How to Make the Most of Your Sales Kickoff Meeting

first_imgYou’ve been to these events before. You know you are going to have to sit through a session on where your company is going. You are also going to be forced to relive your collective performance last year. There is no way you are getting out of the room without applauding your peers who made President’s Clubs, and you know you will feel a slight tinge of something resembling envy when the rep who inherited all of their accounts name gets called, knowing he was given a gift that you were not.Time is your single, finite, non-renewable resource. When you believe this is true and understand the implications, you’ll everything in your power not to waste your time. In this case, you can do meaningful work while attending your kickoff meeting.Move Your Seat: You will notice that people tend to sit next to the people they know and with whom they are comfortable. You can make a better choice. You can sit with people you don’t know, and more specifically the people who are ahead of you on the stack rankings. Make relationships with people who can share insights about how they outperform their peers and make plans to develop that relationship post SKO.Listen with Intention to Learn: When your CEO shared the company’s business and roadmap, describes the competitive landscape, and speaks on how you intend to create greater value for your clients in the next year, you are getting access to the strategic conversation she would have were she talking to her peer. You can learn from this and develop a talk track to have higher level conversations with your clients. You will find points of differentiation you can use, but you have to pay attention and take careful notes.Track the Numbers: Listen, I have been in sales kickoff meetings where the CEO reviewed the final results, was followed by the CFO who provided a more granular look at the numbers, who was then followed by the Sales Leader who put all of those numbers under a microscope. One thing was certain, they really cared about these numbers. Your mission is to understand these numbers and figure out why they are what they are. If you notice that the reps that made president’s club also sold more of the new product, there may be a lesson that for you. Where there is a difference in numbers between one group and another, there is something you can take away to produce better results yourself.Drink the Kool Aid: There are cynics in every crowd. There will be one at your table or in your row. They will scoff at each of the speakers, internal or external. They’ll com-plain about the quota and the change to the comp plan, even though they never do enough work to benefit from their compensation and couldn’t hit their quota even if you gave them a head start. The “rah rah” stuff? Say “rah rah.” The new program? Buy it hook, line, and sinker. If you don’t believe that your company is good, that it sincere in its attempt to create value, and that it is better than the options, you will never convince others what you are not convinced of yourself.Open Your Mind to New Possibilities: Yes, you have been in sales for many years. But yes also, you have had the same year many years in a row. The trainers know you know how to sell. Be open to new choices and new ways of doing things. At conference, trainer told me his company had reps that send calendar invites to their prospects and 25% accept and attend the meeting. I would have never been so bold, but if it works, it is worth looking at, even if it makes your uncomfortable. Especially if it makes you uncomfortable.Write Your Plan: The problem with most people’s engagement in kickoff meetings is that they have every intention of taking action but go right back to doing what they’ve always done. Don’t leave any session without writing down the first thing you are go-ing to do upon returning to work. Ideas are cheap, execution is priceless. Go back refreshed, recharged, and ready to do good work. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Trump ‘Furious’ Over Nikki Haley’s Comments About His Accusers: Report

first_imgAs Democrat leaders call for a Congressional probe into allegations of misconduct by Donald Trump, the United States president was reportedly fuming over Nikki Haley’s comments on the matter on television earlier this week. Trump also lashed out at New York Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who accused him of sexual misconduct and called for his resignation.Trump was furious with Haley’s comments during an interview on CBS channel in which she said the women who have accused him “should be heard,” the Associated Press reported on Dec.12 citing two sources who spoke to the news agency on condition of anonymity.Haley, when asked by CBS host John Dickerson on the show on Dec. 10 if she considered the allegations a “settled issue,” had said: “You know, that’s for the people to decide. I know that he was elected. But, you know, women should always feel comfortable coming forward. And we should all be willing to listen to them.”She added, speaking of Trump’s accusers: “They should be heard and they should be dealt with, and I think we heard them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up.”Her comments were different from the stance taken by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders who suggested that the accusation against Trump were lies..@PressSec tells @JaxAlemany that the official position is that the women who accused the President of sexual harassment are lying.— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) October 27, 2017Sanders on Dec. 11 said that the White House would provide a list of eyewitnesses and corroborating evidence to exonerate Trump, AP reported, adding that the White House sent along an email nearly 24 hours later, which cited news reports that quoted witnesses, and offered rebuttals to two of the accusations.Trump also lashed out at Gillibrand’s call for his resignation, tweeting that she came to his office “begging” for campaign contributions and “would do anything” to get them.Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017His tweet about Gillibrand was slammed as being in bad taste by Democrats. Sanders responded to the remarks saying that his tweet could be considered sexually charged “only if your mind is in the gutter.”Trump has repeatedly denied allegations made against him and even tweeted in response to the press conference four of his accusers held on Dec. 11 where they asked for a probe against him.Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia – so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017Almost 60 lawmakers are pushing for a Congressional probe into Trump’s behavior. As of now, 21 women have accused the president of some form of sexual misconduct, ranging from harassment to assault, Huffington Post reported.Trump was also embroiled in a controversy before his election where he was heard making vulgar comments about women. While he had publicly addressed the tape during his presidential campaign, calling the comments he made “locker room talk”, he is reported to have told a senator before his inauguration that the voice on the tape might not have been his, the New York Times reported. He told the senator of his intention to investigate the recording, which had him bragging about grabbing a woman by her genitals. Related ItemsDonald TrumpNikki Haleywomen’s rightslast_img read more

U.S. to Launch Office to Identify People Who Got Fake Citizenship

first_imgThe U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is going to launch an office in Los Angeles that will concentrate on recognizing Americans who are suspected of using deceitful means to avail U.S. citizenship, the Associated Press reported.“We finally have a process in place to get to the bottom of all these bad cases and start denaturalizing people who should not have been naturalized in the first place. What we’re looking at, when you boil it all down, is potentially a few thousand cases,” USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna was quoted as saying by the news agency.Immigrants who go on to become U.S. citizens get the right to vote, serve on juries and get security clearance. Denaturalization is quite a rare incident where the citizenship is removed.Cissna added that the USCIS is recruiting many lawyers and immigration officers to assess cases of immigrants who were ordered to be deported, and are suspected of using fraudulent identities to avail green cards and citizenship later through naturalization.The Department of Justice would be referred these cases. Their attorneys could then look at removing the immigrants’ citizenship in the proceedings of the civil court. In some instances, the government attorneys could also bring criminal charges associated with fraud, Cissna said, according to the report.So far, the agency has been pursuing cases as and when they came up, but it was not through a coordinated effort, Cissna said. He added that he hoped the new office of the agency will start operating by next year. However, inspecting and referring cases for prosecution could take longer.Earlier this year, Baljinder Singh, a naturalized American citizen of Indian origin, became the first person to be stripped of his citizenship under the Donald Trump administration. According to the petition filed by the Department of Justice in September 2017, Singh had concealed prior orders of exclusion and his deportation that were passed against him, and assumed a different identity that was used for naturalization in his citizenship application.Cissna pointed out that the U.S. government is not keen on pursuing cases with minor discrepancies. It instead wants to target people who knowingly altered their identities to con officials to avail benefits. “The people who are going to be targeted by this — they know full well who they are because they were ordered removed under a different identity and they intentionally lied about it when they applied for citizenship later on. It may be some time before we get to their case, but we’ll get to them,” Cissna added.The justice department has filed 305 civil denaturalization cases since 1990, according to statistics obtained by Matthew Hoppock, an immigration attorney in Kansas, who has been defending immigrants in these cases, the news agency reported.The USCIS received over 5,000 complaints of H-1B visa fraud and abuse as of May 21, 2018 on the email helpline that was launched by the Trump administration last year. Related Itemslos angelesUnited StatesUSCISlast_img read more

