Archive for Duben, 2012

Ethiopian Airlines Takes Delivery of the Second 737-800 Sky Interior Aircraft

Sobota, Duben 28th, 2012

Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing African airline, is pleased to announce that is has received the second next-generation Boeing 737-800 Sky Interior Aircraft. The airline placed a firm order for 10 of its kind back in December 2009.

“As a customer focused airline, we are largely investing on modernization of our fleet. The new 737-800 Sky Interior aircraft is built with the 21st century technology to provide our customers with comfort and style to make air travel an unforgettable experience” said Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

The new Sky Interior 737-800NG offers several unique features including larger overhead bins. The innovative design allows the bins to hold 48 more bags than the standard overhead bins. Sculpted sidewalls provide customers with a feeling of spaciousness while the updated window makes the windows appear larger.

In addition, it has Brighter and longer-lasting LED lighting systems are installed in the aircraft which can be programmed to create desired effects during flight times, such as soft blue sky overhead. The cove lighting provides a welcoming feel for customers as they board the aircraft. Intuitive placement of switches and call buttons and speakers above every row of seats to improve sound quality are additional features that enhance the customer experience.

The new 737-800 Sky Interior will initially be deployed on Ethiopian flights to the East African tourist destinations such as Mombasa, Nairobi, Dar-Es-Salam as well as Seychelles during the day time and to Dubai, Kuwait, Delhi and Bombay at night.

Ethiopian Airlines is the first carrier in Africa to purchase state-of-the art Boeing 777-200LR with five of its kind in the fleet. The Airline will also receive Africa’s first 787 Dreamliner in summer 2012. Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the most technologically advanced airplane with less fuel consumption and carbon emissions compared to other similar sized airplanes.

Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, made its maiden international flight to Cairo in 1946. With the latest addition of new services to Seychelles, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 66 international destinations spanning four continents.

Ethiopian is proud to be a Star Alliance Member. The Star Alliance network is the leading global airline network offering customers convenient worldwide reach and a smoother travel experience. The Star Alliance network offers more than 20,500 daily flights to 1,293 airports in 190 countries.

Ethiopian is a multi-award winner for its commitment and contributions towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry and in recognition of its distinguished long-haul operations enhanced by the introduction of new routes and products.

Radiant Optoelectronics Gears Up for LED Lighting Entry

Pátek, Duben 27th, 2012

Radiant Optoelectronics Co., Ltd. Chairman B.R. Wang recently said his company will start entering into the LED lighting sector this year, with commercial products to be primary products in the initial stage.

Wang, whose company makes backlight modules for personal computers, said the company will make most of its advantage in light guide plate R&D to drum up built-to-order contracts among international lighting brands. He said the company’s lighting operation can provide customers with integrated service using its light guide plate technology and backlight module knowhow.

The chairman pointed out that the company will start to build up competitive strength and footholds for its LED lighting operation over next three to five years. Noting that lighting operation will not account for much of the company’s revenue, which reached NT$63.4 billion (US$2.1 billion at US$1: NT$29) in 2011, Wang said that the company would not be outshone by existing LED-lighting manufacturers on the island in terms of LED lighting revenue.

Wang pointed out that although the company does not have integrated manufacturing capability boasted by many of existing LED lighting manufacturers on the island, its unmatched procurement volume of LEDs every month provides it with the bargaining chip for price negotiation with LED suppliers.

When people in the LED lighting industry are concerned about issues associated with light intensity and price, Wang is considering how to make the lamps look more charming.

The island’s heavyweight LED makers, including Epistar Inc., Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd., Lextar Electronics Corp., Delta Electronics Inc. and Edison Opto Corp., estimated the recent considerable hikes of oil prices and electricity rates on the island will give a boost to the island’s LED lighting industry.

