Global Goals


World Cities Day

Media, Entertainment, Sports Section

September 20, 2009

German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel officially opens the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. AutoWeek Editors Honor the Best.

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show


Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and Jean-Marc Gales, PSA (PSA Peugeot Citroën, France).

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show

Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Petra Roth, Mayor of the city of Frankfurt at the inauguration.

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show


Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of Board, BMW and Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show


Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and Bernhard Mattes, Management Chairman, Ford.

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show


Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Ferdinand Piech, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, VW, Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management, VW (Volkswagen Group).

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show


Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany at the stand of VW (Volkswagen Group}.

• Download Info brochure IAA 2009

The AutoWeek Editors' Choice Awards recognize Best in Show, Best Concept, Most Significant and Most Fun.


2009 Frankfurt Motor Show

Photo: A model at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The AutoWeek editorial staff has announced its 2009 Frankfurt motor show Editors' Choice Award winners.

AutoWeek editors have been walking the show floors in Detroit, Geneva, Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo, selecting winners in four categories: Best in Show, Best Concept, Most Significant and Most Fun.

The 2009 AutoWeek Editors' Choice Award winners for the Best of Frankfurt are:

BEST IN SHOW: Ferrari 458 Italia

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show

It is rare when there are more than a few in the race for this coveted title, but that was the case at Frankfurt when no fewer than eight manufacturers had vehicles in the final. When the scrapping was over, Ferrari's 458 Italia triumphed. The 458 wears voluptuous, organic shapes tied together with technical and efficient lines. No matter when you see this car in the future -- in five years or 50 years from now on a concours lawn -- it will always be the one that debuted at Frankfurt in 2009.

Other Finalists Considered: Maserati GranCabrio, Mercedes-Benz SLS, Aston Martin Rapide, Bentley Mulsanne, Rolls-Royce Ghost, Lamborghini Reventon Spyder, Audi R8 Spyder.

BEST CONCEPT: BMW Vision EfficientDynamics

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show

Maybe the most pure concept car at this year's Frankfurt show, BMW's glimpse into the performance sedan of the future uses technology, and design cues, that we'll see in production BMWs in the near future. Powered by a three-cylinder turbodiesel with a hybrid synchronous motor on the front axle and a full-hybrid system at the rear, this 2+2-seater also reveals some hints as to the exterior design features we'll see on future BMW passenger cars. With a top speed of 155 mph, this car shows that the future emphasis on fuel efficiency can offer a lot of fun as well.

Other Finalists Considered: Peugeot BB1, Citroen REVOLTe, Volkswagen E Up.

Volkswagen E Up

Photo: Volkswagen E Up in Frankfurt.

MOST SIGNIFICANT: Renault EV family of four production electric cars


To think about which manufacturer was making the greatest impact and statement with their exhibit, it had to fall to Renault (and by default, though not exhibiting, its Nissan sister company.) With no fewer than four vehicles destined to come to market in three short years, Renault is putting an electrified stake in the ground and showing the rest of the world that while it might not be all in with this bet, it is not leaving much on the table.

Other Finalists Considered: BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, Jaguar XJ, Opel Astra, Saab 9-5, Ford Grand C-Max.

MOST FUN: Porsche 911 Turbo


As is the case with all of the categories this year, a number of strong contenders vied for the title of Most Fun. When the smoke cleared, the new Porsche 911 Turbo came out on top as the one car whose keys we all wanted for a spirited ride. Surely it would brighten the sourest disposition. How can anyone argue with a choice like this?

Other Finalists Considered: Maserati GranCabrio, Peugeot BB1, Mini Roadster, Mazda Superlight, Volkswagen Golf R, Alfa-Romeo Mito Cloverleaf and Lamborghini Reventon Spyder.

• AutoWeek magazine is a fortnightly automotive-enthusiast publication based out of Detroit, Michigan, and is one of nearly 30 titles published by Crain Communications Inc.

Sources: AutoWeek, German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)


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September 17, 2009

Italian Jewelry Designer Roberto Coin Selects Supermodel Christy Turlington Burns as the Face of the Company

Christy Turlington Burns

Leading Italian jewelry designer Roberto Coin has signed on with advocate, entrepreneur and model Christy Turlington Burns for a second time to shoot his upcoming advertising campaign for 2009-2010. Turlington Burns has graced the covers of over 1,000 top fashion magazines.

For 2009-2010, the Roberto Coin campaign will support CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. According to Roberto Coin, Chairman & Co-Founder of Roberto Coin Inc., "Our previous campaign with Christy was so successful and widely received. We are so pleased to be working with her again. We are proud to be in partnership with an organization such as CARE for all their extraordinary work they have done to empower women worldwide through education, healthcare, increased economic opportunities and human rights."

CARE fights root causes of poverty in the world's poorest communities. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. In nearly 70 countries, women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity.

"At Roberto Coin, we believe that a cause related campaign has much more impact than straight consumer advertising," said Peter Webster, President & Co-Founder. "This campaign recognizes both the work of Christy Turlington Burns and that of CARE."

The campaign was shot by photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, whose past credits include advertising campaigns for Gucci, Givenchy, Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein and editorial spreads for the pages of American, French, and Italian Vogue, W, and the New York Times.

The advertisements will appear in October 2009 fashion publications that include Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, and Town & Country.

Roberto Coin's jewelry designs include his signature Appassionata Collection. According to Coin, his designs have also been worn by celebrities such as Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek, Brooke Shields, Jennie Garth, Jenna Fischer, Demi Moore, Melissa Etheridge, and Jennifer Hudson.

The company, Roberto Coin, is headquartered in Vicenza, Italy.


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September 13, 2009

New Global Reserve Currency

The international monetary system needs reform, but so do the Asian and US economies.

Global Currency

According to thought leaders from the principal world economies, the current international monetary system, reliant on the US dollar, is deeply flawed, but a single viable alternative is not readily apparent.

This was the outcome from the debate at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions on September 12, 2009 at Dalian, People's Republic of China, where they discussed the global currency reserve system.

World Economic Forum


Photo: Participants captured during the Dalian WorkSpace 2009 at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum


Photo: Participants gather at the Education for the Next Wave of Growth session at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Michael D. Antonovich, Los Angeles County Supervisor, speaks during the North America's Economic Outlook session at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.

In March, China's Central Bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan sparked controversy when he proposed that the International Monetary Fund create a new reserve currency - a proposal with enormous implications across Asia, which holds nearly US$ 4 trillion in foreign currency.

