Saturday, October 29, 2011

Audi launches 20 unit A1 e-tron pilot program in Munich

When Audi talks about concentrating on the future of its electric vehicle lineup – it’s not joking. The brand today launched 20 pilot Audi A1 e-tron units on the roads of Munich. Audi, E.ON, the public utility Stadtwerke München and Technische Universität München (TUM) are project partners in this fleet trial.

E.ON and SWM are in charge of expanding and maintaining the charging infrastructure in the Munich metropolitan area.

While some pilot participants received their keys last week, Audi handed over the rest of the A1 e-tron fleet to project partners and other trial participants.

“Audi works relentlessly on comprehensive approaches which maximize benefits to customers. In this era of electric mobility, we will offer our customers a wide range of services which go beyond driving itself. For example, the networking of vehicles with their surroundings and with infrastructure as well as new concepts of mobility will be important,” emphasizes Franciscus van Meel, Head of Electric Mobility Strategy at Audi AG. He adds: “We want to use this fleet trial to learn more about our customers’ usage of electric cars, and their expectations in this regard. We are planning additional fleet endeavors in strategically important markets.”

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Oil gains more than $2 on EU rescue plan

Oil prices rose more than $2 on Thursday, after European leaders struck a deal with private holders of Greek debt to write down half their holdings and agreed to boost the region's rescue fund.

Euro zone leaders made a pact with private banks and insurers on Thursday for them to accept a 50 percent loss on their Greek government bonds under a plan to lower Greece's debt burden and try to contain the two-year-old euro zone crisis.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said he expected the deal, which will be implemented through a bond exchange, to be wrapped up by the end of the year.

At 0721 GMT (3:21 a.m. EDT), Brent crude was up $1.80 at $110.71 a barrel, after touching a high of $110.96 earlier. U.S. crude gained $1.90 to $92.10 a barrel, down from an intraday high of $92.43.

"The macro event and the financial markets are leading and oil futures are reacting even though the crude inventories in the U.S. have increased substantially," said Victor Shum of Purvin & Gertz.

The Nikkei share average shrugged off concerns about the yen's strength and rose 2 percent on Thursday, on expectations the euro zone leaders' agreement to address Europe's debt will contain the crisis.

The new version of the euro zone's rescue fund will be leveraged four or five times, giving it firepower equivalent to about 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion), French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday.

"Investors' optimism and increased risk appetite could result in the rally of risk assets in the short term," said analyst Ong Yi Ling at Phillip Futures Singapore.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

2011 Monaco Cayman Unveiled

SCOBURG, ORE. (March 15, 2010) - Monaco Press Release – Monaco RV, one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of recreational vehicles, launches it 2011 Monaco Cayman. The Cayman steps up to the 8 air bag proprietary Roadmaster chassis, from the previous 4 air bag model of 2010. The 8 outboard-mounted air bag RR8R Roadmaster chassis provides a wide and stable platform for the coach, improving drivability.

The 2011 Monaco Cayman is powered by a new 360 horsepower engine, standard on 40-foot models, with an ISB 340 horsepower engine standard on 36 models. Four floorplans choices are available including the popular full wall slide 36PFT. The full wall slide model produces expansive interior space as no divider walls of separate slides are present to reduce useable space.

"There wasn’t a feature or creature comfort we left out of the Cayman this year.” Says Mark Kealoha, National Sales Manager for Monaco. “After listening to many RV owners and dealers we responded with designing the Cayman around three very important customer “hot buttons”; King Beds, Stackable Washer/Dryer units and residential refrigerators all options for 2011. Value was the goal in design and value is what you see in the Cayman line.”

