Union Budget 2019 Expert Opinion: Look to creative economy, take a leaf from South Korea’s playbook

Union Budget 2019-20 Expectations

Budget 2019 Expert Opinion on Budget Expectations: There is now broad consensus that the upcoming interim Budget 2019 will be geared towards bolstering the current government’s polling prospects in the general election. Several reports indicate that the government will use the opportunity to appease impoverished sections of the Indian society and the mercantile community. The remainder of the budget, pundits deem, shall be rife with promises of what the government hopes to do, should it make its way back into power for another term.

Given the government’s emphasis on technology policy over the last few years, with the release of Draft Data Protection Bill in 2018 as well as several consultation papers ruminating the possible regulation of different aspects of the technological realm, it is not unreasonable to expect items addressing these issues in the interim budget 2019 as well. If these speculations are indeed accurate, one hopes that the government has factored one critical facet of the broader digital sphere into its vision for 2019 and beyond – the creative industry.

Read Also: Budget 2019 Expectations- This may be the most important task at hand for Modi government on February 1

The creative industry, a broad term for what is essentially the media and entertainment sector, presents an important economic opportunity for India. It is one of the fastest growing segments of the Indian economy – recording an annual growth rate of 11.2 percent in 2016. It is also a key source of employment generation for India – an important consideration as the country needs to generate 10 million jobs per year to prevent mass unemployment. A report by the Boston Consulting Group predicts that the creative industry has the potential to generate 7 – 800,000 jobs over the next few years. Notably, a majority of these jobs could be relatively immune to automation. A study by NESTA reveals that 87 percent of creative workers are at low to no risk of losing their jobs to a machine.

Despite all its trappings, however, India’s creative industry fails to extract substantial value from its products, when compared to other developing economies. Notably, it generated only USD 18 billion in revenue in 2016, accounting for about 1 percent of India’s GDP. Comparatively, South Korean creative industry revenues in 2016 totaled a whopping USD 89 billion, accounting for 6 percent of the country’s GDP.

Part of the reason why South Korea’s creative sector is so successful is because the country’s government is heavily invested in fomenting its commercial ambitions. For instance, the South Korean government makes a concerted effort to maintain a robust intellectual property rights (IPR) regime. IPRs are the life-blood of the creative industry, as they serve as the vehicle through which creators can monetise their work. One of the pillars of a robust IPR regime are measures to mitigate the piracy of creative goods. Towards this end, South Korea has enacted a stringent copyright law to safeguard the interests of its creative industry. Further, and more importantly, it recently launched a special anti-piracy unit known as the Copyright Infringement Response Team (CIRT) for the effective enforcement of the provisions listed in its copyright legislation.

India has taken some initial steps towards improving its IPR regime with the induction of national IPR policy that has better IPR enforcement as one of its purported goals. However, little has been done to convert this policy promise into effective practice. Illustratively, according to a study by Digital TV Research, India’s concerted failure to counter copyright piracy of film and television content alone will cost the Indian economy 3.1 billion dollars in 2022.

Though laws are being enacted in India to counter piracy, such as the recent amendment to Cinematograph Act which threatens to severely penalise anyone who attempts to make unauthorised copies of cinematographic films, the efficacy of these provisions is questionable. A historical analysis of India’s copyright law reveals that an increase in the stringency of penalties does not generally translate into a reduction in copyright piracy. For instance, the 1984 amendment to the Indian Copyright Act made it easier for police to seize pirate works. But it was an ineffective deterrent to piracy as most piracy cases did not culminate in convictions, due to capacity issues within the police force. Thus, unless anti-piracy law is accompanied by efforts to mobilise and train the police to carry out its enforcement, it is effectively toothless no matter how severe its penalties are.

For Budget 2019, the government should, then, take a leaf from South Korea’s playbook and look to allocate resources towards the creation of India’s own anti-piracy enforcement unit. Such a measure would be a good starting point towards unlocking further value for one of the country’s most significant economic imperatives – the creative industry.

[“source=financialexpress”]

The best Apple MacBook laptops for every budget

It’s pretty easy to buy an Apple laptop: You pick one on the Apple website or store that fits your budget, and you buy it.

But if you dig a little deeper into a laptop’s product page, you can find customizable options for certain specs, like the processor, storage space, and RAM. It’s perfect for tweaking a laptop’s specs to better fit your needs and budget.

Apple macbook pro 6Apple

For example, you can tweak the cheapest MacBook Pro with extra performance specs that propose great value against more expensive models. Going into those tweaking details isn’t for everyone, so I’ve done it for you!This guide should help you find which Apple laptop fits within your budget according to what kind of user you are, whether you use lightweight apps, have several open browser tabs and apps, or you’re a power user who needs the top performance. I also propose budget options, as well as “full-fat” models that make less of a compromise on performance and features.

You can even buy certain models from Apple’s Refurbished Mac Store if you want to save some money. Don’t balk at the word “refurbished.” My experience with refurbished Macs from Apple has been fantastic. I saved a bunch of money on my refurbished MacBook Pro , and it came in pristine aesthetic and working condition.

