February 2012 Archives
A car that dials emergency services itself in case of a crash and warns its driver of traffic snarls ahead: Ford Motor Co.'s chief believes connected autos will pave the road to the future.
As car ownership numbers boom in the great emerging economies, the mobile communications technology on show at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week may help unclog jammed infrastructure.
"If we do nothing, we face the prospect of 'global gridlock', a never-ending traffic jam that wastes time, energy and resources and even compromises the flow of commerce and healthcare," warned Bill Ford in a speech to the congress on Monday.
China took the dubious honour of hosting the world's worst traffic snarl in 2010, with an 11-day gridlock. And auto numbers are rising, expected to go from one billion today to four billion by 2050, Fordsaid.
Unusually, cars have invaded the aisles of the world's annual mobile phone show: Ford is launching its sub-compact people mover, the B-Max, AT&T showed off Nissan and BMW models and Blackberry hosted a Porsche on its stand.
Mobile phone makers used to sell the 'small is beautiful' concept but at this year's world mobile fair, some are inching towards tablet sizesamid a shift towards a new hybrid category.
South Korean maker LG's new Optimus Vu for example, has a five inch display, much larger than most smartphones in the market today.
The iPhone, to name one of the most popular, has a 3.5 inch display.
"It's a product that is in between the two," explained Daniel Hernandez, the group's Europe marketing director.
"We believe there is a market, because it is a product that is both a tablet and a smartphone," he told AFP.
Scheduled for launch at the end of 2012, the Optimus Vu is not the only one of this format.
Fellow South Korean Samsung launched the 5.3 inch Galaxy Note in October and sold a million in just two months.
As smartphones offer more and more functions, manufacturers are offering bigger screens to enhance the gaming or video viewing experience.
But not all analysts are convinced by the hybrid size.
Russia's new Internet-savvy opposition is going online to protest and monitor the presidential elections on March 4, bringing its iPhones and Twitter into the fray against Vladimir Putin.
As jokes and spoof videos about Putin, expected to win back the presidency in Sunday's polls, spread like wildfire on social networking sites and YouTube, opposition activists are using the Internet to promote their cause.
After a slow start, Internet use has sky-rocketed in Russia in recent years and last year the country overtook Germany as having Europe's largest number of Internet users, a development the opposition have not hesitated to exploit.
This week a Moscow-based programme developer, Alexei Chistyakov, 29, presented a new iPhone app to allow election monitors at polling stations to instantly report violations.
It will link up to a call centre organised jointly by Yabloko liberal party and the League of Voters, an umbrella group of celebrities and bloggers who are using their clout to rally election observers.
"It's an easy way to report violations," Chistyakov said of the free app, which he designed and developed with a French company, fearing repercussions for the Russian company where he works.
The elections "are already unfair, let's start with that," he said. "We are doing all this so that people on the outside also acknowledge they are unfair."
The Honda CR-V is one of the bestselling units from Honda. In the Philippines, it is one of the most recognized mid-sized SUVs around. The looks of the CR-V has transitioned in time and the current model is one of the most aggressively designed versions so far. Actually, it's the current CR-V's grille that screams sporty.
Honda recently unveiled the 2012 Honda CR-V and in terms of design, I don't exactly know how I feel about it. At certain angles it's attractive, at some it looks awkward. Overall though, there's no doubt that it's still distinctively CR-V. Here are photos of the Honda CR-V 2012 I got from the company's product page.
Panasonic Corporation will supply prismatic lithium-ion battery cells for Ford Motor Company's Fusion Hybrid Electric and C-Max Hybrid Electric as well as the Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids. Ford is doing the pack work in-house.
The new Ford in-house Li-ion hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) pack delivers peak charge and discharge power of 35 kW, compared to 25 kW and 27 kW, respectively, in the older Fusion hybrid NiMH pack, said Chuck Gray, Chief Engineer - Ford Electrification Engineering, at the SAE Hybrid Vehicle Technologies Symposium. The lighter weight Li-ion pack offers specific power of 0.84 kW/kg, compared to 0.412 kW/kg in the outgoing NiMH pack, he said.
The increased battery power, along with improved electric motor and generator capability, offset the decrease in combustion engine performance in the new Fusion that would have resulted from the switch to a 2.0L Atkinson from the earlier 2.5L Atkinson and the optimization of gear ratios for fuel economy.
