January 31st, 2019

GM, Chrysler offer buyouts and early retirement to workers

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GM, Chrysler offer buyouts and early retirement to workers

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

General Motors NYSEGM (GM) and Chrysler have both begun to offer layoff packages to their workforces.

The automobile manufacturers have been hard hit in the recent economic downturn and have been forced to seek federal aid from the U.S. government. Reports say that GM’s package includes a $20,000 cash payment and a $25,000 new vehicle voucher. Chrysler will offer a $25,000 vehicle voucher and $50,000 with healthcare and $75,000 without. Both will offer the deal to most United Auto Workers (UAW) union members – 62,000 at GM, which is seeking to cut 31,500 jobs by 2012.

The two companies have received $13.4 billion in federal loans to keep them operating, but Congress required them to produce viability plans to demonstrate they were making significant cost cuts and labor concessions in return for the money. UAW workers in Detroit earn $28 an hour; their replacements will earn about half that. The UAW’s “jobs bank”, a system where workers without duties are still paid, has stopped at both companies.

GM is also attempting to engineer a debt-for-equity swap, reducing its liabilities from $27.5 billion in unsecured debt to $9.2 billion. It is also seeking to sell a truck manufacturer, the Delco Electronics parts group and the Hummer and Saab Automobile vehicle brands.

The entire motor manufacturing sector has suffered under the economic downturn, with the Ford Motor Company NYSEF announcing a $14.6 billion annual loss, although it has not sought federal aid. GM and Chrysler both ran out of operating funds in December, leading to the federal bailout.

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January 31st, 2019

As increase in digital music sales slows, record labels look to new ways to make money

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As increase in digital music sales slows, record labels look to new ways to make money

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Every September, the Apple iPod is redesigned. Last year saw the release of the iPod Nano 5th generation, bringing a video camera and a large range of colours to the Nano for the first time. But as Apple again prepares to unveil a redesigned product, the company has released their quarterly sales figures—and revealed that they have sold only 9m iPods for the quarter to June—the lowest number of sales since 2006, leading industry anylists to ponder whether the world’s most successful music device is in decline.

Such a drop in sales is not a problem for Apple, since the iPhone 4 and the iPad are selling in high numbers. But the number of people buying digital music players are concerning the music industry. Charles Arthur, technology editor of The Guardian, wrote that the decline in sales of MP3 players was a “problem” for record companies, saying that “digital music sales are only growing as fast as those of Apple’s devices – and as the stand-alone digital music player starts to die off, people may lose interest in buying songs from digital stores. The music industry had looked to the iPod to drive people to buy music in download form, whether from Apple’s iTunes music store, eMusic, Napster or from newer competitors such as Amazon.”

Mark Mulligan, a music and digital media analyst at Forrester Research, said in an interview that “at a time where we’re asking if digital is a replacement for the CD, as the CD was for vinyl, we should be starting to see a hockey-stick growth in download sales. Instead, we’re seeing a curve resembling that of a niche technology.” Alex Jacob, a spokesperson for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents the worldwide music industry, agreed that there had been a fall in digital sales of music. “The digital download market is still growing,” they said. “But the percentage is less than a few years ago, though it’s now coming from a higher base.” Figures released earlier this year, Arthur wrote, “show that while CD sales fell by 12.7%, losing $1.6bn (£1bn)in value, digital downloads only grew by 9.2%, gaining less than $400m in value.”

Expectations that CDs would, in time, become extinct, replaced by digital downloads, have not come to light, Jacob confirmed. “Across the board, in terms of growth, digital isn’t making up for the fall in CD sales, though it is in certain countries, including the UK,” he said. Anylising the situation, Arthur suggested that “as iPod sales slow, digital music sales, which have been yoked to the device, are likely to slow too. The iPod has been the key driver: the IFPI’s figures show no appreciable digital download sales until 2004, the year Apple launched its iTunes music store internationally (it launched it in the US in April 2003). Since then, international digital music sales have climbed steadily, exactly in line with the total sales of iPods and iPhones.”

