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Sunday, 27 March 2011

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TECHNOLOGY

Red rice bran good for diabetes control

The bran of selected Sri Lankan traditional red rice varieties are good natural sources for the control of diabetes according to research carried out by the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI).

Diabetes mellitus is currently one of the most chronic diseases and a condition that is increasing in epidemic proportions throughout the world including Sri Lanka.

Abnormal glucose metabolism in diabetic patients cause blood glucose levels to increase. Prolonged hyperglycaemia results in the formation of Advanced Glycated End products (AGEs) in body tissues. The AGEs contribute to the development and progression of several diabetic complications such as peripheral neuropathy, cataract, impaired wound healing, vascular damage, arterial wall stiffening and decreased myocardial compliances.

Diabetes can be managed by retarding the absorption of glucose through the inhibition of the carbohydrate hydrolysing enzymes such as amylase in the digestive tract.

Another mode of diabetes management is the discovery and investigation of AGE inhibitors and AGE cross-links breaking compounds.

Rice bran is an important by-product produced worldwide in enormous quantities.

It is currently underutilised in spite of its high potential to be used as a functional ingredient or as a neutraceutical.

A research officer attached to the biotechnology unit, Ms. Kanchana Abeysekara studied amylase inhibition, antiglycation, AGE cross links breaking capacity and anti hyperglycaemic activity of the rice bran under the supervision of ITI's herbal technology section head, Dr. Srimal Premakumara.

Ethanolic extracts of bran of 25 traditional and 15 improved Sri Lankan rice varieties were screened for amylase inhibition, antiglycation and AGEs cross links breaking capacity in vitro.

Varieties which had the highest inhibitory activities were further studied for dose response relationship and invivo anti-hyper glycaemic activity.

Results of this study demonstrated that most of the selected Sri Lankan rice varieties had very high amylase inhibition, antiglycation and AGE cross links breaking capacity.

An interesting observation of the study was the significant difference among red and white pericarp rice varieties for amylase inhibition, antiglycation, AGE cross links breaking capacity.

Brans of Masuran, Sudu Henneti, Goda Heeneti and Dik wee, four traditional Sri Lankan rice varieties which exhibited the highest amylase inhibition, antiglycation and AGE cross links breaking capacity in a dose dependent manner.

Significant reduction in blood glucose level at 15 and 30 min compared to the control confirmed the antihyperglycaemic activity of bran of red rice.

This is the first study report regarding antiglycation activity and advanced glycation end products cross links breaking capacity.


zMessenger/Sri Lanka Cricket launch 'Hit Cricket Show'

zMessenger (Pvt) Ltd. a premier integrated mobile media company, entered into an agreement with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to develop and transmit mobile based value added services to cricket fans of Sri Lanka all around the world. The agreement was signed between zMessenger (Pvt) Ltd. and Sri Lanka Cricket in Colombo recently.

The 'Hit Cricket Show' on Rupavahini, will be telecast every Friday from 7.00 - 8.00 pm targeting all cricket enthusiasts.

The TV program is presented by Kelum Srimal, Akalanka Ganegama, Saranga Disasekara and Charika Wanigasekara.

Segments including 'Behind the Scene', 'CricRoundup', 'Cricbook', 'Future Master', 'OMG' and the 'SMS Game show' promise the audience an edutainment experience.

Secretary, Sri Lanka Cricket Nishantha Ranatunga said, " We find the present season most appropriate to launch 'The Hit Cricket Show'.

The partnership with zMessenger has enabled us to expand and utilise cricket content more widely and effectively.

Sri Lanka Cricket will promote cricket more aggressively through collaboration with a variety of media.

Cricket fans will experience mobile streaming, coaching tips, commentaries, obtain exclusive match/event videos and listen to cricketers' gossip on mobile, as and when it happens".

The exclusive partnership with zMessenger will help Sri Lanka Cricket to reach out to a vast cross-section of fans, both local and global real time and engage them in various activities including score and match-day updates, mobile SMS and MMS contests, live audio mobile commentary, and regular cricket alerts.


IFS South Asia launches competency centres for project-based solutions

In the volatile world we live in, measuring the impact of global events on a company's bottom line could make all the differences to its success.

