Archive for August, 2008

China’s Economic Torch Won’t Outlast Olympics

China spent some $43 billion and the better part of a decade preparing for the Beijing Olympics. But now, like a party host surveying the house as the revelry winds down, it is contemplating what will happen when the Games end on Aug. 24. Toymaker Shanghai Haixin, for instance, has sold millions of Fuwa, cuddly plush toy versions of the five mascots for the Games. “It’s pretty unlikely that people will buy these things after the Olympics,” says Shanghai Haixin executive Shan Yingkun. “Orders will be few and far between.” Click on the linkfor complete article

August 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Savvy Design, Off-the-Shelf Tech Yield Efficiency Gains

Hidden in plain sight, most buildings are massive environmental culprits. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, buildings are responsible for almost half of all annual greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Meanwhile, more than three-quarters of all electricity generated by American power plants is consumed by buildings. Enter Architecture 2030, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization led by eco-evangelist and architect Edward Mazria. Its mission: to help builders, planners, and architects design greener buildings. (The organization takes its name from a challenge issued by Mazria for the building industry to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2030.) Click on the linkfor complete article

August 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm

New Satellites for Europe: Commission starts selection procedure for operators of pan-European mobile satellite services

A competition for providers of communication services via satellite across Europe has been launched today by the European Commission. Satellite operators will for the first time be able to offer services such as high speed data, mobile TV, disaster relief and remote medical services under a single European selection procedure instead of under 27 different national systems. This is made possible by a new EU decision on mobile satellite services that entered into force this July. Mobile satellite systems use radio spectrum to provide services between a mobile earth station and one or more stations either in space or on the ground at fixed locations. They have the capability to cover a large territory and reach areas where such services were economically unviable before. The new European selection procedure could allow companies to offer innovative wireless services throughout Europe over a specifically reserved spectrum as of 2009. Click on the linkfor complete article

August 19, 2008 at 2:28 pm

How Cloud Computing Is Changing the World

At first, just a handful of employees at Sanmina-SCI (SANM) began using Google Apps (GOOG) for tasks like e-mail, document creation, and appointment scheduling. Now, just six months later, almost 1,000 employees of the electronics manufacturing company go online to use Google Apps in place of the comparable Microsoft (MSFT) tools. “We have project teams working on a global basis and to help them collaborate effectively, we use Google Apps,” says Manesh Patel, chief information officer of Sanmina-SCI, a company with $10.7 billion in annual revenue. In the next three years, the number of Google Apps users may rise to 10,000, or about 25% of the total, Patel estimates. Click on the linkfor complete article

August 19, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Making Mobile Networks Cheap and Green

It has taken 21 years to get mobile phones into the hands of 3 billion people around the world. Reaching the next 1.5 billion, who live in the world’s poorest and most remote corners, is expected to take a lot less time but will pose much tougher challenges. Click on the linkfor complete article

August 19, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Free Trade After Doha’s Collapse

The collapse of global trade talks on July 29 proves Voltaire’s aphorism that the perfect is the enemy of the good. In pursuit of the perfect—an international trade deal agreed upon by some 150 countries with vastly different goals—negotiators wound up with nothing. The way forward is likely to be via bilateral and regional agreements. A global deal, if one can be reached, may be a package of smaller agreements between subsets of the full body. Click on the linkfor complete article

August 19, 2008 at 2:20 pm

The Best Global Design of 2008

The globalization of design achievement is evident in the 2008 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEAs). Europe is surging, with its corporations, consultancies, and schools winning substantial numbers of awards. Asia is rising fast, with Japan back in force, joining China and Korea. And, for the first time, Latin America is making a strong impact. While the U.S. held first place, taking 114 IDEAs, Korea came in second, with 19, and Brazil ranked third, with 12. Run independently by the Industrial Designers Society of America and sponsored by BusinessWeek, the contest features 17 categories ranging from computer equipment to entertainment, and from design strategy to student design. Click on the linkfor complete article

August 19, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Why India Will Beat China

China, by contrast, has no rural property rights. China’s 750 million rural residents who lease land are at the mercy of the local and regional government as to what compensation they will receive, if any, when they are forced from the land as a result of development, infrastructure improvements, etc. Additionally they have no right to borrow against their lease, and as such they have no assets. In fact, the Chinese government’s official figures state that more than 200,000 hectares of rural land are taken from rural residents every year with little or no compensation. According to some estimates, between 1992 and 2005 20 million farmers were evicted from agriculture due to land acquisition, and between 1996 and 2005 more than 21% of arable land in China has been put to non-agriculture use. Click on the linkfor complete article

August 19, 2008 at 2:15 pm

A Golden Recipe for McDonald’s Europe

Three years ago, Denis Hennequin was faced with the supersized task of turning around the lackluster growth of McDonald’s Europe. The Frenchman—the first non-American president of the fast-food chain’s European operations—embarked on a massive McMakeover of more than one-third of the Oak Brook (Ill.) company’s 6,400 European outlets. And voilà, today McDonald’s Europe is sizzling. “The European business is growing much faster than the U.S.,” says Steve West, restaurant analyst with St. Louis brokerage Stifel Nicolaus. Click on the linkfor complete article

August 19, 2008 at 2:10 pm

America for Sale

American companies are on sale. Foreign buyers are circling, taking advantage of a weak U.S. dollar and a depressed stock market to snap up U.S. companies at discounted prices. Click on the linkfor complete article

August 19, 2008 at 2:09 pm

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