"I strongly supported the proposal made by Governor Zhou," said Yu Yongding, Senior Fellow, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), People's Republic of China and member of the Forum's Global Agenda Council on International Monetary Systems.

However, panelists agreed that the creation of a new global currency to replace the dollar and other sovereign currencies was not politically viable.

The overwhelming problems facing the Asian and US economies are not based on currency doubts. "Don't kid yourself. This crisis is not about currency problems. This problem is about the failures of policies," said Stephen S. Roach, Chairman, Asia, Morgan Stanley, Hong Kong. "We've had central banks that have just gone along for the ride, driven by ideologies, driven by politics."

World Economic Forum

Photo: Aron Cramer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), speaks during the Global Redesign Series -- What Is the Basis of a New Social Compact? session at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Participants captured during the Dalian WorkSpace 2009 at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum

Photo: Zhu Min, Group Executive Vice-President, Bank of China, laughs during The Global Economic Outlook session at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China 10-12 September 2009. © World Economic Forum.

For the global financial system to steady itself, the US must increase exports and Asian economies, China's in particular, must do much more to reorient their growth away from external demand towards domestic consumption. "The most important thing for China is to speed up structural reform," agreed Yu.

When polled informally, participants preferred the yuan over the dollar as an investment but few believed it would replace the dollar as the global reserve. Among the panelists, only Oki Matsumoto, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Japan's Monex Group, was mildly bullish on the dollar.

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Source: World Economic Forum


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September 2, 2009

Virtuoso Violinist Itzhak Perlman and New York Philharmonic to Join Rotary's Effort to End Polio


Rotary International is joining violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman and the New York Philharmonic, led by Philharmonic Assistant Conductor Daniel Boico, to present the Concert to End Polio. It will be a benefit performance supporting the global effort to eradicate this disabling childhood disease.

The Concert to End Polio will take place on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City. Program information will be announced at a later date.

Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world. The Orchestra is also renowned around the globe, having appeared in 425 cities in 59 countries on five continents.

Polio eradication resonates strongly with Mr. Perlman, who contracted the disease at age four and overcame serious physical challenges to become one of the world's most celebrated musicians. In this historic, one-night-only performance -- his first with the New York Philharmonic in four years -- Mr. Perlman will help Rotary in its effort to raise $200 million to match a $355 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All of the resulting $555 million will fund critical eradication activities in developing countries where polio still threatens children.

Rotary International, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988. Since then, ending polio has been Rotary's top priority, and tremendous progress has been made.

Rotary is an international humanitarian service organization made up of more than 33,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas, with a total membership of 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders.

Source: Rotary International


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August 31, 2009

Babolat Welcomes Back Kim Clijsters to Her First Grand Slam Since 2007

Babolat Racquet

BABOLAT Kim Clijsters


Photo: Kim Clijsters with her Babolat tennis racquet at the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Clijsters is preparing for her first Grand Slam tournament since coming out of retirement. The US Open starts Monday, August 31.

Babolat, leading manufacturer of tennis racquets, welcomed tennis star Kim Clijsters to New York City for the U.S. Open. Just days before her first Grand Slam appearance since 2007, Clijsters posed for pictures with Eric Babolat, president and CEO of Babolat, at the iconic Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

With the picturesque Manhattan skyline as the backdrop, Eric Babolat personally welcomed Clijsters back to professional tennis. "We have been working together since 1999 when Kim was only 16 years-old. She's a player with outstanding athletic and personal qualities. Our relationship is based on mutual trust. We are very glad to be with her for her comeback on the Tour," said Eric Babolat.

Today, Kim Clijsters will make her first Grand Slam appearance since pausing her professional career to devote time to her family. According to Babolat, Clijsters is returning with her familiar Babolat Pure Drive racquet in hand, strung with Babolat's VS Natural Gut.

Clijsters expressed that "Babolat has always supported me during my career. When I made the decision to go back to competition, there was no question for me, it would be with Babolat. It's great to feel the sensation of my Pure Drive again!"

Dinara Safina

Photo: Dinara Safina (RUSSIA, #1 WTA)

Andy Roddick

Photo: Andy Roddick (USA, #5 ATP)

Inventor of tennis racquet strings 134 years ago in Lyon, France, Babolat is among the world leaders in tennis racquets. Today, the brand includes a complete tennis offering for competition and club players alike: racquets, strings, shoes, bags, and accessories. Babolat equips 20% of the top 100 players in the ATP and WTA including Rafael Nadal (Spain, #3 ATP), Andy Roddick (USA, #5 ATP) and Dinara Safina (RUSSIA, #1 WTA).

Source: Babolat



September 13, 2009

Kim Clijsters Wins U.S. Open Women's Title

Kim Clijsters of Belgium, who won the U.S. Open women's title in 2005 before taking a sabbatical from tennis, defeated Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, 7-5, 6-3, in the women's final on Sunday night (September 13, 2009) to reclaim the title.

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August 28, 2009

Ford Taurus 100-City Tour



Photo: Mark Fields, Executive Vice President, Ford Motor Company Showcases 2010 Ford Taurus at New York Stop of 100-City Tour.

Mark Fields, executive vice president and president of The Americas, Ford Motor Company, is in New York Friday, August 28, to showcase the all-new 2010 Ford Taurus for one stop of the company's 100-City Taurus Tour.

Mr. Fields kicks off the Taurus publicity tour in New York by giving a speech at the New York Press Club at in the Associated Press Conference Center.

"The new Taurus sets the pace for Ford's growing new car launch momentum," said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. "This sedan completely redefines expectations of what Taurus stands for - and helps further define what Ford is capable of delivering - quality, fuel-efficient vehicles featuring the latest technologies and head-turning design."

Mr. Fields is responsible for all operations involved in the development, manufacturing, marketing and sales of Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America.

Source: Ford Motor Company


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On Eve of The US Open, Tennis Icon Maria Sharapova Debuts Signature Fashion Collection by Cole Haan in New York City



Photo: Maria Sharapova unveils her new advertising campaign for Cole Haan.

Just days before taking the court for the US Open Championships, tennis star Maria Sharapova unveiled her Maria Sharapova by Cole Haan collection of handbags and footwear - at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Fans, tourists, and onlookers burst into cheers as Sharapova was introduced by celebrity MC Quddus on a specially constructed stage where Maria unveiled her new advertising campaign for Cole Haan.

