nikon3300_505_041814060608The first thing that amazed me when I picked up the Nikon D3300, was how light it was. Weighing in at a mere 460 gms (with battery & CF card), this is also its lightest DSLR or Digital SLR camera ever. But don’t let the misnomer of being Nikon entry-level camera fool you. This baby is packed with features that are usually found on more expensive models.

It has a 24 MP sensor like its predecessor, but removes its low pass filter, resulting in sharper. crisper images. The new Expeed 4 processor lets users shoot 100 large-quality JPEGs continuously at a top speed of 5fps. It’s increased ISO lets them shoot almost in the dark without flash, albeit with some noise or grain in the picture.

I took the camera with me to try out in the zoo.

nikon350_041814060446The camera auto focuses extremely fast, and is also pretty good in tracking flying birds, the built in motor drive fast enough to capture the birds effortlessly soaring through the air.

Though do remember that the camera lacks a built-in AF motor, requiring AF-S lenses in order to be able to autofocus. All your older Nikon lenses do work, though you need to focus them manually.

The camera also moves equipped with an effect mode that allows in camera editing functions like panorama. Vivid, pop and toy camera, across both still and video resulting in some wacky special effects.

nikon32_041814060454The only negatives are the lack of an in built WiFi and more importantly for me, no in built motor in the camera, which means that only AFS lenses can autofocus.

I feel that the D3300 is a great entry level camera. I would definitely recommend buying it, especially for people who want to take good photos at an affordable price. So what are you waiting for? Buy it and start shooting…

India Inc is hiring again

Posted: April 15, 2014 in Jobs
Tags: ,

2cabeaf0-c457-11e3-8ba6-e7fc5e9e33b6_10-Job_TSIndia Inc is hiring again. Which means that if you are educated and jobless, your good times start now.

The spurt in hiring, suggests the latest TimesJobs.com RecruiteX survey, is sparked by the April-May general elections, with the expectation that the next government will stabilize the economy and spark growth.

The survey says the Project/Infrastructure sector, with a 12 percent rise in demand, is the top employment generator. The Railway/Metro segment, where technical expertise in design and execution is highly valued, is growing exponentially as is Petrochemicals, which recorded a 9 percent increase in job creation. Other areas where job opportunities are expected to spike, as per the survey:

• IT/Telecom sector by 6 percent
• Healthcare/Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical by 5 percent
• Manufacturing and Engineering by 5 percent
• Construction/Cement/Metal/Steel/Iron industry by 9 percent

In all above sectors, the greatest demand will be for trained engineers – a job profile that is expected to grow by 12 percent.

Work Experience is Key

Educational qualifications aside, a high premium attaches to prior work experience. RecruiteX data shows that in March 2014, demand for professionals with over 20 years of experience increased by more than 30 percent. Those with 10-20 years and over 20 years of experience together accounted for 65 percent of the total demand. Demand for candidates with 5-10 years experience spiked 2 percent, while demand for candidates with 2-5 years of experience stayed stable, with no spike.

Opportunities for candidates with less than two years experience however dropped 6 percent month on month.

AP tops in opportunity

Hyderabad, with a 30 per cent job rise in March 2014, emerged as the city with the greatest opportunities followed by Chennai with a 20 percent spike. Delhi/NCR (6 percent) and Pune (3 percent) also witnessed strong growth.

Among the states, Andhra Pradesh (excluding Hyderabad) tops with 20 percent increase in demand for talent.

While these trends are true for now, it is likely that the outcome of the elections and the contours of the next government will have an even greater impact on employment trends in the near future.

470_2783220Marriage counselors will tell you how to keep your marriage together. If you want to know what destroys a marriage, the experts you want to consult do not necessarily have psychology degrees. Rather, they went to law school.

Divorce lawyers see relationships at the bitter end. They see couples at their worst. So it makes sense to me that they must have a clear sense of what not to do if you want to keep your relationship happy. I asked family lawyer Lisa Helfend Meyer, who happens to also be a happily married parent of a special needs child, if she’d be willing to share what, in her opinion, are the top eight things that land couples in divorce court. This is what she told me.

Destroy Your Marriage Tip #1:
Be secretive. Pretend you’re both in the CIA.

“It’s so easy these days to avoid a real conversation with your partner,” says Meyer. After all, after a long day of work and diapers and traffic, sometimes the last thing you want is to actually talk with your mouth. Leaving cute emoticons as comments on Facebook or binge-watching Modern Family reruns seems so much more enjoyable, right?
“The other scenario I’ve started seeing: Couples who take snipes at each other via text and email rather than face to face. Either way, almost all my clients attribute the failure of their marriage in large part to a failure to communicate,” says Meyer. “I had a client whose husband lost his job, and he pretended to my client that he was still working until she got the bill from a local restaurant that showed he spent a majority of his days there. Now they are fighting over who should be responsible for those charges at the restaurant. Just remember this: The energy it takes to have an honest conversation is nominal compared to the energy and expense it takes to get a divorce.”

