Archive for Únor, 2012

What Options are Available for the Backlights used in LCD Screen Displays?

Středa, Únor 29th, 2012

Choosing a backlight system for an LCD screen display is a major consideration. It will determine a lot about your experience of the display and requirements during production. Different backlight options provide widely different effects in the contrast and brightness of the display. Also, depending on which backlight option you choose, it will affect some or all of the following: the cost of the overall product; how many products you will have to order due to manufacturing constraints; and how environmentally friendly the component parts are that make up the product.

Let’s start with some clarity about LCDs:

The word LCD has been used to describe many display technologies. Often people believe that an LCD screen display is the same as a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube), an LED Display (Light Emitting Diode) or a Plasma display. This is not the case! Let’s discuss what an LCD is and what it is not.

What is an LCD screen display?
A liquid crystal display, an LCD, consists of two pieces of glass with a liquid between the layers of glass.

Think of the liquid crystal display (LCD) as a window blind. Positioned in one direction the blinds allow light to pass through, or turned another direction they block the light. Just like a window blind, the LCD does not create its own light, it only blocks or allows it to pass through.

BlindAs you know, you can adjust the blinds to alter the amount of light desired. When fully closed, the blinds block light completely; when open, all light passes through; and when angled, partial light comes in. An LCD works similarly to this, with one significant enhancement: an LCD has the ability to block light in some areas and allow light to pass in other locations of the glass.An example of this is the display used on a gas pump. The customer sees numbers where the light is blocked, and a clear area where the light is allowed to pass through.

What LCD screen displays are not:

LCD’s are not CRT’s, LED’s,nor are they Plasma displays. Each of these types of displaysproduces their own light and are called emissive displays. Emissive displays require more power than an LCD.

Emissive displays have a distinct advantage in that they can be seen clearly at night whereas LCD’s cannot. However, the solution to this problem of low-light visibility is to install a backlight behind the LCD. Backlights do require more power than the LCD itself, but they can be turned on only when necessary. Many products that are powered by batteries will have the backlight dim or shut off after a certain amount of time. This can be seen on cell phones and watches. Consequently, even though a little more power is used for the backlight than used in a stand-alone LCD, because it is not constantly on, the LCD’s with backlights wind up using less power than their emissive display competitors. LCD screen displays using backlights become the clear choice.

LCD Screen Displays with No Backlight

This option is the most popular for products that have a lower power budget. Products that run on battery need to conserve power and the lowest powered backlight available is to have no backlight at all.

The Amazon Kindle is a perfect example. The Kindle makes use of a display technology called ‘e-paper’, which looks more like a printed page than any other device on the market currently. This specific e-book reader does not contain a backlight. Because it omits the backlight it can operate up to one month without recharging. Imagine, you could take it on a cruise to Fiji and back and never have to worry about recharging it.

Thinking back to your product, not all products can omit a backlight; in fact it may require one. If it does need a backlight the most popular option is an LED.

Clean Green Nation Partners With Lockhart, Texas’s Lanetta McClure

Úterý, Únor 28th, 2012

Clean Green Nation, a company that provides renewable energy equipment and energy efficient products to consumers, has formed a partnership with Lanetta McClure, a green professional based in Lockhart, Texas.

As an authorized Clean Green Nation partner, McClure will provide the highest quality green products and services to consumers throughout the region. She specializes in various topics dealing with green living including solar power, wind power, LED lighting, energy efficient products and green living education. McClure’s foremost goal as a Clean Green partner will be to supply tips for going green in Lockhart TX to consumers based on her extensive knowledge of regional eco friendly topics.

“I’m definitely looking forward to helping out our great country through advocating a number of environmental advances,” says McClure. “There are plenty of new and different energy solutions that many people are not aware of; solutions that will ultimately lead to a greener lifestyle. Take for example, the residential solar power Lockhart, TX has to offer: it’s a readily available tool that many residents would benefit from on a daily basis.”

McClure will also feature a number of energy efficient products for sale in her online store. Here, businesses and homeowners in the Lockhart area will be able to shop, compare and purchase green products ranging from solar generators to LED light bulbs directly from a reputable dealer: Clean Green Nation.

