PCWorld: Air Apparents! Ultrabooks and Other Slimmed-Down Windows PCs

PCWorld
Air Apparents! Ultrabooks and Other Slimmed-Down Windows PCs
Nov 18th 2011, 20:44

The MacBook Air is a hit; here comes the competition.

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Share Your Memories of The Internet in 1996 [OPEN THREAD]

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Google Reveals Details About Its Carbon Footprint

Google is coming clean about how green it has become. Among other things, the technology giant has revealed that, for all its services, its servers use less energy for a month, per user, than a light bulb that burns for three hours.

But, put together, the company's data centers continually use about 260 million watts, or about 25 percent of what a nuclear power plant generates.

Zero-Carbon Footprint

The company's greenness was detailed for the first time in a posting Thursday on its official Green Blog, and elsewhere. On the blog, Urs Hoelzle, senior vice president for technical infrastructure, noted that, because Google has been a carbon-neutral company since 2007 -- that is, it saves or removes the same amount of carbon emissions as it creates -- even the three hours of a light bulb per user is offset. The resulting carbon footprint of the company is zero.

Previously, Google has been general in discussing its energy use, possibly to avoid releasing competitive information. Now, in an apparent effort to show off its successful conservation and impact-less use of energy, the company is releasing some statistics.

It said its custom-built data centers used only about half the energy of most other centers. About 30 percent of its current electricity use is from renewable sources, including renewable energy already in the grid and renewable energy the company buys directly. That figure is expected to grow to over 35 percent next year.

The company's solar-generated electricity, bike-to-work programs, and other efforts remove the equivalent of about 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. At the Mountain View, Calif., headquarters alone, solar panels generate about 3 million kWh of clean energy annually.

Reusing a Paper Mill

A huge part of Google's energy needs, of course, are its massive data centers. The company has said that it emphasizes four concepts to increase energy efficiency. It accurately measures power usage, keeps the centers warm to reduce cooling costs, designs each element in the data center to operate at optimal efficiency, and cools data centers without chillers.

The company's newest data center, in an old paper mill in Hamina, Finland, uses a variety of innovative techniques to reduce energy use. For instance, raw seawater from the Gulf of Finland uses an existing seawater tunnel, originally built for the paper mill. The seawater is run through heat exchangers, then sent to a "tempering building," where it mixed with more, cooler seawater. It is then returned to the Gulf at a temperature close to the natural one. No compressor-based or refrigerant-based cooling is used.

On Thursday, the company also released a study about the energy savings from using cloud-based services versus housing local servers. It cited data showing that "cloud-based services like Gmail allow organizations of all sizes to reap" advantages of increased efficiency, reduced overhead, and creating a smaller carbon footprint.

Laura DiDio, an analyst with Information Technology Intelligence Corp, said that the greening of data centers "is not a passing fad," because it can be a substantial cost-saving measure. She noted that Dell, IBM, Apple, Microsoft, and HP have also been leaders in this area.

The biggest savers, she said, are virtualization, cloud services and the rise of the remote, mobile workforce, which often mean fewer local power needs.


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Summary Box: US could improve credit card security

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John Wiley eyes greater share of e-book sales: CEO

(Reuters) - Publisher John Wiley & Sons Inc said it is planning a major digital push to grab a bigger slice of the lucrative e-book market, which is witnessing an explosive growth, fueled by the popularity of tablets and e-readers.

"Some of the larger publishing houses have 25-30 percent of sales from e-books. We hope to achieve those levels," Chief Executive Stephen Smith told Reuters in an interview.

E-books represent 11 percent of the company's professional/trade (PT) unit sales, which account for 23 percent of overall revenue, and their sales saw strong growth at Amazon Inc's Kindle store and Apple Inc's iBookstore.

"In the first quarter of this year, we have seen a three-fold rise in e-book sales at our professional and trade segment," Smith said. "We expect to see e-books becoming a much larger proportion of our revenue."

The 204-year old company -- which started off as a publisher of 19th century American authors like Washington Irving, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe -- is now known for brands such as "For Dummies" instructional texts, "Frommer's" travel guides, "Betty Crocker" cookbooks and Wiley-Blackwell academic journals.

Digital sales, which include e-books and other products and services, accounted for 40 percent of the company's total revenue across all its segments in fiscal year 2011.

Digital sales comprised 59 percent of scientific/technical/medical/scholarly (STMS), 10 percent of PT, and 16 percent of global education revenue. While e-books make up 16 percent of STMS, 7 percent of PT and 5 percent of global education revenue.

The company's STMS unit, its largest by sales, was the first to migrate to digital in 1995 followed by its global education unit.

Wiley also signed sales agreements with Amazon Germany, ChristianBooks.com, and Blio in the first quarter to push e-book sales.

Its larger rivals include McGraw-Hill Companies Inc, Reed Elsevier Plc, Pearson, Axel Springer AG.

ALLIANCES & ACQUISITIONS

While growth in Asia, which accounts for about a fifth of the company's revenue, continues to be strong, Wiley is also looking to enhance its digital content through services acquisitions, partnerships and in-house development.

"We are finding sources of growth in more mature markets in North America and Europe particularly through expansion of services," Smith said.

Smith, who is undergoing cancer treatment, said the company is looking at technology to speed its digital transition and move to "content-based services" and it is "vigilantly looking at strategic opportunities at the right price."

Wiley is interested in acquiring companies that helps build capabilities in search technology, content enrichment, semantic tagging, distance learning, curriculum development, test preparation, among others.