Ceramic tile throughout the living area, kitchen and bath come standard in the 2011 Cayman, along with three luxurious décor choices. Other standard well appointed interior features include raised panel cabinet doors with hidden hinges, soft touch padded vinyl ceiling and an arched back wood booth dinette with sliding dinette top

Optional furniture choices include leather Euro-recliners, a sofa bed or sectional. And for the family, an optional hallway bunk option with two fold down dvd players with game hookups is available. The galley boasts a polished solid surface countertop with mosaic tile backsplash with a convenient flip up countertop extension that expands the workspace area. A12 cu. ft. four door refrigerator with hardwood raised panel door, stainless steel sink with high arch faucet complete the residential feel of the kitchen. Behind the wheel, safety and comfort abound. Ultraleather six way power pilot and co-pilot seats, power solar shades, LCD 3-camera rear vision system and Panaview 1-piece windshields are all standard.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lenovo passes Dell to become world's No 2 PC maker

--Lenovo replaces Dell to become world's 2nd-largest PC maker

--Lenovo Chief Executive Yang Yuanqing says the company will keep pursuing acquisitions to boost growth

China's Lenovo Group Ltd. LNVGY +2.40% was named the world's No. 2 personal-computer maker by two research firms on Thursday and Chief Executive Yang Yuanqing said the Chinese company will keep pursuing acquisitions to boost growth.

The firms--Gartner Inc. and International Data Corp.-- also found that global PC shipments rose more slowly than expected in the third quarter, in a sign of consumers' shift away from laptop and desktop computers toward mobile devices as their budgets shrink.

Lenovo will "fully leverage" acquisitions to keep growing, Yang said in an interview, without elaborating on specific acquisition targets. Lenovo, which bought International Business Machines Corp.'s PC business in 2005, passed Dell Inc. DELL -1.23% in the third quarter to take the PC market's second-place rank in terms of shipments, according to separate surveys by data trackers IDC and Gartner.

Yang said Lenovo's new status as the industry's No. 2 makes it a "strong challenger" to become the world's top PC maker, a status currently held by Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (HPQ) PC business. He added Lenovo won't sacrifice its gross margin to boost its market share.

Both research firms said Lenovo's growth came from increased shipments to Japan and European markets. Gartner attributed Lenovo's growth to its aggressive pricing.

Yang declined to comment on whether Lenovo would be interested in buying H-P's PC business, which it has said it is considering selling or spinning off.

Lenovo earlier this year acquired German PC maker Medion AG, for which it had said it would pay up to EUR465 million (about $640 million) in cash and stock. Lenovo during its last quarter also finished forming a joint venture with Japanese PC maker NEC Corp., a deal in which NEC received $175 million in Lenovo shares.

Yang said he is comfortable with his current stake in the company. Yang in June bought about 8% of Lenovo's outstanding shares for around 3.15 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$403.8 million) from the company's biggest shareholder, Legend Holdings Ltd.

Gartner said shipments of PCs around the world climbed 3.2% to 91.8 million units in the third quarter, well below its earlier projection of 5.1% growth. A similar IDC survey pegged the industry's growth rate in the quarter at 3.6%, lower than an earlier projection of 4.5% growth.

Over the past few months, major PC makers such as H-P and Dell have warned that consumer spending appeared to be slipping. Both Gartner and IDC acknowledged that consumer-PC buying during the important back-to-school season was weak. But they also reported that mobile devices, such as Apple Inc.'s iPad, were competing for and often winning consumer attention when making technology purchases.

"For the moment, PCs have taken a backseat to a range of other devices competing for shrinking consumer and business budgets," IDC analyst Jay Chou said in a report.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cable cars to link Makkah pilgrims with Grand Mosque

Plans are being prepared to establish cable car systems linking parking areas to the Grand Mosque in Makkah in a bid to ease the transport of pilgrims.

The 12 cable car routes will pick up pilgrims in Kudai, Rusaifa and Taneem as part of the government's efforts to reduce traffic congestion, Saudi daily Arab News reported on Sunday.

The project is a joint effort between the Centre of Research Excellence at Makkah's Umm Al-Qura University and the Transport and Crowd Management Centre at Toronto University, it said.

