July 29, 2011
Security Council Meets on UN Peacekeeping
Photo: Lieutenant General Chander Prakash, Force Commander of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), addresses the Security Council. July 27, 2011. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz.
July 28, 2011
Automakers Offer Appealing New Vehicles as they face Tough Market Conditions
Photo: Porsche Cars 2012 911 Black Editions.
Photo: BMW ActiveE - the first all-electric BMW.
Photo: Ford Motor Company 2011 Explorer ‘Crazy Kevin’ Print Ad Featuring comedian and actor Kevin Hart.
Photo: Mercedes delivers first zero-emission F-CELL.
Photo: All-new 2011 Chrysler 300 World Debut: Chrysler Brand President and CEO Olivier Francois unveiled all-new Chrysler 300 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Photo: Lexus (luxury vehicle division of Toyota) pairs supermodel and supercar for Ad in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
• As the auto industry battles through another difficult year, vehicle manufacturers are fighting to win customers by offering the most appealing vehicles in history, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study released today.
• Vehicle Appeal at a Historic High
The study finds that overall vehicle appeal has reached an all-time high since the study’s inception in 1996. Furthermore, recently launched all-new and redesigned models are substantially more appealing than their carryover counterparts.
“The auto industry has taken a battering during the past few years,” said David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, it is clear that throughout this period, automakers have never lost sight of the fact that survival—and ultimately success—only comes from winning over customers in the showroom. Offering highly appealing vehicles is one of the primary means to succeed.”
• Vehicle Appeal and Initial Quality
At the same time, according to J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study, on average, all-new and redesigned models have more problems than carryover models.
“There are two sides of the quality coin: things gone right and things gone wrong,” said Sargent. “Both are of critical importance, and models that perform well on both measures generate higher levels of recommendation and, ultimately, higher loyalty to the brand. In general, customers are also willing to pay more for vehicles that combine high appeal with high initial quality.”
Porsche is the highest-ranking nameplate for a seventh consecutive year. Hyundai improves from 2010 more than any other nameplate this year, while Jeep and Chrysler also improve considerably.
J.D. Power and Associates, a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies, is a global marketing information services company. J.D. Power’s Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study examines how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive. This study complements the Initial Quality Study which focuses on problems experienced by owners during the first 90 days of ownership.
- J.D. Power 2011 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study -
- Nameplate Ranking -
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
• Porsche — 879
• Jaguar — 857
• BMW — 850
• Land Rover — 841
• Audi — 835
• Mercedes-Benz — 832
• Lexus — 827
• MINI — 824
• Lincoln — 820
• Cadillac — 816
• Acura — 808
• Infiniti — 806
• Volvo — 803
• Volkswagen — 798
• Hyundai — 793
• Ford — 785
• Buick — 783
• Scion — 782
• Industry Average — 781
• GMC — 778
• Kia — 777
• Chrysler — 775
• Chevrolet — 774
• Ram — 773
• Mazda — 769
• Mitsubishi — 767
• Dodge — 764
• Toyota — 763
• Honda — 762
• Nissan — 762
• Jeep — 759
• Subaru — 758
• Suzuki — 734
- Top Three Models per Segment -
• Ford Fiesta
• Mazda MAZDA2
• Honda Fit
• Chevrolet Volt
• Volkswagen Golf
• Mitsubishi Lancer
Compact Sporty Car
• Volkswagen GTI
• MINI Cooper
Compact Premium Sporty Car
• BMW Z4 Roadster
• Mercedes-Benz E-Class Convertible/Cabriolet
Entry Premium Car
• Lexus IS
• BMW 3 Series (tie)
• Volkswagen CC (tie)
Midsize Sporty Car
• Dodge Challenger
• Chevrolet Camaro
Midsize Premium Car
• BMW 5 Series
Large Premium Car
• Hyundai Equus
• BMW 7 Series
• Audi A8
• Suzuki Kizashi
• Hyundai Sonata
• Kia Optima
• Dodge Charger
• Ford Taurus
• Nissan Maxima
• MINI Countryman
• Volkswagen Tiguan
• Hyundai Tucson
• Scion xB
• Kia Soul
Entry Premium Crossover/SUV
• BMW X3
• Audi Q5
• Volvo XC60
• Dodge Durango
• Ford Flex
• Ford Explorer
• Nissan Armada
• Chevrolet Tahoe
• Ford Expedition
Midsize Premium Crossover/SUV
• Porsche Cayenne
• BMW X6
• Audi Q7
Large Premium Crossover/SUV
• Land Rover Range Rover
• Land Rover Range Rover Sport
• Mercedes-Benz GL Class
• Ford F-150 LD
• Chevrolet Avalanche
• Ford F-250/F-350 Super Duty
• Honda Ridgeline
• Nissan Frontier
• Toyota Tacoma
• Honda Odyssey
Three models rank highest in their respective segments in both the 2011 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study and the 2011 Initial Quality Study: the Dodge Challenger, Ford F-150 LD and Honda Ridgeline.
