Robert's Feed
Jun 10, 2012
via India Insight

Occupy Bangalore: a more ‘intimate’ crowd than expected


By Soham Chatterjee

They sent out about 10,000 invitations. About 850 responded. Maybe 25 showed up.

Make that 30 if you include the press.

These twentysomethings arrived to “occupy Bangalore,” to protest India’s efforts to shut down “torrent” sites that allow file sharing — and the distribution of pirated movies and music — and to tell the public about India’s attempts to punish people who post “obscene” content on their social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter.

May 31, 2012
via India Insight

Incendiary India: petrol strike leaves Bangalore becalmed


I did something on Thursday that I never thought I would get a chance to do: I walked in the middle of MG Road, one of Bangalore’s busiest thoroughfares, and survived. This gesture normally would be suicidal, but today’s a different kind of day in Bangalore. An eerie quiet descended on parts of India’s call centre and tech outsourcing capital as a nationwide strike to protest petrol price rises shut down businesses and public transportation.

I rolled into town from New York City early Thursday morning, and went for a walk to find out how the “Bharat Bandh,” or “India Closed” (more or less), declared by India’s top opposition party, the BJP, and some other, smaller parties, was affecting the city. The sun was out, the humidity rising; it was a delightful day in the so-called garden city of India, but it looked and felt like a exaggerated Sunday, with men hanging out by their local paanwallahs, grabbing an idle smoke and noshing on fried goodies. Security guards drooped in plastic chairs in front of stores and offices, looking even more bored than usual. There were so few cars and motorcycles on the road that you could hear yourself think, and there was so little exhaust that the air nearly felt healthy. In other words: the strike was on.

May 11, 2012
via India Insight

“Good that the jerk died”: When Web links go bad

The Indian Express published a story, filed from Lucknow, about the son of a local BJP bigwig who died after a security guard at a hospital shot him. The gunfight began after another guard told him and his flunkies to move his car from an illegal parking spot. The situation escalated, the goons beat the first guard, somebody drew his gun and that was that.

The Express told a straight story, but when the Web link (or “URL”) circulated on Twitter, someone made a change that made it look like the Express was expressing an opinion.

Nov 25, 2011
via India Insight

Martha’s Vineyard + Black Friday = no pepper spray

When people think about Black Friday, the big shopping day after Thanksgiving Thursday, the relevant images are usually retail carnage of some kind — barbarians at the gates of big-box retailers, fights over discounted merchandise, scuffles in the parking lots, trampled store employees, and (a new one this year) pepper spray being used to keep other people away from stuff that you want to buy. (What to do with all that leftover pepper spray when there aren’t any protesters around to disperse?)

That’s the mainland. In Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the southern coast of Massachusetts, retail works at a more genteel pace. There is no Walmart; there is no Target.

Oct 11, 2011

WSJ Europe publisher quits in ethics flap

Oct 11 (Reuters) – The publisher of the Wall Street
Journal’s European edition quit over ethical issues raised by
the newspaper’s relationship with a Dutch consultancy.

The resignation of Andrew Langhoff comes as News Corp , the paper’s parent company, fights accusations of
misbehavior in a UK telephone hacking scandal.

Oct 6, 2011

World writes, reads odes to Steve Jobs on Twitter

NEW YORK (Reuters) – For the people’s obituary of Steve Jobs, look on Twitter.

The death of Apple Inc’s visionary leader prompted an outpouring by Apple fans and customers that appeared to dwarf any news ever chronicled on the micro-blogging site.

Jul 22, 2011

Thomson Reuters shakes up Markets division

NEW YORK, July 22 (Reuters) – Five more senior executives
are leaving Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (TRI.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in a shake-up
of its Markets division, which has posted disappointing revenue
growth amid slow sales of a key new product.

The departures follow that of Markets chief Devin Wenig,
announced late Thursday, and reflect the concerns of the board
and the controlling shareholder, Canada’s Thomson family, about
the division, which serves banks, brokerages and other firms
and contributes almost 60 percent of the company’s revenue.

Jul 12, 2011
via India Insight

I’ve come to tell you I’m going (to Tumblr)

The Gainsbourg song is called “Je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais” — “I’ve come to tell you that I’m leaving.” It also serves as notice to you that I’ll move my remarks over to my Tumblr site. Why?

1. It seems easier to maintain one blog with all my thoughts on journalism, music or whatever I want to write about.

May 20, 2011

Fila Korea buys Titleist golf company for $1.2 billion

HONG KONG/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Titleist, one of world’s best-known golf equipment names, is getting a new owner after alcoholic drinks maker Fortune Brands Inc struck a deal to sell the brand to Fila Korea Ltd for $1.23 billion.

Fortune (FO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) now will spend more time in the clubhouse than on the fairway. The maker of Jim Beam bourbon will focus on liquor after dropping its Acushnet subsidiary that makes Titleist golf balls, clubs and other equipment.

Apr 11, 2011
via India Insight

Strangle the growing chorus, pluck out their eyes

You often can’t get through a day of reading business news without coming across the convenient, but repulsive phrases, “a growing chorus,” and “all eyes are on,” or some variation. Usually, there is a growing chorus of support or opposition to something, and all the investors’ eyes are trained on one thing or another.

The Moron Tabernacle Choir performs Oedipus Rex, wide-eyed and in mid-crescendo.