Archive for Březen, 2012

Stem Innovations iZon Remote Room Monitor Review

Sobota, Březen 31st, 2012

Stem Innovations iZon Remote Room MonitorClick to EnlargeLike an overly fat tube of lipstick, the iZon Remote Room monitor is basically a large cylinder. At 3.4 inches high and 1.25 inches in diameter, it’s small and unobtrusive. Toward the top is the lens, and below it is a small microphone and an LED. We like its clean white finish, but a black version should also be offered, for those who want to conceal it better. The back of the iZon has a miniUSB port, which is used to power the device (it comes with a nice long cord and a wall plug).

The bottom of the iZon is curved and magnetized, so it can rotate easily in the included base. This is a nice feature, as the camera lens itself can’t rotate. The iZon also comes with screws and anchors, so you can mount it to a wall or ceiling.

Getting the iZon up and running was pretty straightforward, taking a solid 10 minutes. First, we downloaded the free Stem:Connect App to our iPhone 4S, and created a free Stem account. Then, we plugged in the iZon, which automatically starts beaming out a Wi-Fi signal. Then, using the Stem:Connect app, we connected to the iZon via Wi-Fi, and configured it to connect to our home wireless network.

From that point, whenever we opened the app on our iPhone, we could see video from the iZon camera. Here, we could also configure the camera to send us alerts whenever it detected motion or sound, and to automatically upload video from those events to our private YouTube account. We liked that we could adjust the sensitivity of the settings, which will be useful for anyone who has a cat.

When you open the app, each iZon camera you registered (you can theoretically have up to 200 on a network) shows up as a thumbnail displaying the image currently seen by the camera. Beneath are three icons: A person (for motion detection), an ear (for sound detection) and a sun (for the LED light on the camera); if any of the icons is blue, it means that that particular feature is activated.

Sure enough, when we turned alerts on, then walked in front of the camera, a message popped up on our iPhone within seconds. In the app, we opened the Alerts section, where it listed each incident with the date and time and a small thumbnail, and, in theory, lets you view the YouTube clip. Cleverly, recordings begin about 5 seconds prior to the alert, so you can see the person as he’s walking into the frame.

The iZon records VGA video at 30 frames per second, which is fine in theory, but less so in practice. Its low-light performance leaves something to be desired, too. Even in a moderately lit room, our face registered as a blur as we walked about 10 feet in front of the camera. While colors were fairly accurate, it felt like we were watching previously unseen footage of Bigfoot.

You can also view live video from the camera on your phone or iPad. When you’re on the same network as the camera, you can view live video for as long as you like, but if you’re viewing remotely, you’re limited to 5-minute increments. It’s an odd limitation, but we didn’t find it particularly annoying.

Wind power plan positive: Chamber

Pátek, Březen 30th, 2012

The city’s use of power generated by the wind farm to control electricity costs for businesses and provide free lighting for outdoor recreational fields is viewed by the president of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce as a positive move.

Todd Clark said the innovative use of wind-generated power is a strong incentive for economic development within the city.

“The one real statement that is worthy of comment is that they’re leveraging their windmills in a tremendous way by providing discounts to groups for lighting on the fields and also for an incentive for economic development by guaranteeing locked-in electrical rates for business,” Clark said following the city’s budget annual meeting.

Clark said the impact on smaller businesses wouldn’t be substantial but it is the larger energy consuming businesses that would see the greatest benefits.

“For small business this is not a big deal if you’ve got a $100 a month power bill,” he said. But for a company like Tube Fab to get a power rate locked in with no increases for a few years, that’s a pretty significant amount. Those guys burn a lot of electricity. Those types of things I feel are pretty good.

“We would have liked to have seen commercial rates go down again as they did in the past but unfortunately that’s the times we’re in,” Clark said.

The chamber president said the business organization appreciated the support Councillor Jeff Sullivan gave them when he voted against the 2012 tax rate because it did not contain a two-cent reduction in the commercial tax rate.

“We’re certainly with him on that one,” Clark said. “Lowering commercial tax rates in attracting business pays off in spades. It’s better to collect more tax money at a lower rate than less at a higher rate. There are so many spin-offs that you get by creating enterprise.”