July 26, 2011
Microsoft's Innovative Education Forum
Photo: Microsoft Connector vehicles arrive at the Overlake Transit Center next to the Microsoft Redmond Campus.
Photo: Entrance to Building 36 on the Microsoft Redmond Campus.
Photo: Entrance to Building 92 on the Microsoft Redmond Campus.
Photo: Entrance to restaurants in The Commons destination on the Microsoft Redmond Campus.
• Microsoft Corporation is bringing 100 of the USA’s best educators to its corporate headquarters this week to connect, collaborate and share their inventive teaching methods at the 2011 U.S. Innovative Education Forum.
The event aims to recognize outstanding educators who engage and inspire their students to learn by creatively including technology into their school and classroom curricula.
Educators who attend the forum will participate in hands-on learning sessions with the latest Microsoft technologies and present their innovative learning projects to a panel of judges.
• Judges will select 10 projects to represent the U.S. at the “Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum” Nov. 6-11 in Washington, D.C., where more than 500 educators from around the world are expected to compete.
July 25, 2011
IBM 100 YEARS OF PATENTS
Photo: IBM Innovation Center in Mexico.
Photo: IBM’s Vice President of Innovation, Bernie Meyerson, peers at some of the thousands of patents issued to IBM inventors during the past year for a wide range inventions that have the potential to improve and transform the way we work and live, Monday, July 25, 2011, Yorktown Heights, NY.
One hundred years ago — on July 25, 1911 — IBM was granted its first patent for an invention related to punched card tabulation. Over the past century, IBM inventors have received more than 150,000 patents globally for technological creations that have made a lasting impact on business and society. (Feature Photo Service).
July 24, 2011
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn Deliver for God's Love We Deliver
Photo: Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn deliver meals for God’s Love We Deliver during Friday’s heat-wave in New York City.
Photos: Diverse Volunteers at God’s Love We Deliver.
On July 22, the hottest day of the year, model, television personality and entrepreneur Heidi Klum and fashion guru Tim Gunn joined forces to deliver life-saving meals to vulnerable clients in New York City. They were joined by volunteers, Board member Desiree Gruber and Karen Pearl, President & CEO of God’s Love We Deliver.
“It is only through the dedication of our thousands of volunteers - like Heidi and Tim - that God’s Love is able to ensure that its sick clients receive nutritious meals when they need them most,” said the organization. “We especially appreciate the service of our 7,600 volunteers on difficult days like today.”
God’s Love is a not-for-profit organization in New York City that provides individually-tailored life-sustaining meals and nutritional counseling to people living with life-threatening illnesses and those who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves.
July 22, 2011
NASA's Space Shuttle Program Ends With Atlantis Landing
Photo: The Astrovan carrying the STS-135 crew rolls past the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and Launch Control Center (LCC), on its way to launch pad 39a and space shuttle Atlantis, Friday, July 8, 2011, at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The launch of Atlantis, STS-135, was the final flight of the shuttle program, a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.
Photo: The STS-135 crew; Chris Ferguson, commander; Doug Hurley, pilot; Rex Walheim and Sandy Magnus, both mission specialists are seen before boarding space shuttle Atlantis at launch pad 39A prior to launch, Friday, July 8, 2011 at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The launch of Atlantis, STS-135, was the final flight of the shuttle program, a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.
Photo: Space shuttle Atlantis is seen on launch pad 39a moments after the STS-135 crew arrived for their launch, Friday, July 8, 2011, at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.
Photo: Space shuttle Atlantis is seen as it launches from pad 39A on Friday, July 8, 2011, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.
Photo: The space shuttle Atlantis is revealed as the rotating service structure (RSS) is rolled back at launch pad 39a on Thursday, July 7, 2011 at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.
• Wrapping up 30 years of achievements, NASA’s Space Shuttle Program came to a “wheels stop” on Thursday at the conclusion of its 135th mission.
