# 1962: Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR); formed by the Department of Atomic Energy, and work on establishing Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) near Trivandrum began.
# 1963: First sounding rocket launched from TERLS (November 21, 1963).
# 1965: Space Science & Technology Centre (SSTC) established in Thumba.
# 1967: Satellite Telecommunication Earth Station set up at Ahmedabad.
# 1972: Space Commission and Department of Space set up.
# 1975: First Indian Satellite, Aryabhatta, launched (April 19, 1975).

It's also fruitful to note that India was a British colony till 1947. IMHO, starting a space program in about 1.5 decades after gaining independence is a laudable achievement. The major problem which India faces today is it's large population, which pretty much negates all the economic advances, and causes it's perception as a "thirld world country" to continue.

It is also worth noting that India seems to be spending substantial amounts of money to improve it's people's lot and advancing education, science and research, rather than spending it instead on aggressive military tactics, which seems to be the trend nowadays. If you read up the history of the nation, you'll see that it's one of the few countries that has never pursued invasion/colonialism, and has instead been frequently invaded by conquerers (Mughals, British, etc) who looted the wealth of a formerly rich region and left it in a state that it's trying to dig itself out of now.

PS: Posted this because I perceived a derogatory slant in the Parent's use of the term "third world country". I find the practice of using wealth to rank nations (especially so when used to diss poor nations) quite abnoxious. I have nothing against using the term in a scientific/neutral sense.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

SAP and Microsoft Announce First Joint Product Designed To Revolutionize How Information Workers Access Enterprise Applications

Press release from SAP/Microsoft about Mendocino.