"Everyone loves Maria. It's great to be working with her and adding a new dimension to Cole Haan's history," states Jim Seuss, Chief Executive Officer.

"It's my hope that other young women will embrace the spirit of the collection; it's fun, chic, fashionable and most importantly, able to take you from day to night," says Sharapova.

The Maria Sharapova by Cole Haan footwear collection, featuring Nike Air technology, includes a ballet flat, an ankle-wrapped stiletto, a flat over-the-knee boot, an ankle bootie and a strappy platform sandal.

Cole Haan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nike, Inc., is a style and luxury brand offering handcrafted men's and women's footwear, accessories and outerwear.

Source: Cole Haan


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August 21, 2009

Harvard, Princeton, and Williams top in U.S. News Media Group's 26th Annual America's Best Colleges Rankings

New edition includes specialty rankings and online guides for admission and paying for college.

US News Colleges

America's Best Colleges Rankings 2010

U.S. News Media Group today released the 2010 edition of America's Best Colleges, which includes rankings of more than 1,400 schools nationwide USA. Harvard University and Princeton University tie the top of the list for Best National Universities, while Williams College is ranked top for Best Liberal Arts College.

Over the past 26 years, the U.S. News college rankings, which groups schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities. The America's Best Colleges ranking package, which includes editorial content and multimedia resources, is helping families navigate the difficult decisions involved throughout the college process, from college admission and selection to financing options.

"As it becomes increasingly difficult to choose the right school - and pay for it - U.S. News strives to provide students and families with the best information to help guide them through the entire college process," said U.S.News & World Report Editor Brian Kelly. "This year, the recession has seriously challenged the traditional model of paying for college, and so we've developed ranking and editorial content to address the many ways to finance an education as well as information on how to get the most out of such a big investment."


Photo: Stanford University student Kristen Lence studies on her Apple MacBook on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California.

The 2010 America's Best Colleges features the established rankings of the Best National Universities, Best Liberal Arts Colleges, and Best Historically Black Colleges, and includes rankings of Best Colleges for Financial Aid, A+ Schools for B Students, and Up-and-Coming Schools.

The 2010 America's Best Colleges package provides thorough examination of how more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of 15 widely accepted indicators of excellence. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance (National Universities and Liberal Art Colleges).

Obama Arizona University


Photo: President Barack Obama poses with six of the Barack Obama Scholars at Arizona State University commencement.

America's Best Colleges Rankings 2010

Best National Universities

1. Harvard University (MA)
• Princeton University (NJ)
3. Yale University (CT)
4. California Institute of Technology
• Massachusetts Inst. of Technology
• Stanford University (CA)
• University of Pennsylvania

Best Liberal Arts Colleges

1. Williams College (MA)
2. Amherst College (MA)
3. Swarthmore College (PA)
4. Middlebury College (VT)
• Wellesley College (MA)

Up-and-Coming Schools

National Universities

1. Univ. of Md. - Baltimore County
2. George Mason University (VA)
• Northeastern University (MA)
4. Drexel University (PA)
5. Arizona State University
• University of Central Florida

Liberal Arts Colleges

1. Hendrix College (AR)
2. Agnes Scott College (GA)
• Davidson College (NC)
• Furman University (SC)
• Dickinson College (PA)
• University of Richmond (VA)
• Ursinus College (PA)

The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform publisher of news and analysis.

Source: U.S. News Media Group



"A child is not a vase to be filled, but a fire to be lit."

-- Francois Rabelais

View this Post at CHICAGO SUN TIMES

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August 12, 2009

Sargent and The Sea Opens at Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

September 12, 2009 - January 3, 2010



Photo: Beginning September 12, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. will feature more than 80 paintings, watercolors, and drawings depicting seascapes and coastal scenes from the early career of the pre-eminent late 19th century American expatriate painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). Photo Credit: John Singer Sargent, En Route pour la peche (Setting Out to Fish), 1878, oil on canvas. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

The exhibition will place the sea on center-stage and highlight the impact it had on Sargent's career, the development of his style, and his artistic preferences.

Organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Sargent and the Sea brings together the artist's early beach scenes and will be the first to examine, in great depth, the little explored marine paintings and drawings produced during the first five years of the artist's career. A focal point of the exhibition is the Corcoran's masterwork En Route pour la peche (Setting Out to Fish), 1878, which will be accompanied by other works produced during, and inspired by, Sargent's summer journeys from his home in Paris to Brittany, Normandy, and Capri, as well as two transatlantic voyages.

While Sargent is best known for his society portraits, Sargent and the Sea will focus on his personal passion for the sea and his knowledge of seafaring. Sargent's two paintings depicting fisherfolk at Cancale (1878, Corcoran Gallery of Art and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) are central works in the canon of the artist's early career. However, recent discoveries of three important seascapes, and the location of other pictures previously untraced, have cast a new spotlight on Sargent's activity as a maritime painter.

With the exception of the two well-known Cancale oils, Sargent's seascapes have not been widely studied or reproduced, proving that even for a renowned, frequently published artist there is yet new material to be mined.

Sargent and the Sea will feature works produced by the artist drawn from both public and private collections within the United States as well as Europe. By presenting Sargent's artistic career in conjunction with his personal fascination with the sea, this exhibition will reconcile these two paths of the artist's life.

Sargent and the Sea is organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and made possible by the support of the Terra Foundation for American Art, Christie's, The Mr. & Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Inc., and Altria Group, Inc. Additional support for the exhibition is provided by the American Masterpieces initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and The Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation.

Source: Corcoran Gallery of Art



"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."

-- Aristotle

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August 8, 2009

Latest Products from KODAK: Pocketable Digital Video Camera, New Kodak Easyshare Digital Cameras


Kodak C190

Kodak C190

Photo: EASYSHARE C190 Digital Camera.

Kodak C182

Kodak C182

Photo: EASYSHARE C182 Digital Camera.

Eastman Kodak Company has introduced an array of new products that include the KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera and additions to Kodak's popular digital still camera. This was announced at Kodak headquarters in Rochester, NY.

"Consumers place high value on their images and video to strengthen and improve relationships, and have consistently relied on Kodak to help them make their personal content a part of their daily lives," says John Blake, General Manager Digital Capture and Devices, Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. "These new KODAK Products deliver unsurpassed ease of use and quality, and also let consumers experience and share moments they love in fun and engaging ways."

KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera:

Kodak Zi8

An exciting new entry to its popular line of Digital Video Cameras, the KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera features a sleek design, high-quality full 1080p High Definition video capture, and built-in electronic image stabilization.

"More and more consumers are enjoying the ease of capturing fun and spontaneous video and sharing it with friends and family, on the family HDTV or via social networking websites," says Blake. "With the new KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera, consumers can capture life on the go in vivid HD, and then quickly and easily share it."

The slim and stylish KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera is designed to meet these needs with a range of advanced features that includes:

• Take full HD 1080p video wherever you go;
• Built-in electronic image stabilization that produces sharper videos and less blur;
• Large 2.5" color LCD;
• Swing-out USB arm for fast uploading, sharing, and charging;
• 5 MP 16:9 widescreen HD still pictures;
• Easy upload to Facebook and YouTube;
• External microphone jack;
• Available in aqua, raspberry and black from September, 2009 for US $179.95 MSRP.

KODAK EASYSHARE Z950 Digital Camera:

Kodak Z950

Kodak Z950

The newest addition to Kodak's Z-Series digital camera line delivers outstanding control and Kodak's Smart Capture technology to consistently produce high quality images.

The KODAK EASYSHARE Z950 Digital Camera offers a 10X image stabilized SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOGON optical zoom lens, providing maximum versatility for avid photographers to easily handle both distant and close-up shots. It also incorporates Kodak's Smart Capture feature, which "automatically adjusts focus, flash, and exposure for great, no-hassle pictures in virtually any setting".

"The combination of these features plus a 12 MP sensor makes the Z950 a compact digital capture powerhouse, with outstanding image quality and ease of use at an affordable price," says Blake.

The full feature set of the new KODAK EASYSHARE Z950 Digital Camera includes:

• 12 MP sensor (for prints up to 30"x40");
• 10X image stabilized SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOGON optical zoom lens;
• Kodak's innovative Smart Capture feature, which automatically identifies the scene and adjusts camera settings for beautiful pictures in virtually any environment;
• Capture challenging action shots without delay with fast click-to-capture speed (<0.3 seconds);
• Available for US$279.99 MSRP from August, 2009.

KODAK EASYSHARE M381 Digital Camera:

Kodak M381

Kodak M381

New to Kodak's popular M Series camera line, the KODAK EASYSHARE M381 Digital Camera boasts sleek style, a 5X optical zoom lens, and an advanced feature set that includes:

• 12 MP sensor for prints up to 30" x 40";
• Bright and vivid 3.0" LCD;
• Stunning HD still picture capture;
• Easy upload to Facebook, YouTube or Kodak Gallery;
• Face detection that recognizes up to five faces and automatically adjusts settings;
• Blur reduction technology that reduces blur caused by camera shake or moving subjects;
• Available in Black Olive, Light Steel Blue, and Wine Red for US$179.99 MSRP from September, 2009.

Source: Eastman Kodak Company


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July 19, 2009

Steinway White House Grand Pianos of 1903 and 1938

Steinway & Sons are promoting the Steinway piano as a cornerstone of American music and culture.


According to them, since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty and investment value and Steinway remains the choice of 9 out of 10 concert artists, and it is the preferred piano of countless musicians, professional and amateur, throughout the world.

"We've always known that Steinway & Sons is a great American original," says Todd Sanders, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Steinway & Sons. "By producing the finest handcrafted instruments available, our factory in Queens has contributed to a significant part of American culture for more than 156 years. Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and Billy Joel, among many other legendary composers and performers, have all drawn their inspiration from the Steinway piano. We're proud to take a moment to consider how important our company has been in our nation's history. The White House pianos are also a great reminder of this."



Photo: White House Steinway & Sons Model D Concert Grand Piano, designed by Architect Eric Gugler. The piano was presented to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938, commemorating the production of Steinway's 300,000th piano. The case is made of Honduran Mahogany, with gold leaf accents by artist Dunbar Beck. This magnificent instrument currently resides in the East Room of the White House. Photo courtesy of the White House Historical Association.

• In 1903, to celebrate the creation of the company's 100,000th piano - and the 50th anniversary of the firm's founding - Steinway & Sons offered to transform its standard concert grand piano into an artwork suitable for use in the East Room of the White House. The "Gold Grand" was presented to the White House, and President Theodore Roosevelt accepted the $18,000 Steinway "on behalf of the nation." The piano served through the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Roosevelt; it was then donated to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

• The second White House piano was built and presented to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938 to commemorate the production of Steinway's 300,000th piano. The new piano, designed by New York architect Eric Gugler, was more than nine feet long, with a case of Honduran mahogany and gold leaf by artist Dunbar Beck. Last renovated in 1992 during the administration of George H. W. Bush, the piano remains today in the East Room of the White House.

Source: Steinway & Sons



"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy."

-- Ludwig van Beethoven

Enjoy a little Piano!

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June 29, 2009

U.S. News Media Group Launches Online University Directory

Portal Links Students with Degree Providers

American Universities


U.S. News Media Group has launched Online University Directory, an online portal focused entirely on higher education and professional and continuing education opportunities.

The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform digital publisher of news and analysis, which includes the monthly U.S. News & World Report magazine, the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, USNews.com, and RankingsandReviews.com. Focusing on Health, Money & Business, Education, and Public Service/Opinion, the U.S. News Media Group is a leading provider of service news and information. The U.S. News Media Group's signature franchises include its "News You Can Use(R)" brand of journalism and its "America's Best" series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, and health plans.

Complementing the U.S. News rankings, the long-preferred tool for the assessment of excellence in higher education, the University Directory helps potential college-bound students and working adults further invest in their future by serving as an online marketplace where they can directly interact with colleges and universities.


The new portal (distinct from USNews.com) will provide consumers with a full range of education options, including information about both online and offline educational institutions, and will provide educational institutions with an opportunity to showcase their degree and certificate programs in a co-branded forum jointly created by U.S. News Media Group, "America's Authority on Education(R)", and Bisk Education, a facilitator of online degree and certificate programs from some of America's leading universities.

The University Directory organizes schools in multiple ways including an alphabetical directory of ranked and unranked schools in various categories.

"Not everyone is looking for a ranked school," said Brian Kelly, Editor of U.S. News. "While the University Directory has ranking information, it also provides a resource for many different kinds of students."