Spaces to Roam

Čtvrtek, Duben 26th, 2012

Indeed. A recent tour of National Life’s headquarters reveals just how much has changed in a year. I’m greeted in the second-floor lobby by Rusnock and Tim Shea, National Life’s vice president for facilities, purchasing and contracting. Shea, who’s overseen much of the building’s internal transformation, is there to explain “how the furniture can help people think differently about the way they work.”

We’re joined by Stephen Frey, architect and owner of Arocordis Design. Frey was hired by National Life to re-create its workplace to, as he puts it, “better reflect the values of the company in three-dimensional form.”

To understand how dramatic the change has been, we enter one of the last remaining sections of the building not yet renovated. It’s a drab, Dilbert-esque cubicle farm with harsh, overhead fluorescent lights and 67-inch-high partitions. Much of the furniture is three decades old and sprawls with mazelike complexity.

“Welcome to the cutting-edge action office of the late 1960s,” jokes Frey. “It’s like a rabbit hole. People used to get lost here.”

From there, we enter a stairwell that bathes us in gentle, ambient music as we climb to the third floor.

Inside, the transformation is dramatic. Gone are the high cubicle walls, replaced by glass walls and lower partitions that allow employees to see and converse with one another. Overhead fluorescents have all been replaced by soft, diffuse, energy-efficient lights. In fact, the entire lighting system is controlled by sensors that self-adjust based on the presence of people and the amount of natural light coming in from outside.

“I’ve heard a number of people comment that they feel healthier in the new space,” Rusnock notes. “Air flow is better, the lighting is better and the views are spectacular.”

Denise Graves, a programmer and analyst who’s been with National Life for 17 years, agrees.

“I like the open concept, and I like being able to see everybody,” she says. “You can find out if someone is available if you just stand up.”

Graves admits that the loss of personal space was “definitely a change. It takes a little longer in the morning to get set up, but once you do, you don’t have all that clutter, which can be a good thing.”

As Frey explains, such changes reflect a fundamental shift from “‘I’ space to ‘we’ space.” In the past, an office like this one was 80 percent workstations and 20 percent meeting areas; today, National Life’s offices are about 40 percent workstations and 60 percent communal areas for meetings, group projects, teleconferences and brainstorming sessions.

“It’s kind of exciting because people are more energized at their work areas. They’re not all alone in a room anymore,” Frey adds. “Literally lowering the walls and opening up the floor helps people move to a more collaborative space.”

Collaborative space is a buzzword also heard at Office Squared, a “professional coworking space” at 106 Main Street in downtown Burlington. Office Squared — O2 for short — provides freelancers, independent businesspeople and telecommuters with an affordable, centrally located spot where they can set up shop, hold business meetings, do presentations and work on projects anytime, day or night.

Local Lighting Expert Launches First Book

Středa, Duben 25th, 2012

Lighting expert Ralph Peake has published his first book in the Isle of Man based on a lifetime’s experience in lighting design and technology.

“Lighting Inspiration” gathers together Ralph’s 25 years in the industry which started as a teenage schoolboy and eventually led to him creating his own company.

he book was officially launched at The Lexicon Book Shop in Douglas attended by clients, friends and family.

He said, “I have made this book short and easy to follow. I hope it will inspire readers to look at ways of improving lighting in their homes and to enjoy the results.”

Ralph Peake’s interest in lighting began when he joined his school’s theatre lighting department, responsible for the lighting of student productions and touring professionals. He later attended King William’s College where he became head of lighting in the late 70s. Eventually, he created the Luminaires company in 1991 as a retail outlet, before expanding into architectural and commercial lighting.

Ralph has achieved qualifications from the Lighting Industry Federation and the Chartered Institute of Management, and has hosted numerous lighting seminars and published articles in trade publications. Luminaires is also a corporate member of the Professional Lighting Design Association.

His book is aimed at giving his professional experience and advice to property owners who want to enhance their lighting, at home or in a commercial environment.

The book looks at lighting in all areas of the home, offering hints and tips and showing photographs of what can be achieved in areas throughout the home such as the kitchen, bedrooms and dining room.