The lithium-ion battery supply agreement with Ford Motor Company builds on a long-term partnership between the two companies. Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd, which was acquired by Panasonic last year, has been supplying Ni-MH battery systems for the Ford Escape hybrid vehicle since 2004.
The company's battery systems have been powering the Ford Escape Hybrid, and the company's battery cells have been powering the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.
(Reuters) - Yang Long-san, Apple's nemesis in a battle over the iPad trademark in China, once strutted the expo halls with dreams of market dominance. His company, Proview, may now be in ruins and his most valuable asset a disputed trademark, but those dreams remain intact.
"My biggest wish is to resolve all these frustrating problems and put them behind me," Yang said in a recent telephone interview. "If we can resolve all the problems we have now and I have a chance to make a comeback, I'd still want to overtake my old competitors."
Much of that will depend on whether he wins a long-running dispute over ownership of the trademark in China - Apple's second-biggest market by revenue. Although a recent decision by the Shanghai district court to reject Proview's demands that Apple stop selling the iPad was a setback for Proview, the case is still to be heard in the higher court in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong Wednesday.
A decision against Apple there would set a precedent that would create an uphill battle in other cases in lower courts around China. Local media have said Proview is seeking up to 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in compensation.
Proview's fortunes may currently be the polar opposite of Apple - one has creditors at the door and the other is the world's most valuable listed company - but both illustrate how the fickle world of technology can make or break a company.
Ciccarese is only one of the few who comes out with mock-ups of upcoming devices. Its iPhone 5 mock-up is both elegant and funny. It clearly draws inspiration from a lot of apple devices, among which are the MacBook (see the metallic silver back finish?), the current iPhone, and definitely Apple's Magic Mouse. Look at these photos of Ciccarese's iPhone 5 concept design.
Western Digital recently introduced the WD Sentinel DX4000, a network storage solution for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs). It's a small office storage server that combines centralized storage, backup-and-restore protection for network devices.
WD Sentinel DX4000 includes the Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials operating system software and the Intel D525 Dual Core Atom CPU. It is a centralized shared storage and automatic server-based backup and restores for up to 25 devices (PC and Mac) in the network. It offers complete data protection with built-in hardware and software redundancy for all of the connected devices in the network. With capacities including 4 TB and 8 TB, WD Sentinel DX4000 lets small business owners expand small office server storage capacity. The WD Sentinel DX4000 can also be used as an "on-premise cloud storage" for the SMBs.
The Canon PowerShot D20 digital camera, just like the predecessor, is waterproof, shock-proof and freeze-proof. The rugged styling of the PowerShot D20 and is clearly designed for users who like outdoor adventure. It is ideal for backpackers, hikers, travelers, and underwater enthusiasts.
For features, the Canon PowerShot D20 has a 12.1-megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor which should be sufficient for taking high resolution photos. The camera uses Canon's DIGIC 4 image processor that delivers high quality shots. It also takes 1080p Full HD videos so it's really ideal to carry around for outdoor or underwater videos. The D20 also incorporates a wind reduction technology that lets users capture audio even when the shot was taken in a windy or breezy environment.
A Japanese-developed robot that mimics the movements of its human controller is bringing the Hollywood blockbuster "Avatar" one step closer to reality.
Users of the TELESAR V don special equipment that allows them not only to direct the actions of a remote machine, but also to see, hear and feel the same things as their doppelganger android.
"When I put on the devices and move my body, I see my hands having turned into the robot hands. When I move my head, I get a different view from the one I had before," said researcher Sho Kamuro.
"It's a strange experience that makes you wonder if you've really become a robot," he told AFP.
Professor Susumu Tachi, who specialises in engineering and virtual reality at Keio University's Graduate School of Media Design, said systems attached to the operator's headgear, vest and gloves send detailed instructions to the robot, which then mimics the user's every move.
At the same time, an array of sensors on the android relays a stream of information which is converted into sensations for the user.
The thin polyester gloves the operator wears are lined with semiconductors and tiny motors to allow the user to "feel" what the mechanical hands are touching -- a smooth or a bumpy surface as well as heat and cold.