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Light and Cheap, Netbooks Are Poised to Reshape PC Industry

Get ready for the next stage in the personal computer revolution: ultrathin and dirt cheap. Personal computers — and the companies that make their crucial components — are about to go through their biggest upheaval since the rise of the laptop. Netbooks are a big success story in the PC industry, with sales predicted to double this year, even as overall PC sales fall 12 percent, according to the research firm Gartner. By the end of 2009, netbooks could account for close to 10 percent of the PC market, an astonishing rise in a short span.

The new breed of netbooks, built on cellphone innards, threatens to disrupt that oligopoly. Intel and Microsoft, which make the chips and software that run most PCs — face an unprecedented challenge to their dominance. The big winners in the rise of netbooks that use cellphone chips could be the cellphone carriers, which would have access to a whole new market: PC users.

Read the article: Thin and Inexpensive Netbooks Affect PC Industry

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Why India Has Escaped the Downturn

India has multiplied its per capita income levels many times over since 1950, and has done so far faster in recent years than Britain or the United States did during and after the industrial revolution. In the last 15 years, India has pulled more people out of poverty than in the previous 45 – 10 million people a year on average in the last decade. The country has visibly prospered, and, despite population growth, per capita income has grown faster than ever before. The current financial crisis is unlikely to change the basic success story.

Read the article: Resilient India

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An idea whose time has come

Entrepreneurialism has become cool. Victor Hugo once remarked: “You can resist an invading army; you cannot resist an idea whose time has come.” Today entrepreneurship is such an idea. The triumph of entrepreneurship is driven by profound technological change. A trio of inventions—the personal computer, the mobile phone and the internet—is democratising entrepreneurship at a cracking pace. Today even cash-strapped innovators can reach markets that were once the prerogative of giant organisations. An activity that was once regarded as peripheral, perhaps even reprehensible, has become cool, celebrated by politicians and embraced by the rising generation.

Read the article: A special report on entrepreneurship: An idea whose time has come

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Evolution of the interface designs of operating systems

Over the years a range of Graphical User Interfaces have been developed for different operating systems such as OS/2, Macintosh, Windows, Amiga, Linux, Symbian OS, and more. Here is a look at the evolution of the interface designs of the major operating systems since the 80’s.

Read the article: Operating System Interface Design Between 1981-2009

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India’s shrinking national parties

It is open to question whether India is really governable from the centre – New Delhi. It is already inaccurate to call the two main contenders – the governing Congress party and the Hindu revivalist Bharatiya Janata party – national parties. The species no longer exists. India’s political spectrum is so fragmented that this Congress government heads a coalition of 13 parties – until last year with external Communist support. It replaced a BJP that bounced around inside a 23-party coalition.

Read the article: India’s shrinking national parties

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Fifty Years in Tibet

A half-century after the Lhasa uprising, it’s time for China to learn from its past mistakes. China has little to lose and much to gain from engaging in serious talks. The Dalai Lama alone is capable of uniting Tibetans behind an agreement with the Chinese government, and at 73, may not be around much longer to seal a deal. China may think that it can hold on until he passes. But the Dalai Lama is the voice of moderation, while the younger generation is pushing for independence and a more radical approach.

Read the article: Fifty Years in Tibet

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Could China and India go to war over Tibet?

Contrary to Chinese propaganda, Tibet was not traditionally a part of China. Over the centuries, relations between China and Tibet were characterized by varying degrees of association spanning the spectrum from sovereignty to suzerainty to independence. The People’s Liberation Army invaded Tibet in the middle of the last century precisely because Tibetans did not consent to Beijing’s rule.

Read the article: Could China and India go to war over Tibet?

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The Eligible-Bachelor Paradox

You can think of this traditional concept of the search for marriage partners as a kind of an auction. In this auction, some women will be more confident of their prospects, others less so. In game-theory terms, you would call the first group “strong bidders” and the second “weak bidders.” Your first thought might be that the “strong bidders”—women who (whether because of looks, social ability, or any other reason) are conventionally deemed more of a catch—would consistently win this kind of auction.

But this is not true…

Read the article: Game theory explains dinner-party dates

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‘Slumdog’ Oscar success divides India

The film has been sharply criticised as “poverty porn”. Well-respected local filmmakers have described the film as titillating western audiences with its portrayal of slum life. “It’s nothing but a mediocre Bollywood film, which has used references from several Hindi films very smartly,” …

Read the article: ‘Slumdog’ Oscar success divides India

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China invests US$41 billion in one month

China is taking advantage of the economic downturn to go on a major shopping spree, investing in energy and other natural resources that could give it an economic advantage it has never had before.

Read the article: China invests US$41 billion in one month