Thursday, July 29, 2010

Investing in Chinese Company

Look out for (Key Words) - Reverse Merger, Auditors, Unproven Business, Require More Research.

Watch this Marketwatch video "Hype and Hope for Small-Cap Chinese Stocks"

Global Hunter Securities hosted China Conference (July 11 – 13, 2010) at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco that featured approximately 100 China-based companies, most of which have shares that trade on U.S. exchanges. More information at pwcast video blog

Company's in Wireless Broadband Network - Building Next Generation Networks

Clearwire, through its operating subsidiaries, is a leading provider of wireless broadband services. Clearwire's 4G network is currently available in areas of the U.S. where approximately 51 million people live and the company plans to continue to expand its 4G coverage. Clearwire's open all-IP network, combined with significant spectrum holdings, provides an unprecedented combination of speed and mobility to deliver next generation broadband access. The company markets its 4G service through its own brand called CLEAR® as well as through its wholesale relationships with Sprint, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Strategic investors include Intel Capital, Comcast, Sprint, Google, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks.

LightSquared is building a state-of-the-art open wireless broadband network. This open network will unleash the full power of the mobile Internet, driving innovation in devices, applications, and services. LightSquared will offer network capacity on a wholesale-only basis to a variety of business partners.

Video Introduction from Sanjiv Ahuja from LightSquared

So what will a 5g Network look like -

5G (Fifth Generation) mobile network concept, which is seen as user-centric concept instead of operator-centric as in 3G or service-centric concept as seen for 4G. In the proposed concept the mobile user is on the top of all. The 5G terminals will have software defined radios and modulation scheme as well as new error-control schemes can be downloaded from the Internet on the run. The development is seen towards the user terminals as a focus of the 5G mobile networks. The terminals will have access to different wireless technologies at the same time and the terminal should be able to combine different flows from different technologies. Each network will be responsible for handling user-mobility, while the terminal will make the final choice among different wireless/mobile access network providers for a given service. The paper also proposes intelligent Internet phone concept where the mobile phone can choose the best connections by selected constraints and dynamically change them during a single end-to-end connection. The proposal in this paper is fundamental shift in the mobile networking philosophy compared to existing 3G and near-soon 4G mobile technologies, and this concept is called here - the 5G. (Read More

Insurance Fraud - at Prudential Financial and MetLife

Bloomberg Reports
Survivors are told the death benefit is being placed in a secure interest-bearing account, and they are given what the company calls a “checkbook” to spend the money when they want.

In fact, insurers place the so-called retained-asset accounts in their own general corporate accounts and keep most of the investment earnings. The money isn’t guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and the “checks” are IOUs for money in the insurer’s account.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Text to Speech Software - Some Free

NaturalReader is a Text to Speech software with natural sounding voices. This easy to use software can convert any written text such as MS Word, Webpage, PDF files, and Emails into spoken words. NaturalReader can also convert any written text into audio files such as MP3 or WAV for your CD player or iPod.

Read more in 2007 article

AT&T Natural Voices is an award winning text to speech technology developed by AT&T Laboratories and distributed by Wizzard Software. Natural Voices is believed by many to be the most natural sounding TTS available, the "highly scalable" multi-threaded technology can automate and add tremendous interactive and humanistic value to a wide variety of applications and projects.
- Version 4.2 AT&T Natural Voices Server Text to Speech (TTS) for Windows or Linux
- Implemented with a developers software developer kit (SDK) and distributable runtime software
- Dynamically converts text into voice for a wide variety of applications
- Applauded by many as the most realistic human-sounding synthetic voices
- Implemented with a flexible "engine + voice font" architecture
- Supports customization of pronunciations, acronyms, abbreviations, speaking rate
- Scalable for high volume multi-thread IVR type implementations
- Distributable runtime software is available for (20) voices in (8) languages including US English, UK English, Indian English, French, Canadian French, German, Italian, and Spanish

Download Opera Web Browser and you can have a block of text read to you by Opera, select the text and use the command "Opera speak". Alternatively, say "Opera read" to hear the next block of text after your currently highlighted position. If no text is highlighted, Opera will go to the first block of text on the page. Try the "speak" command on the following paragraph:

It was not long before someone knocked at the house-door and called: ‘Open the door, dear children; your mother is here, and has brought something back with her for each of you.’ But the little kids knew that it was the wolf, by the rough voice. ‘We will not open the door,’ cried they, ‘you are not our mother. She has a soft, pleasant voice, but your voice is rough; you are the wolf!’

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Insight into choice

Product developer and marketer can gain much needed insight into customer behavior by diving into the question as to how people make choices and how choices influence their happiness. Watch the following videos on the current thinking on choices.  
Video #1 - Malcolm Gladwell makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness – Embracing the diversity of human being you will find a sure way to happiness. Move away from search for universals and search for variability.

Video #2 - Sheena Iyengar studies how we make choices -- and how we feel about the choices we make. Her groundbreaking research that has uncovered some surprising attitudes about our decisions.

Video #3 - Paradox of Choice - freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

Video #4 - Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our "psychological immune system" lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.