New Product, Code-Named 'Mendocino,' Will Present SAP Processes and Data Within Familiar, Easy-to-Use Microsoft Office Software COPENHAGEN, Denmark, April 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SAP AG and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) today announced they are jointly developing and planning to offer a new product, code-named "Mendocino," that will help companies gain a competitive advantage by revolutionizing the way information workers access, analyze and use enterprise data to make better business decisions. "Mendocino" will link SAP process functionality directly to Microsoft(R) Office applications. Users of this product, the first to be developed jointly between SAP and Microsoft, will enjoy the familiarity of Microsoft Office as they access SAP's best-practice business processes and information. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE(R) '05, SAP's international customer conference being held in Copenhagen, Denmark, April 26-28.
(Logo: )
With "Mendocino," SAP and Microsoft aim to drive enhanced efficiency for information workers who rely on Microsoft Office as their primary work environment. "Mendocino" will tie together Microsoft Office and SAP enterprise software, giving customers greater visibility and use of business information from their desktop. "Mendocino" will help people avoid wasted time and effort searching for critical corporate information, diminish costly duplication of efforts, and limit the need for specific training on disparate systems. "Mendocino" also stands to maximize the value that customers derive from their existing investments in Microsoft Office and mySAP(TM) Enterprise Resource Planning (mySAP ERP).
As part of this expanded partnership, SAP and Microsoft have agreed to each resell the complete solution, meaning SAP will resell Microsoft Office and Microsoft will resell licenses to SAP's business process platform, which will deliver ready-to-run business processes accessible as enterprise services. Available in 2006, the business process platform will serve as the foundation for the creation and deployment of composite applications such as "Mendocino."
The new product is slated for availability to select customers for early access in the third quarter of calendar year 2005. "Mendocino" is designed to integrate SAP processes, such as time management, budget monitoring, organizational management, and travel and expense management, directly into Microsoft Office. For example, with the new product, information workers will be able to utilize extended application menus and select process options and information in the SAP-specific smart panel, synchronize information between Microsoft Exchange Server and SAP, retrieve SAP information in Microsoft Excel, and submit data via Microsoft Office InfoPath(R) forms.
Siemens VDO, a leading global supplier to the automotive industry, is planning to roll out "Mendocino" to take advantage of its time-management capabilities. The company expects that the integration of Microsoft Office technologies such as Microsoft Outlook(R) with SAP's ERP platform will help its employees track and manage their time, while giving supervisors access to complete and accurate employee information to produce timely billings and maintain tight budget control.
"With this new offering, 'Mendocino,' we plan to extend the rich and productive environment of SAP best-practice business processes across our work force," said Jean-Claude Viguier, director, Corporate IT Strategy and Business Process Architecture, Siemens VDO. "As a result, systems once accessed by a handful of SAP power users will be available to thousands of employees who are familiar with the Microsoft Office environment. Since the Microsoft Office interface is intuitive, the rollout of new capabilities will require no training, have a high user acceptance rate, and quickly boost productivity across the organization."
Harnessing Web Services and Services-Oriented Architecture to Ease Integration
Delivering on their ongoing commitment to Web services as the foundation for the next generation of enterprise software, this joint product builds on the companies' existing product interoperability efforts and global alliance. "Mendocino" takes advantage of the openness of Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), SAP's blueprint for services-oriented architecture; the Microsoft Office System; and the Web services power of Microsoft .NET to seamlessly integrate the two companies' technologies. It delivers on SAP's vision for a flexible IT infrastructure, powered by SAP NetWeaver(TM), to provide end users with great flexibility in the ways they access SAP(R) solutions. And it continues to build on Microsoft's commitment to extend the capabilities of the Microsoft Office System of programs, servers and services to increase individual and organizational productivity and expand partner opportunities for innovation and business growth.
"Today it's too difficult for information workers to access the business information they need to make effective and efficient decisions," said Jeff Raikes, group vice president for the Information Worker Business at Microsoft. "This product will go far to address this issue. 'Mendocino' allows us to deliver more value to the many customers who use Microsoft and SAP products today, and promises to put the power of enterprise systems at the fingertips of every information worker."
"The creation of this powerful new joint product builds on SAP's 15-year strategic relationship with Microsoft," said Shai Agassi, president of the Product and Technology Group and member of the Executive Board, SAP. "Together we are working to improve and simplify the knowledge worker experience by extending SAP business processes through Microsoft Office."
Microsoft and SAP have been working together to deliver enterprise business value to customers for more than a decade. More than 46,000 SAP installations run on Microsoft Windows(R) -- more than on all other platforms combined. Almost two-thirds of all new SAP installations are deployed on Microsoft Windows. Additional information on "Mendocino" is available at .
About SAP
SAP is the world's leading provider of business software solutions.* Today, more than 27,000 customers in over 120 countries run more than 91,500 installations of SAP(R) software-from distinct solutions addressing the needs of small and midsize businesses to enterprise-scale suite solutions for global organizations. Powered by the SAP NetWeaver(TM) platform to drive innovation and enable business change, mySAP(TM) Business Suite solutions are helping enterprises around the world improve customer relationships, enhance partner collaboration and create efficiencies across their supply chains and business operations. SAP industry solutions support the unique business processes of more than 25 industry segments, including high tech, retail, public sector and financial services. With subsidiaries in more than 50 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE under the symbol "SAP." (Additional information at .)
About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
* SAP defines business software solutions as comprising enterprise resource planning and related software solutions such as supply chain management, customer relationship management, product life-cycle management and supplier relationship management.
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "should" and "will" and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including SAP's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
NOTE: Microsoft, InfoPath, Outlook and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
SAP, R/3, mySAP,, xApps, xApp, SAP NetWeaver and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries all over the world. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies. Data contained in this document serve informational purposes only. National product specifications may vary.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
For customers interested in learning more about SAP products:
Global Customer Center: +49 180 534-34-24
United States Only: 800-872-1SAP (872-1727)
To speak with press contacts on site during SAPPHIRE (April 26-28): Call the SAP press room at 610-661-3200,, EDT.
CONTACT: Lindsey Held, +1-650-823-7030, or, PDT, orSAP Press Office, +1-610-661-3200, or, EDT, both of SAP AG; orRegan Erskine, +1-425-638-7000, or, or Rapid Response Team,+1-503-443-7070, or, both of Waggener Edstrom, for MicrosoftCorp.
Web site:

Oracle Corp. vs. SAP AG

Does anyone reckon Oracle actually surpassing SAP in business software!?! [eyes wide open]

says the press releases floating around the net today:

"Oracle Corp. aims to unseat SAP AG as Asia's top business software provider, aided by increased outsourcing to the region and its acquisition of PeopleSoft, a senior company official said on Wednesday."
Oracle's four-pronged strategy to surpass SAP revolves around targeting under-penetrated industries, captitalising on demand for an integrated information architecture, capturing the mid-market opportunity and delivering on promise for Project Fusion, the company said.
Project Fusion -- code-name for Oracle's next generation applications, integration and architecture solutions -- is scheduled for release in 2008, the company said.