Shuttle Atlantis and its four-astronaut crew glided home for the final time, ending a 13-day journey of more than five million miles with a landing at 5:57 a.m. EDT at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Since STS-1 launched on April 12, 1981, 355 individuals from 16 countries flew 852 times aboard the shuttle. The five shuttles traveled more than 542 million miles and hosted more than 2,000 experiments in the fields of Earth, Astronomy, Biological and Materials Sciences.
The shuttles docked with two space stations, the Russian Mir and the International Space Station. Shuttles deployed 180 payloads, including satellites, returned 52 from space and retrieved, repaired and redeployed seven spacecraft.
According to NASA, this was Atlantis’ 33rd flight, and was the 135th and the final flight of the shuttle program.
July 21, 2011
DreamWorks Animation's upcoming feature film "Monkeys of Mumbai" to be directed by Kevin Lima
Photo: Left to Right: Lisa Stewart (Producer), Paul Berges (Writer), Gurinder Chadha (Writer), Kevin Lima (Director), A. R. Rahman (EP/Composer), Stephen Schwartz (EP/Lyricist), Chris Chase (Producer). Location: Glendale, CA, USA.
• DreamWorks Animation today announced in Glendale, California, that Kevin Lima (Enchanted, Tarzan) will direct the upcoming feature film Monkeys of Mumbai (working title), the studio’s first-ever Bollywood-style animated musical adventure.
Lisa Stewart (Turbo, Monsters vs. Aliens) and Chris Chase (Enchanted, Tarzan) will serve as producers on the project. Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Prince of Egypt, Enchanted) is serving as executive producer and lyricist, A. R. Rahman (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire, Bombay Dreams) is serving as executive producer and composer, and Gurinder Chadha & Paul Berges (Bride & Prejudice, Bend It Like Beckham) are writing the feature project.
Inspired by the great Indian epic tale of The Ramayana - but retold through the point of view of its monkeys - Monkeys of Mumbai revolves around two common monkeys who become unlikely heroes in a last ditch effort to stop an ancient, thought-to-be-mythical demon from conquering the world.
DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including animated feature films, meant for audiences around the world. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are now being produced in 3D.
July 20, 2011
A meeting of the High-level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), with focus on education, took place in Geneva.
Photo: Participants at the ECOSOC High-Level Segment. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferre.
Photo: Joseph Deiss, President of the General Assembly, delivers his statement during the meeting of senior United Nations officials with local Pupils in the context of the 2011 ECOSOC High-Level Segment. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferre.
Photo: A member of delegation of Qatar at the ECOSOC High-Level Segment. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferre.
Photo: Nafisa Shah, Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, addresses the ECOSOC High-Level Segment. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferre.
Photo: Esther Duflo, Professor or Poverty Alleviation and Development, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, during the ECOSOC High-Level Segment. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferre.
Photo: Otaviano Canuto dos Santos Fihlo, Vice-President, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, World Bank, during the ECOSOC High-Level Segment. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferre.
ECOSOC was established under the United Nations Charter as the principal organ to coordinate economic, social, and related work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions. The Council also receives reports from 11 UN funds and programmes.
• The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system.
ECOSOC is responsible for:
• Promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress;
• Identifying solutions to international economic, social and health problems;
• Facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and
• Encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
It has the power to make or initiate studies and reports on these issues. It also has the power to assist the preparations and organization of major international conferences in the economic and social and related fields and to facilitate a coordinated follow-up to these conferences. With its broad mandate the Council’s purview extends to over 70 per cent of the human and financial resources of the entire UN system.
Mobius Says Another Financial Crisis ‘Around The Corner’
May 30, 2011 — Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Asset Management’s emerging markets group, said another financial crisis is inevitable because the causes of the previous one haven’t been resolved.
“There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner because we haven’t solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis,” Mobius said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo today in response to a question about price swings. “Are the derivatives regulated? No. Are you still getting growth in derivatives? Yes.”
The total value of derivatives in the world exceeds total global gross domestic product by a factor of 10, said Mobius, who oversees more than $50 billion. With that volume of bets in different directions, volatility and equity market crises will occur, he said.
The global financial crisis three years ago was caused in part by the proliferation of derivative products tied to U.S. home loans that ceased performing, triggering hundreds of billions of dollars in write-downs and leading to the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September 2008.
The freezing of global credit markets caused governments from Washington to Beijing to London to pump more than $3 trillion into the financial system to shore up the global economy.
July 19, 2011
Sonia Gandhi Greets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New Delhi
Photo: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is greeted by All India Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi, India, on July 19, 2011. (State Department Photo).