An interesting section covers “creating scenes” in your living room, showing how good lighting can improve your use and enjoyment of the space in a variety of ways, such as reflecting light around the room to create shadow-free light, or the creation of pools of localised light through the careful positioning of table or standard lamps.

Another chapter advises on how to create your own spa experience in the bathroom, using coloured lighting and the latest in LED and fibre optic lighting systems to produce your own unique ambience and relaxed atmosphere.

Using his personal experience of advising on lighting in such buildings as the Villa Marina Arcade in Douglas, Ralph Peake also includes a section on commercial and industrial lighting and looks back at the history of the first lamps by Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan in the late 19th century.

He also offers up-to-date advice on the very latest technological advances in lighting, including the energy saving properties of LED lights and how tungsten and fluorescent lamps are fast becoming out-dated because of their high running costs.

Ralph added, “I believe that once you have experienced the transformation good lighting can make to your living environment you will want to understand this subject in more detail.”

Coldplay in Vancouver: When you give 119 per cent, you don’t need nuance

Úterý, Duben 24th, 2012

Few acts these days could sell out two shows at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena, but Coldplay, easily one of the hottest in the world, boasts cross-generational appeal.

The U.K. band has sold in the order of 55 million records and is sitting with another new hit album in Mylo Xyloto. Frontman Chris Martin promised Friday night’s crowd that they’d give “119 per cent,” and the band delivered on that rather random promise with a visually compelling and dynamic 90-minute performance.

The production was all about clever tricks and crowd-pleasing spectacles. One of the most impressive of these was the multicoloured LED light wristbands handed out to fans upon arrival. The radio-controlled lights lit up in dramatic unison once the band launched into the new album’s title track, and they were used throughout, turning the room into a giant Lite-Brite and the audience into part of the production.

Coldplay works hard, plays solidly, writes lovely, magnanimous songs with big, joyous melodies, and understands its audience, which means they are not above playing older hits, this time including In My Place, Yellow, The Scientist, Viva La Vida, Fix You, alongside invigorating, chest-walloping renditions of new tracks like Paradise and Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall, the fittingly dramatic show closer. And while Martin might not be the most natural performer, he makes the most of what he’s got.

Only a truly skilled showman can successfully play to a big room, and navel-gazing behaviour just doesn’t do. While Mick Jagger plays to the very back of the hall with the campy moves of a drag queen doing Tina Turner, Martin, who is superbly fit, opts for the utilitarian moves of a calisthenics instructor. If he’d dropped and given us 100 push-ups, it would not have been out of place.

The band – including guitarist Jonny Buckland, drummer Will Champion and bass player Guy Berryman – generously moved between the main stage and a B-stage connected by a catwalk. Martin covered all of it thoroughly, frequently praising the crowd, and stopping to catch a red bra thrown to him from a clearly diehard fan. In an effort to reach everybody, the foursome even squeezed into a row at the rear of the room during the encore for a rendition of Us Against the World.

Like its predecessor, U2, the band is not one to be accused of subtlety, which is a good thing in an arena, where the sound will never be fantastic, and the group will always be a speck to at least half the audience. And so, being literal wins out against nuance. On Clocks, Martin sang “Tides that I tried to swim against,” and made a swimming motion across the top of his piano. When a song was particularly inspirational, he’d fall to his knees, and then to the floor, in an act that at times came dangerously close to self-parody.

As the show went on, giant balls bounced among the crowd, the band’s clothes glowed with drabs of fluorescent paint and a piano rose from the B-stage on cue. We were covered with giant confetti, and dazzled by Spirographs, red lasers and overhead clouds of swirling colour. On the Rihanna duet, Princess of China, a projection of the Barbadian songstress appeared onscreen, while Martin, his T-shirt drenched, rocked the hell out of his piano seat and, voice breaking, sang his part.

