December 31, 2013

10 Tech Trends for 2014: What Awaits Small Businesses

Technology changes quickly. Just when you think you have the latest technology solution for your business, something newer and better is being touted as the "next big thing." Nonetheless, the idea is the same: it's not about adopting all the hottest tech available, but rather about keeping up with the latest trends, to stay informed and keep ahead. As 2013 draws to an end, here are business tech trend forecasts that will matter the most to you in 2014.

Exhibiting Wide Range of Smart Community Solutions at the Indonesia Japan Expo 2013

Panasonic participated at the Indonesia Japan Expo 2013 held at the Jakarta International Expo in Jakarta, Indonesia from December 19-22. Basing the concept on the new brand slogan A Better Life A Better World, Panasonic exhibited a wide range of smart community solutions in order to enhance its B2B brand presence to visitors.

To honour the 55th anniversary of the bilateral relations of Japan and Indonesia, the exhibition was held to promote the Japanese culture including arts and tourism but most importantly the smart energy saving, environmentally friendly technology of Japan. Roughly 200 exhibitors consisting of Japanese enterprises and governmental organizations participated over the span of four days.

December 30, 2013

Japan mid-tier camera makers face shakeout as smartphones shatter mirrorless hopes

Panasonic Corp and Japan's other mid-tier camera makers have a battle on their hands to win over a smartphone "selfie" generation to mirrorless cameras that held such promise when they were launched around five years ago.

Panasonic, like peers Fujifilm Holdings and Olympus Corp, has been losing money on its cameras since mobile phones that take high-quality photos ate into the compact camera business. This year, compact camera sales are likely to fall more than 40 percent to fewer than 59 million, according to industry researcher IDC.

2013 Is Pivotal Year for Magazine Media: Advertising Up 6% Across Platforms

The numbers are adding up for 2013. An exclusive analysis conducted by MPA-The Association of Magazine Media, using Kantar Media’s PIB Advance data for magazine ad pages and their tablet edition ad unit data base, shows a 6% increase in the magazine media advertising “footprint” of print pages and tablet units.  Furthermore, reports from major publishers and recent research confirm this positive trend.

For the full year 2013, tablet advertising units increased 16% with print pages essentially flat at 0.1%.  The total footprint of print pages and tablet edition units’ healthy 6% increase reflects a marked uptick following several years of transition. This data*, which analyzed the 69 magazine media titles that measure both print ad page and iPad unit advertising, affirms that 2013 was not only an inflection year for magazine media, it was a successful year, with consumers responding to the industry’s powerful content, when, where and how they chose.

App Inventor launches second iteration

Since its 2009 creation, more than a million people have registered to use App Inventor, which is now based out of the MIT Media Lab.

Want the ability to see where your child’s school bus is idling? Or maybe you’re interested in tracking wild hogs in Alabama? As they say, there’s an app for that.

But an app like the Ez School Bus Locator wasn’t created by computer scientists in Silicon Valley. It’s one of more than 3 million projects created using MIT App Inventor — a number that will continue rising with the new App Inventor 2, which was launched Dec. 6 in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week.

December 28, 2013

Deep sea secrets uncovered

North Atlantic surveys find four new species.

Four secretive sea creatures previously unknown to science have been discovered in deep ocean waters hundreds of miles off the north west coast of Scotland.

Marine Scotland trawl surveys off the continental shelf in the north Atlantic have uncovered a brand new species of large sea snail, two kinds of clams and a marine worm.

International experts have now confirmed that they are completely new to science, meaning the mysterious molluscs have managed to avoid detection during decades of underwater research around the Rockall plateau.

China to take free navigation system global

The world can expect to use China's "reliable" global positioning and navigation services for free by 2020, the director of the country's satellite navigation office said on Friday.

"The Beidou Navigation Satellite System is committed to providing services to the whole world — currently for the Asia-Pacific — for free," said Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office.
The office released two documents to specify China's homegrown navigation system's open service performance standard and to facilitate research and development of various terminals for global users.

