Famous designer says Apple will reveal 'revolutionary' product within 8 months
By Neil Hughes
Acclaimed French designer Phillippe Starck revealed in a recent interview that he has been working with Apple on a "revolutionary" new product that will be revealed within the next 8 months.
Starck revealed the information in a radio interview with France Info, as discovered by HardMac. No further details were given on what the product may be.
"Indeed, there is a big project together which will be out in eight months," Starck said, according to a translation. He cited Apple's "religious cult of secrecy" for declining to divulge any further information, though he did say the new project is "quite revolutionary."
Starck also revealed that he met regularly with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs before he passed away last October. The designer said he would see Jobs around once a month in his Palo Alto home for seven years, and he now meets with Jobs's widow, Laurene Powell, when he is in California.
The design work of Starck is wide reaching, ranging from products like toothbrushes and motorcycles to furnishings, building interiors, and even windmills.
There's no indication that Starck has worked with Apple in any capacity before, though he did design premium iPhone/iPod speakers and headphones for the company Parrot in 2008. The Zikmu Parrot speakers by Starck currently sell for around $1,600, while the ZIK Parrot headphones are advertised as "coming in 2012."
The comments from Starck will undoubtedly fuel speculation about a rumored Apple television set that the company is believed to be working on. Early this year, one report claimed that Apple's own design chief, Jony Ive, has a 50-inch Apple television housed in his secure design studio.
As for Starck's "revolutionary" comment, it could be related to comments made by Jobs himself to biographer Walter Isaacson. In interviews for Isaacson's book released last year, Jobs said he had "cracked" the secret to building an integrated, easy-to-use television set that will have "the simplest user interface you imagine."
Of course, Starck's apparent work with Apple could also be related to something entirely different, such as a forthcoming redesigned iPhone. The company is expected to launch a new iPhone late this year, featuring a completely redesigned exterior for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
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Asus to Ship Quad-core Transformer Pad 300 Tablet on April 22
By Agam Shah, IDG News
Asus' latest Transformer Pad 300 will start shipping in the U.S. on April 22, the company said Friday. The tablet is being pitched as a laptop replacement with 4G LTE network capabilities.
The new Transformer Pad will have a 10.1-inch screen and use a quad-core Tegra 3 processor from Nvidia. It will run Google's latest Android 4.0 operating system, code-named Ice Cream Sandwich.
An Asus spokeswoman said prices will be revealed April 22. However, retailer BJs is taking preorders for a $399 model with 32GB of storage and 1GB of memory.
Asus has wiped out the "Eee" moniker from its tablets, a brand that debuted in 2007 with its pioneering Eee PC 700 netbook. The new tablet succeeds the Eee Pad Transformer Prime, which was the first tablet to ship with a quad-core processor. The new tablet brings some of the same features to users but at a lower starting price, Asus said in an email.
The tablet offers 10 hours of battery life, which can be extended to 15 hours with an additional battery in an optional keyboard dock. The dock makes the tablet a fully functional laptop, and Android-specific buttons provide quick access to certain functions.
The tablet display shows images at a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels. The mobile connectivity options with the tablet include Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G LTE.
The tablet has a 1.2-megapixel front camera and an 8-megapixel rear camera. It also has a micro-HDMI port so the tablet can be connected to TVs, and one microSD card reader for expanded storage.
The Transformer Pad 300 was introduced at the Mobile World Congress show in late February. The company also introduced the Transformer Pad Infinity tablet at the show, which had similar specifications to the Pad 300, but a higher-resolution, 1920-by-1200-pixel, 10.1-inch display.
A growing number of Android 4.0 devices are becoming available. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 will be available on April 22, with a 10.1-inch model shipping on May 13. Many Android 4.0 tablets under $250 are also available.
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Despite past setbacks, Raspberry Pi computers coming to customers next week
By Jeff Hughes
Forget about your Raspberry Pi disappointment, both the budget-computer's distributors have confirmed the first batch and will begin shipping the Raspberry Pi out to customers next week.
Good news for you empty-handed Raspberry Pi fans, shipments will soon commence next week.