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 Review

Pondělí, Duben 23rd, 2012

Billed as the first webcam that actually supports 1080p over Skype and 720p with other video calling services, Logitech’s HD Pro Webcam C920 is the best step you can take if you’re in the market for your first webcam or if it’s been a few years since you’ve purchased your last one. As soon as you plug it in and get a look at how good the picture looks, not just in terms of adjusting for light, but how clear and smooth the motion is, you feel you’ve made an upgrade. When you take it for a real spin and stream content or make a call to somebody and there’s no dip in quality, not much more needs to be said.

Functioning much as a standard webcam ought to, the Logitech C920 boasts some impressive performance, in addition to the Carl Zeiss Tessar lens and 1080p resolution, this camera can take 15 megapixel snapshots, comes complete with two built-in microphones for stereo sound, and a base that can be mounted onto the top of a monitor, laptop, or screwed onto a stable tripod. With all these features, it’s obvious that Logitech created a metaphorical heavyweight, but when you get into the software included, it’s kind of impressive what else you can do.

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 automatically encodes to H.264 as a standard feature, meaning you don’t have to do anything unusual to start recording in HD. Once the discreet and stylish blue LED’s on the sides of the lens light up, you know you’re looking as good as possible.

The included Logitech Vid HD software lets you video conference in case you don’t want to use Skype or Gchat, but also allows for extra fun features like the ability to make a “mask” out of any image file, or to turn your webcam into a security motion detector that will wait for something in the room to move, then start recording until the motion stops. It’s not going to keep your home safe, but as a feature it’s a nice afterthought and can be put to use at home or in the office.

It was using these features that I only experience any problems with the C920, as using masks caused the software to crash several times and required a system reboot before I could attempt to use them again, but it’s not something that I can take serious points off for unless you were hoping to make some rip-off versions of a particularly viral Youtube series about unpleasant fruit.

The picture is stunningly clear, the microphones pick up sound very nicely from a comfortable and natural range and even seem to do a good job of filtering out background noise, meaning that with just this one piece of equipment you can complete any video calling setup or content recording suite.

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 lives up to the “pro” in its name, taking care of any needs an amateur vlogger or parent away on a business trip might have. With virtually no setup besides plug in and go, this is a webcam that’s guaranteed to last for any practical purposes. If you’re trying to shoot a feature film, you might want to go with something a little less consumer-grade, but through the C920, Logitech is offering the best webcam on the market for its price, hands down.

Crosland Park clean up, open house are Saturday

Pátek, Duben 20th, 2012

The Crosland Park Neighborhood Association will hold its annual Clean Up on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Everyone is welcome to participate. Those joining in on the fun are asked to meet in front of the Crosland Park Neighborhood House, 1248 Crosland Drive.

Immediately following the Clean Up is the City of Aiken and Aiken Properties Open House Extravaganza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eight homes will be open for viewing and for sale. The starting point for this event will be 892 Alfred St.

The event will be broadcast live by WAAW featuring Bryan Williams, host of “Urban Showcase.”

SCE&G will be on hand to explain how we can save money on monthly utility bills.

Steve Brown, an expert on lighting, will speak with residents about the value of using CFLs and LED bulbs. Brown will have a light meter demonstrating the watt savings of CFLs.

Cindy Cardona, a home energy check-up field representative, will also represent SCE&G. Cardona is an expert on energy efficiency and one of several BPI-certified representatives who performs free in-home visual audits. She will be on hand to help residents understand how they can improve the energy efficiency of their home.

Staff from City of Aiken and Aiken Properties will be on hand to show several homes for sale by the City of Aiken, including one never before shown: 622 Schroder. Also participating in the Open House are Kings Sport Realty and Gold Ivy Realty.

For those seeking information about improving their credit or establishing credit, they should stop by as well as information will be available to help those wishing to find out more about their credit.

The consumption of General Lighting LED lamps in the United States reached $592 million in 2011, an increase of 22% over 2010and the market is forecast reach $2.4 billion in the year 2016, according to a new LED lamp market forecast and research report from ElectroniCast.