Breath-operated mouse developed for physically impaired computer users

Researchers from Wakayama Prefecture have created a computer mouse that is operable through one’s breath, perhaps negating it from being called a computer “mouse” at all. This new invention will allow physically impaired users to operate a computer and move the cursor without using their hands.

Making waves: In the hunt for invisibility, other benefits seen

A new way of assembling things, called metamaterials, may in the not too distant future help to protect a building from earthquakes by bending seismic waves around it. Similarly, tsunami waves could be bent around towns, and soundwaves bent around a room to make it soundproof.

While the holy grail of metamaterials is still to make objects and people invisible to the eye, they are set to have a more tangible commercial impact playing more mundane roles - from satellite antennas to wirelessly charging cellphones.

December 27, 2013

You Rang? Report finds Canadian 'Generation D' expect apps to act as butlers

Nearly half of Canadians believe mobile communication will replace most physical interactions  

A quarter think apps will allow people to chat with pets in the next five years

Canadians are not only embracing the technology that keeps them connected, but they clearly depend on it. Twenty-eight per cent would be willing to skip their morning coffee in exchange for anytime, anywhere internet. And it's not just smartphones, tablets and computers keeping them connected - Canadians are already heavy users of accessories and customized apps, and expect technology to be even more integrated into their lives within the next five years.

National Geographic Russia Photo Exhibition Opens

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The official opening of the 2013 “Wildlife of Russia” photo exhibition was held on December 25 in the Central House of Artists in Moscow. National Geographic Russia and the Russian Geographic Society (RGS), who teamed up to conduct the contest for the third time, announced the contest winners at the event. Participants submitted more than 30,000 photographs from cities all over Russia – St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok, Saratov, Volgograd and many others.

December 26, 2013

The fate of the Eels

GEOMAR scientists prove oceanographic influences on eel recruitment

The European eel is one of the world’s many critically endangered species. Comprehensive protection is difficult because many details of the eel’s complex life cycle remain unknown. In a multidisciplinary study, biologists and oceanographers at GEOMAR recently demonstrated the crucial influence of ocean currents on eel recruitment. They did so by using, among others, a state-of-the-art ocean model developed in Kiel, in combination with genetic studies. The study appears in the international journal „Current Biology“.

Batteries as they are meant to be seen

In the search for long-lasting, inexpensive rechargeable batteries, researchers develop more realistic methods to study the materials in action

Researchers have developed a way to microscopically view battery electrodes while they are bathed in wet electrolytes, mimicking realistic conditions inside actual batteries. While life sciences researchers regularly use transmission electron microscopy to study wet environments, this time scientists have applied it successfully to rechargeable battery research.

Panasonic Booth Overview at 2014 International CES

Panasonic Corporation will exhibit at the 2014 International CES, the largest consumer electronics show in the world, to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada, USA, from January 7 to 10, 2014.

This year, with the new Brand Slogan "A Better Life, A Better World" as the theme for the booth, Panasonic will introduce a wide range of its products, technologies and solutions designed to realize a better life and a better world - including the company's latest digital AVC products, beauty products and other appliances, in addition to its enterprise solutions which play a major part of the company's businesses in North America.

New Technology Displayed on UM-SJTU JI 2013 Winter Design Expo

On December 18, UM-SJTU Joint Institute Design Expo was held at the central hall of the New Library on Minhang Campus. The 50 projects on display include all the experimental course projects from freshmen to senior in the autumn semester, such as VG100, VM450, VE450, VX421 and Undergraduate Innovative Practice Program. As a brand activity of UM-SJTU JI, the Design Expo attracted numerous teachers, students, parents and enterprises.