IFS* General Manager and Director of Consulting Services South Asia, Poorna Bandara, said that the latest trend among global firms that a business solutions company deals with is, to manage businesses by project.

"The business environment today changes so rapidly that business solutions have to be agile and factor the impact of these changes on the outcome of a business," he said.

"From climate change to food security; from e-commerce to the change in value of resources; the dynamism of the business environment makes it impossible for us to assume what may happen five, 10 or 20 years down the line. So the question we must ask ourselves is, are we ready, as companies, to tackle this uncertain future? This is where the concept of managing your business by projects comes in."

Manage your product

Global research and consultancy firm, Forrester Research, Inc, identified the new way of managing businesses by projects in 2007 and Bandara explained that within a few short years, it has gained popularity across the globe. "Any business can have identifiable projects," he explained, "A project is essentially a temporary endeavour with defined goals and objectives, where resources are planned and organised to fulfill it and the entire effort is limited by date, funding or a deliverable.

The trend now is to adapt this concept across every part of the business."

The product life-cycle is one such example.

Due to the globalised nature of the businesses and rapidly changing consumer trends, products are most often, short-lived and constantly changing.

Thus, managers who consider the entire life-cycle of the product as a project, would be able to more efficiently handle and complete the process.

According to Bandara, even in the best of times, many organisations are unable to identify which of their operations are more profitable than the rest.

"Unless you are able to separate your business by product, order or service, know by cost and revenue how profitable each one is, and analyse its profitability on an ongoing basis, you are at risk of promoting losers and ignoring the truly cash generating ones," he explained, "Therefore, by managing each process as a project, the management will be informed and guided on the profitability of each on an ongoing basis, making it an attractive solution during any part of the economic cycle."

Project-based solutions

Project-Based Solutions (PBS) can provide visibility into the future, while the concept of management by project assumes businesses are unpredictable, technology is the tool to implement it and also provide some form of visibility into the future.

"Technology allows us to create business solutions that are agile and representative of the physical business process," Bandara said. "As a tool, it also exposes businesses to best practices and other global trends."

Some industries, such as construction and contracting, ship building, EPCI, utilities and telecom, oil and gas, are naturally project-based, where every activity is monitored in detail.

"The trend is to have that level of scrutiny across other industries. Can you scrutinise a product, service, or order to a minute level of detail? This is where a PBS comes in.

When the business environment changes dynamically and you need to measure how your business and profitability will be affected, a PBS will allow the management to carry out a simulation where you can change a parameter to see what the impact is on your business."

However, technology alone will not be enough for the implementation of the concept.

Bandara explained that it's also vital to have three other key elements, namely, good project managers for each area, project teams with personnel skilled in multiple processes, and agile organisations.

"An agile organisation is vital for managing businesses by projects," Bandara said, "while firms that operate in silos make it difficult to implement.

Therefore, in several instances, a cultural shift is also required and a strong foundation to implement this thinking is crucial for its success."

"Since the Research and Development arm of IFS is located here, our consultants are familiar with global trends and have worked with firms across the globe in successfully implementing PBS systems," he said, "In fact, due to our expertise, we have launched Colombo and Kandy as PBS Competency Centres."

*IFS, a Swedish company was founded in 1983.


Symantec enhances Partner Program

Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) announced the Symantec Partner Program, designed to help partners in Sri Lanka build competitive advantage, improve recognition, and increase profitability.

The enhanced Symantec Partner Program is based on a specialist model, rewarding the knowledge and expertise a partner has in a solution area or market.

With its enhanced Partner Program, Symantec has also introduced a Master Specialisation category and a further three new Specialisations designed to empower partners to deliver greater value to customers.

The enhanced Symantec Partner Program recognises partners' investment in Symantec, as well as Symantec's commitment to its partners.

Specialised partners will be rewarded with increased rebates, access to enablement resources, and recognition by Symantec and customers.

Specialisations and revenue will be a requirement for attaining Silver, Gold and Platinum partner level status in the Symantec Partner Program.

"As we continue to increase our focus in Sri Lanka, we are seeing businesses today looking for partners that can provide higher competencies and value-added services to address the challenges and complexities of their business environment," said Managing Director, India and SAARC Symantec, Ajay Goel.