Clark said another positive aspect about the budget was council’s decision to continue the Economic Development Incentive Plan for the city.

Under this plan projects over $500,000 with at least a 25 per cent commercial component would qualify for no incremental municipal taxes for up to five years and up to a five year freeze on electrical rates.

Clark said the plan is an adequate incentive for development.

“There are some tax incentives and some power discounts,” he said. “Given the way today’s world energy prices are rising, if they can guarantee power rates it’s an incentive. It’s not a big giant hook but it’s better than nothing.”

SavWatt Installs Eco-Poles in New York

Čtvrtek, Březen 29th, 2012

SavWatt USA, Inc. pioneers in LED lighting and the Green Revolution, announced today that SavWatt has completed Eco-Pole installations at three New York sites: City of Riverhead - Riverhead, NY, Stony Brook University - Stony Brook, NY, St Raymond’s School - Bronx, NY.Further per our February 6, 2012 news release, our Solar Panel program has enabled SavWatt to close its first major Solar Panel EPC project totaling $3.4 million in New Jersey.

Martin Gerber, SavWatt’s CMO, commented, “Eco-Pole installations continue, with each new site providing feedback and statistics. Our continuous upgrading strengthens our offering for mass deployment. On another note, our Solar initiatives have started to produce results especially due to Federal Tax incentives and accelerated depreciation which covers 50% of the cost, making solar opportunities very attractive. We are looking forward to working with any municipalities that want to go green.”

About SavWatt Fast becoming the market leader in LED lighting, SavWatt focuses on developing innovative, energy-efficient and cost-effective LED lighting solutions. By delivering value added, application-specific LED lighting systems, we can significantly reduce energy costs and minimize our carbon footprint world-wide. SavWatt is leading the LED lighting revolution and setting the stage to obsolete the incandescent light bulb. SavWatt’s product families include LED fixtures, bulbs, street lights, and parking lights.

This press release contains forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown, that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Actual results may differ materially due to a number of factors, including the risk we may encounter delays or other difficulties in ramping-up production of our new products; the rapid development of new technology and competing products that may impair demand or render SavWatt’s products obsolete; and other factors discussed in SavWatt’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and subsequent filings.

The improved lights, offering better illumination and significantly improved reliability to reduce airline operating costs over current LED lights, will be integrated in the aircraft nose landing gear in two locations. Additionally, due to the plug and play design, the LED lights are easy to install in 15 minutes or less. The work will be done at Goodrich’s Lighting Systems facility in Lippstadt, Germany.

“Goodrich has worked closely with the Lufthansa Technik team to create a superb technology LED solution which extends light service life and offers a ‘no touch - maintenance free’ product,” says Brian Sartain, vice president of Goodrich’s Interiors Cabin and Lighting Systems business. “Our LED runway turnoff lights are reliable and are fully interchangeable (mechanically and electronically) with the existing lights. Moreover, during the extensive field trials, pilots reported that they can see better with these new lights which is a welcome safety improvement for exterior lights on board the Airbus A320 Family aircraft.”

Tim Wenger, A320 Family aircraft system engineer for Lufthansa Technik AG, expressed his appreciation to the Goodrich team for collaborating with the airline. “I am impressed with the way Goodrich worked to provide us with a cost effective lighting solution for our needs. The Goodrich lights certainly exceeded our expectations and we are confident in the quality and use of these lights,” he says.

Too many candles for fourth birthday

Středa, Březen 28th, 2012

It couldn’t have been avoided. There were simply just too many candles for a fourth birthday.The disorder in parts of Punjab that peaked on Sunday could as yet be termed as a show of controlled aggression, a sign that things could deteriorate fast. In fact, it could well have been the biggest issue by now but for an opposition which finds it more expedient to take on the treasury over issues such as the resumption of supplies to Nato.

Tyres were burnt, and attempts at ransacking the shops made as groups of people suffering long hours without light came out again on Sunday. In Faisalabad, there were clashes when rioters tried to force shopkeepers to shut down their business.