December 25, 2013

Overview of Honda Exhibition at TOKYO AUTO SALON 2014 with NAPAC

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today will exhibit automobile and motorcycle models, which represent a variety of approaches to customization, as well as power products and motorsports racing machines at the TOKYO AUTO SALON 2014 with NAPAC*1, which will be held from Friday, January 10 to Sunday, January 12, 2014, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

Subaru Meets Higher Standard of Safety with 2014 “IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK (TSP) +” Award for Three Models

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* The 2014 Legacy, Outback and Forester with optional “EyeSight” received the IIHS’ highest standard of safety, the 2014 “TSP+” award and the highest possible rating of superior for front crash prevention.

• The 2014 Impreza (except WRX) and Subaru XV Crosstrek met tougher criteria with the 2014 “TSP” award

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, today announced that the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS; a nonprofit organization supported by auto insurers in the US) has awarded the highest standard of safety, 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK+ (TSP+) along with the
highest possible rating of superior for front crash prevention to the 2014 Subaru Legacy, Outback and Forester, equipped with Subaru’s EyeSight driving assist system and currently sold in the North American region. Furthermore, the 2014 Impreza (except WRX) and Subaru XV Crosstrek have earned a 2014 TSP rating.

Fujitsu Launches F-04F Smartphone for Business

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Easy-to-use phone and e-mail functions together with robust security and optimum functionality for business

Fujitsu today announced that its new F-04F business smartphone will be available in Japan from NTT DOCOMO, Inc., starting January 6, 2014.

F-04F is the first business smartphone from NTT DOCOMO(1) specifically developed to meet the needs of enterprise customers. Business users will appreciate the new handset for its convenient features, including a special Telephone Home interface designed for easy frequent phone calls and e-mail use. The phone also has outstanding energy-saving technology like the low power-consumption WhiteMagic™ display which can lead to three days of battery life(2).

Sony, Panasonic to dissolve tie-up in OEL TV display business

Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. will dissolve their partnership developing organic electroluminescent television displays as they have not been able to establish a cost-effective means of mass production, sources close to the two companies said Wednesday.

The Japanese electronics makers, which have jointly developed the displays for one and a half years, will end the tie-up as the contract expires at the end of this year.

But the two companies will continue development of OEL TV technology independently.

Saga city to provide tablets to elementary and middle school students for 'flip teaching'

The Board of Education in this city has decided to adopt a new teaching method called "flip teaching" at its public elementary and junior high schools, whereby all students will be provided with tablet computers to prepare for classes before they come to school.

The plan, which the education board revealed this past September, aims to take classrooms directly into students' homes through videos saved on their computers. Takeo city is the first municipality in the country to fully employ such a teaching method, which is slated to be introduced at all of its 16 public elementary and junior high schools.

Japanese researcher builds device that ‘transmits’ force digitally

It can actually be said of Kouhei Ohnishi, a system design engineering professor at Keio University, that “the force is with him” – having made public his invention, a system that would allow physical force to be transmitted wirelessly between two devices. Such a system could be a boon to workers in unsafe environments – where a worker could do physical work without having to be physically onsite – or physical therapists to still treat patients without being physically with them.

Suzuki to sell Hustler minicar from January

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Suzuki Motor Corp. said Tuesday its new Hustler minivehicle, which combines the characteristics of a car and a sport utility vehicle, will go on sale Jan. 8. The gasoline-powered minicar gets up to 29.2 km per liter, Suzuki said. The sticker price will range from ¥1.05 million to ¥1.58 million.

December 23, 2013

The All-New Lexus RC Set to Launch 'In the Red'

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* Upcoming RC Coupe Available in Striking New Red Paint Color
* The Head-Turning Hue is Achieved Using a Combination of a Silver and Red Base
* RC Coupe Set to Launch in 2014

Not even Rudolph’s nose can compare to the striking red paint on the all-new RC Coupe. A more dynamic red exterior paint color is made brighter and with more contrast thanks to an entirely new painting process, using a two-color base of both silver and red.  The shiny and bright RC coupe is set to launch in 2014.