India Replaced Its Currency To Wipe Out Illegal Money Stashes. The Central Bank Says it Didn’t Work.

first_imgWhen Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the replacement of 80 percent of India’s cash in 2016, he sparked a currency crisis that led to huge job losses, stalled growth, and hit India’s vast informal sector.For months, people had to line up at banks and ATMs – sometimes for more than eight hours – to withdraw limited amounts of cash to pay bills or buy daily groceries.Their troubles were a sacrifice for the nation, Modi said at the time. Old notes would be handed back to the banks and the vast reserves of untaxed “black money” being used for dodgy deals between fat cat businessmen, dirty politicians and Pakistani terrorists would be invalidated in one fell swoop.Now, newly released data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) shows that 99.3 percent of high-value notes in circulation – worth around $216 billion – came back to the banks. That means that those illicit hoards that the government was hoping to flush out of the system were not in the form of cash and are still out there.And the long lines for cash, not to mention the losses in jobs and growth? Not necessary.“The RBI has in effect said that the prime minister’s premises and claims were dubious, and in as much words he didn’t know what he was talking about or getting into,” said Mohan Guruswamy, founder of the Center for Policy Alternatives and a former adviser to the finance minister.India’s economy runs mostly on cash, so Modi’s demonetization thoroughly shook the country. The New Delhi-based Center for Monitoring the Indian Economy estimated that the shock move caused 1.5 million in job losses, though other economists have put the number lower.In the weeks and months after Modi’s bombshell announcement, small businessmen said their customers stopped coming because they had no cash. Marriages were delayed because cash stacked up to pay for venues and caterers was now worthless. Millionaires joked about borrowing cash from their maids to buy cups of chai.Some found clever ways to avoid the long lines like bribing bank managers or paying people to stand in their place. But many who stood in lines said they supported Modi and his efforts to clean up India’s economy at the time.Guruswamy said the new data suggests that the entire policy was never thought out properly. “All reports on [black money] categorically stated that the undeclared incomes were mostly invested in properties and assets in India and abroad and in gold and jewelry. The cash with people was cash in stock and deployed for everyday business and living,” he said.At a news conference in New Delhi on Wednesday, reporters pelted Subhash Chandra Garg, secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, with questions about whether the problem of the black money had been solved.“I think demonetization achieved a substantial number of its objectives,” he said, pointing out that the new notes had “new security features” to making counterfeiting more difficult and that digital payments in India are increasing – both points that were disputed by journalists.India’s economy is now showing signs of recovery after the disruptions of demonetization, the RBI report said. Growth rates which slowed to a four-year low, in part due to the “lingering impact of demonetization,” have now bounced back.But the debacle could dent Modi’s reputation as an economic magician with the answers to all of India’s problems as elections approach.(c) 2018, The Washington Post Related ItemsbjpDemonetizationNarendra Modilast_img read more

Men’s Dhotis in Style

first_imgIf you thought dhotis and fashion don’t gel, then think again. Designer Arjun Khanna just transformed the attire into a stylised dress statement, complete with pleats, pockets and teamed with smart waist coats. The collectin showcased at the ongoing Van Heusen India Mens Week (VHIMW) is sure to start a new trend for men.The Mumbai-based designer opened the VHIMW here Friday with his homage to real and fictional men of action. And, as one would have expected from him, the show got off to a rocking start – first it was the haunting sound of gun-shots, sirens, tanks and bombs building up the tempo followed by late 1970’s hit disco number ‘Daddy Cool’ and the mood for the evening was set.“It was a spoof of the action man. It was a take on `Sherlock Holmes’ and the real mafias. I tried to include the vintage props – Rolex watches, cameras, hats and leather gun holsters,”Khanna told IANS.The designer presented a line loaded with immaculate detailing on smart suits with leather patches on arms and knees, use of piping on pockets, metallic buttons, zips and hunter boots enhanced the vintage look of garments.“The collection was simple but comprised of a lot of tailoring. Tailoring is in my blood, the outfits were complex in terms of stitching. It was a combination of different fabric and unconventional look. I always try to get a story on ramp, so it was this time,” said Khanna.But, the show-stealers were the pleated dhotis with pockets, worn with waist coats, highlighting the raw attitude of the rugged masculine men, who walked the ramp in confidence in the traditional Indian dhoti with a contemporary twist.There were also a few kurta-pyjamas, slim-fit trousers, and checkered trousers in the line with the hues were restricted to black, charcoal grey, beige with a pinch of red.Friday evening’s show comes five years after Khanna had showcased in the capital and for him, it was sort of a homecoming.“It is nostalgic to be back after five years, it feels like coming back home. Not any specific reason for being away – I was just busy with a lot of things. I was setting up my home and store in Goa. Also a flagship store in Mumbai. But I love Delhi, it is great to be here,” he said. Related Itemslast_img