July 14, 2011
Microsoft Imagine Cup 2011: Winners Announced
Photo: Microsoft sign outside Building 99 on the Microsoft Redmond Campus.
Photo: Entrance to Building 37 on the Microsoft Redmond Campus.
Microsoft Corp. today announced the winners of the ninth annual Microsoft Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition, honoring student innovations that address global problems such as improving road and fire safety, eradicating poverty, and creating a more sustainable environment.
The Imagine Cup 2011 competition winners were announced at the Imagine Cup World Festival and Awards Ceremony at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York.
• Narrowed from more than 350,000 global registrants, more than 400 students from 70 countries traveled to New York to compete at the Worldwide Finals.
Team Hermes from Ireland took home top honors in the Software Design competition. The team designed a device that plugs into a car and monitors dangerous driving behavior and road conditions, providing instant feedback to both the driver and the car owner.
In the Embedded Development category, Team NTHUCS from Taiwan won first place and $25,000 (U.S.). Its project, RIGHT!! This Way, computes the safest fire escape routes, detected by a wireless sensor network in real time.
Photo: United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals.
The following is a list of the top three winners in each of the five competition categories:
Software Design. Students create innovative software, service solutions and applications that unleash the power of technology to benefit society.
• First Place: Team Hermes (Ireland) • Second Place: Team Note-Taker (United States) • Third Place: OaSys (Jordan)
Embedded Development. Students develop embedded devices, working with hardware and software to build solutions that use Windows Embedded Compact 7.
• First Place: NTHUCS (Taiwan) • Second Place: Harmonicare (China) • Third Place: Endeavour_Design (Romania)
Game Design. Students select one of three tracks (Mobile, Web or Windows/Xbox) to create games that are not only fun but also help to improve the global community at the same time.
• First Place: Geekologic (France) • Second Place: Close World Mobile (France) • Third Place: Team Dragon (United States)
• First Place: Cellardoor (Poland) • Second Place: Signum Fidei (Philippines) • Third Place: Quegee Team (Slovakia)
• First Place: Signum Games (Brazil) • Second Place: JubJub (Thailand) • Third Place: WickedTeam (Czech Republic)
Digital Media. Students create Web videos to share their points of view and generate awareness of critical global issues.
• First Place: M.N.A. (Romania) • Second Place: Brothers Forever (Oman) • Third Place: CottonCandy (Taiwan)
Windows Phone 7. Students develop XAP applications for Windows Phone 7 that help solve the world’s toughest problems.
• First Place: HOMERUN (Korea) • Second Place: Zipi Zigi (Korea) • Third Place: The LifeLens Project (United States)
In addition to the competition categories above, Imagine Cup includes four challenges. These four challenges provided more opportunities for students to win their share of the total $215,000 (U.S.) cash, as well as other prizes. The following is a list of these winners:
Interoperability Challenge. Students are challenged to pair free and open source software with technology from Microsoft and other companies to create groundbreaking applications.
• First Place: alaniarides (Greece) • Second Place: Bells Team (Brazil) • Third Place: DemosceneSpirit (Poland)
IT Challenge. Students are tested on their knowledge of IT systems and faced with unique scenarios and diverse needs to solve, competing for the title of best of the best in the industry.
• First Place: Jean-Sebastien Duchene (France) • Second Place: Blazej Matuszyk (Poland) • Third Place: Yunheng Mong (Singapore)
Orchard Challenge. Students use a new CMS platform to create useful, common modules, such as shopping carts, checkout systems, maps and geolocation services, and social interactivity.
• First Place: MP Brun (Denmark) • Second Place: Virtual Dreams - Orchard (Brazil) • Third Place: Zveen Zveen Team (Serbia)
Windows 7 Touch Challenge. Students are tasked to develop solutions that use Windows Touch technology while expanding the possibilities of how a user can interact with a computer.
• First Place: India Rose (France) • Second Place: dreambender (Indonesia) • Third Place: IUVO (Japan)
July 13, 2011
Swimwear Collection "LUXE by Lisa Vogel" gets "Mercedes-Benz Presents" Title
Photo: Mercedes-Benz Presents LUXE swimwear designer Lisa Vogel, along with the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Roadster.
LUXE by Lisa Vogel has received the title of “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer.
The “Mercedes-Benz Presents” program recognizes designers that demonstrate dedication to the use of “quality materials, unique style and innovative design”.
Created by swimwear expert Lisa Vogel, LUXE is available at fine retailers and luxury resorts across the globe.
“Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim” will take place in Miami Beach, Florida at The Raleigh from July 14-18, 2011.