Adnan Gutub, director of the Centre of Research Excellence at Umm Al-Qura, was quoted as saying: “Cable car is an economically viable system and will contribute to lessening the congestion on the road.”

A workshop on the project was held at Umm Al-Qura University on Saturday to discuss the subject in detail with the participation of Saudi and foreign experts, the paper said, without giving details of cost or timetable.

“There will be two cable car lines from Kudai, four from Rusaifa and six from Taneem,” added Aamir Al-Shalabi of the University of Toronto.

Umm Al-Qura University president Bakri Assas commended the government’s efforts to improve facilities for the millions of pilgrims coming to Makkah to perform Haj and Umrah.
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

'Apple concept stocks' mixed on Jobs' death

Taipei, Oct. 6 (CNA) Local stocks in Apple Inc.'s supply chain, or the so-called "Apple concept stocks", were mixed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in Thursday morning trade after the news of the death of Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs surfaced, dealers said. They said there have been fears that Apple will be losing its innovative capability without Jobs and take a detour by entering price competition to attract buying, a change in strategy which may create an impact on contract component makers' bottom lines. As of 11: 30 a.m., cell touch panel maker TPK lost 1.99 percentto NT$543.00 (US$17.7), battery producer Simplo Technology shed 2.49 percent to NT$176.00, and phone camera lens supplier Largan has fallen 3.23 percent to NT$631.00. However, Hon Hai Precision, the flagship company of the world's largest contract electronics maker Hon Hai Group, gained 2.96 percent to NT$69.60. The group churns out iPhones and iPads for Apple. Hon Hai's affiliate Foxconn Technology Co. rose 1.23 percent to NT$98.00. "The launch of iPhone 4S has prompted many investors to worry that innovation at Apple is fading as its new gadget has dashed market expectations of a radically redesigned iPhone 5," Horizon Securities analyst Benson Huang said. Rather than maintaining its innovative capability to win market share, Huang said, the market has been surprised by Apple's announcement that it will cut the prices of iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS dramatically after the iPhone 4S debut. "Now, the death of Steve has further raised such a concern as many investors have feared that Apple will come up with further price cutting measures," Huang said.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Oracle’s Ellison Introduces Faster System to Challenge SAP, IBM

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. introduced a computer system that works faster by analyzing data within its dynamic random access memory, aiming to boost market share and take on International Business Machines Corp. and SAP AG.

“Everything runs faster if you keep it in DRAM -- if you keep it in main memory,” Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison said in a keynote address at a conference in San Francisco tonight. “You ask more questions, you get better answers.”

The Exalytics Intelligence Machine Ellison introduced will run Oracle’s Times Ten and Essbase databases, both gained through past acquisitions, in its terabyte of main memory. The system analyzes business data many times faster than on machines that store information on disk drives, Ellison told customers at the company’s OpenWorld event.

Oracle, the world’s largest maker of database software and biggest maker of business applications after SAP, is seeking to keep its database relevant for computing jobs that involve processing increasing amounts of data. Oracle’s $16.6 billion in database and related middleware sales last year also make it the top supplier of software that powers corporate and government computer programs.

Ellison also said that the Redwood City, California-based company plans another update to its Sparc microprocessor next year that’s twice as fast as its recently released T4 chip. The idea is to challenge IBM for more hardware sales through Oracle’s Sun Microsystems unit, gained in a $7.4 billion acquisition last year.

Taking on IBM

“We want to take IBM on in their strongest suit, which is the microprocessor, said Ellison. He said Oracle’s T4 chip runs software written in the Java programming language faster in a benchmark test than a competitive IBM system. The company introduced a new Sparc Supercluster system on Sept. 26 using the Sparc T4.

At least one rival doubted how far Ellison will go with the Sparc chip. Oracle may not make the billions of dollars in investments needed to keep Sparc competitive with IBM and Intel Corp. chips in the future, Steve Mills, IBM senior vice president, said last week in an interview.

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