The company generated $270 million of free cash flow in 2011 and said it is "comfortable making large acquisitions."

Wiley's $1.12 billion buy of UK's academic journal and reference book publisher Blackwell Publishing in 2007 was its most recent and largest acquisition in its history.

The Hoboken, New Jersey-based also reaffirmed its profit outlook of $3.15-$3.20 for the year on mid-single digit revenue growth. At constant U.S. dollar rates, the company expects to add 10 cents a share to profit.

With regards to Apple taking a 30 percent cut on sales through its App Store, the company said it is "absolutely not coordinating with our competitors regarding negotiations with Apple on any terms or pricing."

(Reporting by Soham Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)


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Correction: Hewlett-Packard-webOS

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Opel to introduce EV concept car that costs pennies to drive

Take to the road in a zero-emission coupe built for two

As green thinking becomes a world affair, electric vehicles are beginning to pop up in all shapes and sizes. The economic Nissan Leaf can already be seen buzzing around U.S. roads, while Cadillac and BMW both have more luxurious electric offerings poised to hit dealerships shortly. German automaker Opel is now getting in on the mix, with a two-seat electric concept vehicle set to be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

The compact cruiser doesn't have an official name, but is instead being touted as the "One Euro Car" because it can travel 100 kilometers (roughly 62 miles) for just one euro (or $1.41). With mobility in mind, the new vehicle boasts one-third the weight of a typical compact car and a top speed of 75 miles per hour.

Opel "One Euro Car"


The company is positioning the new vehicle as an affordable, environmentally-friendly option for younger drivers. An Opel press release even suggests that a speed-limited version of the two-seater could be introduced which could selectively top out at around 28mph — making it fine for city driving, but preventing lead feet. As with all concept cars, there's no guarantee that the futuristic EV will ever make it to market, but in the cost-conscious times of today it certainly has a fighting chance.

Opel hasn't sold cars in the United States under its own nameplate since the early 70s. But as it is a General Motors brand, several of Opel's designs have come to U.S. dealerships under GM brands including Saturn, Buick, and Cadillac, so don't be entirely surprised if a version of the conceptual electric speedster eventually makes it stateside.

[via Autoblog Green]

This article originally appeared on Tecca

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Shuttered SAP subsidiary charged in Oracle theft

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Copyright charges for NinjaVideo operators

Four Americans and a Greek national have been indicted on conspiracy and copyright infringement charges for alleged involvement with a website, NinjaVideo, which offered illegal downloads of movies and television shows, the Justice Department said Friday.

Many of the movies offered by NinjaVideo.net, which was shut down by US law enforcement in June 2010, were still playing in theaters and others had not yet been released publicly, the department said in a statement.

The indictments were handed down on Thursday by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, the department said.

The five were charged with one count of conspiracy and five counts of copyright infringement for their involvement with NinjaVideo, it said.

According to the indictment, NinjaVideo was launched in February 2008 and allowed visitors to illegally download copyright-protected movies and TV shows in high-quality formats.

Many movies were offered for free and a greater selection was available for a donation of at least $25, the Justice Department said.

It said the operators allegedly collected more than $500,000 during the website's two-and-a-half years of operation.

The five charged were Hana Amal Beshara, 29, of New Jersey; Matthew David Howard Smith, 23, of North Carolina; Joshua David Evans, 34, of Washington state; Zoi Mertzanis, 36, of Greece; and Jeremy Lynn Andrew, 33, of Oregon.


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AT&T fights back at U.S. challenge of T-Mobile deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Inc and T-Mobile USA fought back against the Justice Department's challenge to their proposed merger, arguing the deal would "usher in more intense competition."

AT&T and T-Mobile, owned by Deutsche Telekom AG, argued in a federal court filing on Friday that the massive $39 billion deal would free up spectrum and create new capacity for Americans whose mobile devices are transmitting increasingly large amounts of data.

"The Justice Department's complaint fails to come to grips with the significant efficiencies this transaction will generate," the companies said in their filing.

In the brief, AT&T asked the court to allow its purchase of T-Mobile to go forward and to require the Justice Department to pay its costs in the challenge.

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping the deal last week, saying the acquisition of T-Mobile USA, the No. 4 carrier, by AT&T, the No. 2, would harm competition in the wireless market and lead to higher prices.

The department, in particular, seemed determined to preserve T-Mobile as an innovative, discount carrier that held down wireless prices.

Responding to that concern, AT&T said "T-Mobile is not a unique or material competitive constraint on AT&T."

"T-Mobile has not been a meaningful or unique innovator in terms of network development and deployment, nor is it likely to become one in the foreseeable future," AT&T said in the filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The deal partners took issue with the Justice Department's review of the effect of the merger on a national basis instead of on a local basis. They argued that more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers currently have at least five wireless carriers to choose from in their local markets.

They also disputed the method the Justice Department used to analyze the deal, saying it was too simplistic.

If the merger goes through, AT&T will unseat Verizon Wireless as the No. 1 U.S. mobile carrier. Verizon Wireless is a venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc.

"We continue to believe this transaction as currently proposed is anti-competitive and harmful to consumers," Justice Department Spokesperson Gina Talamona said. "We will respond further in our court filing."

The lawsuit is the biggest antitrust challenge yet by the Obama administration.

The case is the Department of Justice v. AT&T, T-Mobile USA, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, No. 11-01560.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew and Diane Bartz; editing by Gary Hill, Tim Dobbyn and Andre Grenon)


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