Scattered protests took place in Lahore and the adjacent districts of Kasur and Sheikhupura. These could have been much larger rallies. They may have had the blessing of some individual politician or a party, but the orders to bind these separate groups of protesters into a single large procession ready to march are yet to be received.

Popular causes pursued openly by political parties make much more sense. One unfortunate result of these power protests lacking the ownership of a political party was that the rioters felt free to vandalise small merchandise, such as the fruit vendors and small shops in Faisalabad as well as small businesses in Lahore.

No political party can afford such negative publicity and the organisation of a protest by a brand does bring a certain discipline and purpose to it. Even violence has to be directed against the truly deserving for it to have effect. The news reports of Sunday’s demos, supportive of the power-denied as these had to be, were no less sympathetic to the small business owners targeted by the rioters.

The protests brought to the fore groups angry yet disorganised. Absence of open backing by a political party to channel their anger into an organised push could lead to stronger, uglier shows of violence. The police were ineffective, which could encourage a repeat, even though Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited Faisalabad on Monday to educate the aggrieved on how not to conduct a just protest demonstration.

The politicians were aware, if not fully committed to the popular cause. In Lahore, Nawaz Sharif made fun of Prime Minister Gilani’s wish — he had hoped for a congratulatory happy fourth birthday message from the PML-N chief.

What a farce this once entertaining circus has become. There are so many repeat telecasts that you can’t miss it, no matter how many hours without light you may suffer.

Everyone knows we are confronted with an even tougher summer than the one last year: less power, more to pay to Wapda. For the PPP government the more worrying aspect should be that it cannot carry on with an innocent face, blaming the lack of an adequate system, or even a future plan, to deal with the electricity shortages on the Musharraf regime.

The PPP’s shortcomings are all the more pronounced in the energy sector given the high promises it had begun its latest stint with. There has been news of some motley units added to the national grid but these do not show in the supply.

Arbreole, The Intersection Of Music, Light And Robotics

Úterý, Březen 27th, 2012

From a passion to create a social experience that is both digital, autonomous and interactive comes a wonderful discovery that music, light and robotics are more similar than you might think.

Leave it to the French to find a way to unite music, light and robotics to create a  intelligent lanterns/lights that interact with your movement to create a sensory experience that you control with your body. Arbreole – a modern interpretation of a string of lights.

Arbreole is a social, non-industrial robotic prototype and the latest project from France’s CRIIF (Centre de Robotique Integree d-lle-de-France), Le Cube, Strate College, a French artist, Laetitia Favart and musician / composer Robin Aziosmanoff. It represents four different elements that have come together in this robotic prototype: concept, technology, design and art.

Arbreole lights will sense movement and adjust the light and music to respond to your movements. If you move slowly, they will play slower paced music and different light colors will appear. If you make rapid movements or, say are dancing, the cadence of the music and light will change. But the lights can also induce your state of mind too – it’s a two way street with Arbreole. Each module can be the bass, the guitar or the drums – it’s dynamic so that each module can change its tune depending of the users reaction to the sound that’s played. So maybe you would move differently if there was just a bass solo or guitar playing directly to your movements.

Not all robotics is science fiction, Issac Asimov, Philip K. Dick Blade Runner-style.  Robotics can also be about creating a meaningful interaction with a machine that is autonomous and can react to our movements, sentiments or needs.

“I’m convinced the convergence of robotics and art is one of the best ways to touch people and to facilitate acceptance,” said Rodolphe Hasselvander. Director, CRIIF. “Arbreole generates emotion, interaction etc, and that moves us faster along the path of robotics in our lives which will play a very important role in our future lives – work, leisure, home.”

Arbreole uses telemetry with three sensors to detect if there is a person or object nearby, in this case under. Inside the lights are a sophisticated set of metrics that includes interactive systems, artificial intelligence and electronics and design – how it looks and how we interact with it.