"Symantec's Partner Program enhancements acknowledge these shifts in the market by offering our partners opportunities to specialise in key growth areas to differentiate their business, maximise returns on investment and accelerate profitability."

"We constantly strive to enable our partner community and Symantec's Enhanced Partner Program will help us provide our customers with superior value and sustainable revenue opportunities," said Sanjaya Padmaperuma, Vice President, South Asian Technologies (SAT).

New specialisations

Symantec specialisations recognise and reward partners with advanced knowledge and expertise in a solution area or market segment.

Symantec is introducing three new specialisations - Data Protection, High Availability, and Storage Management and now offers nine specialisations to its partners in APJ.

As partners achieve specialisations and deepen their expertise in Symantec solutions, Symantec will continue to provide them with additional resources to help differentiate themselves, deliver greater value to customers and take advantage of new market opportunities.

Symplus is Symantec's new partner incentive promotion for members of the Symantec Partner Program.

The program recognises partners through cash rewards for their efforts in selling Symantec products, promoting solutions, obtaining technical accreditations, and registering and closing opportunities. The rewards will be redeemed through a Symplus Visa Prepaid Debit Card.

Symantec IQ for Partners provides partners with access to product and solution content created by Symantec experts. Partners can search Symantec's online repository for documents, presentations and tools to secure sales and better support customers.

Symantec IQ also includes forums for partners and Symantec experts to communicate on topics centered on being a Specialised partner.

Partner Support Centre for Marketing acts as a help desk for partners wanting to leverage the broad range of marketing tools and programs available to them to generate new business and maximise their participation in the Symantec Partner Program.

It provides partners with a single resource for all campaigns, promotions, resources and tools to help them get the most of their investment in Symantec.


Pyxle powers booking system for Hotel Renuka

Pyxle was selected by Renuka City Hotel PLC, to engineer the solution for an online room reservation and booking system, a company spokesperson said.

Directors of Hotel Renuka at the launch of the redesigned website

The Pyxle.RES solution (RES solution) deployed at other major hotels in Sri Lanka, was selected by Renuka, based on the functionality, support and scalability offered by Pyxle.

The system was launched simultaneously with the "Rediscover Renuka" refurbishment at the hotel; which culminated with the entire re-launch of the Hotel for 2011.

More customers globally and locally tend to use the benefits of an online reservation and booking system to make travel reservations.

The experience of using the internet for inspecting hotel rooms, facilities and local activities together with special offers and secured transactions is the primary reason for many customers making reservations online. Travellers may experience control over detailed preferences, destination options and the ability to personalise travel plans on advanced reservation systems.

Recent industry case studies showcase that many global hotels and motel chains have successfully implemented the use of online hotel reservation software to increase profitability.

Corporations have realised the significant cost savings through reduced cycle time, increased use of direct transactions between hotel and guest together with better cash-flow through the complete prepayment by guests.


Sex domain .xxx given final approval by Icann

Internet overseer Icann has given final approval to the creation of an internet domain dedicated to pornography.

The move to create a top level ".xxx" domain - similar to ".com" and ".org", ends a 10-year battle over the virtual red-light district.

Icann gave initial approval last year, but carried out further consultation checks over the application.

It is now poised to sign an agreement with the ICM Registry, which is backing the domain, to make .xxx a reality.

Supporters say the domain will make it easier to filter out inappropriate content.

But many pornographers worry that the move could mail their content.

Religious groups have argued that giving pornography sites their own domain legitimises the content.

Icann, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, said in a draft paper ahead of approving the decision: "The Icann community has engaged in extensive debate as well, with this single issue generating higher volumes of community comment than nearly any other issue ever faced within Icann."

The organisation oversees the internet's addressing system and demands that new top level domains, such as

.biz, must be "sponsored" in that they must serve the needs of a defined community.

ICM said last year that it had more than 110,000 pre-reservations for .xxx domains.

Initial approval for .xxx was given in 2005 but this was rescinded following protests from politically conservative groups.

Icann also said it was worried that it would be asked to police content - a role it was not created for.

In February 2010, a panel of US judges said Icann erred in denying the approval of the domain.

Icann accepted that ruling and began a public consultation process on whether the domain should be approved.

Courtesy BBC

 

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