“Clean Green Nation is giving me the opportunity to provide people with a multitude of different resources to help them live greener,” says McClure. “The overall goal here is to create a green energy supply that residents in Texas, and eventually the country, can use in lieu of traditional sources. The idea is that soon wasteful sources of energy, like coal power, will be phased out by renewable alternatives.”

Through both the sale of its products and the efforts by its professional partners, Clean Green Nation aims to heighten the public knowledge of renewable energy sources and advocate a greener standard of living in North America. The company’s top goal is to strive toward foreign energy dependence and the creation of a thriving green energy industry.

Stocks to Watch: H-P, Kohl’s, Vivus and More

Pátek, Únor 24th, 2012

Among the companies whose shares are expected to actively trade in Thursday’s session are Hewlett-Packard, Kohl’s and Vivus.

Hewlett-Packard’s fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 44% as sales in the company’s personal computers business continued to fall. Shares slid 4.1% to $27.75 in recent premarket trading as H-P’s revenue missed analyst expectations and as the company issued a downbeat outlook for the current quarter.

Kohl’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings fell 7.9% as the department-store chain’s disappointing holiday performance led to its first revenue decline in roughly three years. Shares fell 3.4% to $50.41 in premarket trade, as first-quarter outlook also fell short of expectations.

A federal advisory panel on Wednesday overwhelmingly backed Vivus’s weight-loss drug Qnexa, boosting the chance the Food and Drug Administration could approve a new prescription weight-loss drug for the first time in more than a decade. Shares of the drug maker surged 103 to $21.40 premarket. Rival obesity-drug maker Orexigen Therapeutics rose 20% to $3.86, while similar rival Arena Pharmaceuticals climbed 19% to $2.16.

Polypore International Inc.’s (PPO) fourth-quarter net income rose 49% as the company continued to see higher sales of its lithium battery separators. However, shares slid 12% to $38.44 in premarket trading as results missed analysts’ expectations and as the company warned that some headwinds experienced in the latest period will affect near-term results.

Limited Brands’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings fell 21% as the specialty retailer booked charges tied to the closure of some La Senza stores, though adjusted profit climbed and topped the company’s own forecast. Limited also issued a disappointing outlook for the new fiscal year, pushing shares down 3.1% to $44.05 premarket.

Dish Network’s fourth-quarter earnings rose 24% as the satellite-television operator reversed its subscriber-loss trend. Dish’s shares added 2.1% to $29.78 in recent premarket trading.

MetroPCS Communications’s fourth-quarter earnings soared from a year-earlier period weighed down by debt-reduction costs, as the prepaid wireless-service provider increased its subscriber rolls by 15%. The company’s stock climbed 4.8% to $10.77 premarket.

Onvia rejected an unsolicited takeover proposal from private equity firm Symphony Technology Group LLC, calling the bid inadequate. Onvia shares still jumped 35% in premarket trading to Symphony’s offer price of $4.25.

Trina Solar swung to a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss as the Chinese solar-products maker reported sharply lower sales and margins plunged. Trina’s American depositary shares were down 5.7% at $9.20 in premarket trading.

NII Holdings swung to a surprise fourth-quarter loss as higher operating costs masked revenue and subscriber growth. Looking ahead, NII forecast 2012 revenue below what analysts were expecting. Shares traded down 6.4% to $22 premarket.

Darden Restaurants projected strong earnings for the fiscal third quarter, pointing to a shift in the Lenten season that boosted same-store sales, along with less severe winter weather. Shares gained 1.1% to $50.68 premarket.

Why are cyclists so angry?

Čtvrtek, Únor 23rd, 2012

A lot of people whinge about cyclists. They complain that we don’t pay rego; get in the way of cars; think we’re morally superior; wear Lycra; treat red lights as yield signs; have tip-tap shoes; and take up space at cafes.

Cyclists are also accused of being aggressive road users. If cycling is supposed to be such fun, why are bike riders so shouty?

I must confess I have, at times, been a bellicose bicyclist.