Each Arbreole module is autonomous and is comprised of a full range speaker to create clear, strong sound, 12 led lights to change the colors of the lights, a projector under the module to light up the people around it. At the base or hub of the string of Arbreole lights, there’s a Lithium-ion polymer battery pack which makes it less expensive to manufacture, more reliable and increases the adaptability to a wide variety of packaging shapes.

The lights use wireless communications to communicate to each other and are controlled by an Android phone that controls all the parts including the sensors  — gyro, GPS, camera and touch screen.

Taking a look at the redesigned 2012 BMW 650i

Pondělí, Březen 26th, 2012

What can I say about this car? This is the same car with which I keep falling in love again and again and never get tired. I can keep driving this car on the roads to feel the pleasure that it gives to me. There is no doubt that 2012 BMW 65i is one of the sexiest cars available on planet at the moment.

Not only that this car looks good and feels good from inside but the exterior of the car can also make you feel a lot better. I could feel the admirable eyes of all those on the road while I was driving that car. It was amazing when I had the top down as it is a convertible car so you can keep the top up or down.

It is difficult to describe this new BMW in a single or two words. This car is perfectly classy, beautiful, gorgeous and sexy at the same time. You never fined such cars again and again.

This year (2012), The BMW 650i has got a complete makeover as it has undergone redesigning process. It has got larger wheels now and the engine has been converted into turbo charge engine this time.

There are fewer cars that are in competition with this one but still we can name few like Mercedes Benz E550 and Jaguar XK. Both these cars are offering style and luxury at the same time. However, if you look at the styling of BMW that it has got of redesigning, you will not be able to resist yourself admiring this car. BMW 650i has been converted into a car that is highly desirable at the moment.

We know that BMW has different series of cars like 3 series, 4 series and this car is from 6 series. There are two models available in BMW 6 series at the moment that are 640i and 650i. The option to buy a coupe or a convertible one is available in both models.

640i has 18 inch wheel, automatic xenon headlights, adaptive suspension, automatic wipers, LED fog lights, Power folding mirrors, parking sensors, keyless ignition/ entry, large tilt over sunroof, memory functions, power tilt, leather upholstery, telescoping steering wheel, dual zone automatic climate control, auto dimming mirrors, rear view camera and cruise control.

If you buy 650i then you get the same features but there are some additions like you will get a V8 engine, 16 way comfort seats and 19 inch alloy wheels.

You can also get a package of side view and top view cameras for driver’s assistance. New technology is also used called blind spot detection, automatic high beams are added and lane departure warning system can also be acquired.

There are some other options that you can consider like installing 20 inch wheels, active steering, LED headlights, infrared night vision display, active roll stabilization, enhanced interior trim and extended leather upholstery.
A person interested in buying this car should do some more research to find out what are some other things that are being offered by the manufacture.

Brundidge plans upgrades

Pátek, Březen 23rd, 2012

Brundidge officials took the first step towards a $1.3 million improvement project for its water meter and control system.

The project will include new automated meter reading systems, control valve improvements and installation of new water meters, as well as infrastructure work to equalize water pressure throughout the city. Officials said the project would not increase water rates for residents.

“Do I advocate moving ahead with this project? Absolutely,” said City Manager Britt Thomas. “This is a tremendous opportunity and a good investment. Water is our most precious resource and we should protect it.”

The improvements will be funded primarily through loans. The city will first hire Polyengineering of Dothan to proceed with the engineering necessary to meet the May 1 deadline for the city’s application for a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan. The cost of the construction engineering will be $62,000.

The city then will apply for a $975,000 low interest loan from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The loan will be used to install an automated meter reading system at a cost of $646,884 and make control valve improvements to the city’s water system at a cost of $125,000.

Thomas also advocated the installation of an automated meter reading system for the city’s electric system.

Thomas estimated that the additional cost to the city would be around $300,000, bringing the total for both projects to $1.3 million.

The benefits to the city, other than the automated meter reading system for the water department, would be evident in the tying in of the city’s water tanks, equalized water pressure throughout the city and improved capacity to fight fires, Thomas said.

“The interest rate for the $1.3 million loan would be, today, 2.6 percent but would be subject to the market on the day the bond is closed,” Thomas said.

