Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show


T-Solar's facilities

Solar panel manufacture is a costly process making it difficult for solar electricity to compete with power generated from fossil fuels. One way of driving these costs down is through the production of larger panels, enabling installation costs to be reduced. To this end, Solar Panel Manufacturer T-Solar Global S.A. has just announced that it has begun volume production of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) modules. The solar panels are sized at 5.7m2 or 2.3m X 2.6m - that's the equivalent to the combined area of over six 42 inch plasma TV’s and T-Solar says that they are ideally suited for solar farm applications where installation costs can be reduced by about 20% over smaller scale panels.  Read More

Akai's APC40

Akai has unveiled the APC40 controller, designed in conjunction with Ableton specifically for use with Live 7. The APC40 is the first controller to feature bi-directional communication with Ableton, allowing it to give visual feedback on the state of 40 clips and 16 parameters.  Read More

The PG27USB and PG42USB USB condenser microphones

With the democratization of digital music recording and production in full flight thanks to applications like GarageBand, Shure have released three new USB-based products to cater for the ever increasing market of users who need to record audio to their computers, but don't have access to professional pre-amplifiers - the PG27USB and PG42USB USB condenser microphones, and the X2u XLR-to-USB adapter which turns any existing XLR microphone into a plug-and-play USB microphone.  Read More

Gordon Murray's T.25 wins Idea of the Year

November 18, 2008 Celebrated automative designer Gordon Murray was last night awarded the prestigious ‘Idea of the Year’ accolade at Autocar magazine’s annual awards ceremony for the T.25, a radical, innovative design for a new type and class of personal transport vehicle. Autocar’s editor Chas Hallett said, “Gordon Murray is looking to completely reinvent the cars that we buy and the way they are made. And from what we’ve seen it doesn’t get a much better idea than that”. Three of Murray's diminutive T.25 vehicles will fit in a single parking space.  Read More

Biolsolar Backsheet

A little under two months ago, Biosolar unveiled its BioBacksheet, an innovation which reduces the cost of solar cells by replacing traditional petroleum-based components with materials derived from renewable plant sources. The company has now announced details of improvements to the solar backsheet manufacturing technique that will help to further reduce the cost of production.  Read More

GM takes wraps off Chevrolet Volt production model

General Motors has officially unveiled the production version of the Chevrolet Volt. We first encountered this electric-vehicle as a concept in early 2007 and following a first glimpse last month, we now have a much clearer picture of the what it will look like when it hits showrooms in the US in 2011. The four-seater represents a clever compromise by GM engineers in balancing fully-electric, zero local emissions driving with the need for greater range. The Volt has a full-time electric drive and can cover 40 miles on purely electric power, which is ample for the day to day driving most of us do, but when the battery runs low, a gasoline/E85-powered engine generator kicks-in to maintain power supply and extend the range by "several hundred miles" according to GM.  Read More

The UAD-2 Quad

After four and a half years of being an industry standard DSP platform, Universal Audio's UAD-1 system was getting a little long in the tooth. While there were multiple versions of the card for desktop users and the portable UAD-Xpander, they all used a single, aging SHARC DSP.  Read More

P-8A Poseidon rendering
 Photo: Boeing

December 13, 2007 Boeing has started production on its P-8A Poseidon fuselage, the anti-submarine test plane that will replace the P-3 Orion. The first fuselage components were loaded into a holding fixture on the factory floor of the Spirit AeroSystems’ Wichita facility, in a ceremony that included U.S. Navy Personnel.  Read More

Xerox develops environmentally progressive High Yield Paper

August 1, 2007 Xerox has developed a new, lighter business paper optimized for digital printing that saves on mailing costs and significantly reduces the impact on the environment by using half as many trees. The new High Yield Business Paper is made via a mechanical process that uses less water and chemicals and results in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75% according to Xerox.  Read More

The UAD-Xpander

March 3, 2007 - Universal Audio launched the UAD-1 back in January 2004, and it quickly became the DSP system of choice for a staggering amount of music producers. It wasn't the fact the UAD-1 cards took the processing load off the CPU that made the system so essential - it was the Universal Audio plugins, meticulously modelled after vintage compressors and equalisers, that once heard, immediately justify the price tag, and once used in your own mixes, simply cannot be lived without. Obviously tired of seeing so many of their users spending big bucks on a Magma external PCI chassis in order to use their UAD-1 cards on the road, Universal Audio have finally released the UAD-Xpander - an external UAD-1 solution which connects via ExpressCard, the now ubiquitous laptop expansion bus that offers six times the bandwidth of FireWire 400.  Read More

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