Who Owns the Future

first_imgIf the technology industry can boast a true renaissance man, it is Jaron Lanier. A polymathic computer scientist, composer, visual artist and author with a mass of dreadlocks tumbling down his back, the 53-year-old Lanier first found fame by popularizing the term “virtual reality” (VR) in the early 1980s and founding VPL Research to develop VR products. He led the team that developed the first multi-person virtual worlds using head-mounted displays, the first VR avatars and the first software platform for immersive VR applications. The company’s patent portfolio was eventually sold to Sun Microsystems.Today, Lanier is best known as the author of two influential books on the future of the digital world in which we live: 2010’s best-selling You Are Not a Gadget, and the recently released Who Owns the Future?Lanier’s concern, at its simplest, is that that we are building a digital future in which a small number of companies and individuals garner great wealth, while the economy as a whole starts to shrink, taking with it jobs, the middle classes and what he terms “economic dignity.” Lanier believes we can avoid that fate, but only if we start remunerating people for the digital assets (from personal data to designs for use by 3D printers) that we currently give away for nothing. Information may want to be free, but Lanier believes the world would be better served if it was affordable instead.Lanier is far more than a scientist. He owns (and plays) one of the world’s largest collections of rare and ancient musical instruments, and often demonstrates them during his many speeches.You laid the groundwork for Who Owns the Future? in your previous book, You Are Not a Gadget. What persuaded you of the need for a second book?What persuaded me of the need for a second book is the discordance between what I find empirically in the world and the ideas about policy that everyone seems to return to as if there’s no alternative. We’re locked into a continued belief that investing in a particular kind of information-technology venture is good for society, when actually these often seem to be pulling society apart and creating ever more extreme income inequalities. We seem unable to connect the dots between the continued dysfunction of the financial sector, even as it expands profitability, and the rise of information technology.What I had written about this topic before was a bit more impressionistic, and even the new book is still a relatively early approach to a more complete understanding of these topics, but I felt I needed to at least take another step toward trying to interpret how particular digital trends are impacting our economy, society and politics. But as with the previous book, I think I raised yet more questions that will require yet more work. I don’t think it’s complete.Why is it that we all appear so willing to give away the hardest currency of the information economy — our personal data — either for free or in exchange for digital trivia?People are relatively willing to accept suggestions so long as what they are asked to do is relatively easy and pleasant. I think technologists could just as well have proposed a different model of the digital economy, and it would have been accepted just as well. I don’t think there’s anything particularly significant about people being willing to give something a try.The challenge is that people still don’t understand the value of their data. They have been infused with the idea that the ubiquitous fashionable arrangement, wherein you obtain free services or so-called bargains in exchange for personal data, is a fair trade. But it isn’t, because you’re not a first-class participant in the transaction. By first-class participant, I mean a party to a negotiation where everyone has roughly the same ability to bargain, so that when they do bargain, the result is a fair transaction in an open market economy. But if you’re in a structurally subordinate position, from which you have to accept whatever is offered, then you give much greater latitude and power to whoever has your data than you get in exchange.I’m currently planning a research project to better understand the value of data. There are many ways to do this, but one is to look at loyalty cards, frequent flier memberships, and the like. There can be an argument about the difference between gathering intelligence about customers versus locking them in, but I argue the two benefits are deeply similar. The differential between using a loyalty card and not using the card for a given person in the course of a year is a measure of one small portion of the value of that person’s information. I strongly suspect that once we measure the cumulative value of personal data using techniques like this, we’ll see that it’s getting more valuable each year. I don’t know for sure, but that’s what I hypothesize.If I’m right, then one interesting question is, will the value of information from a typical person ever transcend the poverty line? I think we’re headed towards that point. And if that does happen, then we have the potential for a new kind of society that escapes the bounds of the old debates between “Left” and “Right.” Instead, there could be an entirely new sort of more complete market that actually creates stable social security in an organic way. The possibility fascinates me. It is not irrational to imagine this future.How much blame for data inequities do you ascribe to social media?I don’t think social media per se is to blame — rather it’s the use of the consumer-facing Internet to achieve a kind of extreme income concentration in a way that’s similar to what has happened in finance during the last 20-25 years. I don’t think there was any evil scheme in Silicon Valley to make this happen. For example, Google didn’t have any roadmap from the start that said, wow, if we collect everybody’s personal information we can gradually be in a position to tax the world for access to transactions, or have an ability to manipulate outcomes using the power of statistical calculations on big data.But in a sense, the basic scheme was foretold at the start of computing, when terms such as cybernetics were used more often, and people like Norbert Wiener were discussing the potential of information systems to let people manipulate each other, and how this could create power imbalances. Silicon Valley rediscovered these old thoughts, but in a way that was too immediately profitable to allow for self-reflection. You see a very similar pattern emerging in Silicon Valley to what happened in finance: the use of large-scale computation to gather enough data to gain an information advantage over whoever has a lesser computer.I don’t know if you’ve read the early e-mails of (Facebook CEO) Mark Zuckerberg from when he was a student starting out, where he says he just can’t believe that people are giving him all their information. He seems utterly astonished that people are doing it. The reason his fellow students did it was simply that on a first pass most people are pretty trusting and good-natured and pretty game to try things. But what happens with social media is that they quickly become subject to a vaguely “blackmail-like” cycle that keeps them engaged and locked in, because if you don’t play the game intensely on Facebook, your reputation is at stake. I’m astonished at the energy people put into basically addressing this fear that the way other people perceive them, their being in the world, how they might be remembered, will be undermined unless they put all this labor into interacting.The early years of economic transition are often accompanied by structural discontinuities, but in the case of data-driven economies, they seem particularly profound. Why is that?Because the network-effect aspect overwhelms everything else, and network effects can build very quickly. The tulip mania of the 1600s happened fast and crashed fast, but in a world of digital networking, things happen even faster, yet the data doesn’t wilt away like a tulip. Network lock-in is persistent. Markets don’t rebalance themselves remotely as quickly or easily as in earlier times when they are disrupted by modern digital entrepreneurs.Another problem is that you can’t automate common sense — but if you have a lot of data on a network and you use statistical algorithms to process it, you will create an illusion of having done just that. It’s an easy illusion to create.We don’t currently have a complete enough scientific understanding of how the brain works or how common sense works. But we talk as if we do. We’re always talking about how we’ve implemented artificial intelligence or how we have created a so-called smart algorithm. But really we’re kidding ourselves. This is very hard for people who run big computers to admit. They always treasure the illusion that they are working with completed science — which they aren’t — and that they have already attained cosmic mastery of all possible cognition.The mistake that happens again and again in these systems is that somebody believes they have the ultimate crystal ball because their statistical correlation algorithms are predictive, which they are, to some extent, for the very simple reason that the world isn’t entirely chaotic and random. Just as a matter of definition, big data algorithms will be predictive, and the bigger your computer and the more fine-tuned your feedback system, the more predictive they will be.But, also by definition, you will inevitably hit a stage where statistics fail to predict change, because they don’t represent causal structure. That’s the point at which companies such as Long-Term Capital Management fail, mortgage schemes fail, high-frequency trading fails — and that’s where companies such as Google and Facebook would fail if we gave them a chance. However, if you construct an entire society around supporting the illusion that the falsehood of ultimate cognition is actually true, then you can sustain the illusion even longer. But eventually it will collapse.The core problem is this idea of automating our own thought, our own responsibility, so we don’t have to take it anymore. That’s the core problem of this way of using computing. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with networks or computing. Fundamentally, it just means that this is a particularly bad way of using them that’s highly seductive in the short term, and it’s a pattern we fall into again and again.If the “siren servers” you describe dash many of our jobs against the rocks, what future do you see for data-driven economies, say, 20 years from now?I think a data-driven economy could be a wonderful thing. The primary missing ingredient that would make it wonderful is to have more complete and honest accounting. That single change could create a data-driven economy that would be both sustainable and creative.Right now we don’t have that. For example, when you translate a document automatically using, say, Google or Microsoft, it seems like this magic thing. Somebody can translate my document between languages and it’s free, so isn’t that great? But the truth is it’s never like that. There are no nonhuman sources of value to plug into digital networks. There are no angels or aliens showing up to fill the network with the bits that make it function.What actually happens is that the companies that do automatic translation have scraped the Internet for preexisting translations. The result is just a statistical pastiche of preexisting translations done by real people. There are all these real people behind the curtain, and they aren’t being paid for their work.Now, you might say that if you sent each of those people a few pennies for their contribution to the corpus of data, it would just be a negligible amount, and that would be true for any given one. But if you count up all the different auto-translators and all the different times that they happen, there would be many, many thousands of small transactions. And that would add up to something significant that would reflect the actual value human translators had contributed. In a sense, we would initiate a universal royalty scheme….Do you think part of the problem is that many of us have already given away the crown jewels, at least in terms of our personal data?The transition issue is by far the hardest one. But, you know, there have been transitions in the past, and I think we can achieve transitions in the future.I’ll give you one example from American history. Originally the American west was viewed as a place where land was free, although that free land was often sort of scammy in the sense that you would only have access to it through a monopolized railroad system. But it bears some similarity to the situation today, and there was a similar romance about it. Everyone ultimately became content that we moved away from free land and monopolized railroads to more of a real economy where more people function as first-class citizens in transactions with each other. So the maturing of the American west is a useful model….Equally, there are many transitions that have gone badly, and the model I really dislike is that of outright revolution, because the problem with it is that it’s kind of random what will come next. You know that you will break a lot of stuff, but you don’t know whether you will end up with a system that’s better or worse.Among technical people, there’s a lot of talk of revolution — everybody wants to be god-like. Everybody wants to be the one who reforms the world, to be the one who oversees the singularity. It reminds me a lot of the people who once said they would oversee the Marxist revolution, and that everything would turn out alright. The problem is that you imagine you will be in control but you won’t. Probably all that will happen is you will hurt a lot of people. This idea that we are barreling toward a singularity and that we’re going to change everything is inherently foolish, immature and cruel. The better idea is trying to construct, however imperfectly, incremental paths that make things better.Even in a world that fairly compensates us for our data, how do we avoid self-commoditization? How can we differentiate our contributions when we will have so little control over them?What I propose in the book is a brutally mathematical system that I’m sure would under-represent reality, as such systems always do, but nonetheless would be pretty straightforward. It’s based on “what-if” calculations. The question is, if my bits had never existed, what would be the value differential for a particular cloud scheme? If I hadn’t provided a translated book from which a lot of examples were taken, what difference would it make to the market value of new cloud-based translations?If an entrepreneur can’t approximate that kind of what-if calculation, then that means that the output of her cloud algorithm is kind of random or chaotic anyway, and she shouldn’t be making money from it. The digital economy should be set up in such a way that if you can’t calculate the value of corpus contributors, then you will not make money from your own scheme. To the degree that you can attribute value from contributors, that’s the measure of what you yourself should profit on, because the rest of your calculation is random and chaotic. In other words, the rest of the income you can generate is some sort of network-effect lock in rent, but not real value creation. Digital entrepreneurs should earn percentages of the wealth they help generate for others.You envision a “middle-class-oriented” information economy, one in which information isn’t free, but is at least affordable. Where does the working class fit into such an economy?The key thing for me is whether the outcome of people interacting in a digital system is a power-law distribution or a bell curve distribution. That keeps it simple. What I mean when I talk about a middle class is having outcomes that more often look like bell curves than power laws. A power law is a high tower plus a long tail connected by an emaciated neck. So you have a few winners and everybody else is a wannabe. Instagram and American Idol are both like that. A bell curve is the result of a measurement of a population instead of a sorting.There’s a fundamental dilemma that is intrinsic to the math of economies, which is to the degree that you give individuals in an economy self-determination, and you have different individual outcomes and people invent their own lives and so on, you’ll engender a spread of outcomes, where by any particular measure some people will be left behind. Different measures might find different subpopulations left behind. But you’ll have some kind of a distribution in which some people are at the bottom of the distribution.What I want to point out is that every single way of thinking about a good society or a better society that I’m aware of depends similarly on a strong middle hump in a bell curve, whether we want to call that a middle class or not. If you are an Ayn Rand fan, you have to admit that you can’t have markets without customers. And the customers have to come from the middle or the market won’t sustain itself. Equally, if you’re a government person, you should also want a strong middle. Otherwise, income concentration will corrupt your democratic process, which I think is an issue in the U.S. right now. If you’re a society person, you have to have that strong middle or the society will break into castes, which has happened repeatedly in societies all over the world.Everybody should want the same curve. As I point out in the book, different kinds of digital network designs will give you bell curves or power laws. If we choose network designs that give us bell curves, then we can have a sustainable digital society. That’s the core idea of the book.But you were asking who gets left behind. In my view, if we have a true data society and an honest accounting of it, the amazing thing is that just by living, you’re contributing bits to the network. Even someone who is trying to be as unproductive and uninteresting as possible might actually be contributing at least some value to modern network schemes. Sometimes it seems that those people are more active online than other people who are busy doing real work. So it’s very possible that even people at the low end might still find at least a baseline of reasonable livelihood simply from being in a world that needs a lot of bits from people to calculate all kinds of cloud things.A full-on digital economy might actually start to capture a little bit more value from people, so that even at the bad end of the bell curve you would see a baseline that’s not quite as horrible as abject poverty. Still, a distribution means a distribution, so there will still be people at the bottom. I don’t think you can have a society that has freedom without some mechanism to help whoever ends up at the bottom of the curve.At the heart of your thinking is the concept of “economic dignity.” Why is that so important to a healthy economy, and how does it differ from the goals of previous economic revolutions? After all, dignity was what the unions were fighting for a century ago.Dignity means that there are many participants in the economy functioning as first-class citizens, able to be both buyers and sellers, with enough mobility to actually have a choice. If you don’t achieve that, then you don’t really have a market economy.I argue in the book that prior to the rise of digital networks, up until the late 20th century, the way the middle block happened — the way we got something resembling a bell curve in the distribution of outcomes in a society — was mostly through special ratcheting mechanisms, which I call levees in the book. These mechanisms all had a bit of an artificial feeling to them, like a taxi medallion or union membership or something similar. There was always some kind of a hump you have to get over that put you into a protected class so that you join a collective-bargaining position, whether that was explicitly so or not. College education and middle-class mortgages functioned as leaky levees, to a degree.What digital networks have been doing is walloping all those positions, crashing them down, and that’s been the primary mechanism by which the Internet has been harming the middle classes.Take the taxi medallion system, which in itself is far from perfect and in some cases completely corrupt, but nonetheless has been the route to the middle class, especially for generations of immigrants. There are now Internet companies like Uber that connect passengers directly with drivers of vehicles for hire. Anyone can spontaneously compete with taxi drivers. What this does is create a race to the bottom, because these companies are choosing a kind of efficiency that creates a power law where whoever runs the Uber computer does very well, but everybody else pushes down each other’s incomes. So although such attacks on levees create efficiency from a certain very short-term perspective, they do so by creating power-law outcomes that undermine the very customer base that can make the market possible. This idea eventually eats itself and self-destructs.If we could have an organic way of building a bell-curve outcome instead of traditional ad hoc levee systems, we might get a similar result that’s broader, more honest, fairer, and also more durable and less corrupt. I could be wrong, but just looking at the math it does make sense. There’s still more to work out, but fundamentally there’s some potential there. Related Itemslast_img read more