Nick Farrell, a TechEYE journalist, stated that the reason for the decline in music sales could be attributed to record companies’ continued reliance on Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, saying that they had considered him the “industry’s saviour”, and by having this mindset had forgotten “that the iPod is only for those who want their music on the run. What they should have been doing is working out how to get high quality music onto other formats, perhaps even HiFi before the iPlod fad died out.”

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When Jobs negotiated a deal with record labels to ensure every track was sold for 99 cents, they considered this unimportant—the iPod was not a major source of revenue for the company. However, near the end of 2004, there was a boom in sales of the iPod, and the iTunes store suddenly began raking in more and more money. The record companies were irritated, now wanting to charge different amounts for old and new songs, and popular and less popular songs. “But there was no alternative outlet with which to threaten Apple, which gained an effective monopoly over the digital music player market, achieving a share of more than 70%” wrote Arthur. Some did attempt to challenge the iTunes store, but still none have succeeded. “Apple is now the largest single retailer of music in the US by volume, with a 25% share.”

The iTunes store now sells television shows and films, and the company has recently launced iBooks, a new e-book store. The App Store is hugely successful, with Apple earning $410m in two years soley from Apps, sales of which they get 30%. In two years, 5bn apps have been downloaded—while in seven years, 10bn songs have been purchased. Mulligan thinks that there is a reason for this—the quality of apps simply does not match up to a piece of music. “You can download a song from iTunes to your iPhone or iPad, but at the moment music in that form doesn’t play to the strengths of the device. Just playing a track isn’t enough.”

Adam Liversage, a spokesperson of the British Phonographic Industry, which represents the major UK record labels, notes that the rise of streaming services such as Spotify may be a culprit in the fall in music sales. Revenues from such companies added up to $800m in 2009. Arthur feels that “again, it doesn’t make up for the fall in CD sales, but increasingly it looks like nothing ever will; that the record business’s richest years are behind it. Yet there are still rays of hope. If Apple – and every other mobile phone maker – are moving to an app-based economy, where you pay to download games or timetables, why shouldn’t recording artists do the same?”

Well, apparently they are. British singer Peter Gabriel has released a ‘Full Moon Club’ app, which is updated every month with a new song. Arthur also notes that “the Canadian rock band Rush has an app, and the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, led by Trent Reznor – who has been critical of the music industry for bureaucracy and inertia – released the band’s first app in April 2009.” It is thought that such a system will be an effective method to reduce online piracy—”apps tend to be tied to a particular handset or buyer, making them more difficult to pirate than a CD”, he says—and in the music industry, piracy is a very big problem. In 2008, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry estimated that 95% of downloads were illegitimate. If musicians can increase sales and decrease piracy, Robert says, it can only be a good thing.

“It’s early days for apps in the music business, but we are seeing labels and artists experimenting with it,” Jacob said. “You could see that apps could have a premium offering, or behind-the-scenes footage, or special offers on tickets. But I think it’s a bit premature to predict the death of the album.” Robert concluded by saying that it could be “premature to predict the death of the iPod just yet too – but it’s unlikely that even Steve Jobs will be able to produce anything that will revive it. And that means that little more than five years after the music industry thought it had found a saviour in the little device, it is having to look around again for a new stepping stone to growth – if, that is, one exists.”

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January 30th, 2019

First images received from orbit around Mercury

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First images received from orbit around Mercury

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The first images of Mercury taken from orbit around the planet have been received from NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) probe. The images come after the spacecraft entered an orbit around the closest planet to the sun on March 17.

After various system examinations, the first images from the spacecraft were sent at 0520 EDT (0920 UTC).

Before arriving in orbit around Mercury, the MESSENGER spacecraft was launched in 2004, passed by Mercury twice in 2008 and once more in 2009. MESSENGER is the first artificial satellite to be placed in orbit around Mercury. Because Mercury is the innermost planet in the Solar System, the sun’s gravitational attraction altered the spacecraft’s approach to the planet. Because of this, a series of several maneuvers over three years was required to put the probe in orbit.

Although MESSENGER is the first probe to enter orbit around Mercury, it is not the first to fly by. Mariner 10 was the first to do this when it made three passes during the 1970s.