Destroy Your Marriage Tip #2:
Continue to debate the toothpaste cap and the toilet seat as if winning the argument means you get to live 10 years longer.

“This is a sure-fire way to guarantee your partner will tune out when you face real items of concern,” says Meyer. “If you recognize yourself criticizing every little thing your partner does, chances are you are harboring deep resentment about larger issues that you may find difficult to confront. Get in touch with your true feelings, start working on the major issues with your spouse, and learn how to let go of the minor irritations.”

Destroy Your Marriage Tip #3:
Always play the role of the Saint.

“A pattern I’ve observed often is one person becoming the responsible party in the marriage – paying the bills and disciplining the kids – and discounting his or her spouse’s contributions,” Meyer says. “A marriage requires teamwork and for the partners to take on and to value their different roles.”

Destroy Your Marriage Tip #4:
Put work before family.

All work and no play doesn’t just make Jack a dull boy: It destroys the family, says Meyer. “I have clients who complain that their spouses refused to put down their phones or iPads – even when putting their children to bed. You wouldn’t be on your phone or iPad during an important business meeting with a client or your boss, right? All you need to do is show the same commitment to your family as you do to your job,” she says. “Don’t have dinner as a family and don’t invest any time or effort in family activities, then your only activities will revolve around child custody agreements and division of assets.”

Destroy Your Marriage Tip #5:
Put kids before marriage.

“As women, we’re programmed to be caregivers and that often translates into putting our kids’ needs before our own and those of our spouse,” Meyer says. “When your marriage hits a rough patch, you may fall into a cycle of giving your all to your children and deriving all of your emotional sustenance from them. This will drive a wedge between you and your partner.”

Destroy Your Marriage Tip #6:
Don’t let anyone else watch your kids. After all they might screw your precious spawn up for life.

If you never hire a babysitter, you’ll never have the opportunity to date each other. And if you don’t hire babysitters, go on vacations together, go to Victoria’s Secret, go golfing together or share other interests, you’ll grow apart. “You’ll lose yourselves and what made you want to marry in the first place,” says Meyer. “I really believe that the lack of special, shared time is what starts couples down the slippery slope of taking each other for granted and lapsing into the boredom that ruins so many marriages. Establishing a date night is an excellent start to rediscovering the things about each other that brought you together. But you have to make it a once-a-week, mandatory, non-negotiable evening that revolves around just the two of you. The money you spend for a babysitter or an intimate dinner is one of the best investments you will ever make.”

Destroy Your Marriage Tip #7:
Reserve your bed for sleeping. After all, that’s what the mattress was designed for, right?

“I think we can all agree that having a fun and satisfying intimate life strengthens a marriage,” says Meyer. “But it’s easy for intimacy to take a backseat when you’re working hard, taking care of the kids, and coping with all the other stresses of modern life. Rather than accept routine and boring bedroom life as inevitable the longer you’re married, my advice is to spice things up by introducing toys and games to the bedroom, dressing up and role playing, or coming up with a new location for your romantic rendezvous. Trying new techniques may make you feel a little nervous and self-conscious at first – similar to the way you felt when you first became intimate with your partner. It’s exactly that newness and excitement that you’re looking to recapture.”

Destroy Your Marriage Tip #8:
Nurse buyer’s remorse for as long as you can.

Remember, the grass is not always greener, even if you think it is. It’s greener where you water it. “Try a little gardening before you leave your spouse,” says Meyer. “There are things you can do to work on your marriage and resolve your differences, like seeing a marriage counselor or parenting coach. Maybe even a weekend away can breathe life into your marriage. But, you have to be committed to the process. Anything less than a good faith effort will only reaffirm the decision to get a divorce.”

stupidboss_635x250_1395402175If you’ve ever witnessed your boss doing something that seems unfair to you or a co-worker, you might have wondered, “Can they really do that?” They don’t teach workplace law in school, and so collectively, Americans tend to lack understanding about what employers can and can’t do where employees are concerned.

Here are some questions you might wonder about.
1. My boss told my co-workers what my salary is! Can she do that?

Answer: Yes. No law requires that your salary information be confidential, and your employer is allowed to share it with others if she wishes to. In fact, some companies share everyone’s salary as a matter of course (and some people argue that doing so helps combat pay discrimination).

