BUSINESS August 29, 2011 | 11:26 AM
Boeing’s 787 “Dreamliner” airplane recently made its first public appearance at the company’s factory in Everett, Wash., where it was said to be the first airliner to be built primarily from lightweight, tougher-than-steel carbon-fiber composite materials instead of aluminum. That contributes to its fuel efficiency and lowers maintenance costs.
The new planes can go further without stopping: up to 8,200 miles. This longer-range feature alone should make for more passenger comfort because there will not be as many plane changes.Read more »
BUSINESS August 29, 2011 | 11:03 AM
Fears of complications from inoculations are being dispelled by new data. A recent study carried out by a committee at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences gathered evidence to show that while immunization may carry a remote risk of complications such as fainting, brain inflammation and seizures, the occurrence are too rare to warrant cause for alarm.
The committee sought to reassure parents that they could go ahead with updating their children’s MMR immunizations without concern as serious health problems arising from vaccines are rare: “The MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism, and the evidence is overwhelming that it doesn’t,” said Professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and chair of the committee Dr Ellen Wright Clayton, the New York Times quotes. The MMR vaccine immunizes against measles, mumps and rubella.Read more »
BUSINESS August 29, 2011 | 10:19 AM
Indian web services company Lakshmi Access Communications Systems (LACS) announced plans for its new range of ultra-affordable tablets, with prices beginning at $99 before tax.
The publicity grabber is the 7-inch Magnum Pepper, which will sell for Rs6,250 or around $130 including tax. It will come with Google’s Android Froyo operating system and an 800MHz processor, along with 256MB of RAM and 2GB of built-in storage, according to the LACS Magnum website.Read more »
ECONOMY August 29, 2011 | 9:31 AM
China has released plans to invest ¥1.27 trillion, or $199 billion, in new railways and subways. According to the China Securities Journal, this new five-year plan is aimed at easing traffic congestion and attracting urban development.
Local Chinese governments will finance 35% of the bill. The remaining funds for the project will be loaned by commercial banks. The National Development and Reform Commission will also provide low interest loans through China Development Bank, one of only three policy lenders in China. These low interest loans include an invested ¥170 billion in Beijing until 2015.Read more »
BUSINESS August 26, 2011 | 6:37 PM
Though the price of crude oil may be slackening as rebels take over Libya, US crude prices have risen. According to CNN Money, US crude rose 2% to $83.46 per barrel. The Guardian reports that Brent crude oil fell over 3% to $105.15.
Having seized Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Tripoli compound and offering an almost $2 million bounty for him, Libyan rebel fighters are currently in control of 80% of the capital city, reports the Guardian. A change of government will impact on oil prices in Libya. While oil prices would surely be pushed down with a less precarious future in sight, oil production will not recover overnight as it will take time to fully rebuild the government and rehabilitate oil facilities.Read more »
BUSINESS August 26, 2011 | 5:13 PM
Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are working towards an agreement to collaborate on a hybrid powertrain system for trucks such as pickups and sport-utility vehicles in an effort to meet fuel-efficiency targets established under President Barack Obama’s administration.
The initiative was announced in July following Obama’s agreement with carmakers that the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard should be set at 54.5 miles per gallon.Read more »
BUSINESS August 26, 2011 | 4:59 PM
Undeterred by the economic crisis, major airlines are ploughing ahead with major investments. While many players in the aviation industry have faced challenges due to steep oil prices and falling numbers of passengers throughout the economic downturn, some airlines are tackling the vagaries of the tough climate head on through bold investments.
United Continental is to spend $550 million on modernizing its planes. Passengers are set to enjoy greater comfort with the airline planning to install Economy Plus seating on its mainline airplanes, affording up to five inches of supplementary leg room on seats situated near the front of the aircraft, facilitating quick exit after landing.Read more »
BUSINESS August 26, 2011 | 2:56 PM
Thanks to loyalty programs, experienced travelers enjoy a lot of benefits that include free night stays, rental car upgrades, waived baggage fees and free airline tickets, the biggest perk of all.
Frequent flyer programs are largely established by now. The first frequent flyer program was created in 1979 at Texas International Airlines. Delta and British Airways soon followed, while hotels have been secondary to airlines in adopting the programs.Read more »
BUSINESS August 26, 2011 | 10:46 AM
Delta Airlines has begun trials of Apple’s iPad as an upgrade to traditional paper flight manuals for its pilots. Apple’s tablet PCs were given to 22 pilots to replace their flight bags, which contain bulky manuals, weather maps, logbooks and other cumbersome papers, weighing around 15 kg.
The move is part of a massive digital upgrade for Delta staff and equipment, which has also seen the integration of in-flight Wi-Fi for its domestic aircraft to allow pilots to get real-time information and updates. The airline is also experimenting with the idea of handing out iPads to passengers for in-flight entertainment.Read more »
ECONOMY August 26, 2011 | 10:12 AM
Japan’s lower house of parliament has approved a bill promoting investment in solar and other forms of renewable energy. This ruling was the first step toward current Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s vision of a nuclear-free Japan. It is expected that the upper house will grant final legislative approval in the next few days, with related laws enforced by July 2012.
Under this bill, utilities will be mandated to purchase any amount of electricity generated from small hydro power plants, solar, biomass, wind and geothermal energy sources at pre-set rates for a maximum of 20 years. As reported by Business Green, this new legislation should push renewable energy from 9% of generated energy to 20%, with over 30 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity developed in the next ten years.Read more »
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