The budget mini-computer, designed to spark programming interest in schoolchildren, is reaching the hearts of many developers and hobbyists. Braben's credit card-sized computer comes in 2 versions: one priced at $25, and one at $35. Excitement about the product caused the websites of two distributors – Premier Farnell and RS Components – to crash due to a fervor of 700 orders per second.
While there has been a number of disheartening shipment setbacks attributed to sourcing Raspberry Pi supplies, but that's all changing. UK distributor RS Components has announced that it has received it's first Raspberry Pi shipment and is working on orders. Apparently RS is working down the waiting line, sending out invitations for customers to place Raspberry Pi orders in the order of when they registered interest on the RS website. Orders are restricted to one board per customer, and only until all customers are served will multiple quantities be allowed.
"We are delighted to have the first batch of fully compliant products in our warehouse," said Glenn Jarrett, Head of Electronics Marketing at RS. "There has been a great deal of anticipation for Raspberry Pi since its launch at the end of February, and it is important that we provide a delivery guarantee to customers when they place their order."
According to the BBC, those that were first to order should get their machine by April 20. Premier Farnell also said on Friday that element14 has announced the first batch of Raspberry Pi's had arrived, and that it would be sending the computers out to UK-based customers this week, with more to be shipped out in the following week. In line with Braben's premise, Farnell's Eben Upton will be handing out computers from the first batch to schoolchildren in Leeds.
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Uranus auroras captured by Hubble Space Telescope
By Jill Langlois
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has snapped the first images of auroras on ice giant Uranus.
For the first time, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has snapped photos of auroras lighting up Uranus's icy atmosphere, reported National Geographic. Two short-lived, Earth-sized storms - also known as Northern Lights - were captured by astronomers as they lit up on the day side of the gas giant in November 2011.
Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun, is known for being a bit of an oddball. According to Wired, at some unknown point in its past, the planet was knocked on its side. Its "North Pole" is now the area most planets' equators call home.
The newly found auroras appear to be tiny white dots in Hubble photos. While Earth's auroras appear as giant green curtains of light and can last hours, the new auroras seen on Uranus are fairly small and didn't last more than a few minutes.
"The last time we had any definite signals of auroral activity on Uranus was when NASA's Voyager 2 probe swung by in 1986," said study leader Laurent Lamy, an astronomer at the Observatoire de Paris in Meudon, France, to National Geographic. "But this is the first time we can actually see these emissions light up with an Earth-based telescope."
Conditions on Uranus were very different when Voyager flew past the planet in 1986. According to Wired, its magnetic north pole was facing straight into the solar wind at the time, creating longer lasting auroras that were mainly located on the night side, similar to observations of Earth's Northern Lights.
Now that Uranus has entered its spring equinox season, its axis is perpendicular to the sun's flow of charged particles, which astronomers think is responsible for the strange auroras captured by Hubble.
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New lithium battery in Xiqing District officially put into operation
Recently, settled in the North West Tsing District Tianjin Automotive Industrial Park demonstration of key components of the R & D of new energy vehicle manufacturing base for products produced by the project put into production a new lithium battery.
It is understood that the battery products as innovative technology to overcome the battery drum shell phenomenon, when the series-parallel battery pack consistency greatly improved, and its weight is one-third of an ordinary electric bicycle battery, the discharge capacity of the two lead-acid batteries to three times the life cycle of the battery to the domestic production of high-end electric bicycle battery leading by a number of electric bicycles manufacturers of all ages. In order to further strengthen business development, the business the second time with the production capacity of 25 million mixed-security product line is stepping up its installation, is expected to formally put into production in September. This year, the company expects to achieve sales income of 3500 yuan. Put into production in 2011 estimated annual sales income of 2.5 billion, more than 55 million yuan in taxes.
Global battery technology seminars will be held in Shanghai
SAE International Automotive Batteries Forum will be held September 1-3 at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel Hongqiao Hotel. There will be more than 20 from the battery as well as world-renowned experts in the relevant industry speech. From the global automotive industry, battery industry, power storage and lithium mining industry experienced engineers, experts, scholars and corporate leaders will gather together on the battery technology to study and exchange.