2. Can my boss tell me that I can’t discuss my salary with my co-workers?

Answer: No. Despite the fact that many employers have policies that attempt to ban these discussions, the National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal for employers to prohibit employees from discussing wages among themselves.

3. My boss said that I can’t take the day I requested off work, even though I have enough vacation time stored up to do it. Can he do that?

Answer: Yes. While your vacation time is part of your benefits package, your employer retains the right to approve or deny specific leave requests. That’s because managers sometimes need to deny time off if it would leave your department short-staffedor cause problems during an especially busy time.

4. My manager told me I have to stop teasing a co-worker about politics. Doesn’t that violate my right to free speech?

Answer: The First Amendment prevents the government from restricting your speech — but private employers are still free to regulate employees’ speech. (One important exception to this is that employers cannot interfere with employees who are discussing wages or working conditions with their co-workers, as in No. 2 above.)

5. Can my boss deduct money from my paycheck for doing a bad job?

Answer: No, your employer cannot dock your salary for poor performance. Your employer agreed to pay you a certain salary when you accepted the job, and that wage cannot be changed retroactively as punishment or for any other reason. However, your employer can change your pay going forward, after warning you of the change and giving you a chance to decline to do the work at the new wage.

6. Can my boss give me a bad reference when I’m looking for a job?

Answer: It’s legal for an employer to give a negative reference, as long as it’s factually accurate. It’s true that some companies, in an effort to avoid the headache of nuisance lawsuits, have implemented policies that they will only confirm dates of employment and title. As a result, many people have come to believe that it’s actually illegal to give a bad reference. But corporate policies aren’t the law (and often aren’t even followed by the companies that have them).

7. My boss changed my job description and says that I have to do work that’s dramatically different from what I was hired to do. Is that allowed?

Answer: Your employer can change your job description at any time, or direct you do work other than what you were hired for. The only time this wouldn’t be true is if you had a contract that spelled out the work you were signing on for — but most workers in the U.S. don’t have contracts and instead are subject to “at will” employment. This allows your employer to change the terms of your employment at any time.

8. Can my manager bully me, single me out for poor treatment, yell at me, or otherwise mistreat me?

Answer: Bullying or being a jerk is bad management, but it’s not illegal. However, if your manager is treating you differently because of your race, sex, religion or another protected class, then you do have legal protection; that would violate federal anti-discrimination laws. But if your manager is just a jerk because she doesn’t like you or is a hostile person generally, that’s not against the law.

9. I complained to human resources about my boss and asked them to keep it confidential, but they told my boss. Is that legal?

Answer: Yes. HR isn’t obligated to keep what you tell them confidential, even if you request their discretion. HR staffers aren’t doctors or priests, and you shouldn’t assume confidentiality when talking to them. If they hear information that they decide needs to be shared or used to address a problem, their job obligates them to do that.

10. I gave two weeks notice at work, and my boss told me to just leave now. Do they still have to pay me for those two weeks?

Answer: A smart employer would still pay you for those two weeks, since otherwise they’re signaling to other employees that they too will lose money if they give notice rather than quitting on the spot. But that’s up to your employer — no law requires them to pay you for time you didn’t work, even though you wanted to work out those final two weeks.

Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog, where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She’s also the co-author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager’s Guide to Getting Results, and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development.

 

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What do (or did) Ranbir Kapoor, Salman Khan, John Abraham, Vivek Oberoi, Gerard Butler and Owen Wilson have in common? They love (or loved) to steer clear of a serious, committed relationship! And, this is not just about these stars; it is a strand that most men around us share. To help you ladies understand, why men are the way they are, when it comes to commitment, here are some major reasons that send them running to the hills when “commitment” word is used.

Freedom is priceless
One look at latest Bollywood flicks, like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Shuddh Desi Romance, and you get your answer. Guys feel that there is no way they can sustain their freedom while in a relationship. The choice to do what they want to and when they want to, is something that they will not give up easily. Once a woman enters their life, their next cricket game will have to wait while they watch the latest romantic comedy with their sweethearts; and they don’t want that to happen!

Hard to leave the “field”

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Many women view this as the most important reason behind why guys run from commitment. As much as guys would like to deny this, it is partially true. Men are never completely satisfied, and some of them are even scared that a relationship could ruin their chances of finding someone “better”. They would hold on to their freedom as far as possible, as they are never sure what it is they are truly looking for. Well, as Rishi Kapoor says in Shuddh Desi Romance, “Aaj kal ke launde sab ek jaise hi hai … khana kahin, peena kahin, aur jeena kahin.”