In other business, the council accepted an ARRA 52 Lighting Grant Bid of $65,391 for the installation of 125 LED lights to continue the placement of the lights to Southern Classic Foods on North Main Street, to the last light pole on South Main Street and on Galloway Road and S.A Graham Boulevard.

The funds for the LED lighting project were made available from the American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“We were fortunate to get the stimulus money to initiate the LED lighting project,” Thomas said. “Not all of the stimulus money was used so funds were made available again. We received additional funding and are using that money to complete the lighting in areas that were not included in the initial project.


Čtvrtek, Březen 22nd, 2012

Running strictly off donations from individuals and businesses, Sluggers quickly became “a hit” with local coaches, parents and players.

Sluggers features four batting cages, two pitching machines and portable mounds, a tee area and a small practice area as well.

Woods quickly began to schedule teams and individuals for the facility.

“After living in this County all my life, I knew the athletes and gene pool here was outstanding,” he said. “So I wanted to tap into the people of the community to give the kids proper instruction. Appomattox has an abundance of knowledge for this need, and having many former players with college and professional experience, the response has been outstanding.”

Through mainly word of mouth, news spread that Appomattox boasted an impressive indoor facility that could accommodate kids from 4 years old through college age.

Sluggers’ popularity grew to the point where teams from as far away as Danville, Richmond and Roanoke were requesting reservations there.

“And with the popularity of travel teams, coaches love the fact that you can come into Sluggers and get a productive and efficient practice in,” Woods said. “Plus we are well-equipped to handle multiple teams. The hardest part of Sluggers is the scheduling because everyone really needs it because of the weather.”

The other hard part, Woods said, is “the transition from the younger kids to high school because there is just so much to cover.”

“We teach the fundamentals all the way through for each level as the kids progress,” he said. “We pride ourselves on the fact that when you come into Sluggers, you get the proper mechanics and instruction each player needs. We believe in a relaxed environment with discipline.”

Woods has never charged any coach or player to use the facility, however, there is a donation jar for anyone willing to give.

The facility must endure regular maintenance, such as replacing baseballs and softballs securing batting cage netting, replacing blown light bulbs, and fixing pitching machines.

All of those tasks are willfully handled by Woods, who donates his time to Sluggers without pay.

Woods’ main benefit is being able to watch Appomattox County’s youth ballplayers succeed on the diamond.

Another benefit of Sluggers is that it alleviates some of the overcrowding issues that take place in Appomattox, where ballfields and practice locations are limited.

Appomattox Community Park boasts a cloverleaf of four ballfields – three of which are completed – and two tee-ball fields. The old Town Ballpark is also available, as is the Spout Spring Ruritan Softball Field.

Not to mention similar problems in the counties of Campbell, Amherst, Bedford and Prince Edward, all of which have been forced to use Sluggers’ facilities at some point.

Gov’t Will Allow Mainland Chinese Investments in LED and Solar Cell

Středa, Březen 21st, 2012

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will announce today (March 20) third-wave opening for mainland Chinese investments in Taiwan, which will include 115 manufacturing items, notably LED (light emitting diode) and solar cell, and 23 items for the service sector and infrastructure each.

At the Legislative Yuan, Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang pointed out yesterday that for buying into domestic firms in key hi-tech industries, Chinese investors cannot become the controlling shareholder or the largest shareholder. In addition, the investment projects must contain industrial cooperation and must be subject to the inspection of an ad hoc panel.

Shih noted that the requirement will be more flexible than the existing ceiling of 10% stake owned by Chinese investors in existing enterprises and stricter than the 50% ceiling in new joint ventures.

The third-wave opening for mainland Chinese investments has been approved by the Executive Yuan (the Cabinet) and is scheduled to take effect by the end of March. Thanks to the three waves of opening, mainland Chinese investors will be able to invest in 97% manufacturing items, with the forbidden items including high polluting and nuclear safety businesses. Meanwhile, shares of service industry and infrastructure opened to Chinese investors will both reach 51%. In the third-wave opening, the government, for instance, allows mainland Chinese investments in mass rapid transit system and light-rail system.