Walking the Walk: What Sharks, Honeybees and Humans Have in Common

A research team led by UA anthropologist David Raichlen has found that the Hadza tribe’s movements while foraging can be described by a mathematical pattern called a Lévy walk – a pattern that also is found in the movements of many other animals.

A mathematical pattern of movement called a Lévy walk describes the foraging behavior of animals from sharks to honey bees, and now for the first time has been shown to describe human hunter-gatherer movement as well. The study, led by University of Arizona anthropologist David Raichlen, was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Laser Demonstration Reveals Bright Future for Space Communication

The completion of the 30-day Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration or LLCD mission has revealed that the possibility of expanding broadband capabilities in space using laser communications is as bright as expected.

Hosted aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer known as LADEE, for its ride to lunar orbit, the LLCD was designed to confirm laser communication capabilities from a distance of almost a quarter-of-a-million miles.  In addition to demonstrating record-breaking data download and upload speeds to the moon at 622 megabits per second (Mbps) and 20 Mbps, respectively, LLCD also showed that it could operate as well as any NASA radio system.  "Throughout our testing we did not see anything that would prevent the operational use of this technology in the immediate future," said Don Cornwell, LLCD mission manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Thousand-year-old vineyards discovered in Alava

 Zaballa (Iruña de Oca) was a medieval settlement abandoned in the 15th century. The building of a manor monastery at the heart of it undermined the organisation of the village in the 10th century with the creation of a highly significant rent-seeking system; it was later turned into a veritable factory, a specialised estate in the hands of local lords who, under the auspices of the economic boom in towns like Vitoria-Gasteiz, tried to obtain the maximum profits possible. In the end, the “flight” of its settlers towards the towns caused it to be abandoned. Today, it is archaeologists from the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country who are endeavouring to reconstruct and salvage our rural heritage by studying deserted settlements like Zaballa.

Smartphone as mentor: How tech could change behavior

Funneling a steady stream of diversions straight to your pocket, smartphones are often cast as the ultimate distractors. But a University of Michigan engineering professor sees potential for them to be something quite the opposite.

What if they could act as mentors in mindfulness, helping users stay attentive in order to achieve particular goals?

That's the challenge Jasprit Singh, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, put before students this semester. In a course called "Imagine, Innovate, Act!" students from engineering, art, music, health fields and a variety of other backgrounds designed mobile apps to help users set and meet wellness milestones. The definition of "wellness" was broad, encompassing creativity and learning in addition to physical and mental health.

Resistance makes waves

There is a growing understanding of the conditions required for superconductivity and how it can be achieved at realistic temperatures

Even physics can give pointers for energy saving. An international team working together with the Centre for Quantum Materials, run by the Max Planck Society in conjunction with the University of British Columbia (Canada), is now in a position to provide materials scientists with tips for the development of high-temperature superconductors, in a bid to make them earn their name. The term is currently used to describe materials including ceramic cuprates, which lose their electrical resistance at significantly higher temperatures than conventional superconductors, but still well below the freezing point of water. In two complementary studies, the physicists have now established that superconductivity in cuprates collapses at a maximum of minus 135 degrees Celsius due to the formation of charge-density waves. These periodic fluctuations in the distribution of the electrical charges destroy superconductivity. Consequently, in order to find superconductors that drop to zero resistance at realistic temperatures, materials scientists must search for substances that are not subject to charge-density waves.

Like Fashion? Learn from the Experts With Skype!

Calling all aspiring fashion designers and creatives! Skype has enlisted top global fashion industry experts to participate in two group video calls – ‘The Spark’ and ‘Fashion & Technology’ as part of the Skype conversation series.  Anyone can watch and learn from these inspiring people.

Fundamental Cultural Rights Must be at the Heart of Copyright Reform in Europe!