I didn’t start out that way, but I can remember the day things shifted. I was riding my new racer on Sydney’s northern beaches. A glance at the bike computer told me I was doing 35km/h on the flat and it felt like I was flying.

A minute later, I really was flying. A car driver waiting to cross my direction of travel at an intersection had accelerated without warning. My bike collided head-on with her SUV, and I slid across the bonnet and the windscreen before landing on the road.

If I had died that day, my last utterance would have been “WHOA!” – hardly a contender for a dictionary of quotations. Instead, I was supremely fortunate; all I had was a tweaked neck, a flayed shoulder and a bruised hand. I was also lucky that an off-duty police officer behind the driver was ready to testify that I had right of way. My bike was bent in two.

And what did the driver say? “I didn’t see you.”

It’s a phrase so familiar to cyclists that it has its own acronym, SMIDSY: “Sorry, mate, I didn’t see ya.”

Well, my body healed, and insurance replaced my bike. I was soon back on the road - and as nervous as a kitten in a room full of rottweilers.

There were positives from my crash. I now never fully trust a motorist to give me the right of way - which has spared me an accident several times. Also, I got my new bike in yellow, as the original choice of black was a bad one.

But in the months that followed, I shouted at a lot of cars. Mostly, this was at drivers whose actions were making me nervous. But I was scared, and this fear was translating into short-fused fury.

The problem is that the stakes are so different for cyclists and motorists. If a car and a bike collide, the motorist goes to the panel-beaters. The cyclist winds up in hospital; or a wheelchair; or the morgue.

But motorists often don’t understand that what they see as a happy outcome – “whew, that was close!” – is a near-death experience for a vulnerable road user. And that’s why the cyclist is ranting.

After a while, I calmed down again. I realised aggression wasn’t helping anyone, least of all me.  I smile at fellow road users, I wave to say thanks, and if someone nearly wipes me out, I try have a calm, polite chat with them if I get a chance. Mostly, they are genuinely sorry.

I also ask myself: why are motorists so angry about cyclists? Let’s face it, with all the traffic lights, the buses, the jaywalking pedestrians, the T3 lanes and above all, the other cars, cyclists are pretty low on the list of things that get in their way. And it’s very hard for a cyclist to put a motorist in hospital.

Still, I truly believe things are improving on our roads, despite the efforts of shock jocks, TV news, politicians and a certain cricketer. It’s actually not a war zone out there, and 99 out of 100 people – motorists and cyclists – are trying to do the right thing.

It helps that more and more people are joining the two-wheeled revolution. In years to come, we’ll hopefully be wondering what all the fuss was about. Meanwhile, don’t SMIDSY me, and I promise I won’t shout at you.

Fujifilm Acuity LED 1600 debuts at FESPA Digital

Středa, Únor 22nd, 2012

Fujifilm has announced that its latest UV printer, the Acuity LED 1600, will be shown for the first time at a pan-European exhibition at FESPA Digital 2012, with the show also marking the commercial availability of the device. Visitors to the Fujifilm stand (K50) will have the opportunity to experience first-hand all of the innovative features of this hybrid roll-fed / flatbed LED UV printer which is built around proprietary Fujifilm technologies.

Featuring a unique, low-power consumption LED UV curing system, exceptional image quality and a productivity of 20 square metres per hour, the Acuity LED 1600 is the perfect addition to Fujifilm’s existing portfolio of wide-format inkjet devices. It can print on both rigid and flexible substrates and is suitable for an extensive array of applications, including posters, in-store POP and graphic displays.

The results from the beta tests are extremely positive, with printers delighted at the cutting edge features of the device and results that the Fujifilm patented technologies embedded within the printer produce. Fabrice Houillon from LVRI in France has been using the Acuity LED since November 2011 and has only good things to say about it: ‘At LVRI we are focused on improving our production environment with advanced equipment to increase efficiency and guarantee short turnaround times.

The Acuity LED perfectly fits in our workflow thanks to outstanding productivity, which is simply fantastic for a mid-range LED printer delivering vibrant colours at near-photographic quality. This technology allows us to diversify our range of services and to effectively tackle the POP and display market,’ he comments.

