Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Good Thinking

14-year-old Ribena vigilantes cost GlaxoSmithKline NZ$220K in false advertising case

April 14, 2007 When 14-year-old New Zealand schoolgirls Jenny Suo and Anna Devathasan handed in their surprising Science Fair project results in 2004, they hardly expected to strike a financial blow for the consumer, but that's exactly what happened when global pharmaceutical juggernaut GlaxoSmithKline admitted to 15 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act at the Auckland District Court earlier this month. The girls' project tested the vitamin C content of 8 different juices against the claimed amount on the packaging and were surprised to find that despite GSK's assertion that Ribena contains 7 milligrams of Vitamin C per 100ml, they were able to find "no detectable level" of the vitamin. Go to it kids! Be inspired by Jenny and Anna and keep 'em honest.  Read More

Neuromarketing: What's it all about?

April 12, 2007 Have you ever wondered about the relationship between sex and cars? Intuitively, we all know there’s something going on there, but new research in the area of neuromarketing is beginning to shed light on the subject and it appears there’s a connection. Brain wave recording devices have been available for decades but new technology can now pinpoint more precisely which brain regions are active as people respond to products or make brand choices or are exposed to advertisements. The neuroscience dream of being able to peer into the functioning brain has been made possible. When Daimler Chrysler recently showed pictures of their cars while measuring brainwave activity with an fMRI scanner, they found that sports cars stimulated the reward centre of the brain, which is also the area stirred by drugs, alcohol and sex. The front view of the cars, with distinctive facade and headlight “eyes”, subjects showed brain activity in the facial recognition centre of the brain.  Read More

3D technology solves 4500 year old riddle: Great Pyramid was built from inside out

April 12, 2007 Dassault Systèmes’ in conjunction with researcher Jean-Pierre Houdin, have used cutting edge 3D technology to solve a 4500 year old riddle – how the Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed within 20 years and without wheels, pulleys or iron tools. The pyramid is the oldest and last remaining wonder of the ancient world, and is as much famous for the alternative, often supernatural explanations offered for its construction as it is for its historical significance. Houdin used CATIA 3D software to digitally create his hypothesis, which theorized an “inside out” construction process. The highly advanced software was able to take into account the strength and resistance of the materials used, the ability of workers using primitive tools to move the blocks into place, the effect of aging, and even the effect of the weight of the pyramid on the pyramid itself. You can see the work in three dimensions here.  Read More

NoLube SIMpull THHN Building Wire

April 4, 2007 Electrical contractors will no longer have to lubricate feeder-sized THHN to pull it through conduit with the introduction of a revolutionary new No Lube SIMpull THHN building wire by Southwire. SIMpull THHN incorporates a patent-pending technology to reduce friction and with it the mess, labor and cost associated with lubrication. In addition, No Lube SIMpull THHN’s design results in a cleaner appearance, easier to read print and a reduced susceptibility to nylon tearing. Independent tests have shown the new cabling reduces total installation time by an average of 30 percent.  Read More

The One-Stop Bill Pay Kiosk Network

March 23, 2007 The power of consumer demand for convenience is driving innovation and automated kiosks become smarter by the day as they are the most cost-effective way to meet a customer in a convenient location – where they live, work and shop. The newly created ChoicePay kiosk is likely to proliferate quite quickly, as it aims to hook together hundreds of national and regional billers to create a network of self-service bill payment kiosks to be placed primarily in payment centers, convenience stores and supermarkets. The product of a partnership with Source Technologies which will integrate the ChoicePay multi-biller, bill payment functionality into the CONCOURSE line of self-service kiosks, to enable bill payment for cash paying consumers across America. Billers that support walk-up payments for cash-preferred customers can reduce the cost associated with processing attended payments, which can average US$1.501 or more per transaction.  Read More

Coca-Cola and GLAM*IT make Europe’s first Magazine on a Bottle

March 22, 2007 The concept of miniature magazines appearing on products of all kinds drew a step closer today when On Product Publishing International (OPP) announced that Coca-Cola Belgium will be the first soft drink company to use the Magazine on a Bottle concept. Coca-Cola light and Sanoma Magazines have joined forces to create the world’s first soft drink combined with a magazine, using the labeling innovation. In April 2007, chilled Coca-Cola light 500ml PET bottles on sale in Belgium will have a free copy of a special mini edition of GLAM*IT magazine attached to the bottle. GLAM*IT is a Belgium’s leading young and glamorous fashion title. The Coca-Cola light edition consists of content which is typical for GLAM*IT but reduced to fit the bottle size. A light version of GLAM*IT has thus been created, to further associate Coca-Cola light with the lighter side of life.  Read More

Nanotechnology offers vastly improved fingerprint acquisition

March 16, 2007 With the spate of Crime Scene Investigation shows currently running on television networks around the world, it’s hard not to be impressed with the evidence that technology can uncover. Well the science of fingerprinting looks set to move to a whole new level in the near future thanks to refinements to the fingerprinting process offered by two developments in nanotechnology. Described as revolutionary by people who are not prone to exaggeration (the United States Secret Service), the new nanotechnologies will enable fingerprints to be clearly developed that current techniques cannot detect.  Read More

Flexible large area printed semiconductor device

March 15, 2007 Nanoident has opened the world’s first manufacturing facility for printed semiconductor-based optoelectronics. The factory will offer high-volume production and will use the company’s Semiconductor 2.0 Platform to deliver printed semiconductor-based products. With its environmentally friendly production process, the OFAB can produce printed electronic devices quickly and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional silicon-based semiconductor fab. The technology will yield cost-effective, custom designed devices for applications such as industrial, chemical, biological, biometric and X-ray sensors, printed OLED displays for smart packaging and electronic signage. According to c/net news, a traditional factory that can produce 40,000 square meters of silicon computer chips would cost about $1.3 billion and require about 5,000 employees. The Nanoident factory costs about $10 million and can be run by about 50 people.  Read More

Using MATLAB Builder for Java from The MathWorks engineers can utilize buttons on the Java...

March 13, 2007 Given the increasing use of algorithms, we expect many of our readers will rejoice at MathWorks newly announced introduction of two MATLAB builders that let application developers create algorithms in MATLAB and then incorporate them royalty-free into enterprise applications based on Java or .NET technologies. The new builders eliminate the time-consuming and error-prone process of recoding an algorithm created in MATLAB into Java or a .NET language. The new MATLAB Builders for .NET and Java will save considerable effort by repackaging algorithms developed in MATLAB into deployable components that can be used royalty-free in desktop and Web applications.  Read More

iDashboards 5.0 offers direct linking to Excel spreadsheets

March 13, 2007 In the game of business, access to information is critical, and access to one’s own company information is even more critical. iDashboards is an enterprise Business Intelligence software application designed to help companies leverage their information assets in real time through visually rich, responsive, and personalized Business Intelligence dashboards, and the latest version is now available. The bit we like most is the connectivity to Excel Spreadsheets – employees no longer have to email Excel spreadsheets back and forth, as they can view the data online, in rich presentation format.  Read More

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