For the third time in as many years the European Commission has launched a public consultation on copyright in the European internal market. Despite the unambiguous signal sent by civil society and Members of the European Parliament through the rejection of the ACTA treaty in 2012, the Commission keeps ignoring the primary need to place the fundamental cultural rights of individuals at the heart of copyright reform. La Quadrature du Net calls on all citizens and organisations to respond to this public consultation in order to scrutinise the current approach and to push proposals that are in favour of a positive reform of copyright adapting it to the digital environment.

December 22, 2013


With Newest AV Products, LG to Offer Breathtaking Auditory Experience, Enhanced Versatility and Stylish Aesthetics at CES 2014

In less than three weeks, LG Electronics (LG) will be showcasing its latest audio video lineup at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The premium selection of products includes the latest iteration of the much acclaimed, space-saving SoundPlate (Model LAB540W), innovative Wireless Audio System (Model NP8740) and the sleek, aesthetically striking Sound Bar (Model NB5540). These systems, along with a number of other head-turning products,offer rich, deeply satisfying sound along with the plethora of convenient smart connectivity features that make LG’s systems so versatile.

December 21, 2013

First-in-man implantation of CARMAT’s bioprosthetic artificial heart

CARMAT, the designer and developer of the world’s most advanced total artificial heart project, providing an alternative for people suffering from end-stage heart failure, announces the first implantation of its artificial heart, as part of its feasibility study and in accordance with the approvals granted by the ANSM (Agence nationale de securite du medicament et des produits de sante, the French health authority) and the Comite de Protection des Personnes (ethics committee).

The procedure was performed on December 18, 2013 by the Georges Pompidou European Hospital team in Paris (France) – a world first.

More Than 150 Panasonic AV Solutions at the New Olympic Museum

Official worldwide sponsor of the Olympic games, Panasonic announces a new development with long-standing partner IOC (International Olympic Commitee). More than 150 Panasonic AV solutions delivered in technical fulfillment of new Olympic museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Panasonic System Communications Company Europe is pleased to announce a new development in the long-standing partnership with the IOC, as the official Opening Ceremony on 21st December 2013 marks the re-opening of the IOC Olympic Museum to the general public. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the museum houses permanent and temporary exhibits relating to sport and the Olympic Games movement. With more than 1,500 exhibit pieces in addition to audio-visuals, multimedia and other speech mediums, the museum is the largest Olympic Games archive in the world and one of Lausanne's prime tourist sites, attracting more than 200,000 visitors each year.

An earthquake or a snow avalanche has its own shape

Predicting earthquakes or snow avalanches is difficult, but to for instance reduce the related risks it is of high importance to know if an avalanche event is big or small.

Researchers from Aalto University have, together with colleagues from Oslo and ENS, Lyon, found that such events or say the acoustic sound bursts coming from the tearing of paper have a typical form independent of whether they are big or small. However, it is crucial what one observes – paper fracture or the avalanching of snow. The results were just published in the Nature Communications journal.

Heat storage and electricity generation in the Moon during the lunar night

One of the biggest challenges of the exploration of the Moon is the survival of the crew and the lunar assets during the lunar night. The environmental conditions on the lunar surface and its cycle, with long periods of darkness, make any long mission in need of specific amounts of heat and electricity to be successful. We have analyzed two different systems to produce heat and electricity on the Moon's surface. The first system consists of Thermal Wadis, sources of thermal power that can be used to supply heat to protect the exploration systems from the extreme cold during periods of darkness.

Space has an 'animalistic' sound according to artist in residence

A new project led by a Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the University of Leicester, has revealed the ‘animalistic’ sounds in the dark, cold vacuum of space and the boiling mass of the sun.

We often think of the vast outer space as being as quiet as it is empty, but it does in fact, have the capacity to be as noisy as anywhere on Earth. It also sounds surprisingly Earth-like according to new recordings generated by multimedia composer and Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the University’s Space Centre, Andrew Williams.

