Global executive picks L.A. as world center for urban mobility

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - SEPTEMBER 07, 2017: John Rossant, who heads LA Commotion, a multi day transpor

John Rossant is founder and chairman of the nonprofit NewCities foundation and creator of LA CoMotion, a big urban mobility conference and festival that’s attracting an international crowd to the Arts District Nov. 15-19.

A former journalist who has organized and produced conferences around the world, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Rossant, 62, intends to make LA CoMotion a world-scale annual event. He recently moved with his family from New York to Los Angeles.

Family influence

I grew up in Manhattan. My father was a journalist at the New York Times. We would religiously read the New York Times at the breakfast table. It was a very bookish household. My outlook on life was formed by early reading.

When I was 17, I applied to the University of Wisconsin, where my girlfriend was going. I fell in with students from completely different backgrounds than my own. I think people who grow up in New York often forget how insular New York is to the rest of the country and the rest of the world.

After my freshman year, my dad ended financial support following a big disagreement — and I probably deserved the punishment. I had to drop out for a year, lived in a cold water flat in New York. I worked as a messenger on Wall Street and cleaned mouse cages at a lab. I was on my own financially. Not fun, but it taught me how to survive on my own.

The Cairo spark

When I returned to college, I saw signs for an Arabic course. The calligraphy was beguiling and I said, why not. When I graduated, I won a U.S. State Department fellowship for intensive training in classical Arabic in Cairo. I found myself in this huge, very foreign, exotic, wonderful city. This was clearly the spark that ignited my fascination with cities and how cities are organized.

If the ultimate iconic car culture city could change, any city in the world could change.

— John Rossant on Los Angeles

My first job was in Saudi Arabia, at the English-language Arab News. It was a truly alien place for a journalist back then: an absolute monarchy, a tribal system. Nobody quite understood what a Western journalist did, and I think most people thought I was a CIA operative.

Copines Françaises

Back in New York after a year and a half in the Arabian desert, BusinessWeek called me up one day and said they were opening a Paris office. Would I be interested? I said, “ummm … yes …”

The editor asked me if I spoke French. I told him yes, of course. He said OK, you’re heading to Paris next week. Let’s just say my French was pretty basic so I had to learn on the fly. I had French girlfriends and I forced myself to go to lots of French movies. That worked.

Later BusinessWeek moved me to Rome to cover Italy and the Middle East. I had to learn Italian, of course, and that’s where I was lucky enough to meet my wife. In 1991, I covered the first Gulf War.

After that I was back in Paris as Europe editor. I was at a working lunch in Paris with Maurice Levy, the legendary CEO of Publicis, the big French advertising and public relations firm. He invited me to his office. We had a long discussion of French history and American relations.

Levy was clearly looking for someone who could speak French, who knew about communicating with the Anglophone world. The digital onslaught was just beginning and I didn’t see a bright future for print so I made the decision to leave BusinessWeek. I was made head of communications and public affairs at Publicis.

Digital tsunami

The very week I joined Publicis, Rupert Murdoch made a prescient speech in Washington where he told assembled newspaper and magazine editors: “You’re all going to be out of a job. There’s a digital tsunami coming.”

I immediately recommended that Publicis launch a high-level conference on the future of media. I cut a deal with Prince Albert of Monaco to create the Monaco Media Forum. I developed a real passion for bringing smart people around a table to talk about issues.

For several years I was in charge of producing the famous World Economic Forum in Davos — and I started to gain a reputation as someone who could put together these kind of events.

At the same time, I was more and more fascinated and preoccupied by cities, the development of cities. A majority of the human population was moving to cities. At the same time, the digital revolution and the Internet held out the promise of radically reorganizing cities. For the better.

L.A.: Where it’s at

I created a nonprofit foundation, the NewCities Foundation. Our big annual meeting has now been held in Paris, Sao Paulo, Dallas, Jakarta, Montreal and Songdo, a very successful new city near Seoul, [South] Korea.

More and more, though, I saw that the huge disruption sweeping over the mobility and transportation sector would impact cities everywhere, and I saw a need for a global gathering on urban transportation.

I read Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Mobility 2035 transportation plan and was impressed. If the ultimate iconic car culture city could change, any city in the world could change. So why not anchor a global mobility conference in Los Angeles? L.A. in particular and California in general are emerging as the center of smart thinking about mobility.

Take a leap

When I look back, it’s important to trust your instincts and leap into the unknown. You have to kind of just take risks with things. It’s a lesson that’s hard to impart to your children, because risks sometimes don’t turn out so well.

Source:-.latimes

HMD Global sends out invite for Nokia 8 launch on August 16

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Nokia 8 launch date confirmed: The invites have started going from HMD Global, and the event takes place on August 16.

Nokia 8 will launch on August 16, and HMD Global has started sending out invites for the same. The Verge reported about the upcoming launch event. Nokia 8 was recently spotted on the China website of the firm, before the image was taken down. We’ve seen quite a few leaked images of the Nokia 8 thanks to HMD Global’s leaked image, and of course, Evan Blass, better known as @Evleaks on Twitter.

According to the report on The Verge, Nokia 8 launch will take place at an event in London, and this smartphone will likely come with Carl Zeiss Optics on the camera lens. HMD Global had itself confirmed it will be working with Zeiss for the camera optics. In terms of specifications, Nokia 8 will likely be the flagship device from HMD Global.

Recently a Nokia 8 in copper gold colour was leaked online, but the company is expected to launch this phone in silver and blue models as well. Nokia 8 will come with a 5.3-inch Quad HD screen, coupled with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. Based on leaked images, the display will have a 2.5D glass on top, capacitive buttons, a fingerprint scanner in the home button. So, this won’t be a bezel-less device without a home button, just yet.