This advanced LED UV inkjet printer boasts a uniquely designed, long-life and low power consumption LED light source, combined with high precision and high speed printheads. Fujifilm’s Fast Accurate Marking technology enables best-in-class productivity of 20 square metres per hour while the Intelligent Curing Control technology guarantees wide colour gamut and smooth gradation, as well as ensuring ink adhesion on a wider range of media, including many environmentally friendly materials which can traditionally be more difficult to work with.

The printer comes as standard with seven colour inks plus clear, based on Fujifilm formulations, which allow print service providers to create high-gloss value added applications. The ability to apply colour and clear or white inks in a single pass can significantly improve efficiency and turnaround time.

‘Fujifilm is committed to providing the print community with state-of-the-art devices, and the Acuity LED 1600 is a further important step in this direction. This printer is the result of the application of a number of Fujifilm proprietary technologies and is nothing but a milestone in its market segment. This true LED system offers excellent productivity and gives printers the opportunity to extend their range of substrates to valuable and environmentally friendly media alternatives to PVC,’ commented Gary Barnes, marketing manager Wide format Inkjet printing at Fujifilm Europe.

Porsche GT3 Cup Series Races Into Record Books In Qatar

Úterý, Únor 21st, 2012

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East will create its own chapter of motor racing history when the region’s headline series makes a spectacular night-time debut at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit next month.

It will be the first Porsche GT3 Cup night racing event staged anywhere in the world since the one-make championship was introduced seven years ago, running initially in Brazil, New Zealand, and the US.

At the same time, a guaranteed starting line-up of at least 18 cars for Rounds 9 and 10 on March 2-3 will be the biggest since the Middle East version of the Porsche GT3 Cup series was launched in December 2009.

The Losail circuit’s permanent outdoor lighting will add a new dimension to the 12-round championship as the 2011-12 season heads towards its climax, and there is plenty of excitement in store for competitors and spectators alike.

“All of the drivers, and everyone else connected with the Porsche GT3 Cup series, are genuinely excited about our first visit to Qatar,” said Walter Lechner, owner of Lechner Racing, who run the championship on behalf of Porsche Middle East and Africa.

“This is something that we’ve been looking forward to ever since we started planning this championship several years ago, and we’re especially pleased to be racing at night for the first time, thanks to the fantastic lighting system at Losail.”

Lechner confirmed that Qatar’s Abdul Rahman Al Thani will make his Porsche GT3 Cup debut at Losail, joining Saadon Al Kuwari and Doha-based team-mates Rob Frijns and Manfred Ender on the starting grid.

While Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Al Faisal looks to be heading for his second Porsche GT3 Cup title success in three years, former Qatar rally champion Al Kuwari, whose son Abdulaziz won last month’s Qatar International Rally, holds a strong lead in the Michelin Silver Trophy for the intermediate class.

The full driver line-up for Qatar will be announced shortly, and it will be headed by leader Abdulaziz, and also feature Saudi drivers Bandar Alesayi and Saeed Al Mouri, currently lying second and third in the championship, and fourth-placed Clemens Schmid, who has three race wins to his credit this season.

“One of the big attractions of the Porsche GT3 Cup series is that we have gold, silver and bronze categories for each driver to fit into, depending on their level of experience and commitment to racing,” said Lechner. “While it’s a series that accommodates professional racing drivers at the top end, we also have two other levels, and the silver and bronze categories are equally competitive in their own right, making it a very exciting and interesting championship overall.”

The “arrive and drive” nature of the series, which means competitors simply turn up at the track, swap their day clothes for a race suit, and jump behind the wheel of one of the latest Porsche GT3 Cup cars, is a major attraction for those who have limited time for race preparation or practice. “We have a first-class team of race engineers, technicians and mechanics, and we’re looking forward to welcoming more Qatari drivers into the championship because we believe we have a great deal more to offer than any other race series in the region,” said Lechner.

NASA Map Sees Earth’s Trees in a New Light

Pondělí, Únor 20th, 2012

A NASA-led science team has created an accurate, high-resolution map of the height of Earth’s forests. The map will help scientists better understand the role forests play in climate change and how their heights influence wildlife habitats within them, while also helping them quantify the carbon stored in Earth’s vegetation.

Scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; the University of Maryland, College Park; and Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, Mass., created the map using 2.5 million carefully screened, globally distributed laser pulse measurements from space. The light detection and ranging data were collected in 2005 by the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System instrument on NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite.

“Knowing the height of Earth’s forests is critical to estimating their biomass, or the amount of carbon they contain,” said lead researcher Marc Simard of JPL. “Our map can be used to improve global efforts to monitor carbon. In addition, forest height is an integral characteristic of Earth’s habitats, yet is poorly measured globally, so our results will also benefit studies of the varieties of life that are found in particular parts of the forest or habitats.”

The researchers found that, in general, forest heights decrease at higher elevations and are highest at low latitudes, decreasing in height the farther they are from the tropics. A major exception was found at around 40 degrees south latitude in southern tropical forests in Australia and New Zealand, where stands of eucalyptus, one of the world’s tallest flowering plants, tower much higher than 130 feet (40 meters).

The researchers augmented the ICESat data with other types of data to compensate for the sparse lidar data, the effects of topography and cloud cover. These included estimates of the percentage of global tree cover from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite, elevation data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, and temperature and precipitation maps from NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and the WorldClim database. WorldClim is a set of freely available, high-resolution global climate data that can be used for mapping and spatial modeling.

In general, estimates in the new map show forest heights were taller than in a previous ICESat-based map, particularly in the tropics and in boreal forests, and were shorter in mountainous regions. The accuracy of the new map varies across major ecological community types in the forests, and also depends on how much the forests have been disturbed by human activities and by variability in the forests’ natural height.

“Our map contains one of the best descriptions of the height of Earth’s forests currently available at regional and global scales,” Simard said. “This study demonstrates the tremendous potential that spaceborne lidar holds for revealing new information about Earth’s forests. However, to monitor the long-term health of Earth’s forests and other ecosystems, new Earth observing satellites will be needed.”

Joining the Dots: Connectivity, Safety and Energy Are Jakarta’s Transport Challenges

Pátek, Únor 17th, 2012

The developers note that the elevated position of the track will lead to “no traffic accidents and no traffic disruptions.” Elevation will surely reduce accidents and delays, because there will be no cars or busses to crash into. However, people love walking in areas they have been asked not to.

So while mitigation and prevention are critical, sometimes human beings can short-circuit a sophisticated system. Developers’ promises on their “integrated safety and control systems” are reassuring in this regard.

But this brings us to the third, surely most tricky aspect of any transport system part of a larger one: the supply of energy.

Energy security is not only an issue at the national level. Complete systems like street lighting can go black if, for instance, a mouse gets fried in an electrical substation. Whole sways of major cities in the United States have slipped into darkness as demand for electricity went beyond peak levels.

We still have the occasional power outages in Jakarta. When these happen, will the trains still be able to run?

Additionally, are alternative energy sources such as solar or wind power being developed? Could the roof of each carriage or the roof of each station be fitted with solar panels? What about the lighting along the track? Solar-powered lighting already exists in Jakarta.

The developers of the transportation system have promised a system that is “environmentally efficient and clean.” Do they mean: no exhaust fumes, or are they aiming for a zero-carbon footprint?

Whichever new technologies and ideas are incorporated into the new transport system will have a massive demonstration effect on those already in place. The TransJakarta buses and many others already run on natural gas, a much more environmentally friendly energy source than petrol. But public transport systems could really lead the way to a cleaner and more fuel-efficient city: a big step in the direction of the low-carbon economy we are all striving to achieve.

Jakarta is a city waiting to be further developed and explored. Its people are great, with a friendliness not always seen in similar mega-cities. But new transport systems that are people-friendly, efficient, reliable and a joy to use are essential to put the capital firmly on the map internationally.

It is believed the new transport system will carry approximately 2.5 million passengers per day by year three, when all the work is complete. Those people deserve a break from the current traffic mayhem. So the message to all developers out there should be: talk, connect, collaborate, invent, cooperate and surprise us, so we can be proud of the world-class transport system we deserve. We’re keeping our eyes peeled.

