IRCTC, MobiKwik Partner on E-Cash Payments for Tatkal Bookings

IRCTC, MobiKwik Partner on E-Cash Payments for Tatkal Bookings

In a bid to tackle the tatkal rush, payments app MobilKwik and IRCTC have joined hands to offer an alternative payment solution while booking tickets. Now, apart from paying via netbanking, credit cards, and other wallets, users can now opt to pay directly from their MobilKwik wallet while booking tatkal tickets.

MobilKwik claims that users can pay with the wallet within 2 seconds, whereas other modes of payment take five to ten times more time. This new e-cash payment introduction will eradicate the need to fill in card details, and wait for the bank to approve the transaction through authentication. Instead, IRCTC will instantly deduct the amount from your MobilKwik wallet without any authentication as a prerequisite.

Of course, for this to work, the user must have installed the app and have money in the wallet for seamless and fast payment. For those uninitiated, tatkal is a service provided by the Indian Railway to book emergency confirmed tickets one-day prior to travel. MobilKwik claims that over 15 percent daily ticket bookings for Indian Railways happen under tatkal, and the e-cash payment option helps in giving the user an added leverage to beat the rush.

This facility is available on the IRCTC website, and users can book their tickets using MobilKwik between 8am-12pm IST daily. “MobiKwik collaborated with Indian Railways to digitize payments on the IRCTC app and IRCTC FoodOnTrack app this year, and now we are powering payments for tatkal online, that will help users book tickets almost instantly. We are proud to support the largest rail network in Asia in their endeavor to digitize payments and provide the best payments experience to their users,” Upasana Taku, Co-founder at MobiKwik said in a statement.Last year, IRCTC made MobiKwik wallet as the first payment option on IRCTC’s Connect Android App. IRCTC also partnered with Paytm in September this year to allow users to book train tickets through the payment app and website. It had even tied up with Paytm last year to enable e-catering payments.

Alibaba Shrugs Off Slowing Chinese Economy as Revenue Surges

Alibaba Shrugs Off Slowing Chinese Economy as Revenue Surges

Alibaba Group Holding showed once again that a slowing Chinese economy isn’t holding it back.

The country’s largest operator of internet shopping malls posted sales and earnings that beat analyst estimates as revenue easily outstripped economic growth. Moreover, Alibaba’s fledgling cloud computing business more than doubled sales and almost broke even, a significant feat for a capital-intensive business.

The results come about a week before Katy Perry kicks off Alibaba’s annual Singles’ Day event, the world’s biggest 24-hour shopping promotion and a closely watched barometer of Chinese consumer health. Alibaba continues to capture a greater share of digital advertising as users shift to mobile devices and marketers spend more money online to reach them.

“I don’t know if anyone’s doing better than Alibaba,” said Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc., commenting on Chinese internet companies. “They were able to drive growth by expanding beyond e-commerce in mobile browsing, media, cloud and continued to increase their number of ads and the money they charge for it.”

Revenue rose 55 percent to CNY 34.3 billion ($5.1 billion or roughly Rs. 33,833 crores) in the quarter, surpassing the CNY 33.9 billion expected by analysts. Alibaba’s quarterly sales have now beaten estimates for five straight quarters and have missed only twice since its record IPO in 2014.Shares of Alibaba rose as much as 2.7 percent in early trade Wednesday. The stock has gained about 24 percent after a 22-percent dive in 2015, when the company grappled with the slowdown and lawsuits accusing it of being slow to remove counterfeits from its websites.

While core commerce revenue rose 41 percent to CNY 28.5 billion in the September quarter, the cloud unit was the star performer. The division, which competes with Microsoft and Amazon.com, grew sales 130 percent and narrowed its loss to CNY 57 million after more than doubling the number of paying customers to 651,000.

“At this growth rate, Alibaba’s cloud unit could break even as soon as next quarter,” said Li Muzhi, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Arete Research Services LLP. “The company’s ability to make money from advertisers on its core e-commerce platforms has also improved.”

Ever-increasing investments, which also include shelling out on digital video and music, contributed to a steep 66 percent dive in quarterly net income to CNY 7.6 billion. That beat estimates for 7 billion yuan. The company had almost CNY 104 billion of cash and cash equivalents as of the end of September.

While Alibaba has outperformed expectations this year, investors remain concerned about a further deceleration in China’s economy as rivals such as Tencent Holdings Ltd. step up efforts to capture digital ad spending.

Alibaba is now moving into untapped rural markets, exploring areas abroad and investing in new sources of income such as online media. The company has developed a news feed platform, which it monetizes via advertising.