New energy vehicles and car batteries
In recent years, energy saving slogans all over the world, businesses are engaged in energy saving have been the cause. Now, the Chinese government's support for energy conservation efforts are increasing year by year, of which the development of new energy vehicles provide a great impetus. Recently, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science, the Ministry of Industry and Reform Commission jointly issued "on the purchase of new energy vehicles to carry out subsidies for private pilot's notice", these initiatives not only to promote the development of new energy vehicles, also led with closely related to the rapid development of automotive battery market.
Of new energy vehicles mainly plug-in cars and pure electric vehicles, etc., and its development depends on battery technology. And the lithium battery as the main representative of the cost, performance, life and charging, and security, there are still many problems, making the development of new energy vehicles has remained at the bottleneck mouth, difficult to spread.
How will the automotive industry and battery industry closer together?
Car battery in the battery industry's top technology development, and because a direct relationship to the popularization of new energy vehicles, so its development for the future development of the automotive industry is of great significance. The development of battery industry can be the two more closely together. In fact, a certain size in the country there are thousands of battery companies, engaged in the production of automotive batteries hundreds, while the real ability to get involved in car battery production enterprises with only a few ten. Annual car show and seminars and battery a lot, but unfortunately only with the respective industry focus, unable to meet the mutual understanding and communication of urgent need.
This year, "SAE International Automotive Batteries Forum" will be held September 1-3 at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel Hongqiao Hotel. Particular, the Forum has invited the United States Advanced Automotive Battery Company (Advanced Automotive Batteries) president and a full battery consulting company (Total Battery Consulting, Inc.) Founder, Dr. Anderman did the President. Dr. Anderman is a world-renowned battery expert, enjoys a high reputation in the industry. There will be more than 20 experts from home and abroad well-known battery material, battery technology, electric cars and other industrial chain of all aspects of technical presentations and technical exchange issues.
Tianjin 100 car charging pile near the site to determine the full capacity
Learned from the power company, located in the town of Wah Ming city's first large-scale electric vehicle charging station has completed the main, from today into the post-renovation phase, is expected to put into use next month. Meanwhile, the 100 car charging pile construction site has been identified, will soon start the construction. The electric vehicle charging station and charge after the completion of pile construction, at the same time meet the needs of hundreds of cars charging for the city to provide electricity to support the development of green cars.
Wah Ming Town, a large electric vehicle charging station equipped with two large parking spaces, three medium-sized parking spaces and four small spaces. Has now completed the main construction tasks, undergoing renovation, and some convenient facilities, while meeting next month and put into nine electric car charging needs. In addition, in the general economy of the electric car charging stations the river has also recently launched the construction, use is expected to be completed next month.
It is understood that these new charging facilities include all the basic charging standard, either use the plug-in charging mode, it can directly replace the battery. Power company officials, for example, electric power consumption per hundred kilometers car is only about 7-12 kwh, to a certain type of pure electric vehicles, for example, if the ordinary charging mode, 2 hour charge can travel 300 kilometers, if the using the fast charge mode, and a half hours can be filled. Such as battery replacement means that customers hire a battery pack. When the vehicle battery is running out, the customer drove the car to the charging station, the other a replacement battery, convenient taxis and other users in the same time, can also take advantage of power battery storage for peak load regulation characteristics. It is reported that the city is the national grid company's first electric car pilot application of one of the seven provinces, there are 22 pilot run of electric vehicles, along with covering the five city-wide charging stations and 100 charging pile construction and application of these charging facilities will provide electricity to the city to support the development of green cars.
Guangzhou, 12 tons of used batteries will sound processing
22 am, City Administration and the Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau in Guangzhou City sanitation sprinkler team conducted a handover for disposal of batteries, where the storage battery will be 12 tons of waste treatment and disposal of hazardous waste, Guangdong Province, the franchise organization - Huizhou Dongjiang Wei Veolia Environmental Services Ltd, treatment and disposal.
It is understood, commissioned by the municipal environmental protection department of Guangzhou City sanitation sprinkler team since 2003, began more than three-star city hotels, schools, some colleges, kindergartens and other units of the obligation to collect waste batteries. Year-round promotion of garbage, Guangzhou, classification has been carried out to collect the used batteries and other hazardous waste is also a temporary here. According to the municipal environmental protection departments, the current collection of 12 tons of waste storage batteries will be transferred to Huizhou Dongjiang Veolia Environmental Services Ltd for safe disposal.
