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China

The mighty Kiev moored up at Tianjin

After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 90's three of its most powerful aircraft carriers sat rotting in a Kiev dock. With disputes over ownership and no money or crew to maintain them, the ships were eventually stripped of their weapons systems and engines by the Ukraine and one was sold to a Hong Kong based company, ostensibly to become casinos off the coast of gambling-crazy Macau. As we now know the Varyag ended up in the Chinese port of Larian and spent 10 years being refitted as a fully functioning modern aircraft carrier, much to the consternation of its China Sea neighbours and of course the US. As the Varyag starts sea trials it's sister carriers have suffered a somewhat different fate.  Read More

SK Telecom has launched a trial Smart Cart which is based on WiFi-enabled tablet PCs mount...

It doesn't have quite the appeal of sending a robot to do your shopping, but this Smart Cart service being trialed by SK Telecom could definitely take some of the hassle out of trolling the supermarket aisles. Just launched at the Shanghai Lotus Supermarket in China, the system consists of WiFi-enabled, tablet PC-equipped shopping carts and a smartphone app that can be synchronized with the tablet. By utilizing indoor positioning technology and augmented reality, the shopping "Smart" cart becomes a virtual shopping aide.  Read More

The Wuhan Greenland Center

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) has won an international competition to design the Wuhan Greenland Center. At 606 meters (1,988 ft) high, the building is expected to be China’s third tallest and the world’s fourth tallest when construction is due to be completed in 2016. The tower will feature a number of sustainable elements, the most visibly obvious of which is the tower’s streamlined form with softly rounded corners and a tapered body that culminates in a distinctive domed top.  Read More

3D model of FAST (Image: arXiv)

Since its completion in 1963, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, with a diameter of 305 m (1,000 ft) and a collecting area of 73,000 square meters (790,000 sq ft), has been the largest single-aperture radio telescope ever constructed. But Arecibo is set to lose its title with construction now underway in Guizhou Province in southern China of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST). Upon its expected completion in 2016, FAST will have a surface area of over 195,000 square meters (2.1 million sq ft) and will be able to see more than three times further into space and survey the skies ten times faster than Arecibo.  Read More

Building a 15-story hotel in less than six days

China's impressive building credentials have been in the news regularly over the past few years, particularly those in evidence at the Shanghai World Expo and Beijing Olympic Games. The most recent example of the striking capability of the Chinese building industry took place in Changsha, Hunan province a few months ago. China’s Broad Group showcased their rapid building technology by constructing the 15-story Ark Hotel in less than six days. Using a team of 200 workers the structural framework was erected in just 46.5 hours and the external cladding and internal non-structural surfaces were completed in another 90 hours.  Read More

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has announced that China is to host its own ...

Every couple of years since 2005, student teams have been challenged to design, build and operate energy efficient, cost effective solar houses as part of an international Solar Decathlon. As teams show off their entries for this year's competition at the International Builders' Show in Orlando, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has announced that China is to follow Europe's lead and host its own version of the competition in 2013.  Read More

Latest Skype release supports video calls for iPhone and iPad

It has been a pretty hectic holiday season for the folks at Skype with a new iteration of their iPhone app launching this week, finally providing support for two-way video calls over 3G and Wi-Fi connections. After the Skype outage the previous week plus a recent crackdown on VOIP apps in China, some good news for the company ends the year on a much-needed high note.  Read More

A newly developed acoustic rectifier could improve the image quality of sonograms (Photo: ...

Sonography, or ultrasound imaging, is commonly used for diagnostic and therapeutic applications – the best-known example being photos and videos of developing fetuses that expectant parents excitedly wave around. Because ultrasound relies on sound waves being sent into the body and then reflected back to create the image, the interference creating by these waves meeting causes some degradation of image brightness and resolution. In order to enable stronger, sharper medical imaging, scientists at Nanjing University in China have developed an "acoustic rectifier" that forces sound waves to travel in only one direction.  Read More

Infographic courtesy of Nextweb

In the beginning, the language of the World Wide Web was English. Times change though, and the United States’ military’s gift to civilization knows no national boundaries, and growing worldwide adoption of the Internet has changed the audience make-up to such an extent that the dominant language of the internet is about to become Chinese. That’s not to say the Chinese are all that comfortable with this either. There has just been an official decree requiring the use of Chinese translations for all English words and phrases in newspapers, magazines and web sites. While all countries have watched the unregulated global nature of the internet erode traditional cultural values and the integrity of national languages, it seems the Chinese powers-that-be have concluded that the purity of the Chinese language needs to be preserved.  Read More

The C919 aircraft display prototype

The large commercial jet market dominated by Boeing and Airbus is set to get some more competition with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) unveiling China’s first home-grown large passenger jet. The C919 made its debut at the Zhuhai air show in the southern province of Guandong in the form of a 1:1 display prototype of the aircraft’s cockpit and cabin front.  Read More

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