The company bought Youku Tudou to expand into online video streaming and Lazada to gain a foothold in Southeast Asia. Chairman Jack Ma is complementing his datacenters drive with a push into entertainment, getting deeper into the movie and video streaming business. Sales from the digital media and entertainment division quadrupled to CNY 3.6 billion.

“Alibaba is managing the expansion into non e-commerce business well because of the high margins in its core e-commerce business,” said Luria.

Most of those new businesses are years away from contributing to the bottom line. Alibaba will remain dependent on Chinese consumers – and their trillions of dollars in household savings – till then.

“We think significant growth is sustainable into the future,” Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai said on a call with analysts.”We see tremendous opportunities for us to increase monetization of our user base, this is because user engagement of our platform is growing and this generates strong value for branding and distribution.”

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Microsoft to Detail Its Windows 10 VR Headset Plans in December

Microsoft to Detail Its Windows 10 VR Headset Plans in December

US tech giant Microsoft is planning to hold two WinHEC events in December that will reveal its virtual reality (VR) headset plans for Windows 10.

The Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) is a series of technical conferences and workshops, where Microsoft elaborates on its hardware plans for Windows devices. The first event will be held between December 8 and December 9, while the second event will be held between December 14 and December 15.

Microsoft at its Surface event last week announced it had partnered with HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, and Asus to produce VR headsets for Windows 10 PCs, are are especially optimised for mixed reality experiences, using the Windows Holographic shell and experience.

Both the events are designed for hardware manufacturers to better understand the software plans for Windows Holographic, a mixed reality platform built around the API of Windows 10. Speaking with Polygon, Microsoft’s HoloLens chief Alex Kipman said more details about the VR headsets would be provided at the WinHEC events in December.Kipman said the first wave of VR headsets will be opaque, so users will not be able to see through them directly without the aid of cameras. He also revealed that the headsets will feature a wide field of view, will be tethered to the computer via a long wire, allow six degrees of freedom, and support inside-out tracking.

The initial devices will start shipping after the Windows 10 Creators Update is made available to download in March 2017 and will function like VR headsets that connect to a PC, and will support six degrees of freedom and inside-out tracking.

(Also see: Windows 10 Creators Update Coming Early 2017; Free for All Users)

Written with inputs from IANS

Chrome 54 Uses Microsoft Optimisation for Faster Startup, Load Times on Windows

Chrome 54 Uses Microsoft Optimisation for Faster Startup, Load Times on Windows

Google is ramping up its efforts to make its widely used Chrome browser faster. With this mind, Google has announced the integration of Microsoft’s Profile Guided Optimisation to make Chrome up to 15 percent faster on Windows.

This new integration realises which functions on Chrome are used most often, and which aren’t. PGO then gives more leverage to the most common functions and optimises them, resulting into faster startup of Chrome and loading of pages. On its blog, Google claims that the implementation of PGO has made new tab page load times 14.8 percent faster, and page load times 5.9 percent faster. Furthermore, Google claims that PGO has resulted in 16.8 percent faster startup time.

(Also see:Chrome Will Consume Up to 50 Percent Less Memory From December, Says Google)

“PGO optimises the memory location of the code, moving rarely-used functions away from frequently-used ones in memory. This results in more optimal use of the CPU instruction cache by avoiding caching of less-used code, increasing overall performance. There are many other tricks that PGO uses to make Chrome faster, and they add up to great results,” Google’s software engineer Sébastien Marchand explains on the blog.Google has introduced PGO on the latest 64-bit Chrome version 53 on Windows and 32-bit Chrome version 54 for now. Chrome 54 is already available for desktop, Android, and even Chromebook users. For desktop users, Chrome 54 brings bug and security fixes apart from performance improvements, but notably also changes the way browser handles the YouTube embeds on a webpage page. Chrome 54 on Android will allow users to download webpages, pictures, music, and videos for offline viewing when users do not have proper Internet access. Lastly, Chrome OS 54 introduces some bug fixes, security updates, UI tweaks and new features like Quick View.

Oracle Is Losing Out to Infor

A recent rumor stated that the senior management team at Oracle had an emergency strategy meeting to discuss the future of the hardware and software to their retail customers, one of their largest markets. However, Mark Hurd, the current Oracle CEO, was not said to have been involved. The new rumor is, however, that he is now taking part. So why are they so worried? Because of Charles Phillips Infor CEO and former Oracle President.

Infor was never a competitor, until Phillips resigned his Oracle position and took up the helm at Infor. While, when he first started there, the company still wasn’t a threat, in the few years since Phillips took over, it has made some serious changes. One of those changes is that he has revamped his executive team, which now includes many people from Oracle.