Thanks, but No, thanks, I'll stick with Netweaver.

another one quotes:

India is a dominant force in outsourced services in back-office work, call centre operations and software coding, all of which involve managing large armies of talented workers, while China is key for manufacturing which involves component supplies.
Mark Gibbs, senior vice-president at Oracle's Asia-Pacific unit, told reporters in Bangalore that after the PeopleSoft buyout, Oracle had become the leader in supply chain and human resource software, which are critical in outsourcing.
"Because we have market leadership in this space, companies (in the region) are talking to us," Gibbs said.
Germany's SAP is the world's No.1 in business software, but U.S.-based Oracle is challenging it by shopping for buyouts.
Oracle, after the PeopleSoft acquisition, has a 11 per cent market share in Asia-Pacific, way behind SAP's 20 per cent in the region, but Gibbs said increased Western outsourcing to India and China would drive demand.
"We are literally nipping at SAP's heels in the ERP (enterprise resource planning) market in the Asia-Pacific...," he said in a statement.
Oracle on Tuesday announced it would acquire PeopleSoft software centres based in India from Hexaware Technologies and Covansys Corp., an Indo-U.S. company.
Gibbs declined to give details on the acquisitions but said they signalled continued Oracle support for the products of PeopleSoft, whose acquisition would be completed in June.


Oracle Asia Pacific today announced plans to leverage its newly gained market share in the enterprise applications market to take over the number one spot in Asia Pacific.
Mr Mark Gibbs, Senior Oracle Vice President Applications and Industries for Asia Pacific said, "Our reported applications growth in the last year for Asia Pacific had been at least double that of SAP's reported 2004 growth. Following the acquisition of P eopleSoft, Oracle has an unbeatable combination of critical mass and momentum."
He said the combined market presence of Oracle and PeopleSoft included more than 50,000 employees and 23,000 application customers worldwide. In Asia Pacific alone, Oracle served more than 3,500 application customers. The regional growth for Oracle for t he first three quarters of last fiscal was 24 per cent in new applications licence revenue, he added.
Oracle Asia Pacific had drawn up a four-pronged strategy to spur its growth in the region. Firstly, it aimed at targeting under penetrated industries such as communication, public sector and financial services and media and entertainment. It remained hig hly competitive across all other industry sectors and had significantly extended its global position in automotive, industrial, retail, manufacturing, professional services and healthcare.
Mr Gibbs said the company aimed at capitalising on demand for an integrated information architecture, which greatly reduced IT complexity and produced a single integrated source of truth for organisations to manage customers, products and suppliers.
It also aimed at capturing mid-market opportunity and deliver on promise for project fusion, Oracle's next generation application, integration and architecture solution which was scheduled for release in 2008.

'Mendocino' approach by SAP

News update:

Microsoft Corp. and SAP are jointly developing a new product, code-named 'Mendocino,' that will link together their widely used business software programs, the companies said on Tuesday.
Mendocino will tie together Microsoft's Office application and SAP's wider-ranging business software, which the companies said would save customers time and training costs.
The joint project is the first fruit of an agreement forged almost a year ago between the U.S. and German software giants.
The companies said last year they were responding to customer demands by making Microsoft applications -- chiefly desktop and departmental-level software -- work smoothly with SAP's organisation-wide business-planning oriented products.
As part of this partnership, SAP and Microsoft have each agreed to resell the complete product, meaning SAP will resell Microsoft Office and Microsoft will resell licences to SAP's business software.
The companies said the product would be available in 2006, with select customers getting access in the fourth quarter of this year.

SharePlex for Oracle - Overview

SharePlex for Oracle - Overview