Wheelchair rugby league: Wales threaten to leave pitch at World Cup

Wheelchair rugby league

Wales’ wheelchair rugby league side are threatening to leave the pitch in their final World Cup match if flash photography takes place after one of their players suffered seizures.

Wales say Harry Jones suffered a seizure in two previous games because of flash photography.

They are scheduled for a fifth-placed play-off game versus Spain on Thursday.

“Harry has been carried off on a stretcher because of photography,” Wales manager Mark Andrew Jones said.

Banning flash photography is not a competition rule at the rugby league World Cup but Wales requested to tournament bosses that announcements be made to both the crowd and photographers.

Wales boss Jones says they are pushing for it to be brought in as a rule in future tournaments.

“There are announcements and posters at every game regarding flash photography. We now remove the team from the pitch until it’s sorted,” he said.

“Harry has photo sensitive epilepsy and flash photography can affect him quite badly, to the point of a seizure.

“We made the organisers aware we would request no flash photography and the organisers have been helpful in trying to make that happen.

“It is not a rule, but Wales rugby league will take it up with international bodies to make it a rule not to use flash photography in the future.

“If we see flash photography, the Wales team will come off the pitch until the problem is sorted.

“If you had seen the condition Harry was in, you would not see that as a drastic measure… it is all about player safety.”

England play in the final of the rugby league World Cup on Friday.


‘Start-up dads’ at Mumbai tech major get 3-month paternity leave

Image result for 'Start-up dads' at Mumbai tech major get 3-month paternity leaveA strong paternity policy helps in addressing work-life conflicts which are a reality for both men and women after the birth of a baby .
MUMBAI: The war for talent is playing out in a big way as companies outplay each other on employee benefits. Of these, paternity or childcare leave to the secondary caregiver parent has emerged as one of the key attractions.Salesforce, the Bay Area tech giant, is the latest to set a new benchmark on paternity leave and emerge as a company that offers the largest quantum so far -three months -of secondary caregiver leave. Recently , Microsoft increased its paternity leave to six weeks. Early this year, Cummins India had set a new benchmark among manufacturing firms by raising its paternity leave to one month.This comes when most other companies offer 10 days to two weeks as paternity leave.

For firms like Salesforce, an attractive paternity leave of 12 weeks is expected to assist in talent acquisition, especially since the firm is on the lookout for skilled people.

Jnanesh Kumar, director, Employee Success (India), Salesforce, said, “We believe offering paid paternity leave is the right thing to do, the right way to treat our employees. Becoming a new parent is a huge undertaking.For parents who are forced to take unpaid family leave, the situation becomes infinitely more challenging. A strong paternity policy helps in addressing work-life conflicts which are a reality for both men and women after the birth of a baby . More importantly , we want to encourage people in India to talk about paternity leave and remove the stigma from women.“

Globally , Salesforce has over 25,000 employees. In India, the company has offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. It’s been a year since it launched its centre of excellence in Hyderabad, which is one of its largest engineering and customer success hubs globally .

The government recently mandated a six-month maternity leave. Some companies have de-linked parental leave from gender by the usage of terms like primary caregiver and secondary caregiver. Most progressive companies extend their parental policies to adoption and surrogacy as well.


Lumia 950 XL: Doesn’t leave a mark

  • Lumia 950 XL: Doesn't leave a mark

    Microsoft launches Lumia phones for high-end usersMicrosoft introduces Continuum to smartphones through high-end Lumia offeringsThe soul of your deviceQualcomm launches Android-based rural health project in UPWindows mobile can’t break Android, iOS stronghold: IDC

Windows-based phones have always failed to secure a place in the ongoing smartphone war. The inability to customise it (unlike Android phones) and poor hardware are some of the various things that have kept buyers at bay. But with the Lumia 950 XL, Microsoft is back with a bang.

Powered by the Windows 10 Mobile operating system, the 950 XL houses a fast processor, a great camera and a high-resolution display. Given the smartphones being launched nowadays, these specs are nothing new but what sets the 950 XL apart is its software and the attempt to integrate Windows-based devices. However, the design is too simplistic and looks like low-end Lumia phones. Considering its Rs 49,250 price tag, the phone in no way looks and feels like a premium one.

The 950 XL houses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor with 3 GB of RAM. The phone performs well even during heavy usage. It didn’t buckle under the pressure I put it through by installing heavy games and apps. Of course, the downside is Windows-based operating systems don’t have a large variety available unlike Android smartphones. The phone’s battery backup is also quite decent. Armed with a 3,300 mAh battery, it can last almost a day with moderate usage.

The Continuum is an interesting feature in the phone. With a Microsoft display dock, a mouse and a keyboard, the phone doubles up as a Windows 10 desktop because of this feature.