The site also includes interactive features and expanded sorting abilities, and will present content about degree and certificate programs from U.S. News & World Report's vast collection of the 'News You Can Use(R)' service journalism that has justifiably made it the leading source of news and information about educational opportunities in the United States. It will also feature informative content focused on providing information to consumers who are actively looking for educational opportunities.


"U.S. News & World Report is the leading resource - both in print and online - for students looking at college as well as adults searching for continuing education opportunities, and we wanted to create a website focused on these consumers and institutions," said Bill Holiber, president of U.S. News Media Group. "With Bisk Education, we found a company focused on online education with state-of-the-art technology and capabilities to create a dynamic education-focused portal. Their proven success in working with colleges and universities to bring their schools' online degree and certificate programs to students made for a natural collaboration."

Holiber explained that USNews.com - the U.S. News Media Group's flagship website - will continue to feature rankings and other college and graduate school information, along with the public policy analysis, money, and health content that has distinguished it as a leading provider of information for consumers. "However, we realized that we needed to create a site with navigation and design that was focused specifically on consumers who were in the market for higher education opportunities," Holiber said.

As part of the partnership, all advertising from colleges and universities at USNews.com and the University Directory will be sold by Bisk under the U.S. News brand. Bisk Education is the world's largest exclusive provider of professional education online. Bisk's University Alliance division facilitates the promotion and online delivery of associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as professional certificate programs from the leading traditional universities and institutions in the USA.


"Higher education institutions need a credible and trustworthy marketplace in which they can showcase educational opportunities and connect with potential students that are suited to their programs," said Nathan Bisk, Founder and Chairman of Bisk Education. "For the past 15 years, we have been at the forefront of creating and executing online and distance-learning marketing and recruitment campaigns for some of the nation's leading universities. We know how to market in the digital age and we understand the need to protect the integrity of each institution's brand while helping them connect with qualified students. The new U.S. News Directory will allow educational institutions the opportunity to meet the ever increasing demand for university based education and workforce retraining that is in such demand in today's economy."

Source: U.S. News Media Group


Directory of U.S. Universities

America's Best Colleges 2009


"Rankings attempt to quantify the value of an education. Although the collection and publication of information about such things as location, class size and programs offered is useful to students and their parents, the statistics used in the rankings do not offer that kind of information. How can the interaction between faculty and students be quantified? What kind of numbers tell you about the interests students discover as they explore new ideas and participate in scholastic and extracurricular programs? Do statistics reflect the skills in thinking, writing and analysis that students develop during the course of a well-designed and cohesive program of study?


The kinds of data used to rank schools in the U.S. News and World Report survey are not indications of educational excellence."

-- Presidents of St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland and St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico.


"Education is the leading of human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them."

"The first duty of government is to see that people have food, fuel, and clothes. The second, that they have means of moral and intellectual education."



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Edited & Posted by Editor | 3:12 AM | Link to this Post

June 20, 2009




Photo: Barnes & Noble putting the finishing touches on its 55,000 square foot store in New York City, June 19, 2009, on 86th Street and Lexington Avenue. The flagship store offers more than 400,000 book, music, DVD and magazine titles, the largest Blu-ray selection in Manhattan, expanded children's section offering 5,000 titles and a huge games selection. Serving as a community center, the store will host events throughout the year, including author readings, book clubs and programs with local literary and cultural organizations. (Photo Source: Barnes & Noble, Scott Kahn)



Photo: Hundreds of customers are eager to make their purchases, on the opening day of the new flagship Barnes & Noble on 86th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City, Friday, June 19, 2009. The bookstore offers more than 400,000 book, music, DVD and magazine titles, the largest Blu-ray selection in Manhattan, an expanded children's section offering 5,000 titles and a huge games selection. (Photo Source: Barnes & Noble, Scott Kahn)




"Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have left me."


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 1:39 PM | Link to this Post

June 18, 2009

Fiat Group to sponsor G8 Summit




Photo: The G8 Summit Venue in L'Aquila, Italy.

Italy, which took over the Presidency of the G8 in January, is responsible for hosting and organizing the annual Summit and also the preparatory meetings ahead of the three-day summit.

[The G8 is not an international organization, nor does it have an administrative headquarters with a permanent secretariat. It is rather a process that culminates in an annual Summit at which the Heads of State and Government of the member countries hold talks with a view to finding solutions of the main world issues.

The main industrialized countries taking part in this process are known as G8 -- the Group of Eight (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, United Kingdom, Russia, United States of America). Over recent years, the Group of Eight has involved the main countries with emerging economies, known as the Group of Five (G5), in a process of dialogue. The Group of Five (G5) comprises Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.]

Top management of Fiat has offered the Group's sponsorship of the G8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, to the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi.

Fiat Group

Alfa Romeo


Photo: Fiat Alfa Romeo - Murphy & Nye

Present at the meeting, held at Palazzo Chigi, were the Under Secretaries to the Prime Minister, Gianni Letta and Paolo Bonaiuti, as well as the Chairman of Fiat Group, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the Deputy Chairman, John Elkann, and the Chief Executive Officer, Sergio Marchionne.

As a symbol of the Fiat Group's support for the G8, the Prime Minister was presented with an Executive version of the Lancia Delta, made to the exacting standards of comfort and drivability and recently chosen as the Official Car of the 9th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.

Concrete operational support for the Summit, which will be held on July 8, 9 & 10 at the Guardia di Finanza's Camp Coppito, will consist of an entire fleet of vehicles - consisting of 221 passenger cars, electric vehicles, off-road vehicles, commercial vehicles and buses - being made available to the Department of Civil Defense by Fiat Group for transportation of the participants at the G8 Summit.

The fleet will consist of: 90 Lancia Deltas, 85 Fiat Professional light commercial vehicles, 10 Iveco Massif off-road vehicles and an array of electric vehicles, including an Iveco Daily, two Iveco Europolis buses and 33 "GEM e4" vehicles produced by Global Electric Motorcars, part of the Chrysler Group.

A large part of this fleet has already been employed over the past few months at the preparatory ministerial sessions leading up to the Summit which are being held in various cities around Italy on specific topics such as labour, agriculture, the environment, economic development, justice and internal affairs, science and technology, finance and foreign affairs.

With the exception of the electric vehicles, which will be used within the Camp compound, all other vehicles will be used to transfer delegates to and from airports and the L'Aquila heliport. The entire fleet will be managed 24 hours a day by specialized Fiat Group personnel who will provide assistance and maintenance services, including for the armored Lancia Thesis vehicles already in use by the Italian government.

