Bill targeting H1B visas reintroduced in US Cong

A bill backing key changes in the H1-B programme that allows skilled workers from countries like India to fill high-tech jobs in the US has been re-introduced in the US Congress by two lawmakers who claim that it will help crack down on the work visa abuse.
The ‘Protect and Grow American Jobs Act,’ which makes important changes to the eligibility requirements for H1-B Visa exemptions, was re-introduced on Wednesday by Republican Darrell Issa and Scott Peters — both from California.

Howzat! Google plans $30 smartphone for India

With Sundar Pichai at the helm, Google is pushing for a $30 smartphone with high quality features for India. Addressing a packed open-air amphitheatre at IIT-Kharagpur, his alma matter, Pichai identified affordability as one of the major challenges in India’s digital move.

Dhoni steps down as ODI, T20 captain

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to step down as India’s ODI and T20 captain came in the same dramatic fashion associated with the dashing skipper. The announcement came through the BCCI’s twitter handle. There was the same element of surprise to it as there had been in Dhoni’s decision to quit Test cricket altogether, which he took suddenly on the eve of a Test match in Australia in the 2014-15 season.

Ford, Toyota form telematics bloc to stymie Google & Apple

Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. have formed a consortium with four medium-size automakers to speed development of auto-industry standards for in-vehicle apps, a step toward preventing Apple Inc. and Google from controlling how drivers connect smartphones to their cars and trucks.

In Apple-Spotify World, SoundCloud Can’t Find Room

After years of trading physical dollars for digital dimes, the music industry is finally seeing a payoff. Subscriptions to streaming music services jumped about 50 percent in 2016, topping 92 million. For the first time since the heyday of CDs, revenue for the largest record labels is consistently rising. But things don’t look as bright for streaming companies driving revival.

VC investments dip 28% in 2016

Venture Capital investments dropped 28 per cent in value and 21 per cent in terms of number of deals in 2016, after touching the peak level in 2015. Though IT and ITeS companies continued to take away the larger share of investments, the total funding for the sector fell by 17 per cent.

OnlyMobile eyes expansion

OnlyMobile, selling pocket gadgets like mobile phones, wearables, tablets and accessories, is mulling expansion.
Shrutam Vijay Desai co-founder of OnlyMobile says the company is looking at a growth with an eye on cost competition. “We realised frequent fluctuations in gadget prices is a huge area of concern for consumers and this is the space where we play. A price consistency and stability in this increasingly volatile marketplace helps us retain existing customers and attract new ones,” says Desia.

Healthy­ competition beneficial

With the digital payment transformation and fast growth of e-wallets, payment gateways and integrated single platforms, like UPI and Chillr, have bought a windfall, ramping up the digital transactions for overall business. It’s one app and interface that connects multiple banks to have a seamless transaction without putting the money in the wallet. Backwaters Technologies, which runs and operates Chillr, recently raised $6 million from Sequoia Capital in series A funding to back up its growth plans.