The 20-megapixel (MP) primary camera is the show-stopper though. The “rich capture” mode is a delight and the output pictures have sharp colours, even in low-light conditions. The secondary 5MP camera is ideal for selfies.

Though, it houses a powerful processor, the 950XL fails when it comes to the app drawer. It is buggy and sometimes a reboot is required just to get something done.

The Lumia 950XL is not a bad phone, but it has a long way to go to leave a mark.


Mukesh Bansal to leave Flipkart; Ankit Nagori to also quit

Mukesh Bansal, the head of Flipkart’s commerce platform, will leave by April. Photo: Hemant Mishra/MintMukesh Bansal, the head of Flipkart’s commerce platform, will leave by April. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, who are among the most powerful executives at Flipkart Ltd, have resigned to start their own ventures, leaving co-founder Binny Bansal firmly in control of the country’s largest e-commerce company. Mukesh, the head of Flipkart’s commerce platform and its fledgling advertising business, will leave by April, while chief business officer Nagori will exit by May.

Both plan to start new ventures. Nagori said he will launch a sports talent development company that will be funded initially by Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, while Mukesh said he will start a new venture after taking a break for 3-6 months. Flipkart is looking for a replacement for Nagori while the company said it may replace Mukesh over time.

The surprising departures of Mukesh Bansal and Nagori follow a restructuring undertaken by Flipkart in January when the company named Binny as its new chief executive, replacing Sachin.

The company claimed that the move would strengthen its management bandwidth as it seeks to combat arch rival Amazon India and kick off preparations for an expected initial public offering (IPO) over the next few years.

Sachin is now executive chairman, handling discussions with investors and regulators.

After naming Binny as CEO, Flipkart restructured the company’s core retail and marketplace business, called the commerce platform, into three large product-oriented groups and an engineering division. The three product groups within the commerce platform are marketplace product group, consumer product group and service product group.

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  • Some online retailers to shut shop in next 6 months: Kishore Biyani

With Mukesh Bansal’s resignation, Binny now has total control at Flipkart. The onus is on him to keep Amazon India at bay and maintain Flipkart’s position at the top of India’s e-commerce business.

Amazon (Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd) has been gaining market share from Flipkart and Snapdeal.com (Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd) over the past year and analysts and investors say that the US-based online retailer may overtake its local rivals within the next two years.

“We have 60% market share of m-commerce in India—four times bigger than our closest rival,” Binny said in an interview on Wednesday.

Mukesh, who joined Flipkart when it bought his online fashion retail business Myntra for more than $330 million in May 2014, said he discussed leaving the company first in October.

“I wanted to give Binny some time to come in and settle as new CEO. We also restructured the commerce platform into product groups. So, I wanted to give some time to Binny to understand the commerce platform and build relationships with the leaders there. We have some great leaders coming in, and this was the right time to leave. I really did want to take a break,” Mukesh said.

“The past two years or so, I’ve been like a co-founder here. I’ve worked very closely with Sachin and Binny on all aspects including strategy and organization. I got financially and emotionally vested in the success of the group. For me, it was about setting up the company for long-term success. And we are in that space today,” he added.

Both Binny and Mukesh said Flipkart’s leadership team is now strong enough to take Mukesh’s departure in its stride.

Over the past year, Flipkart, which is currently valued at $15 billion, hired a new leadership team as it sought to bring in experienced executives from established companies.

Last March, the Bengaluru-based company hired Punit Soni as chief product officer (CPO) from Google (now Alphabet Inc.) and Saikiran Krishnamurthy as chief operating officer of its commerce platform from McKinsey & Co.

The next month it hired Peeyush Ranjan as chief technology officer, again from Google. They were joined by Surojit Chatterjee as customer experience head and several other senior leaders.

These executives came in as several Flipkart old-timers left. Over a period of four months in the middle of last year, seven senior Flipkart leaders quit the company. These included Ravi Vora, CEO of Flipkart’s strategic brands group; chief technology officer Amod Malviya; engineering head Sameer Nigam; logistics head Sujeet Kumar and chief people officer Mekin Maheshwari.

After their depatures, Nagori, who joined Flipkart in 2008 at the junior-most level before rising to CBO early last year, was the only old timer left.

While some analysts said Flipkart made these changes too abruptly, the e-commerce firm justified the strategy as a necessary replacement of the old guard with a new set of leaders who can take the company to greater heights and, eventually, to an IPO.

“Today, we have the best leadership team in the country, by far,” Binny said.

“If you look at the likes of Ankit, Mekin and Sameer, they’re all entrepreneurs at heart. And they’ve left to do their own thing. So we’ll keep grooming people, we’ll keep hiring externally and some of the people we groom will leave to be entrepreneurs. Why is that a bad thing? I see it as a natural evolution,” added Binny.