The Fiat fleet for the G8:

90 Lancia Deltas will be used as courtesy cars.




Photo: Fiat Lancia Delta

Among these will be several models of the Executive version, designed with users such as businessmen, diplomats and government officials in mind. This version was also chosen at the Official Car for the 9th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, held 11-13 December 2008 in Paris, of which Lancia was the main sponsor.

33 electric-powered "GEM e4" vehicles will be used inside Camp Coppito to transport Heads of State and Heads of Delegation. This zero emissions vehicle is produced by Global Electric Motorcars, part of the Chrysler Group, and has a range of 50km and can fully recharged in just 8 hours from a standard domestic 220v socket.

Fiat Iveco



Photo: Fiat IVECO Daily

Three other electric vehicles, an Iveco Daily for luggage transport and two Iveco Europolis buses, will also be used inside the military compound. Distributor panels equipped with electric sockets have also been provided to recharge these vehicles.


Fiat Ducato


Photo: Fiat Professional Ducato

The 85 Fiat Professional vehicles include 75 Scudo Panorama, Doblò Cargo and Ducato Cargo commercial vehicles and 10 natural gas Fiat Ducato Panorama 140 Natural Power vehicles, which provide high performance, reduced fuel consumption and low emissions.

Iveco Massif


Photo: Fiat IVECO Massif

The G8 fleet is completed by 10 Iveco Massifs (5-door Station Wagon) already in use by the Civil Defense. This 4x4 vehicle is capable of operating in extreme off-road conditions with gradeability at full-load of 100%.



Photo: Fiat Lingotto Building.



Photo: Fiat Abarth Plant

As a pioneer of the car industry, Fiat built its first car in 1899. Over 90 million cars and light commercial vehicles have been produced since then and many of its models have marked important milestones in motoring history.

Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) designs, produces and sells automobiles under the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Abarth brands, and light commercial vehicles under the Fiat Professional brand. Each brand has its own unique identity and distinct commercial and marketing practices.

Source: FIAT S.p.A., Turin, Italy.


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 11:27 PM | Link to this Post

June 10, 2009

Nokia N97 Mobile Computer Will Soon Become Available Worldwide



The highly anticipated Nokia N97, Nokia's flagship mobile computer, will begin selling in June in more than 75 countries.

This was announced by NOKIA at its headquarters in FINLAND.

Along with a tilting 3.5" touch display, QWERTY keyboard and a fully customizable home screen, the Nokia N97 will offer instant access to the full range of Ovi services.



"The Nokia N97 is an important step towards our vision of delivering a highly personalized Internet experience," said Jonas Geust, Vice President and head of Nokia Nseries. "Fuelled by a multitude of music, maps, games, media and applications via Ovi, the Nokia N97 transforms the Internet into an experience that's completely tailored to the tastes and interests of its owner."



The Nokia N97 is Nokia's first device to feature a personalizable home screen, which can be customized with a range of widgets which bring live information directly to the device. These widgets include key social networking destinations like Facebook and Hi5, news services like the Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters, as well as shopping and weather information. The Nokia N97 is the first device to ship with the Ovi Store, which offers easy access to applications, games, videos, podcasts, productivity tools, web and location-based services, and much more. Ovi Store has paid and free content from a range of global and local content providers and developers, including Paramount Pictures, Facebook and Qik, as well as a selection of Twitter applications.



As with any computer, people can constantly improve and refresh their Nokia N97 with new features, functions and fixes so they can do even more with the device. An exciting roadmap of new features and functions is planned to roll out in the second half of 2009.

The Nokia N97 also has direct access to the huge catalogue of music in the Nokia Music Store. With multiple high-speed connectivity options and 32GB of storage (up to 48GB using a microSD card) it is possible to directly download and store tens of thousands of songs on the handset. And you can listen to your favourite music on the Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-905, which Nokia also launched today. This headset brings crystal clear sound, eliminates background noise, and is the ideal accessory for listening to music and making calls on the Nokia N97, as well as being compatible with a diverse range of other mobile and music devices.

High-quality images and video clips at 30 frames per second (fps) can be captured using the 5 megapixel camera with integrated Carl Zeiss optics. Images can also be geo-tagged to specific locations and shared instantly with friends or uploaded online via Ovi Share, Twitter or Flickr.

Source: Nokia Headquarters, Finland


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 6:33 AM | Link to this Post

June 8, 2009

Apple Announces New Products: iPhone 3G S, Updated MacBook Pro, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, and Safari 4 Browser

Apple iphone


Apple today introduced the new iPhone™ 3G S, which, according to it, (1) is the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet, (2) is packed with incredible new features including improved speed and performance--up to twice as fast as iPhone 3G--with longer battery life, (3) has a high-quality 3 megapixel autofocus camera, and has (4) easy to use video recording and hands free voice control.

iPhone 3G S includes the new iPhone OS 3.0, an advanced mobile operating system with over 100 new features such as Cut, Copy and Paste, Spotlight Search, and landscape keyboard.

"iPhone 3G S is the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet and we think people will love the incredible new features including autofocus camera, video recording and the freedom of voice control," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of WorldWide Product Marketing.

iPhone 3G S offers speed and performance that is up to twice as fast as iPhone 3G.

iPhone 3G S features a new 3 megapixel autofocus camera that adjusts focus, exposure, color and contrast for the best possible image and includes an automatic macro focus for extra close up shots. With the new "tap to focus" feature, you simply touch the display to select an object or area of interest and the camera automatically re-adjusts focus and exposure. You can record high-quality video clips and edit them right on your iPhone 3G S by simply trimming the start and stop points.

The voice control feature in iPhone 3G S offers hands free operation for both iPhone and iPod functions. Simply speak the appropriate commands into the built-in microphone or headset microphone to dial by name or number. With voice control you can play your favorite music by artist, album or playlist and activate the Genius feature by saying "play more songs like this." You can also tell iPhone to pause the music, play the next track, turn on shuffle or ask, "What's playing right now?"

iPhone 3G S features a new built-in digital compass for instant navigation. The new built-in digital compass is also integrated within Maps, so it automatically orients any map to the direction you are facing.

Apple Updates MacBook Pro Family with New Models & Innovative Built-in Battery for Up to 40 Percent Longer Battery Life.