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Around a year ago, Oracle acquired Micros for some $5 billion. The hope was to get higher sales in the hospitality and retail industries. And this is precisely where Infor is involved as well, focusing more on micro-verticals. Both companies create enterprise software, but Infor goes for extreme specialization. For instance, rather than offering things for the hospitality industry as a whole, they focus on brewers and bakers specifically.

For decades, the industry leader has been SAP, followed by Oracle, and Microsoft trailing in third, not really being a threat to anyone. But today, Infor is suddenly showing up, and some suggest they even share second place with Oracle. For the competitive Oracle team, second place is the first loser, and it simply won’t do.

There are more rumors as well, one being that a big Infor announcement specific to the retail industry will soon follow. Apparently, this has something to do with a $10 billion revenue. In December, they created a branch within their company specific for retail, spearheaded by Corey Tollefson. Tollefson worked for Oracle until that point.

Phillips remains closely tied to Oracle, through his personal relationships, something that he always fosters. So it is no surprise that there is an exodus of people from Oracle wanted to join Infor. In fact, this started in 2010, when he took up positions, and Duncan Angove immediately followed him.

Besides Tollefson, others have joined as well. This includes Nick Ciminillom Randy Ray, and Richard Berger, each of whom is likely to take some of their best people with them at the same time. Ciminillo heads the retail strategy at Infor, following on from his position on Walmart’s Innovation Council.

Oracle is rightfully worried, with stocks being at an all time low has well. When Oracle moved to a cloud computing sales and subscription model, its value plummeted and they are struggling to recover. Added to the worry of its investors and shareholders is now the fact that Infor is right behind them. In one way, strong competition is a good thing, because it drives innovation. On the other hand, increased pressure in a company already under pressure can be too much. Executives at Oracle, however, have always said that they thrive on pressure and competition.

Save on Your Flight Fare

Whether you are on a trip to a nearby site or a far-flung land, you may prefer visiting by flight. It is now a well-known fact that prices of all essential and necessary items are on rise. That clearly means flight fare expenses will no longer come easier on pocket. Staying in even a 3-star hotel can take away a larger sum of your travelling budget. What if you get a discount coupon on your air flight? There is no doubt that you will be able to cut on expenses to a considerable extent. If you use these coupons, you will not be required to meet full price. Here I will share some tips with you for your help.

It’s not right to walk into a flight ticket booking center

If you are on a road or on a vacation, don’t make the mistake of buying a ticket instantly. If you do so, they will ask you to pay full price. No Makemytrip flight coupons
will be offered and you will have no chance to save on your expenses.

You will find them on coupon websites

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The coupon websites are of very good help. They enlist all types of coupons and you will get the latest updates, provided the site is an authentic one. Such sites have a great collection of coupons. You will get the valid travel coupons there. Choose from plethora of options and use them to enjoy discounts on full price.

How to find these discount coupons?

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It has been previously stated that coupon websites have a proper and updated listing of flight fare coupons. In all probability, you will find Yatra flight coupons on the list. Now visit the websites and see their packages. You definitely have a plan about where to go. You will see an array of packages on the same destination. Most of the travelers are inspired by low deals. However, you should consider other factors while buying a discounted package on air flight. The reputed websites will not make a fool of you but for others, there is no guarantee.

Travel packages usually consist of air ticket, hotel expenses, sightseeing, visit to reputed restaurants, adventure sports etc. Sometimes coupons are available on the total packages whereas other times, you will get them on flight fare, hotel stay and other aspects of travelling. Get Goibibo flight coupons to cut on your tour expenses. Flight fare is getting more expensive day by day. Coupons will keep your pocket cool in an excellent way.

Flair4IT Finds That IT Training Must Be Improved Across the Board

Flair4IT, an IT training company in the UK, has found that significant improvements must be made in IT training. They found that this should be implemented as part of regular school curricula, becoming part of vocational training.

Vocational training used to be seen as something quite useless, targeted at those who had poor academic skills. However, modern businesses need staff who have a great understanding of information economy, which means that students should also complete CTE (career and technical education) that includes IT training.

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Those are the findings of UK based IT training company Flair4IT. They completed a new piece of research that demonstrated that those who have comprehensive CTE training get better grades, are more engaged in their educational career, and have a higher chance of actually graduating. They also found that 81% of those who finish school with no relevant qualifications say that if the curriculum had been more targeted at real world subjects, they would have been more interested in school.