Shih stressed that the restrictions on mainland Chinese investments are still much higher than other foreign investors but the difference cannot be too high, since mainland China is also a member of the World Trade Organization.

Since the government opened mainland Chinese investments in Taiwan in June 2009, mainlanders have invested US$272 million, creating some 5,000 job vacancies.

The BenQ RL2450HT was engineered exclusively for gaming with a 60Hz frame rate refresh rate for smooth movement, an LED light engine for great color and low power consumption, and a 2ms G2G response time with 12 million to 1 contrast ratio. Proprietary BenQ enhancements on the RL Series professional gaming monitors give gamers a competitive edge over players on other gaming monitors.

The RL Series RTS Mode maximizes StarCraft II visibility and optimizes color, while its Black eQualizer enables total visibility by allowing gamers to adjust the screen brightness without over-exposing white levels, in turn revealing critical combat details with improved visibility in darkened areas.

The RL Series Display Mode allows gamers to interchange between monitor screen sizes, while the Smart Scaling feature gives them the freedom to manually scale the screen to any custom size from 17 to 24 inches, depending on their preferences. In addition, the unit’s adjustable height stand allows for optimal screen positioning.

Budget announces sops for power sector

Úterý, Březen 20th, 2012

To bail out India’s crisis-hit power sector, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday proposed scrapping the import duties on coal and liquefied natural gas, increasing the limit on overseas borrowing and reducing withholding tax on foreign investments. Scrapping import levies on coal would help meet the growing demand for the fuel in a country where 70% of electricity is generated from it.

In addition, a countervailing duty of 1% on thermal coal till March 2014 was also announced in the Union budget, along with customs duty exemption for coal mining projects. While such exemptions will increase the demand for imported coal, they will also help state-owned Coal India Ltd’s mining plans.

The size of the market for imported coal for power generation in India is around 80 million tonnes a year. The demand-supply gap is expected to touch 450 mt by 2017, which is largely expected to be met through imported coal. It takes around 5,000 tonnes of coal to generate 1 megawatt of power. Only 320 mt of coal is expected to be supplied to the power sector by Coal India against the committed 347 mt in the fiscal year ending 31 March.

The state-owned firm mined only 431 mt in 2010-11 against a target of 461.5 mt because of stalled projects. Its overall target in the current fiscal is 452 mt. Similarly, the withdrawal of import duty on natural gas, used as fuel in power plants, will offset sharp spikes in the price of imported natural gas and help in setting up gas-based capacity in the country.

According to the Economic Survey presented in Parliament on Thursday, India’s natural gas production dipped 9% to 36.19 billion cubic metres during April-December from 39.68 bcm in the year-ago period, due to falling gas production from Reliance Industries Ltd’s D6 field in the Krishna-Godavari basin. This resulted in power generation from gas-based plants contracting by 4%. In addition, the budget also proposed extending a tax holiday under section 80-IA of the Income-Tax Act, which ends on 31 March 2012, by another year.

The law allows a developer to claim tax exemption of up to 10 years within the first 15 years of a project’s operations. An additional depreciation of 20 % in the initial year, which has been extended to newly acquired projects, will help consolidation in the sector. These announcements were likely to be made in the budget, Mint reported on 1 March. To help the fund-starved sector, Mukherjee proposed to raise Rs 10,000 crore through state-owned companies such as Power Finance Corp. Ltd and Rural Electrification Corp.

Ltd through tax-free infrastructure bonds in FY13. The power ministry estimates that an investment of $400 billion will be required during the five years ending March 2017. Reducing the withholding tax to 5% from 20% will boost overseas investment in the sector. This tax is charged on the repatriation of income from equity or debt.

These measures, along with the enhancement of external commercial borrowings to part-finance rupee debt of existing power projects, resulted in a spike in the share prices of power companies such as Reliance Power Ltd. In addition, the budget also announced incentives to promote the use of energy-efficient appliances and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). “I propose to fully exempt a coating chemical used for compact fluorescent lamps from basic customs duty. Excise duty on LED lamps is also being reduced to 6%,” Mukherjee proposed.