Apple Macbook Pro


Apple today updated the aluminum unibody MacBook Pro line to include 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch models featuring Apple's innovative built-in battery for up to 40 percent longer battery life. Each MacBook Pro includes an LED-backlit display with greater color intensity, the innovative glass Multi-Touch™ trackpad, an illuminated keyboard, an SD card or ExpressCard slot, a FireWire 800 port and state of the art NVIDIA graphics.

"Across the line, all of our new MacBook Pro models now include Apple's innovative built-in battery for up to seven hours of battery life, while staying just as thin and light as before," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

The new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models include Apple's built-in notebook battery for up to seven hours of wireless productivity on a single charge without adding thickness, weight or cost. Using Adaptive Charging and advanced chemistry first introduced with the 17-inch MacBook Pro earlier this year, the built-in battery delivers up to 1,000 recharges before it reaches 80 percent of its original capacity--nearly three times the lifespan of conventional batteries. The longer battery lifespan equals fewer depleted batteries and less waste.

Apple Unveils Mac OS X Snow Leopard.



Apple today unveiled Mac OS X Snow Leopard™ a powerful and refined advanced operating system.

"We've built on the success of Leopard and created an even better experience for our users from installation to shutdown," said Bertrand Serlet, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "Apple engineers have made hundreds of improvements so with Snow Leopard your system is going to feel faster, more responsive and even more reliable than before."

Apple Releases Safari 4--Fast & Innovative Browser.



Apple today released Safari 4. Available for Mac and Windows PCs and introduced as a beta in February of this year, Safari 4 features the Nitro engine which runs JavaScript up to 4.5 times faster than Safari 3. Safari 4 makes browsing more intuitive and enjoyable with innovative features, such as Top Sites, Full History Search and Cover Flow, and support for modern web standards like HTML 5 and advanced CSS Effects.



"The successful beta release helped us fine tune Safari 4 into an even better, faster version that customers are going to love," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Safari is enjoyed by 70 million users worldwide and with its blazing fast speed, innovative features and support for modern web standards, it's the best browser on any platform."

Safari 4 includes Top Sites, for a visual preview of frequently visited and favorite pages; Full History Search, to search through titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages; and Cover Flow, to easily flip through web history or bookmarks. Other innovative features include Smart Address Fields for automatically completing web addresses from an easy to read list of suggestions; Search Fields, to fine tune searches with recommendations from Google Suggest or a list of recent searches; and Full Page Zoom, for a closer look at any website without degrading the quality of the site's layout and text.

Source: Apple


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 8:25 PM | Link to this Post

June 3, 2009

U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Monitor GM and Chrysler Restructuring



Photo: Evolution of Motor Car: The original Benz patent motor car of 1888 in the Dr. Carl Benz Automotive Museum in Ladenburg, Germany. (Photo © Daimler AG)

Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has issued the following statement on the U.S. Federal Administration's plan to restructure General Motors and the impending ruling on Chrysler:

"The future success of General Motors and Chrysler ultimately depends on whether they can profitably design and build cars that Americans and other consumers actually want to buy.

Our biggest concern with the restructuring plan announced today is the potential for governments and unions to influence production, product, workforce, and management decisions in ways that could jeopardize the automakers' chances for survival, put politics and special interests above sound business strategy, and disrupt our nation's trading relationships across the world.

For example, the UAW has said that it pressured GM to change where the company plans to produce a new line of smaller cars. And as part of the GM restructuring, the administration has reportedly closed the U.S. market to Opel and blocked Opel's forays into China so it could not compete with GM -- clear examples of market manipulation and protectionism.

If members of Congress, along with government officials from the United States to Germany to Canada, are allowed undue influence over management's decisions, then you can write this down: These companies will not return to profitability and their survival will be seriously challenged. The global talent that exists in the automotive sector must be allowed to do its job and be paid on a competitive basis. Management must be permitted to make tough decisions in a competitive global market without political interference.

So going forward, the U.S. Chamber will carefully monitor the activities of the new GM and Chrysler boards, and we will expose and fight any counterproductive influence by government, unions, or politicians over decisions that should be left to management. And we will continually insist that government reduce and eliminate its ownership stake as soon as possible."

(The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.)

Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 2:39 PM | Link to this Post

May 28, 2009

Microsoft Introduces New Search Engine: BING

Bing Helps People Make Better Decisions, says Microsoft.


Bing Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. today unveiled Bing, a new Decision Engine and consumer brand, "providing customers with a first step in moving beyond search to help make faster, more informed decisions".

According to Microsoft, Bing is specifically designed to build on the benefits of today's search engines but begins to move beyond this experience with a new approach to user experience and intuitive tools to help customers make better decisions, focusing initially on four key vertical areas:

• Making a purchase decision.

• Planning a trip.

• Researching a health condition.

• Finding a local business.

This new approach is a beginning for a new kind of search service, which Microsoft is calling a Decision Engine that is designed to empower people to gain insight and knowledge from the Web by moving more quickly to important decisions.

Bing Microsoft


The explosive growth of online content has continued unabated, and Bing was developed as a tool to help people more easily navigate through the information overload that has come to characterize many of today's search experiences, explains Microsoft.

"Today, search engines do a decent job of helping people navigate the Web and find information, but they don't do a very good job of enabling people to use the information they find," said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. "When we set out to build Bing, we grounded ourselves in a deep understanding of how people really want to use the Web. Bing is an important first step forward in our long-term effort to deliver innovations in search that enable people to find information quickly and use the information they've found to accomplish tasks and make smart decisions."

Bing Search

Bing Search

Based on the customer insight that 66 percent of people are using Internet search more frequently to make complex decisions, Microsoft identified three design goals to guide the development of Bing:

• Deliver great results.

• Deliver a more organized experience.

• Simplify tasks and provide insight, leading to faster, more confident decisions.

"The new service, built to go beyond today's search experience, includes deep innovation on core search areas including entity extraction and expansion, query intent recognition and document summarization technology as well as a new user experience model that dynamically adapts to the type of query to provide relevant and intuitive decision-making tools," claims Microsoft.

The new service, located at http://www.bing.com/, will begin to roll out over the coming days and will be fully deployed worldwide on Wednesday, June 3, 2009. It is only then that one can find out whether Bing is really a "Decision Engine" as Microsoft proclaims.

Source: Microsoft Corporation


"Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life."

-- Immanuel Kant

Our Opinion

[Added June 25, 2009]

"Bing is overtaking Google. But Google has the Best Database."

© GlobalGiants.Com. All Rights Reserved.


