Events

Merkel puts on brave face for CeBIT’s future

Mar 3, 2010 15:04 UTC

It’s that time of year when the tech industry flocks in droves to that dreary, grey German city called Hanover to celebrate the sector, to make deals, to network and connect and to round it all off in the evenings with swanky company dos, right?

Well, that used to be.

We know that CeBIT has lost its glam factor, its lustre — even if it still claims to be the world’s No.1 tech and IT fair. And, alas, we know that the industry is increasingly shifting its focus to the much hotter trade shows in Spain and the United States.

In hindsight, could it have been a desperate attempt to ward off the slide into oblivion when CeBIT invited Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to open the fair last year?

Or a sign of times to come?

Schwarzenegger symbolises a mix of Californian innovation and Hollywood glamour. But the state he governs is in a budget crisis and some are asking is California America’s first failed state?

Not a comforting sign.

And then there’s this: Germany’s very own chancellor Angela Merkel said what has been on the mind of industry experts for years now, given a massive decline in visitors and the absence of top executives.

from Left field:

Hasta La Pista, Baby

Feb 9, 2010 03:45 UTC

SPORT ALPINE SKIThe Olympic torch relay just got bigger, much bigger.

At 106 days, the pre-Vancouver Winter Games run weighs in as the longest domestic relay in Olympic history and to help get it across the finish line… Arnie is back.

Famous for his ‘I’ll be back’ and ‘Hasta la vista, baby’ catchphrases in the Terminator films, Arnold Schwarzenegger, now Governor of California, is nipping over to Canada to flex his pecs with a torch run through Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park.

The former Mr Universe and Mr Olympia champion is the only heavyweight on a list you could describe as more Kindergarten Cop than Conan the Barbarian.

from Maggie Fox:

Where scientists go to learn about swine flu

Sep 17, 2009 15:28 UTC

Usually, at a forum on swine flu, all the experts stand up, present a bunch of general background material, a few new findings, and leave. The learning curve on H1N1 is so steep that by the time you fill in the background, you are out of time, and there's no point in hearing the next presenter speak to a general audience

But this week's Institute of Medicine  meeting was different. Epidemiologists - the people who specialize in how disease spreads - were talking to molecular geneticists. Keiji Fukuda of the World Health Organization filled in the bench scientists on how negotiating to get vaccines and drugs for poor countries was taking up everyone's valuable time. Veterans of the 1976 swine flu vaccine mess told their stories. Every scientist sat there raptly listening to the other's presentations. Much of the material had not yet gone through the time consuming peer-review process needed for publication in a medical journal, so it was a little raw, but that much more useful and timely to an educated audience.

They traded notes on how technology could make it a lot harder to fight the rumor mill about vaccines and drug side-effects; presented good news about the severity of the pandemic and traded their worries about how the public health system -- or rather the lack of one in the United States and many other countries -- will cope.

Paris Air Show: Europe, when will you reach the stars?

Jun 17, 2009 13:30 UTC

-Maria Sheahan is a Reuters senior correspondent in Frankfurt.-

So far, Europe has left it up to the United States, Russia and China to send people into space. But almost 50 years after Russia’s Yuri Gagarin made his first orbit around the earth, it’s about time that Europe finally enter the playing field, some say.

“Europe cannot stay out of manned (space) flight forever,” EADS unit Astrium Space Transportation’s CEO Alain Charmeau said at the Paris Air Show. Europe has its own space agency, ESA; it has its own module on the International Space Station; and it has sent its astronauts into space as passengers on the spacecraft of others.

Launching its own manned spaceflight mission “is not a budgetary issue, it is a matter of political willingness,” Charmeau said. His company, which makes space launchers that carry satellites or other items into space and could make a lunar lander, would be one of many that would benefit from the additional business.

from Tom Bergin:

Exxon envy?

May 27, 2009 15:50 UTC

  A cynic might say they had seen it all before: New CEO of a big oil company, which is under pressure from shareholders, announces a wide-ranging restructuring that will make the company look like the much-admired industry leader.

 

Tony Hayward did it at BP in 2007 and Peter Voser, due to step up to the top job at Royal Dutch Shell Plc on July 1, did it on Wednesday.

 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/rbssEnergyNews/idUKLR94627920090527?sp=true

 

Perhaps fearing that restructurings, like jokes, don’t amuse as much on the retelling, Shell went one further than BP. While the London-based oil major said it would adopt Exxon’s approach of standardising procedures across its businesses, Shell said it would redraw its business units in the mould of Exxon’s.

from Richard Baum:

The year of living digitally

Reuters Staff
Mar 30, 2009 20:44 UTC

Starting this blog was a costly decision. To be precise, $359. That's how much I paid Amazon last night when I ordered a Kindle electronic book reader to kick off my plan to document the impact of digital media.

The Kindle is the missing piece in my digital life. I bought my first digital camera in 2000. I can't remember the last time I purchase a CD. And since moving to the United States in September, I've largely given up DVDs in favor of videos streamed via broadband. My life is largely free of the clutter of silver discs and boxes of photos. The Kindle and devices like it promise to do the same for printed media.

But do I really want to give up books? As appealing as I find Amazon's promise that I can carry 1,500 tomes in a device as thin as a magazine, is a house without shelves of wrinkled book spines really a home? And how can I share sections of the Sunday New York Times with my wife when I swap our print subscription for the Kindle version?

Detroit auto show: Tata’s Nano is talk of show

Jan 15, 2008 22:05 UTC

nano1.jpgTata’s $2,500 Nano car (pictured left) may not have been unveiled at the Detroit auto show, but that didn’t stop it from being the talk of the show.

Auto executives said the car could have far-reaching impact. Ford’s head of Asia Pacific, John Parker, certainly thinks so.

“It is a groundbreaking product,” Parker told reporters. The car will “cause people to think differently about the car. I have a lot of respect for Tata.”

Detroit auto show: AutoNation CEO calls Chinese cars worst of show

Jan 15, 2008 20:43 UTC

jackson.jpgSome day cars built by Chinese automakers may be compared with the likes of Toyota and Honda, but not today, according to the CEO of the largest publicly traded U.S. car dealer.

AutoNation’s Michael Jackson (pictured right) said at the Detroit auto show that the worst cars at the event were the Chinese-built cars.

“Go down to the basement,” he said of the lower level of the convention center in response to a question about his opinion of the worst car. “There are a few products from China.” 

Detroit auto show: Dodge wants to show its softer side

Jan 15, 2008 20:08 UTC

dodgelogo.jpgSay goodbye, or good riddance, to scantily clad models tossing footballs and other old Dodge promotions aimed solely at young men.

Chrysler’s new head of marketing, Deborah Meyer, said at the Detroit auto show that the automaker wants a so-called “New Day” for the historically macho brand’s growing cadre of female customers.

“We aren’t going to do that anymore,” Meyer said of past promotions and ads that skewed toward young men.

Detroit auto show: It’s hemp, not marijuana in your car

Jan 15, 2008 19:33 UTC

hemp.jpgWhat do MacGyver, the A-Team and the professor on Gilligan’s Island have in common? Easy; those guys could recycle spare parts to make something useful.

Well, automakers are taking a cue from those TV heroes as they increasingly use natural fibers from such materials as hemp, coconut, bamboo and kenaf in car interiors. The idea is to make the cars feel less plastic.  

“What is going to be key for cars is the way the interior feels, smells, sounds and looks like,” Philippe Aumont, a vice president at French car parts group Faurecia, told Reuters at the Detroit auto show.

  •