Hey Ram

first_imgNow that the season for the Swamis to invade the country is upon us, I am again consumed by the mispronunciations of Hindi, Sanskrit and other Indian language words by Indians when they speak in English.We have a terrible habit of Anglicizing the sounds of Indian words as soon as we start speaking in English. Krishna becomes Krishnaa instead of Krishna (?????) and Rama becomes Raamaa instead of Raama (???). Except for a few exceptions and regional modifications to sounds of various consonants, we are pretty good when we speak in Hindi or other regional languages. It is only when we start speaking English that we suddenly forget the correct pronunciations and Anglicize the Hindi and other regional language words.Mispronouncing the “A” at the end of Indian words, with the long sound of ‘A’ instead of the full sound of the consonant, is not a new phenomenon. As far back as the 1970s, the India Tourism Development Corporation had opened a brand new 5-star hotel in Delhi called Hotel Ashoka. In Roman Hindi, the vowel “A” is added as a consonant modifier to the letter K to obtain the full sound of the consonant (?). If the consonent modifier vowel “A” is not added the consonent K has a half sound as in (??) (Remember the “Halant” {?????} in Hindi, Sanskrit and other Indian languages?)Despite ITDC’s best efforts by running advertising campaigns with the name of the hotel written in Hindi and English to emphasize the full sound of the consonant “K,” the name stuck as Hotel Ashokaa, instead of Hotel Ashoka, when pronounced in English. The situation deteriorated to the extent that even in Hindi people started calling it ????? ???? and not ???? ????. ITDC finally dropped the consonant modifier “A” and changed the spelling to Hotel Ashok.A bit of history before we proceed further. The British created Roman Hindi during their occupation of India. The authors of the hybrid language must have been very knowledgeable in English, Hindi, linguistics, lexicography, pronunciations and related subjects. They knew that the English alphabet consonants did not have a full sound, which was necessary to pronounce Hindi words. Hence “A” or “E,” as consonant modifiers, were added to the words wherever needed.However, the majority of the actual readers and speakers of Roman Hindi (principally lower level officials deputed to India) were not as informed as the creators of this new written language. And it is they who, I believe, started this tradition of adding the long sound of “A” to the ends of all words that ended in an “A.”Indians, in our eagerness in copying everything British, continued the practice when speaking in English. The situation has worsened over time. All the Swamis have this problem of mispronouncing Sanskrit and Hindi words. They will give a lecture on Vedaantaa (???????) and not on Vedaanta (??????), or you may attend a lecture on Raamaayanaa (???????) instead of Raamaayana (??????).You will learn of Raagaa and Deveshaa (???? ?? ?????? not ??? ?? ?????). You may also learn about Hindu Dharmaa and learn a few Shlokaas. And of course everyone goes to learn Yogaa. (Incidentally, Yoga means a “a combination of or joining of things,” so one is actually learning Yogaasna {??????}, a combination of exercise poses, and not Yoga {???}). Even the Swamijis names are mispronounced. Gopalananda (???????? or ?????????) becomes Gopaalaanandaa (??????????), or Shardananda (???????? or ?????????) becomes Shardanandaa (????????? or ??????????), etc. I have also heard people discussing Swaragaa (??????) and Narakaa (????) with the Swamijis.You Tube is replete with videos by so-called experts in Indian music discussing or presenting various Raagaas and Taalaas instead of Raags and Taals. Examples of such mispronunciations are too numerous to list them all here.The worst culprits are the English news reporters on Indian and foreign TV channels in India as well in the United States. Especially in India, they speak with pseudo British or American accents and mispronounce Indian words. They take pains to learn French, German, and other language pronunciations, but when it comes to Indian words, they butcher the pronunciations by saying Mumbaayee instead of Mumbai, Shivaa instead of Shiva, Krishnaa instead of Krishna, Nirbhaayaa instead of Nirbhayaa, etc.In recent years, some people have attempted to rediscover Roman Hindi writing and have suggested several different spellings for the same words. For example, I have seen Rama spelled as Raam, Ram, Raama, etc. For Krishna, suggested spellings range from Krishan to Krishn.I am neither a linguist, nor an expert in phonetics. But mispronounced words do hurt my ears. The experts should finalize how to correctly write Indian words in the English script. I suggest that one of the several India Chairs founded at various U.S. universities take up the subject of Roman English and come up with a better way of writing Indian words in English script, so that they are easy to pronounce and write on standard “qwerty” keyboard. No diacritical marks, no bars on top of letters, no special letters, just simple English letters.In the interim, we should take it upon ourselves as Indians to pronounce the Indian words correctly and properly as if we were speaking in our Indian languages, even when we are speaking in English. Believe me, if we try sincerely, Americans, Britishers and others will learn to pronounce them correctly as well, seeing the pains we are taking to pronounce them correctly in the first place. If Peking can be corrected to Beijing, surely Indian words can be pronounced properly as well. Related Itemslast_img read more

Exploring the Incredible Color, Cuisine, Culture of India

first_imgAs I slid my shoes off and handed the man a five-rupee note before entering the Jama Masjid mosque, I could feel the heat from the red stone against my heels. I could also feel the intense stares of the Delhi locals. I don’t know which made me sweat more.My husband and I were still jet lagged from our 4 a.m. arrival in New Delhi, India’s capital, a city with a population of more than 11 million. But we were too excited about our honeymoon adventure to waste any time.My husband, Alex, is half Indian. His father is from Chennai, a coastal city in south India. While Alex had visited India many times while growing up, he was still itching to see more as an adult. So we booked a 15-day trip.Alex’s mother, also a blond-haired white woman, warned me about the stares. I remember shrugging it off. India was bound to be a trip of a lifetime. But now that I was here, I couldn’t shake this creeping, uncomfortable feeling as eyes followed me.Thin women dressed in colorful sarees, some with babies tucked under their arms, washed their hands, feet and faces at a central pool out in front of the mosque. Their eyes seared into mine when we passed by.A young boy followed me through the mosque. His friends would jab him in the ribs and laugh every time our eyes locked. Just before we made it to the exit, he tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to his smartphone. He wanted to take a selfie with me.There was never a point in our remarkable trip to India that I felt unsafe. Nearly everyone we met, be it in a shop, at a restaurant or on a dirt street in a rural village, was kind and friendly. People were drawn to Alex — one man wanted to shake his hand and thank him for returning to India to explore his heritage.I got used to the stares.•We began our trip in Delhi. It’s an enormous metro area, and at the end of April, the heat was stifling. It’s a dry heat, more like Las Vegas than Florida, and the 100-plus degree weather definitely took some getting used to. So did the traffic. Buses, construction vehicles, tiny sedans and motorcycle-rigged rickshaws share the roads with donkey-pulled carts, horses, stray dogs and free roaming cows. There’s a lot of horn honking. But not the kind that ends in road rage like you see in the States. In Hindu culture, animals are treated with deference, especially cows. So one cow crossing the road can cause a traffic backup miles long.The city is full of ancient architecture, unbelievably ornate tombs of former emperors and their loved ones that offer a glimpse back in time. Humayun’s Tomb and the India Gate were among the many monuments we toured. We also visited Mahatma Gandhi’s last home in Delhi, the site of his assassination.We booked our trip through a guided tour company, and I’m so glad we did. While it was fun to zip around the city in a speedy rickshaw on the way to a Hindu temple, the trains and bus systems are flooded with people, all day every day, and it can be tough to navigate. Our tour company took care of the nitty-gritty details, like transportation and hotel reservations, and gave us enough free time to eat new kinds of food, visit temples and wander the colorful, tumultuous bazaars on our own.• • •Even at 7 a.m. the weather is hot and dry in Agra. We arrived at the famous Taj Mahal just as the locals were headed to morning prayer. Per our guide’s suggestion, we woke up early to beat the crowds that swarm the ivory-white marble mausoleum and its immaculate grounds on the south bank of the Yamuna river.It is jaw-dropping — and almost doesn’t look real.We strapped fabric booties over our shoes, needed to preserve the ancient marble, and explored the elaborate tomb. We listened to the tragic love story behind the monument: Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal to honor his most beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child. I even took a photo on the bench Princess Diana made famous when she had her picture taken there in 1992.Also in Agra, Alex and I smoked hookah in a beautiful garden while we watched a colorful, romantic Indian wedding. And I can’t forget the melt-in-your-mouth chicken korma dish, which will go down as one of the best meals I’ve ever had.After a few days, we headed north to Ranthambore. It was like a scene out of The Jungle Book. We stayed in a boutique lodgelike hotel at the base of Ranthambore National Park, a vast wildlife reserve near the town of Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan, known for Bengal tigers.We hiked up the side of a ridge to be blessed in a Hindu temple that sits along the ruins of an ancient mountaintop fort. Leopards scale the same walls, and tigers make these crumbling British hunting lodges their dens. We went on two safaris, where we rode in topless jeeps and saw amazing wild animals, from colorful birds to monkeys to native deer and crocodiles.Toward the end of the day, we got lucky and stumbled upon a Bengal tiger named Noor and her three cubs. We watched for hours as Noor and her family lazed around a riverbank. It was incredible to be so close. Noor’s playful cubs would climb all over her in the shade of a large tree. Occasionally the cubs would pause from their banter to stare at the flickering of our cameras. They’d part their jaws and hiss at us through two rows of long, sharp teeth.• •Our trip ended in Jaipur, known as the pink city for its creamy-colored buildings in the old part of town. We rode an elephant to the base of the famous Amber (pronounced Amer) fort, where we watched snake charmers with cobras and explored the ancient rooms of this historic monument.At night, Alex and I would drink Kingfishers (India’s most popular beer brand) and watch national cricket games from rooftop decks. You could hear fans cheer from all over the city when the games were on.India is such a different place, but in the most kind and colorful way. I had seen pictures and videos and eaten plenty of Indian food before we set off on our honeymoon. But nothing could prepare me for the beautiful landscape, the colors, the people and the chaos that are India.© 2017 Tampa Bay Times Related Itemslast_img read more