Low and Declining Mercury in Arctic Russian Rivers


Mercury (Hg) dynamics in the Arctic is receiving increasing attention, but further understanding is limited by a lack of studies in Russia, which encompasses the majority of the pan-Arctic watershed. This study reports Hg concentrations and trends in burbot (Lota lota) from the Lena and Mezen Rivers in the Russian Arctic, and assesses the extent to which they differ from those found in burbot in arctic rivers elsewhere. Mercury concentrations in burbot in the Lena and Mezen Rivers were found to be generally lower than in 23 other locations, most of which are in the Mackenzie River Basin (Canada). Mercury concentrations in burbot in the Lena and Mezen Rivers also were found to have been declining at an annual rate of 2.3% while they have been increasing in the Mackenzie River Basin at annual rates between 2.2 and 5.1% during roughly the same time period.

Why it Snows so Much in the Frozen North

When it doesn’t show signs of stopping, most of us just mumble a few choice words and get out the snow shovel. Scientists, however, wonder where all that snow is coming from, particularly in pristine places like the Arctic. Raymond Shaw and his colleagues may have found an answer.

Here’s the conundrum: Snow doesn’t just materialize out of thin air. For those delicate, six-sided crystals of ice to form, they need a nucleus, a speck of dust, where water molecules can cling and order their structure as they freeze. Those ice-forming nuclei are relatively rare. Yet, over the Arctic, where the atmosphere is very clean and the ocean is covered with ice, sometimes it snows interminably. With bazillions of snowflakes crystalizing over dust specks and falling to Earth, why don’t the clouds run out of nuclei? And why doesn’t it quit snowing?

Not Just the Koch Brothers: New Drexel Study Reveals Funders Behind the Climate Change Denial Effort

 A new study conducted by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle, PhD, exposes the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the powerful climate change countermovement. This study marks the first peer-reviewed, comprehensive analysis ever conducted of the sources of funding that maintain the denial effort.

Through an analysis of the financial structure of the organizations that constitute the core of the countermovement and their sources of monetary support, Brulle found that, while the largest and most consistent funders behind the countermovement are a number of well-known conservative foundations, the majority of donations are “dark money,” or concealed funding.

Penn Researchers Grow Liquid Crystal 'Flowers' That Can Be Used as Lenses

A team of material scientists, chemical engineers and physicists from the University of Pennsylvania has made another advance in their effort to use liquid crystals as a medium for assembling structures.

In their earlier studies, the team produced patterns of “defects,” useful disruptions in the repeating patterns found in liquid crystals, in nanoscale grids and rings. The new study adds a more complex pattern out of an even simpler template: a three-dimensional array in the shape of a flower.   

Even or odd: no easy feat for the mind

Even scientists are fond of thinking of the human brain as a computer, following sets of rules to communicate, make decisions and find a meal.

But if the brain is like a computer, why do brains make mistakes that computers don't?

December 20, 2013

Charge Order competes with superconductivity

Today in Science Express: Charge carriers in cuprate high-Tc superconductors form nanostripes that suppress superconductivity, as shown by guest researchers from Princeton and Vancouver using synchrotron radiation at BESSY II

Superconductors are materials that can conduct electricity without any loss of energy. In order to exhibit this property, however, classical superconductors need to be cooled almost to absolute zero (minus 273 degrees centigrade). Even the so-called high-Tc superconductors still require very low temperatures of minus 200 degrees centigrade. While cooling down to these temperatures involves substantial effort, superconductors are already employed in many areas, e.g., for magnetic resonance tomography in medical applications. Despite extensive research, materials providing lossless conduction of electricity at room temperature are missing up to now.