$3,000 – $4,200: For uncompromising performance and little regard to budgeting.

$3,000 - $4,200: For uncompromising performance and little regard to budgeting.

You can max out the processor of the most powerful $2,800 15-inch MacBook Pro with an even more powerful 7th-gen 3.1GHz Core i7 processor for $3,000.

The top, most specced-out MacBook Pro with the aforementioned processor and two terabytes of storage will set you back a whopping $4,200.

$2,300 – $2,800: For power users who don’t mind spending extra for more power.

$2,300 - $2,800: For power users who don't mind spending extra for more power.

Powers users who don’t mind spending to get great performance can opt for:

– 13-inch MacBook Pro (with Touch Bar) with 256GB of storage, 7th-gen 3.5GHz Core i7, and 16GB RAM upgrades: $2,300

– 15-inch MacBook Pro (with Touch Bar) as standard (256GB of storage, 7th-gen 2.8GHz Core i7, 16GB RAM, dedicated graphics card): $2,400

– 15-inch MacBook Pro (with Touch Bar) as standard (512GB of storage, 7th-gen 2.9GHz Core i7, 16GB RAM, dedicated graphics card): $2,800

The 15-inch machines will also suit video editors and Mac gamers, as they come with dedicated graphics cards.

$1,800 – $2,000: For busy users willing to spend a little extra for performance, or power users on a budget.

$1,800 - $2,000: For busy users willing to spend a little extra for performance, or power users on a budget.

For busy users who want a better performance guarantee, or budget power users who use more advanced apps, your best options are:

– 15-inch MacBook Pro (no Touch Bar) as standard (256GB storage, 4th-gen 2.2GHz Core i7, and 16GB RAM): $2,000

– 13-inch MacBook Pro (no Touch Bar) with 128GB to 256GB storage, 7th-gen 2.5GHz Core i7, and 16GB RAM upgrades: $1,800 – $2,000

– 13-inch MacBook (with Touchbar) with 256GB storage, 7th-gen 3.1GHz Core i5 as standard, and 16GB RAM upgrade: $2,000

For more 15-inch models in this budget range, you’d do well to check out Apple’s Refurbished Mac Store for the 2016 15-inch models with 6th-gen 2.6GHz Core i7 processors and Touch Bar, which start at $1,850. The refurbished 2016 models are a better deal considering their newer specs and better pricing than the aforementioned 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 4th-gen processor.

$1,500 – $1,700: The value sweet spot for busy users with lots of open web browser tabs and/or multiple basic apps running at the same time.

$1,500 - $1,700: The value sweet spot for busy users with lots of open web browser tabs and/or multiple basic apps running at the same time.

The base 13-inch MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar comes standard with 8GB of RAM, but you can give it a meaningful performance boost by opting for the 16GB RAM option. You can pick that option on the product pages for 128GB and 256GB storage models. It’ll cost you an extra $200 on top of the laptop’s $1,300 – $1,500 price tag, but it will make a huge difference.

RAM is where your computer stores your open apps and browser tabs so you can quickly switch between them. The more RAM you have, the more apps and browser tabs you can run without your computer slowing down. For busy users who usually have lots of open web browser tabs and apps, I’d generally recommend you consider more RAM before processing power, at least when it comes to basic apps and tasks.

The processor that comes standard with the laptop will handle basic apps just fine, and will even do you proud for lightweight photo editing.

$1,500: For the lightweight user who wants a premium design and the ultimate in portability with little concern about budgeting.

$1,500: For the lightweight user who wants a premium design and the ultimate in portability with little concern about budgeting.

The $1,500 MacBook with a 7th-gen Core i5 comes with more storage as standard than the aforementioned MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. With that said, it offers comparable performance to the MacBook Air for $600 more, at least according to benchmark tests. What you’re paying for here is the MacBook’s extreme portability.

You can find a refurbished model from Apple’s Refurbished Mac Store for a small discount at $1,360.

$1,300 – $1,500: For the lightweight user who wants something more premium.

$1,300 - $1,500: For the lightweight user who wants something more premium.

The base 13-inch MacBook Pro with 128GB of storage ($1,300) or 256GB of storage ($1,500) is for the same kind of person who would buy the MacBook Air but wants a premium design, better features, and more “comfortable” performance for basic and advanced apps.

Spending an extra $300 over the base MacBook Air model will get you a significantly better screen and speakers, as well as better overall performance with the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s 7th-gen 2.3GHz Core i5. You’ll also get a giant trackpad, which makes navigating around macOS and apps easier. It’s also not that much bigger or heavier than the MacBook Air.

It also has better future-proofing potential – where it could last longer before you need to upgrade – than the MacBook Air.

Be aware that the MacBook Pros only come with USB-C ports. That means you’ll need to buy adapters, docks, or docking stations to plug in any legacy peripherals, like standard USB mice and keyboards, or non-USB-C monitors that use HDMI or DVI.