The Indian Outsider

first_imgBorn in a dusty hospital amidst roaring Bombay traffic, I would never have imagined my life would turn into a version of Russian Roulette. While in the original deadly game, one loads a bullet into a revolver and leaves the remaining five chambers empty, in its Israeli adaptation you have six bullets, no empty chambers and one imaginary gun. Like in a game of musical chairs, this weapon moves round and round. All you can hope is that when the disc jockey stops the music the muzzle isn’t pointing at you.On the July 12, the music stopped and its muzzle pointed to the Sharon Mall, only a short distance from my house in Natanya. Window shutters banged hard against their hinges and shattered glass flew across newly planted geraniums and tulips. The sound of cars and buses moving across adjacent streets drowned out groans of pain while cameras clicked furiously to relay the images in time for the eight o’clock news.  The author is checked by a friendly security guard at a shopping mall in NatanyaA week later, I made my way to the mall to buy a book for class. The moment he noticed me, the security guard palmed the butt of his loaded M-16 and stared at me with open hatred. When I was close enough, he ordered me to open my bag and after rummaging through it, demanded I show him my identity card. As I pulled it out, he came closer and puffed hot air into my face.“Are you sure you are not armed?” he threatened while ordering people to take a few steps back. I shook my head and handed over my identity card. He tried to insert a nail in between the picture and its plastic covering. “Are you sure that this is yours?”I nodded, and he continued, “Where are you going?” Inside of course, I wanted to yell out. “What is your name? Where do you live? Where are you coming from? What is your business here?”When he ran out of questions, he reluctantly allowed me to walk through. People parted in front. They seemed to be in tacit agreement with the guard who thought that even though he didn’t find a bomb, it didn’t mean that I didn’t have one. Trying to avoid the constant stares, I hurried into the nearest bookstore, but the supervisor at the counter immediately looked up and then whispered, “Check out that dark man! What is he doing in the English section?” Within seconds, a salesperson appeared by my side to inquire if I needed assistance. I demurred, but hearing my thick Indian accent she continued. “Are you looking for a present? Do you mind if I recommend a new bestseller?”Yes, I wanted to say; I do mind. However, I allowed her to show me the new Sidney Sheldon: Are You Afraid of the Dark? with a voluptuous blond on its cover. I smiled, but declined politely. Though she continued eyeing me suspiciously, I rummaged through the neatly arranged bookshelf and as soon as I found the book for class, I made my way briskly towards the counter. The supervisor looked at it, then at me, and inquired, “Would you like me to wrap it up as a present?”Exasperated, I agreed; it wouldn’t be the first present I had bought myself. Taking the note I handed her, she squinted at me and held it up to the light. Calling out loudly to the salesperson at the other end of the bookstore, she asked for help in identifying a counterfeit note. As all eyes in the bookstore turned, I shifted my weight uncomfortably from one leg to the other and looked down in embarrassment. Contemplating why they were mistreating me, I suddenly remembered the first time I realized how others saw me.Sitting nervously on the creamy leather sofa in my Israeli girlfriend’s house, I had heard her mother whisper, “…but he’s so dark!”Then during dinner a few weeks later, the woman, who up to that point had ignored me, turned towards me and asked how Jews had reached India. Something in her smile and cynical tone made me hit back. Whispering, I replied that it was a well-kept secret and I had just discovered the truth. my girlfriend’s Polish family stopped eating and listened attentively.“The Germans were not as efficient as we all think and sometimes their ovens shut down unexpectedly while they were cooking. The officers present were ashamed and sent emergency requests to the high command requesting a definite and permanent solution.”Her 10 year old brother cut in, “But why didn’t they just fix the ovens and resume cooking?”Her 12-year-old sister replied, “Because, dimwit, you can’t cook something twice, it gets spoilt.” As she gleamed with pride, but my girlfriend and her mother were glaring at me angrily. Her father was dumbstruck.“After lengthy deliberations,” I continued, “they decided to smuggle all the half-cooked Jews to a place where other dark people lived. The high command was delighted: the trains wouldn’t leave the camps empty and no one would ever find out. But an old Indian fakir made accurate notes, and these were found last week in a pass near Katmandu.”Smiling to myself at the recollection, I tucked the novel under my arm and walked out of the Sharon Mall. As I approached a bus stop, a security guard in a black pullover stared. Opening my jacket, I hoped he’d realize that I had nothing suspicious strapped underneath, but he began walking towards me. I needed to prove I am Israeli and I needed to do it fast. A blond girl, who looked somewhat like my girlfriend, was standing a few feet in front of me and so I began to stare at her jeans. Trying to appear as conspicuous as I could, I obnoxiously let out loud puffs of air and as soon as the guard was close enough, I muttered loudly, “Wow! Look at that nice piece of ass.”The guard stopped. Glancing at the blond, he nodded, smiled and strolled off. But she heard my remark and in a strong Russian accent cursed me repeatedly. It was loud enough to have made people move away from me in disgust, but none did, for no one was standing close anyway. A 22 number bus halted a few feet ahead and nearly each passenger who alighted, rushed passed in apprehension.I am angry. But more than that I am truly sad, because I left India to make my home in Israel. But because Israelis fear me, I have remained an outsider. After class, or after work, when I am in a hurry I cannot rush home. If I button up my coat, people will stand as far away as possible and if I run the guard will shout and order me to stop.Initially, like in my girlfriend’s house, I joked and shrugged away my despair. But now, as bombs go off around me and as the people with whom my blood might intermingle look at me with rising suspicion and fear, I want to scream that I too am participating in this deadly game. But they aren’t listening. Desperately searching for the disc jockey, they are hoping to catch sight of the muzzle a second before the music stops.  Related Itemslast_img read more