Shine a little light on this topic

Čtvrtek, Únor 16th, 2012

I like to think of myself as a conservative with libertarian leanings, and yet there are enough issues on which I take an opposing view that a good friend of mine recently said that within a year, I’ll be a registered Democrat.

Rest assured, that will never happen. And yet there are elements of so-called liberal agenda that I do applaud, including healthy eating in schools and a concern for the environment, regardless of what’s causing global warming —- or whether global warming even exists.

Now that Lake Elsinore has announced its intent to consider replacing streetlights on several major roads with energy-saving LED lights (a City Council meeting on the issue was held last night), I expect a howl of protest from critics who say the light-emitting-diode bulbs simply aren’t bright enough, and that getting rid of the 426 high-pressure sodium lamps along Main Street, Lakeshore Drive and Collier Avenue is a safety hazard and may lead to an increase in crime.

Mark my words. It’s going to happen, as it has practically everywhere else around the country where a similar move has been plotted.

A city staff report says use of the LED lights will cut electricity costs by a whopping 90 percent, at an average annual saving to the city of about $90,000. What’s more, the cost of the lights is completely covered under a federal grant.

But the critics will still argue from the illumination angle, perhaps citing a new U.S. Department of Energy study of LED technology in ornamental post-top street lights conducted in Sacramento. Four different LED replacement products were evaluated, using computer simulations, field measurements and laboratory testing. The results found that none of the LED products evaluated could match the performance of the existing 100W high-pressure sodium lights.

My response: So what if the LED lights aren’t as bright? In life, there’s a trade-off for everything, and I’m all for a little less light on our nighttime streets and sidewalks if it means huge savings in both electricity and money.

But the critics won’t stand for it. No, sir. And I have a hunch the objections will come from the same people who scoff at recycling bins and toss their cans and bottles in trash, along with everything else they are throwing out —- the same people who think efforts to ban plastic bags from supermarkets amount to a Communist conspiracy; who question the government’s real motives in fluoridating our water supply; who laugh at hybrids and say they wouldn’t be caught dead in a Smart Car; who tinker with the pressure regulator on their shower and hold off buying a low-flow toilet until the last possible moment.

The G450 Elite Cabin Experience

Středa, Únor 15th, 2012

Gulfstream Aerospace comes to Singapore with, among other things, a G450 demonstrator aircraft fitted with its new Elite interior. The all-new optional package features elements from the company’s flagship G650, and is also available for G550 aircraft as well. AIN got a taste of the new cabin during a pre-show demo flight, courtesy of the U.S. manufacturer.

The sleek design features clean lines and white leather seats, offset by black high-gloss woods and matte silver finishes. Each element–up to the tiniest detail, such as the brushed chrome window shade controls–is a credit to its designers.

However, it is the aircraft’s invisible features that will make most difference to passengers. The company’s new cabin management system (CMS) includes digital control through Apple devices. Passengers can download an application that allows them to manipulate lighting, temperature, speakers, monitors, entertainment, window shades, and even call the flight attendant.

They’ll also be able to set and save their preferences. For example, if they like to work using the reading light, a closed window shade and a certain color for the indirect lighting, they’ll be able to save these preferences under their “work” label, which will automatically fire up their chosen settings when selected.

All the cabin systems (waste, water, communication, lighting, power, cabin control and entertainment) are designed to ensure that no single point failure will result in the loss of cabin functionality. Should a failure occur, maintenance staff on the ground will receive a message on the ground while the jet is still in the air.

There is an option for motorized seats. To ensure total comfort throughout all phases of flight, they sport heated back and seat cushions, a massager, single-position memory preset and press-and-hold controls for full upright and full-flat positions.

Lovers of gourmet cooking will appreciate the spacious galley, which houses a stainless-steel appliance stack with two coffee makers, a microwave and a convection oven, plus a refrigerator with freezer and removable shelves. There are touch controls built into the walls and the hinged doors on the crystal storage unit can double as an added work surface.

With such luxury on board, the flight seemed all too short. Should you want to experience the G450 interior for yourself, head to the Gulfstream stand where the aircraft is on display, alongside a G150 and G550.