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A new era is beginning for Automobili Lamborghini and the luxury super sports car segment: with the brand new Huracán Lamborghini is not only presenting the successor to the iconic Gallardo, but is also redefining the benchmark for luxury super sports cars in this segment.
With its pure and unique design, an innovative technology package, outstanding dynamics and excellent quality, the Huracán offers a super sports car experience on a whole new level. The Huracán combines absolute performance with easy-todrive road behavior and both luxurious and sport-oriented finish. With the Huracán, Lamborghini is taking a big step into the future, and enhancing the brand’s illustrious history with the next automotive legend.
Starting from January 2014 the Huracán will be the protagonist of over 130 private preview events in more than 60 cities throughout the world. The Lamborghini Huracán will make its world public debut at the Geneva Motorshow 2014.

Chickless birds guard nests of relatives

New research has solved a mystery as to why some birds choose not to reproduce, and instead help to guard the nests of their close relatives. This occurs in about nine percent of all bird species.

The University of Melbourne collaborated in a study led by ANU and Cambridge University. The findings showed non-breeders helped drive off birds like cuckoos, which lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.

Seven Cloud Predictions for 2014

With the end of the year buzz around predictions, it's hard not to join in the conversation. Our CenturyLink Cloud leadership team came together for a few predictions for the year head - and to show we are keepin' it real, we scored last year's predictions as well.

1. Enterprise-buyer demand fuels cloud consolidation. Well past the "dipping their toes in" stage with cloud-native apps, enterprises are now accelerating the migration of business-critical applications to the cloud. They will demand more complete, mature cloud solutions from the IT providers they already know and trust. This, in turn, will result in more cloud M&A activity as incumbent vendors solidify their cloud strategy and enhance offerings.

see also (Cloud Backup & Disaster Recovery Predictions for 2014)

Airbus signs MoU to develop airliner electric taxi system

As part of on-going research and development into future technology options, Airbus has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EGTS International, a joint venture company between Safran and Honeywell Aerospace, to further develop and evaluate an autonomous electric pushback and taxiing solution for the A320 Family.

Crystal film growth: nanosheets extend epitaxial growth applications

Molecularly thin two-dimensional crystals can alleviate the lattice matching restrictions of epitaxial crystalline thin film growth, as reported by researchers in Japan.

Epitaxial growth has become increasingly important for growing crystalline thin films with tailored electronic, optical and magnetic properties for technological applications. However, the approach is limited by the high structural similarities required between an underlying substrate and a growing crystal layer on top of it. Takayoshi Sasaki and colleagues at the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA) and the University of Tokyo in Japan demonstrate how using two-dimensional materials they can extend the versatility of epitaxial growth techniques.

Jet-propelled wastewater treatment

Swimming microengines made from platinum and iron are highly efficient in removing organic pollutants from water using hydrogen peroxide.

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have developed a new method for the active degradation of organic pollutants in solution by using swimming microengines. The mobile microcleaners consist of an outer iron and an inner platinum layer, thereby combining two functionalities. Hydrogen peroxide, which must be added to the contaminated solution, acts as fuel for the platinum micromotors and as reagent for degrading organic pollutants on the iron layer. Not many methods for the successful cleaning of polluted wastewaters exist. The Fenton reaction, one of the most popular advanced oxidation processes for the degradation of organic pollutants, relies on spontaneous acidic corrosion of the iron micromotor surface in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The scientists report that the oxidation of organic pollutants achieved by a swarm of these self-propelled microjets is twelve times higher than when using immobile iron microtubes.

Honda to Debut All-New 2015 Fit at North American International Auto Show

Big news in the New Year for the subcompact-car segment with the introduction of a from-the ground-up more advanced, refined and fun-to-drive Honda Fit

Honda will take the wraps off the all-new 2015 Fit at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13, at 2:40 pm. Honda will showcase significant advancements designed to further extend Fit’s status as the benchmark vehicle in the subcompact-car class.

see also (2015 Acura TLX Prototype to Debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show)


Breakthrough may lead to novel materials and applications

All good research breaks new ground, but rarely does the research unearth truths that challenge the foundation of a science. That’s what Artem R. Oganov has done, and the professor of theoretical crystallography in the Department of Geosciences will have his work published in the Dec. 20 issue of the journal Science.