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Second NRI Recruit on Indian Squad

first_imgIndian-origin Canadian goalkeeper Sunny Dhaliwal has been recruited into the Indian squad for FIFA Under-17 World Cup, after he procured an Indian passport on July 27. Sunny is the second NRI inclusion on the team after the squad drafted US-based Namit Deshpande in April this year.Dhaliwal has Dual CitizenshipHowever, unlike Namit who holds an Indian passport, Sunny has both Indian and Canadian passports. According to sports ministry officials, the Indian law allows minors to have multiple citizenships. Once a minor turns 18, he must make a choice within six months whether he wants to retain Indian or foreign citizenship.  Speaking to Times Of India AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said: “Sunny has got his passport and will join the team in Mexico. It was a (lengthy) process but I am thankful to (AIFF) president Praful Patel, the sports ministry and the home ministry who made this possible.”6 feet 5 inch tall goalkeeper was scouted through All India Football Federation’s online portal. He had attended a 10-day trial in Goa early this year and impressed the Portuguese coach Luis Norton de Matos.Several Major League Soccer clubs had  also kept him on their radar after he trialed with DC United and Chicago Fire last month. He had joined Toronto FC Academy in 2016.‘A Big Advantage’According to a member of India’s Under-17 coaching staff,  Sunny is a big advantage on a tournament like the World Cup but he still needs to work hard to get into the starting eleven.The Under-17 team currently has four goalkeepers: Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Mohammad Nawaz and Tamal Naskar. Dheeraj Singh is looked at as the choice for starting eleven at the moment.The team will leave for Mexico late this week to play friendlies against Mexico on August 3, Colombia on August 4th and Chile on August 6th. The team will be facing Colombia in their group stage matches later this year. These friendlies, as head coach Luis Norton de Matos is a “test of their training.”  Related ItemsCanada PIOFIFA Under 17FootballLittle IndiaNRISportsSunny DhaliwalWorld Cuplast_img read more

UK to Review Rejected Residency Applications of Indian Professionals

first_imgThe United Kingdom Home Office has agreed to review cases of highly skilled non-European Union immigrants whose applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) were rejected over minor mistakes in tax returns. A large number of professionals who faced the brunt of the rejections belonged to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria.Caroline Nokes, Britain’s Home Office Minister for Immigration, was questioned by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee on May 9, over reports that highly skilled migrants who came in on a Tier 1 (General), which is now discontinued, are being refused ILR over minor, legally acceptable corrections in their tax returns.“This potentially sends a terrible signal, does it not, to highly skilled people of Indian or Pakistani origin who have come over here and have contributed to the country, bringing their skills,” questioned John Woodcock, an independent MP from the committee, according to the Press Trust of India.“Of course, I do not want this country to look like it is unwelcoming to people with high skills who have contributed a great deal. It is important to us that going forward we make sure we have culture change in the Home Office,” Nokes replied. According to the Hindu, she further said, “Many people make errors with their tax returns, but it is crucial that we understand the patterns that are happening.” She added: “It is not about using rules to have a ‘computer says no’ mentality.”Nokes told the Chair of the committee, Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who demanded to know why the minister had not asked for a review to check for fraud cases and trivial cases, that a review will be undertaken to investigate if there was a pattern of abuse or minor errors.Sir Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary in the UK Home Office, assured the committee that he would look into the cases to see how many of these refusals are the result of a clear-cut case of deception and where perhaps “overzealous officials have been erring on the side of doubting people rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt.”Indian skilled professionals assembled as a group, called the Highly Skilled Migrants group, to hold a protest outside the Parliament Square in London on May 2 against “unjustified” refusals by the UK Home Office of their applications for ILR. Those who went to the United Kingdom on a Tier 1 (General) visa were eligible to apply for the ILR or permanent residency status after living and working for a minimum of five years but the visa was scrapped in 2010. However, they were still eligible to apply until April 2018.Most of those who applied for the ILR were refused based on the Rule 322(5) on almost automatic basis, according to reports. Rule 322(5) states the undesirability of permitting the person concerned to remain in the United Kingdom in the light of his character, conduct or associations or the fact that he represents a threat to national security.After the UK Home Office said it would review the cases, the group responded saying that it was only a minor victory.“There is a long way to go. Let us see how the Home Office proceeds on this review. It is shocking that the minister claims to have been unaware of these cases, when we have documentary evidence to prove that she had been made aware of this issue with Tier 1 applicants back in March,” Aditi Bhardwaj, the coordinator of the Highly Skilled Migrants group, said, PTI reported. The organization is now preparing its own dossier of evidence for the Home Affairs Select Committee. Related ItemsBritish IndianUK Home Officelast_img read more

Indian American Charged for Visa and Mail Fraud

first_imgAn Indian American man has been charged for H-1B visa fraud and mail fraud in California on Oct. 2.Kishore Kumar Kavuru, 46, of Sunnyvale, California was arrested based on an indictment passed on Oct. 18 by a federal grand jury where the defendant has been charged with ten counts of visa fraud and ten counts of mail fraud in connection with a scheme to maintain a pool of foreign workers for the clients of Kavuru’s consulting companies.According to the statement, Kavaru held himself out as a staffing specialist for technology firms based in Santa Clara County and elsewhere seeking to fill temporary positions with foreign workers. Since at least as early as 2007, Kavuru was the owner and chief executive officer of four consulting companies, including Scopus Consulting Group, Inc., ITECH Analyst Corp, Infinity Methods Corp, and Orian Engineers Incorporated.According to the court papers, Kavuru used the consulting companies to process and submit fraudulent applications for foreign workers to obtain permission to work in the United States under the H-1B visa program.He allegedly submitted sham applications through his consulting companies to gain a competitive advantage over other staffing companies that did not have foreign workers immediately available to work.Kavuru has also been charged with submitting false documents and details of bogus work projects awaiting foreign workers to both the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security containing. Because many of the applications were ultimately approved, Kavuru had a pool of unemployed H-1B beneficiaries that were immediately available for legitimate work projects, giving him a competitive advantage over other staffing companies that followed the sometimes lengthy visa application process for petitioning foreign workers.Moreover, Kavuru required some prospective workers to pay thousands of dollars in cash before he would prepare and submit the visa applications, a violation of Department of Labor regulations. Kavuru also made some workers wait unpaid, sometimes for months, to be placed at the client’s workplace. This process known as “benching” workers without pay is also a direct violation of the Department of Labor’s regulations.Kavuru further violated the law by filing false documents to the U.S. to indicate that he had a contract to place software engineers to work on a specific project at an employee benefits and health insurance brokerage company. Through his consulting companies, Kavuru has reportedly submitted and mailed approximately 43 petitions for H-1B software engineers to be placed at the benefits company. But in reality, there were no software engineer positions available at the benefits company.If convicted, Kavuru will be facing a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 (or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater) for each count of visa fraud. The defendant also faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine maximum fine of $250,000 for each count of mail fraud. The court also held the power to order as part of a sentence additional fines, terms of supervised release, and restitution, if found appropriate, the statement said.Kavuru made his initial federal court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen and later was released on bond. He will be appearing before the court for arraignment and identification of counsel on Nov. 9, the court statement noted. Related Itemslast_img read more