Li-ion battery industry will enter a stage of rapid development
Of state securities in the latest research report that the next five years, driven by the new energy vehicles, lithium battery power demand growth will have a few times, lithium battery industry will enter a rapid development stage, given the industry "recommended" rating . In recent years, electric vehicles become a developed country governments to promote the industry, lithium-ion battery-powered electric car is China in the fierce international competition in a rare historical opportunity. This will drive the lithium battery research and development, production, manufacture onto the fast track.
And technical content in accordance with the level of gross margin to select, in descending order is the separator, electrolyte, cathode material. Recommendations concern: Fosugufen, Fluoride, Jiangsu Guotai, when the rise of technology, CITIC Guoan. For the batteries manufacturers we recommend attention to sailing shares.
Taiwan silicon cells in 2010 challenges the world's second largest shipping
According to Industrial Information Institute for Information Industry (MIC) estimates that in 2010 global solar market will exceed 12,000 megawatts (MW), and the size of the market in 2009 compared to the more, the growth rate of more than 60%. The first half of 2010 solar cells in Taiwan's shipments of about 816.6MW, the annual growth rate of 160.1%. Taiwan solar photovoltaic silicon forecast module capacity is expected to reach 1,778 MW, the annual growth rate of 101.6%.
2010 global solar market will show a rising trend overall, because the first half of the rate cut by the German government's policy statement impact, sparking an get the building wave, while in the second half is expected in Italy, France, the Czech Republic and the United States and other countries have invested in the market, along with Japan, China needs to enhance the 2010 global solar market is expected to grow substantially.
Industrial Information Institute for Information Industry (MIC) of high Hongxiang industry consultant, said that Taiwan solar photovoltaic companies in early 2010 conducted a large-scale expansion, except for the first time manufacturers have begun trial production of silicon material, the wafers, cells, modules show substantial expansion of production capacity situation. Among them, the first and second quarter shipments of silicon solar cells, respectively over the same period last year growth of 307%, 160%, with shipments in 2010 are expected to challenge the world's third largest or second largest opportunities. Capacity allocation in most of Taiwan's case, to both the petrochemicals and semiconductor industries based on technological capabilities, the nearest supply price, quantity and stability of the upstream material for the silicon material, silicon vendors to create the basic living conditions, with cell manufacturers substantial expansion of plant growth can be described as the upstream industry no doubt.
To MIC, said the financial turmoil has resulted in a substantial decline in product price, cost competitive pressures, the European module, solar cell manufacturers due to high costs, making outsourcing, increased pressure eastward, and Taiwan solar cell manufacturers to quality, prices are relatively competitive advantage, preparing for further significant expansion of production capacity. Observe the first quarter of 2009 1,952 MW capacity and in the fourth quarter of the 2,487 MW capacity of the growth trend, and in 2010 the first and second quarters, respectively over the same period in 2009 grew 34.9%, 50.5%, production scale rapidly increase to 2,634 MW and 3,104 MW expected second half 2010 to first quarter of 2011, on a quarterly basis will maintain 70% capacity growth.
Looking forward to 2010, in large ICT companies with strong capital, global logistics system, brand, cut into the solar photovoltaic module manufacturing capacity and system, Taiwan's solar industry, previously regarded as the weakest link at this time significant increase can be described as competitive, it is expected there will be considerable opportunities for the future with China manufacturers showdown. Advantages in cost and quality, the expected 2010 Taiwan wafer, solar cell manufacturers to obtain orders should be no doubts. Therefore, the ability to obtain equipment and funds the season well, winning companies will be decided whether or not the key factor.
As the cells continue to enhance the competitiveness of firms, competitive advantage can spread this first, downstream, and the formation of a virtuous cycle, shaping the overall competitiveness, industrial policy is yet to be blessing. In addition to emerging technologies, manufacturing equipment, system components, etc. to enhance the R & D capabilities, the ability to help the system vendors to develop the domestic market, as well as the dedication is still to pay, such as certification, financing, evaluation system, are actively involved in urgent need of administrative units .
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