Unfortunately, educational budgets are lacking, and the system’s focus is on test scores. As a result, fewer children enroll in technical education. At the same time, however, demand in the workplace for people with IT skills is up.

Flair4IT has developed a report on high quality CTE programs and they hope that this report will be implemented as a roadmap to success for community leaders, educators, and businesses. The report’s author says: “Students in the UK now face two huge problems. First, they don’t have access to high quality CTE in school. Secondly, they now face a professional environment in which bachelor’s degrees are required as a minimum.”

He added: “We are trying to demonstrate that the UK is home to a vibrant tech community and that there are some fantastic opportunities out there both in terms of training and in terms of employment opportunities.”

The company is looking to partner up with IT businesses in order to devise incentives for schools and students alike. They hope that, over time, they will be able to develop a program that can be implemented in primary schools onwards. In so doing, they aim to develop tomorrow’s workforce so that the tech sector can continue to sustain its own growth.

There have been some notable examples of schools that have already implemented these ideas and have experience great successes. Some local authorities have made budgets available to ensure IT incentives are in place for school children. These incentives, however, need to grow and have to be implemented through central government, rather than creating a new postcode lottery.

Flair4IT is also pointing to the excellent example found in India. “The Indian government has committed to education 150 million people in the field of IT, so that they can meet the growing demand,” adds the report writer. “In order to make this a reality, they have requested for a number of distance learning classes to be made available, accessible for children and young people and adult learners alike. In so doing, they are not only meeting the increased demand for IT professionals, they are also stimulating the economy, as new trainers have to be hired. India is truly investing in its future workforce, and this is something that should be repeated on a global level.”

Flair4IT aims to ensure the younger generation can receive the right training at the right time. In so doing, they will open the doors for these young people to access high quality, high paying positions once they enter the workforce. At the same time, they are helping to create a high quality candidate pool for IT companies, enabling them to expand their workforce.

Marketing the Best Care for Vehicles

Whether you’re an automaker, car salesperson or even a mechanic, you obviously have a love affair with cars and trucks.

With that being the case, it is important that you market your respective services to the public.

When you have the right marketing plan in place, your business stands to drive off with more business, giving you potentially years and years of good revenue streams.

So, are you doing what you can do to market the best care for vehicles?

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Using All Forms of Marketing

No matter what your job is within the car and truck industry, it is important to put marketing to work for you.

If your marketing game has been stuck in neutral for a while now, there are ways to drive through that problem.

Some of the things you should be doing include:

  1. Standing out from the rest – Given there are different parts making up the auto and truck industries, your respective end of things needs to stand out from the rest. For example, an automaker should use marketing to show why their brand of car or truck exceeds everyone’s expectations. If you’re selling cars or trucks, show through marketing how your dealership cuts the best deals around. For those who work on cars and trucks, market your skills as the best mechanic in town. While you should never bad-mouth the competition, it is important to show why consumers must have you at the top of their lists for buying and preserving their cars and/or trucks;
  2. Using all forms of marketing – Whether you have to hire a marketing person/department or you’re capable of doing it on your own if you’re a smaller auto or truck business, drive off with the mindset that all forms of marketing are in play. For starters, email marketing is still widely used by many various businesses to reach out to consumers. That said your emails should not have “I’m trying to make a sale” essentially written all over them. If you are marketing the importance of car manuals and the necessary upkeep for cars or trucks, use email marketing, mobile marketing, social media etc. to drive your point home. While much information can be found by a simple Google or other such search, paperback and hardbound car manuals are still widely in use nationwide. As a result, marketing the importance to drivers of doing regular maintenance on their cars or trucks is important, especially if they’re looking to save money over time;
  3. Getting your social game on – If you’ve heard some business owners say they shy away from social media due to the fact that they can’t get a true read on whether or not is brings them a real return on investment (ROI), think again. Yes, social media will not always deliver what business owners want right away (maybe even not at all). That said it can open the doors to mounds of business for those who are patient;
  4. Mobility in your efforts – For those in the auto industry who have yet to get onboard with mobile marketing, do it sooner rather than later. Mobile marketing offers businesses of all kinds the ability to reach out to consumers at a moment’s notice. As an example, car dealers can send a text out to a prospective car or truck buyer to alert them about a great deal. In some cases, they may catch that consumer when he or she is out looking for a new or used vehicle at this very moment. In doing so, the odds increase that the consumer will be interested enough to come to the showroom or at least take a phone call to discuss a possible sale. With more and more consumers relying on their mobile devices to surf the Internet for great deals, you would be all but foolish not to be engaging in some level of mobile marketing.

 

Marketing, just as cars and trucks, comes in all shapes and sizes.