This report covers 3 major LED lamp application categories: Government, Commercial/Industrial and Residential.The 584-page market report highlights the Parabolic aluminized reflector (PAR) lamp market, forecast for double-digit growth partially offset by the price declines, and the Multifaceted Reflector (MR) compatible lamps market forecast for impressive growth as the technology evolves to provide equivalent brightness  to halogen MR lamps and competitive pricing; The report also reveals that the market for LED-based Decorative lamps will increase at well-over 40% per year, And  that LED-based Linear (Tube) Lamps - an emerging competitor to the fluorescent tube– are forecast to increase in quantity at a very impressive annual growth of over 90%, well beyond the pace of the rest of the market.

Europe on the Cutting Edge: ‘Organic’, the New Electronics Revolution

Čtvrtek, Duben 19th, 2012

An ‘organic’ revolution is unfolding in the electronics industry. From flat-screen TVs and flexible displays to windows, lighting, and solar panels, organic electronic components are offering unprecedented features, design flexibility and versatility at relatively low financial and environmental cost. EU funding is helping Europe strengthen its R&D lead in this fast-developing field by encouraging greater cooperation and coordination across national and commercial research efforts.

‘Organic and large-area electronics’ (OLAE) is focused on materials and devices built from organic carbon-based molecules that are able to conduct electricity. Because these are lighter, more flexible and less expensive than inorganic conductors, such as copper or silicon, they are a viable alternative for many electronics applications.

More significantly perhaps, their unique properties create possibilities for many new applications that would simply be impossible with standard inorganic materials. Organic electronics could lead to intelligent packaging, low cost radio-frequency identification (RFID) transponders, rollable displays, flexible solar cells, disposable diagnostic devices and printed batteries.

‘The range of applications for OLAE is extremely diverse… we are probably only just scratching the surface of what organic electronics can do, and, to top it off, OLAE materials are more cost-effective to manufacture and more environmentally-friendly than traditional electronics,’ explains Herman Schoo, a senior research fellow at Dutch research organisation TNO.

Dr. Schoo coordinated the Polymap* project to help ensure funding for OLAE research is distributed and used as effectively as possible within the European research community. Supported by EUR 600,000 in funding from the European Commission, the project team helped to establish an ERA-Net Plus network. This will build cooperation and coordinate funding streams from national governments and regional organisations. They also set up an online database to maintain up-to-date information on OLAE research and provided support and training workshops for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in this technology.

‘Organic light-emitting diodes’ (OLEDs) are the most common commercial application of the technology. They are behind the bright, ultra-high-contrast screens in high-end portable devices, and, increasingly, are replacing inorganic LED and standard lighting in homes and buildings.

But other organic electronic materials are also being used for flexible displays and ‘electronic paper;’ for ’smart glass’ that can switch from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button; for new types of semiconductors; for ultra-thin printed batteries; for smart clothing; and for flexible photovoltaic panels that can cover entire buildings.

Much of the pioneering work on organic electronics has been led by European researchers ever since Henry Letheby, a British analytical chemist created a partially conductive organic material by anodic oxidation of aniline in sulphuric acid in 1862. Today, innovative European companies such as Nanoident, PolyIC, Polymer Vision and Philips are working on devices, while leading materials suppliers such as Degussa and Merck are actively involved in R&D.

The Greatest Day

Středa, Duben 18th, 2012

I’m standing in line at Leon’s Custard and the crowd, awaiting cones and chili dogs, is thick. It’s a central point here on the southern edge of the city, where races, ages, income brackets and attitudes sync up beneath the stand’s iconic neon and fluorescent lights. I forget sometimes how much this town means to me, when all I read about in the news are the struggles and strife we face.

Earlier in the day, I was sitting in the courtyard of Best Place with the statue of Frederick Pabst as my only company as I sipped my Schlitz. I was reviewing my photos from a brief tour of Miller Valley, and listening to Jim Haertel give another presentation about beer to some out-of-town guests. Soon, I would be chatting up Mike and Eddie Glorioso at their new store space on Brady Street.