Big seeds tumble out of Qatar Open

first_imgKammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa He added that however precious the win, it did not compare to beating Murray.Coric is ranked 38 places lower than world number 10 Carreno Busta but said it was his aim to be more consistent and break into the world’s top 20 this season.“I think I can do it but I need to play very good for the whole season.”Coric had considerable success adopting a serve-and-volley approach and won 17 out of 21 points at the net in the deciding set.Overall he hit 44 winners during the match.He will play Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round. The Georgian has won their previous two encounters.Berdych, who beat Struff in the French Open last year, was returning to action after sustaining a back injury towards the end of 2017.The former world number four, now ranked 19th, started slowly, struggling to cope with the aggressive tactics of the big-serving Struff, the world number 53.“My coach and me were thinking about some tactics like playing aggressive, playing with passion. Yeah, it was great,” said Struff.“I played very aggressive in the tiebreaker and I was very happy after that one.” Busta’s match with Coric was the game of the tournament so far.The 21-year-old Croat, who beat Andy Murray last year at the Madrid Open, saved three match points to progress and afterwards described it as a “huge win”.“I think I played very good,” he told reporters.“I didn’t know what to expect, it’s the first match of the year, it’s always a little bit tricky.“But, I can say from the beginning that I was playing very good.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Louie Gonzales promoted to La Salle head coach Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic returns the ball to Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany during the first round of the ATP Qatar Open tennis competition in Doha on January 2, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / KARIM JAAFARThe Qatar Open second and third seeds — Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta and Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic — crashed out of the tournament in the first round on Tuesday on a night of shocks in Doha.Both seeds lost in third set tie-breaks. ADVERTISEMENT 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon Citycenter_img LATEST STORIES BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Read Next View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC The number five seed, Frenchmen Richard Gasquet, was untroubled by the big names falling beforehand, trouncing Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic, 6-0, 6-2.Number one seed, Austria’s Dominic Thiem, is safely through to the second round, winning his first match in straight sets on Monday. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carreno Busta was beaten by Croatia’s Borna Coric, 7-5, 2-6, 6-7 (8/10) in an enthralling match lasting 2 hours 41 minutes.And Berdych went down 4-6, 6-1, 6-7 (4/7) in the match on centre court which followed against his fellow 6ft 5ins opponent, Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderIt means the tournament has lost two of its top-ranked players after having already being shorn of three major stars — Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga — before it began, as they try to recover from injuries.To complete a bad night for the seeds, number six seed Filip Krajinovic of Serbia also lost, in straight sets to Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk.last_img read more

Curry’s 3 lifts Warriors over Mavericks

first_imgKevin Durant and Klay Thompson had 25 points each, and Green added 18 to go with 10 rebounds.Wesley Matthews led the Mavericks with 22 points, including seven 3-pointers, and Dwight Powell tied his career high with 21.Dallas, playing from behind most of the game, wouldn’t go away despite trailing 114-102 with 4:32 left. Three turnovers by the Warriors and some cold shooting, combined with a sudden hot streak by the Mavs, enabled Dallas to tie the score at 120 on Harrison Barnes’ jumper with 39.9 seconds to play.“I was smiling at the idea that we could be completely brain dead out there,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “All I could do was laugh. It was like grade-school stuff the last few minutes.”Thompson and Barnes traded inside baskets before Curry’s big shot in the final seconds.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH A long heave by Dennis Smith Jr. at the buzzer was way off.Golden State extended its road winning streak to eight games. The Warriors haven’t lost away from Oracle Arena since before Thanksgiving.FOUR FOR THE MONEYNot only did the Golden State quartet produce 100 points, but one of the four was always there to step up. Curry scored 20 and Durant 16 in the first half, Green had 15 in the second half, and Thompson had 14 in the fourth quarter.FINALLY A CLOSE ONEDespite their 13-26 record, Dallas has won or played close against most of the NBA’s best teams. The one exception had been Golden State, which has won nine in a row and 16 of 17 against the Mavs and had dominated the two previous meetings this season by a combined 45 points.This time, Dallas fought back from deficits of 12 in the first half and nine in the third quarter, taking a lead at 84-83 on Devin Harris’ 3-pointer with 3:40 to play in the period.“This is who we were supposed to be all along,” Matthews said. “We don’t have a moral victory that we took the champs to a one-possession game. We really felt in our hearts we were supposed to win that one.”TIP-INSWarriors: Played without Andre Iguodala (back and hip strain) and Omri Casspi (back strain). Casspi’s injury occurred during the morning shootaround. Kerr said Iguodala would likely play Thursday at Houston. … Thompson’s second-quarter 3 marked the 92nd straight game in which he’s made at least one, the third-longest streak in NBA history. Mavericks: Reserve center Nerlens Noel had his cast removed Tuesday following left thumb surgery on Dec. 8. Noel hasn’t played since Nov. 22 and has scored just 72 points in 18 games for the team.UP NEXTWarriors: At Houston on Thursday in a matchup between the West’s top teams. The Rockets beat the Warriors 122-121 on opening night in Oakland.Mavericks: Host Chicago on Friday. The Mavericks have won four straight against the Bulls. 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities LiAngelo, LaMelo Ball land in Lithuania to play for Prienai Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts to a play during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/LM Otero)DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks were left shaking their heads at Stephen Curry’s shot-making ability — and how they let him get one last great look at the basket.Curry’s long 3-pointer with three seconds to play allowed the Golden State Warriors to escape with a 125-122 win over the Mavericks on Wednesday night after blowing a double-digit lead in the final four minutes.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues MOST READ Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ On their final possession, the Warriors gave Curry the inbounds pass. A crossover dribble and a screen from Draymond Green were all he needed to get a clean look from 28 feet, which hit nothing but net. Dallas, with a foul to give, didn’t take it.“Too open of a look for a game-winner for the greatest shooter in the game,” longtime Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderCurry finished with 32 points and has 70 in two games since returning from an ankle injury. Golden State’s “Big Four” combined for 100 points, and the Warriors needed every one of them against a Mavericks team that had won four straight.“Draymond set a great screen,” Curry said. “I caught Yogi (Ferrell) by surprise and was able to get to my spot and knock it down. I have confidence to take the shot and make it and finish the game.” Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasalast_img read more

Playing for Alapag a ‘blessing’ for Balkman

first_imgAlab Pilipinas head coach Jimmy Alapag. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJimmy Alapag’s head coaching duties over Renaldo Balkman may have just officially begun on Wednesday but the seeds were planted years before the two were on the same team together.The two had a conversation back in the 2014 Fiba World Cup when the Philippines faced Puerto Rico in the group stages, three years before Alapag ended up calling the shots Alab Pilipinas, which tapped Balkman as its new import, at the ASEAN Basketball League.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “We talked about it a couple of years ago. He always told me that if he had a chance to coach me he would and that’s what happened. Right now, I’m still thanking him because he kept his promise so I’ll keep my promise of winning him a championship.”Alapag said he hopes Balkman will be able to leave a better impression in Philippine basketball this time around and what happened in 2013 will be a thing of the past.“What happened years back was really an isolated incident, and at the end of the day no one’s perfect,” said Alapag. “We all make mistakes and he’s said numerous times he’s regretful of what happened. Hopefully this issue will be dead and he’ll be able to make a much better impression here in the Philippines.”And with Alapag burying the 2013 incident, Balkman did too.“It felt good, the reception, and I didn’t expect it. The past is the past,” said Balkman. “I did lots of things since then and tonight, it wasn’t on my mind, it wasn’t on my head. I just went out there to play basketball.”ADVERTISEMENT Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communitiescenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “When I saw him in Spain, he said ‘if you ever get to coaching and the door opens for me to come back to Manila, I’m willing to play for you,’” said Alapag after Alab dispatched Westports Malaysia, 90-79, Wednesday night in the controversial import’s first game.In a sense, Alapag gave Balkman a chance at redemption after the Puerto Rican international got banned from the PBA in 2013 after choking then Petron teammate Arwind Santos in a scuffle.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderBalkman said having Alapag, the same man he defeated in Puerto Rico’s 77-73 victory over the Philippines back in the 2014 World Cup, as a coach was a blessing bestowed upon him.“I played against him as a player, now he’s my coach. It’s a blessing for me to be given that chance,” said Balkman as he finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, and two blocks. Stevens eager to have Celtics spend time in London LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next MOST READ View commentslast_img read more