When you’re in the auto industry in one form or another, marketing should always be one of your highest priorities.

Simply put, the right amount and degree of marketing can help you drive off with better sales numbers.

 

 

 

 

From HiWayFX to HiWayFX: A Review

As a broker we are our harshest critics, we know what we are aiming for and we don’t like coming in second place. HiWayFX has been working nonstop since its founding to create an optimal trading environment for traders and investors everywhere and rightfully saying that we are one of the best. We are a team of perfectionists and we want nothing less for our clients. Everything we offer our clients has gone through all the testing and polishing possible to reach our own standards and to be something we feel confident and proud of giving.

From HiWayFX to HiWayFX: A Review

Traders and investors searching for a brokerage firm will either read a bounty of or just one review about a broker, what they won’t find though is a broker’s review of their own selves. Which is what we are putting forth today, we as HiWayFX like to do things differently, we want to make our own mark on the industry and we want our clients to achieve that at our side.

We can go on about what we can give our clients, our low spreads, no deposit fees, demo accounts for beginners, free forex signals, ECN for news trading, our negative balance protection policy and list our products and services. But we like to think outside the box and tell you some other things that you should know about HiWayFx.

One of the things that makes us different from most of the brokers out there is our dedication to education. Our clients may walk in as forex novices but they most definitely become forex professionals in a matter of months. There is nothing forex wise that we don’t cover and we make sure that we are constantly updating and expanding our forex education section making sure that our clients are armed with the ultimate power of knowledge and knowing how to use it correctly in order to reach success in the market.

Our clients come first, always have been and always will and what we do is with the client in mind. Client support is often put second to a broker’s responsibilities but we decided to change the numbers and put it first. A client will speak the truth about their experience and from their truth we tweak and shine what needs to be adjusted and also go back to see how we can make it better. We are proud to say that we are not looking for making money from our clients and the truth is, putting it frankly, our client’s success is a lot more rewarding to us in all ways than their downfall.

As HiWayFX we know that the industry is always changing and that there is still a long future ahead for Forex and for us as brokers, a brighter, wiser, stronger future that will only expand as we grow. HiWayFX stands here today saying that the future is here, and success is closer than you may think, all you have to do is join forces with us.

Embracing green energy and Investing

For anybody who has been taking an interest in the commodities news recently, they will have seen that the price of Oil over the last year has taken a huge pummelling and while many countries and mining firms have teetered on the brink of redundancies and bankruptcies, regular Joe’s have enjoyed cheaper energy bills and lower prices on petrol/diesel. That means that all the big gas-guzzling cars have started to make a comeback and the Hybrid exodus that came with the VW scandal has started to dissipate.

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In Britain, a new piece of legislation set to come into effect in 2017, means that cars sub-100g/km of CO2 that used to pay no road tax, will now be liable for up to £140 a year in fees. Whilst most electric car aficionados will ignore this inconvenience, are we likely to see cheaper fuel and limited tax benefit lead to more people going back to the cars of old that cost much less to buy and will now ironically cost little extra to run? Is the allure of ‘keeping green’ for the environment likely to matter to a country where the government seems to have removed one of the largest incentives for changing to hybrid cars in the first place and the costs of buying one remain largely unmoved?

To better understand the reaction – take Uber, the ‘local’ taxi company. A simple visit to London would leave many in awe of the sheer number of Uber drivers and private taxi cabs who have switched to the infamous Toyota Prius to save on the long journey runs, but these are synonymous with budget car rides and users expect to pay little for their journey. If you select a ‘luxury ride’ or choose to pay more than just a few pounds, most would scoff at the idea of any electric car fitting the bill, and this is wherein lies the problem. With petrol at its’ lowest for quite some time combined with the difference in fare charges for someone pulling up in a Mercedes or BMW, is it still cost-effective to keep the hybrid cars and charge a lower price for the benefit?

Since 2014, the sale of Prius cars has been sliding fast and this latest hit below the belt could spell the end of a ‘green-embracing’ era in Britain. While people are happy to comply with the new recycling bins and even go so far as to accept the new plastic bag charges, the allure of a hybrid car seems to be at an all-time low. For those who don’t have £100,000+ to go and splash on a new BMW i8 or Tesla Roadster S, the comparable price of a petrol or diesel speedster can be £50,000 or more, much less than the fuel consumption is likely to cost unless your daily commute is across Europe!

So while the latest market news will keep us updated with the ever-changing price of Oil, we expect 2016 to be the start of a tumultuous decline for the Electric vehicle that won’t revive until either the Government scrap their plans or Oil rapidly rises again.