As with the MacBook Air, you can get the 13-inch MacBook Pro for less on Apple’s Refurbished Mac Store.

$1,000: The cheapest option for the lightweight user on a budget.

$1,000: The cheapest option for the lightweight user on a budget.

If you must have an Apple laptop but you don’t need much power and you don’t care so much about fancy displays and features like Apple’s Touch Bar, the base $1,000 13-inch 128GB MacBook Air with a 5th-gen 1.8Ghz Core i5 processor is your best bet – and the cheapest Apple laptop you can buy.

You can also get the model with 256GB of storage for an extra $200.

It’s a remarkably portable laptop that can fit anywhere, whether it be the kitchen counter, your lap on the couch, the home office, or while traveling. It’ll service basic apps and tasks – think lightweight apps like web browsers, note apps, tax apps, messaging apps – admirably. It’ll also run more advanced apps for things like photo editing, but don’t expect lightning quick performance.

Something to note: Apple’s MacBook Airs don’t come with USB-C. Instead, they come with a range of standard ports, including two USB ports, a Thunderbolt 2 port (for hooking up a monitor), and an SD card port (to transfer photos from a camera). There’s no need for adapters here. Those who need a simple, capable laptop for basic tasks aren’t necessarily chasing the latest and greatest technology and standards, like USB-C, and these standard ports are compatible with the majority of accessories, which is a good thing.

You can get this laptop for less if you buy refurbished models from Apple’s Refurbished Mac Store. At the time of writing, there’s a listing for a refurbished 1.8Ghz MacBook Air for $850 – $50 cheaper than brand-new. And if you need more than the included 128GB of storage in the base model, you can get a refurbished model with 256GB for $1,020 – just $20 more than the price of a brand-new base model.

[“Source-businessinsider”]

Budget Conscious Business Users, Apple Announces Price Cuts On Adapters, Accessories

Grumbling from new MacBook Pro owners has led to Apple price cuts on adapters and accessories necessary to connect peripherals to the new laptops.

The replacement of its I/O ports with USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 support is not going well at all with new MacBook Pro owners. This has led Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to cut the price of the USB-C adapters that will be necessary to connect their peripherals to the new laptops.

The Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports have a different connector than that of USB-A devices and cables, which includes the iPhone sync cable. So if you don’t have an adapter, you won’t be able to connect your iPhone or many of the other peripherals MacBook Pro users rely on. For some users, it will mean buying multiple adapters.

In a statement provided to The Loop, Apple said:

“We recognize that many users, especially pros, rely on legacy connectors to get work done today and they face a transition. We want to help them move to the latest technology and peripherals, as well as accelerate the growth of this new ecosystem. Through the end of the year, we are reducing prices on all USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 peripherals we sell, as well as the prices on Apple’s USB-C adapters and cables.”

Details On the Apple Price Cuts on Adapters and Accessories

The price cut is effective immediately on all of Apple’s USB-C adapters and some of its USB-C cables. The discount range is from $6 to $20 for the following items:

  • Multiport adapter with HDMI, USB, and USB-C from $69 to $49
  • Multiport adapter with VGA, USB, and USB-C from $69 to $49
  • USB-C to traditional USB adapter from $19 to $9
  • USB-C to Lightning cable (1m or 3.2ft) from $25 to $19
  • USB-C to Lightning cable (2m or 6.5ft) from $35 to $29
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C Reader from $49 to $29
  • Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter from $49 to $29

Apple is also cutting the price of its new LG UltraFine 4K and 5K displays

Apple Connection Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

HTC Introduces Smartphones for the Budget Conscious

htc one mini

htc one mini

Small business users looking for budget smartphones have more to pick from everyday it seems. The HTC One Mini, little brother of the HTC One, was unveiled by the company last month.

The device will be available in select markets sometime this month with a global availability in September. What’s more, CNET speculated the device would likely be priced in the $89 to $129 range with contract. That would seem to make sense given the pricing of the HTC One listed at $199 with some mobile service providers and $599 full price without a plan at Google Play.

A Smaller Version of the Original

The HTC Mini is in many ways just a smaller version of HTC’s flagship phone. It retains what TheVerge.com describes as the best qualities of the original, a “superb” display quality and unibody aluminum shell.

The new phone has:

  • A smaller screen-size, 4.3 inches instead of 4.7.
  • A 720 pixel resolution versus the larger phone’s 1080p (though reviewers say this is not much of a downgrade on a screen this small).
  • An equivalent Super LCD screen to the larger model.
  • About half the memory (1 GB) and half the storage (16GB).
  • A considerably shorter battery life (one of the big drawbacks of the new phone).

A New HTC One May Wait in the Wings

And if smaller isn’t your thing, there may be a super sized version of the HTC One coming.

The company recently dropped a hint with a tweet and Vine clip of a larger phone (some are calling it the HTC One Max) potentially coming soon.

Here’s a hands on review of the HTC One Mini from Android Central.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]