Very early in the day, I was trying in vain to get into the Milwaukee County Zoo. It was Family Free Fun Day, and it appeared that half the county’s population had shown up. Late in the afternoon, I was smelling bacon curing in Cudahy while trying out the new restaurant of famed Conejito’s server “Lala.” I was both doing things I’ve done hundreds of times, and crossing things off my bucket list. I had a whole itinerary planned out and only reached a fraction of it. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one out in the city.

When I was 17, I left my Iowa hometown and moved to Boston. I found a family that needed a nanny for a year. I dreamed that my little charge and I would ride the T everywhere, finding favorite parks and little shops.

Of course, reality was much different. The baby I cared for was less than two months old when I arrived, and required intense care that I was barely capable of at my age. My fantasy of finally being a city girl was squelched almost immediately, and I had to be content with strolling our peaceful neighborhood with the baby in a pram.

When my year was up, I realized that I had spent a year in a city I had hardly seen. My last three days in Boston were spent in a whirlwind of doing everything I had missed. I went up and down streets, trying to permanently imprint the city on my brain.

Fast forward a decade. In 2000, I moved my little family to Milwaukee from Des Moines. I had two daughters (ages 2 and 4) and a baby on the way. I was on bedrest due to complications of the pregnancy, and after my son was born, I remained homebound as I recovered. Once I was up and around again, I tried to get us out of the house, but we rarely made it much further than the Public Museum or the Zoo.  I’ve now lived in Milwaukee for 12 years, and I finally feel like I’m getting to know the city. A little.

Along comes Milwaukee Day, bringing me the excuse to drive the streets and get to know her a little better. As my partner and I flew from one public art installation to the next, I remembered the feeling of those last days in Boston. It was exhilarating and inspiring! And this time, I didn’t have to leave when it was over. Milwaukee Day was just the beginning – I can keep falling in the love with the city over and over, for years to come.

Schoology pockets $6M round led by FirstMark Capital

Úterý, Duben 17th, 2012

Schoology, a cloud-based learning management system for schools, just announced its $6 million Series B round of funding. The round, led by FirstMark Capital, includes funding from existing investor Meakem Becker Venture Capital. This brings the New York-based startup’s total funding to $9.3 million.

Schoology is in a similar space as services like BlackBoard and Edmodo where it is creating a collaborative learning platform to help teachers and students share information and projects online and in real-time. The service has both free and fee models — the free version is easy for one teacher to set up for his or her class and the paid version is created so that a school or district can get the whole teacher/student base online.

Schoology allows teachers to create their classroom online and invite their students, using unique access codes, then everyone can feel free to post work, questions and collaborate on projects. Most colleges currently use online platforms to post curriculum, questions and project details to make the information available all the time, from anywhere — with the added perk of saving money since they don’t have to print the direction pages — but now primary and secondary schools are seeing the benefit of online forums where students and parents can easily contact the teacher and stay updates on classroom activities.

As more students at younger and younger ages have an understanding and access to digital content and online platforms, this option has become a viable supplement to learning in the classroom. And with more schools adopting digital textbooks, the need for further online communication is obvious.

Currently, Schoology has nearly one million users on the platform, in 18,000 schools.

As the Schoology platform grows and is adopted by more teachers and schools, there is a growing opportunity for app developers that want to help create better tools for the educational system — and even the possibility that the platform itself can inspire students to learn about Web and app development.

And it looks like FirstMark Capital has its eyes on the depth of education technology since it was a part of another funding round for an education company, Baltimore’s StraighterLine.

The $10 million round of funding, led by FirstMark Capital and City Light Capital, also saw participation by previous investor Chrysalis Ventures.

This year alone, there has been a healthy dose of VC’s ready to invest in technology to help out those in the classroom — from a $26 million injection to 2tor, to the $6 million raised by Piazza for social learning and the $1.05 million Memrise raised to gamify language learning.