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 8:42 PM | Link to this Post

May 20, 2009





Photo: Renault Vel Satis, official car of the Cannes Film Festival. (Credits: Stéphane Kossmann)

French automaker Renault has fostered the growth of the Cannes Film Festival for 26 years. This year too, since May 13, 2009, a fleet of about hundred vehicles, including 70 Vel Satis and 30 Espace, are driving the actors and Festival guests to and from the red-carpeted steps. In addition, about a dozen Kangoo be bop are supplementing the official fleet.

Cannes Renault


Photo: Kristin Scott Thomas, getting out of Ranault Vel Satis. (Credits: Stéphane Kossmann)

Cannes Renault


Photo: Hafsia Herzi, french actress who declared opened the 62nd Cannes Film Festival with Charles Aznavour. (Credits: Stéphane Kossmann)

The relationship between Renault and the movie industry is more than a century old. According to the company, Louis Renault's Voiturette appeared in early films in 1899, when the first film studios were built in Boulogne-Billancourt at the same time as the first Renault factory on the Ile Seguin.

Renault informs that it is continuing its commitment to film and television production today through an active policy of sponsorship and product placements. Several models from the Renault range are in the films in the Festival's official selection, such as Les Herbes Folles by Alain Resnais.

Cannes Renault


Photo: Renault New Grand Scénic painted in the colors of Up, the opening film of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. (Credits: Stéphane Kossmann)

Cannes Renault


Photo: Renault New Grand Scénic painted in the colors of Up, the opening film of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. (Credits: Stéphane Kossmann)

This year, Renault, and especially the latest model in the range, New Grand Scénic, is also teaming up with Disney Pixar and the 3D animated feature Up, screened at the Opening Ceremony. According to Renault, the arrival of members of the Disney teams in front of the red carpet on board the three New Grand Scénic models decked out in the colors of the film marks the beginning of an international collaboration in communications interfaces that spans more than 20 countries and that is boosting traffic in Renault showrooms.

The Atelier Renault situated at the Champs Elysées has also been set up in Cannes for the 62nd festival. Located on the beachfront of the Majestic, in the middle of the Cannes atmosphere, the Atelier is open to all visitors and is exhibiting photography featuring celebrities from around the world mounting the famous Steps.

Source: Renault


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Edited & Posted by Editor | 6:03 AM | Link to this Post

April 28, 2009

Large Increases in use of Online Newspapers: Center for the Digital Future

Center director Jeffrey Cole: "greatest opportunities in their existence" await newspapers that can move decisively online.

Online Newspaper

According to the annual survey conducted by the Center for the Digital Future at USC's Annenberg School for Communication, in a year when the woes of newspapers -- layoffs, consolidations, and outright closings -- are more extensive than in any period in memory, strong evidence of the changing nature of media use in America may be found in a single statistic: Internet users report a large increase in time reading online newspapers.

In questions about reading online and print newspapers -- key elements of the eighth annual comprehensive study of the impact of online technology on America -- the Digital Future Project found that Internet users read online newspapers for 53 minutes per week, the highest level thus far in the Digital Future studies.

In contrast, Internet users in 2007 reported 41 minutes per week reading online newspapers.

The Digital Future Project also found that 22 percent of users said they stopped their subscription to a printed newspaper or magazine because they could access the same content while online.

"The most significant trend about how Americans are changing their news reading habits may be found in comparing the use of online media by light users vs. heavy users," said Center director Jeffrey I. Cole. "Heavy Internet users spent 65 more minutes per week reading online newspapers than do light users.

"This raises the question: how will the media habits of the current generation of light users change as online content continues to expand?" Cole said. "What ramifications will these changes have for the newspapers of America?"

Online Newspapers

"We're clearly now seeing a path to the end of the printed daily newspapers -- a trend that is escalating much faster than we had anticipated," Cole said. "The decline of newspapers is happening at a pace they never could have anticipated. Their cushion is gone, and only those papers that can move decisively to the Web will survive."

Cole cited four primary reasons for the rapid decline of printed newspapers: the loss of newspaper classified advertising to the digital realm, concerns about the environmental impact of newspapers, the economic downturn, and no prospects for new readers.

"With classified ads all but gone, newspapers had two major types of advertisers: car dealers and department stores," Cole said. "Those advertisers are withering away."

The findings are not unique to the United States. The World Internet Project, created by the Center for the Digital Future, conducts studies of the impact of online technology in 23 partner countries. Every partner has found the same trend in its country: when Internet use reaches 30 percent of the population, newspaper use begins to decline.

"Thirty years ago, teenagers began to read newspapers as they reached their adult years. Today, teenagers don't read printed newspapers, and research indicates they never will," Cole said. "Yet we've found that teens are more interested in news than any generation we've seen in a long time, only now online sites are their news sources.

"Our study has shown over the years that the future is clear," said Cole. "When newspaper readers die, they aren't being replaced by new readers."


Opportunities for Newspapers

In spite of grim prospects, significant bright spots remain for newspapers, Cole said, including "the greatest opportunities in their existence."

"For the first time in 60 years, newsepaprs are back in the breaking news business," Cole said, "except now their delivery method is electronic and not paper."

"Since the beginning of radio, newspapers have not been able to compete with broadcasting for delivery of immediate news," said Cole. "But in a digital world, newspapers can compete at least as effectively for breaking news delivery with broadcast media. On the Web, newspapers are live, and they can supplement their coverage with audio, video, and the invaluable resources of their vast archives. And, they already have talented teams of reporters and editors who can deliver the news."

"The key to newspapers' success," said Cole, "will be making bold moves entirely into the digital realm, and building business models that allow them to thrive online."

In addition, print newspapers still have strong brand identities and reader loyalty, suggesting they may not be finished yet.

In fact, while the Digital Future Project found increased reading of media content online, the study also found that a large percentage of Internet users remain loyal to print versions of newspapers. When asked if they would miss the print edition of their newspaper if it were no longer available, 61 percent those who read newspapers offline agreed -- up from 56 percent in 2007.

The Center for the Digital Future at the USC (University of Southern California) Annenberg School for Communication created and organizes the World Internet Project, which includes the Digital Future Project and similar studies in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania. Since 2000, the Digital Future Project has examined the influence of the Internet and online technology on Americans.

Source: The Center for the Digital Future



"You can never get all the facts from just one newspaper, and unless you have all the facts, you cannot make proper judgements about what is going on."

-- Harry S. Truman

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