The key highlight of the Nokia 8 is expected to be the dual cameras stacked. Leaked images indicate these will be stacked vertically, and HMD Global could go for a dual 13MP+13MP camera set up. The rear camera setup will also have a laser autofocus sensor, dual-tone LED flash along with the Carl Zeiss branding.

Nokia 6, Nokia 5, Nokia 3 First Look: HMD Global’s New Nokia Phones

Other specifications of the Nokia 8, according to the rumours are 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and dual-SIM slots, along with Android 7.1 Nougat. A report by WinFuture claimed Nokia 8 will be priced at €589 or approximately Rs 43,000 plus in Scandinavian countries.

HMD Global is getting ready to launch its new flagship phone, but its first set of global offerings like Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 are yet to go on sale in India. Nokia 3 and Nokia 3310 are already available for purchase in the market, but the mid-range offerings will only go on sale in August.

[“Source-indianexpress”]

Uber Says No Change in Growth, Investment Plans for India Amid Global Turmoil

Uber Says No Change in Growth, Investment Plans for India Amid Global Turmoil

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Uber is going ahead with its India operations without hurdles
  • Recent times have been tumultous for Uber as its CEO stepped down
  • A number of lawsuits against Uber including Waymo are also going on

Cab aggregator Uber on Thursday said there is no change in its growth and investment plans in India, even as it continues to battle against allegations of mismanagement and harassment at its headquarters in the US.

The ride-hailing firm further said it is “thinking hard” about how the company can foster a culture of inclusion and diversity in India and is bolstering existing practices.

India is the largest market for Uber, outside of its home-ground. There were concerns that the global developments could have a damaging effect on the company’s operations in India.

“There is no change in our plan for growth and investment. Our business is stronger than ever – we have continued to grow exponentially every week since we started in journey in India almost 4 years back,” Uber President India and South Asia Amit Jain told PTI.

He added that the management, both global and in the country, is committed to the operations in India.

The comments assume significance as Uber, the world’s most valued startup, has come under fire after a former employee wrote a blog post alleging sexual harassment and sexism at the firm.

Troubles mounted further after reports emerged that a top Uber executive had allegedly obtained medical records of a 26-year-old woman raped by an Uber driver in India in 2014.

Responding to an email, Jain said Uber’s commitment to India is “absolute”.

The company has also seen a slew of top-level exits, including the forced resignation of its co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick.

“At times like this, communication is important, and I have made myself available to all members of staff. The team understands that the mission remains the same and that in that respect, nothing has changed,” Jain said.

Besides, the company has also connected to its driver partner ecosystem to reiterate its commitment to the Indian market.

Jain said Uber is “a few days away from touching a milestone of 500 millionth trip in India”.

Uber, which competes with SoftBank-backed Ola, has operations in 29 cities in India. India accounted for about 12 percent of all Uber trips globally, as of last year.

The company has two engineering centres in India – Bengaluru and Hyderabad with nearly 100 people. The teams work on areas like safety, payments, driver growth, maps, vehicle telematics and rider experience, among others.

Jain said the company is further strengthening existing practices and bringing in newer ones as well.

“We are thinking hard about the things that need to change for Uber to not just be a successful company but also a company that is loved and respected. Change starts with action,” he said.

Globally, Uber’s board has adopted recommendations following an investigation led by the law firm of former US attorney general Eric Holder, who was retained to look into Uber’s culture and practices.

The recommendations exhorted Uber to exercise more control over HR and the overall culture at the workplace. Uber has now rolled out a plan for 180 days, under which it plans to make “meaningful changes” for enhancing the experience of its driver partners.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Amazon Global Store Launched in India for Easy Purchase of Goods From Abroad

Amazon Global Store Launched in India for Easy Purchase of Goods From Abroad

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Amazon’s Global Store lets customers buy from sellers abroad hassle-free
  • The ecommerce site manages the customs, delivery & returns of the product
  • Products from a variety of categories available for purchase

Amazon India aims to make purchasing of goods sold abroad easier for customers in the country with the launch of the Amazon Global Store.

While you could technically order items from Amazon’s US portal to India, provided the seller shipped them, Amazon Global Store makes the process more reliable. A dedicated page showcases all eligible products that will ship to India. Amazon claims genuineness of products sold and a facility to return the item if there are any issues. Amazon says purchased products can be expected to arrive in 10 to 15 days after placing the order. At this time, you can only order items via prepayment using credit or debit cards, as well as netbanking (you can’t avail cash on delivery). Products in the Amazon Global Store are shown in the Indian currency, based on currency conversion done by Amazon from the listing price of the corresponding item on Amazon’s US portal. Prices shown also include import duty and tax deposits, which vary depending on the category of item ordered.

Patrons wanting to purchase goods from international shopping sites are typically concerned about the items successfully being cleared by the local customs authorities. Amazon suggests that they will manage the customs process and even refund money if the actual import fees turn out to be less than the import deposit a customer is charged. Amazon warns that buyers will need to verify themselves with an ID proof upon delivery of items being shipped from the USA.

At this point, a variety of categories such as Clothing, Watches, Books, Electronics, Shoes, and Office Supplies appear to be listed on the Amazon Global Store in India. Amazon has also made it easy to distinguish if a listing falls under the Global Store section by placing the namesake tag next to the product listing. The product listing page also shows a breakup of the total cost including the currency-converted price, the import duty deposit, and delivery charges. You can read the Terms and Conditions of the Global Store here. It covers aspects like warranty support, which is dependent upon the manufacturer, and is also clearly stated on each product listing page. Another noteworthy mention in the T&Cs is the returns process, which suggests returns are honoured with only a refund, not a replacement.

Tags: Amazon, Global Store, Import duty

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]