Free time- What’s that?
That is the general consensus that most men have. Once men enter a committed relationship they feel they would have to spend their entire time either following, or being followed by their lady love. Most guys can’t give up on their essential ‘guy time’ for a relationship. That could be one of the main reasons why men think twice before getting committed. Take a look at Pyaar Ka Punchnama, and you will understand what we are talking about!

Still quite immature

article-2014492108244104000

So, what if he has a stable job and a lovely apartment? That doesn’t mean that the guy is ready to commit himself to a woman. Commitment, for most men, is a sign of growing up and taking responsibilities. And, that is what sends them into a panic mode, instantly. It is a well-known fact that girls mature faster than guys, and this point comes into play here. If the man feels he isn’t mature enough for a serious relationship there is no way you could force him into one.

Emotional baggage

There are a large number of men who just can’t get emotionally involved with a woman. As it is, we know that men have a tough time showing their emotions. And, relationships mean exploring a multitude of emotions every now and then. The reason can be anything, from a childhood trauma or a previous failed relationship. Such men will not want to say yes to a steady relationship, as they might not be emotionally comfortable yet.

One partner, forever!

article-2014492111024262000

Ask a guy, is he ready for “one partner in bed forever”? And, it will take him some time to answer it. Most guys are not ready to give up the idea of “variety” by committing to one woman. Here is a line from the horse’s mouth that will sum it all for youLife mein thoda bahut keema pav, tangdi kabab, hakka noodle bhi hona chahiye nah?” (Ranbir Kapoor in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani)

News 24 in 7Private sector output in India fell in March, after a fractional increase in the previous month amid moderation in domestic demand conditions, an HSBC survey has said.

The HSBC India Composite Output Index, which maps both services and manufacturing, declined from 50.3 in February to 48.9 in March, as manufacturing production growth eased and service sector activity fell at faster rate during the month.

Meanwhile, the HSBC services business activity index fell from 48.8 in February to 47.5 in March, remaining below the 50 level mark for the ninth successive month.

A PMI reading above 50 indicates growth while a lower reading means contraction.

The contraction in the services sector activity was largely on the back of softer domestic demand. New business received by Indian services companies decreased for the ninth month running in March.

According to the HSBC survey, the weaker client demand, that led to the latest drop in new work intakes, can be partly linked to the forthcoming elections.

“Following some stabilization in recent months, service sector activity weakened again in March led by softer domestic demand,” HSBC Chief Economist for India & ASEAN, Leif Eskesen said.

However, Indian service providers were optimistic that activity would rise over the next 12 months as growth of new business, supported by improved economic conditions and new marketing initiatives, is expected to drive the expansion.

On price rise, the report said inflationary pressures in the Indian private sector softened during March, with both input costs and output prices rising at weaker rates. “Looking ahead, growth is expected to remain subdued in coming months, but pick up gradually during the second half of 2014,” Eskesen said adding this, however, assumes that the election outcome provides the elected government with a workable mandate.

India’s economic growth slowed to 4.5 per cent in 2012-13 due to the global slowdown and domestic factors such as high interest rates. The growth rate during April-September of 2013-14 slipped to 4.6 per cent from 5.3 per cent in the same period in the previous financial year.

Moon is 4.47 billion years old, a new study has revealed.

Moon is 4.47 billion years old, a new study has revealed.

A new study has revealed the moon is 4.47 billion-years-old, after a team of planetary scientists discovered it was formed 95 million years after the birth of the solar system.

This makes the Earth’s moon up to 60 million years younger than some previous estimates, a study published on Wednesday found.

Researchers used a new way to calculate the birthday of the planet’s only natural satellite.

Astronomer John Chambers, with the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, said the mega-asteroid that smashed into Earth, launching debris that later became the moon, occurred about 95 million years after the birth of the solar system.

“We think that the thing that hit Earth and ended up forming the moon, the lion’s share of it stayed on Earth,” he explained.

“A small fraction of its mass and some material from Earth was pushed off into space to form the moon. That was probably the last big event,” he added.

The study, published in the journal Nature, is based on 259 computer simulations of how the solar system evolved.

The programs simulate the crashes and mergers of the small bodies until they meld into the rocky planets that exist today.

Earth’s last big chuck came from a Mars-sized body that hit about 95 million years after the solar system’s formation when measured by that geologic clock, the study showed.

At 99.9 per cent accurate, the study disputes some previous estimates that the moon-forming impact occurred as early as 30 million to 40 million years after the solar system’s formation.

The results also open another even bigger mystery about why some planets, like Mars, form relatively quickly, while others, like Earth and possibly Venus, take far longer.

Analysis of Martian meteorites and the computer simulations indicate Mars was finished in just a few million years.

(Additional reporting by Reuters)