NASA is continuing to release images taken by the spacecraft as they arrive at Earth. MESSENGER is scheduled to begin it’s primary mission on April 4, consisting of various scientific and visual observations of the planet. Some of the scientific goals the probe is to accomplish are: determination of the geologic composition of Mercury, study of the planet’s magnetic field and internal composition, and transmission of more than 75,000 images back to Earth.

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January 30th, 2019

Wikinews Shorts: December 20, 2008

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Wikinews Shorts: December 20, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Saturday, December 20, 2008.

The United States government has announced that it will give US$17.4 billion in loans to help three of the nation’s automobile makers – Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford – avoid bankruptcy.

The money will be taken from the $700 billion bailout package originally intended to rescue US banks. General Motors will get $9.4 billion and Chrysler $4 billion before next year. Ford stated that it wants to get by without government aid.

President George Bush said that it would not be “a responsible course of action” to allow the companies to collapse.

Sources


Telephone and Internet communications between Asia and Europe have been disrupted after some submarine cables were severed.

The cables FLAG FEA, SMW4 and SMW3 near Alexandria, Egypt, were damaged, and the GO cable 130 kilometres off the coast of Sicily has also been reported as broken. France Telecom will repair the damage, and the company announced that it was dispatching a ship to repair the line between Egypt and Italy.

Experts warn that it could be several days before the problems are fixed.

Sources


Yann Elies, a French yachtsman participating in the Vendee Globe round-the-world solo yacht race, was rescued on Saturday by the Australian navy after the former was paralysed by a wave that struck his boat in the Southern Ocean.

Elies broke his left thighbone and perhaps several ribs after the wave slammed into his boat 200 kilometres southwest of Perth.

The Australian frigate dispatched the HMAS Arunta to rescue Elies. The ship left Fremantle early on Friday morning and reached Elies by evening.

Sources


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January 30th, 2019

Canadian PM and Quebec premier announce plans for highway development in Montreal

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Canadian PM and Quebec premier announce plans for highway development in Montreal

Monday, November 6, 2006

The PM and Quebec premier Jean Charest have announced a $1 billion highway development in Montreal. This project would be one of Canada’s largest ever public private partnerships. It will be a 35 kilometer (21.8 mile) four-lane toll road Highway 30 project, in Montreal.

“It opens up a new horizon in Quebec’s economic development,” Stephen Harper said in a speech in Lery, Quebec. “As prime minister of Canada I am very proud and welcome this latest example of the fruitful collaboration between our government and that of Quebec.”

“Since we formed the government of Canada, I have wanted to practice an open federalism, inspired by the spirit which gave birth to the Canadian confederation,” said Harper. “That includes respecting provincial jurisdictions and the sharing of responsibilities.”

“You know that open federalism is not a constitutional theory or an electoral slogan,” the prime minister added. “It’s a new approach that allows partners in the Canadian federation to work better together in the realization of projects.”

Completing the highway will allow through traffic to bypass Montreal, reducing traffic congestion and air pollution in the area.

“The announcement today speaks to the willingness of both governments to work together to better serve the interests of the population,” said Charest, who is expected to head into an election next year.

Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge and other public officials have endorsed agreements between governments and private companies to invest in roads and hospitals.

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January 29th, 2019

2008 TaiSPO: Interview with Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva

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2008 TaiSPO: Interview with Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva

Friday, March 28, 2008

2008 Taipei International Cycle Show (Taipei Cycle) & Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO) not only did a best reunion with conjunctions of the launch of Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition and the concurrent cycling race of 2008 Tour de Taiwan but also provide opportunities and benefits for sporting goods, bicycle, and athlete sports industries to establish the basis of the sourcing center in Asia and notabilities on the international cycling race.

Although the Taipei cycle was split from the TaiSPO since 1988, but the trends of sporting good industry in Taiwan changed rapidly and multiply because of modern people’s lifestyles and habits. After the “TaiSPO Innovation Award” was established since 2005, the fitness and leisure industries became popular stars as several international buyers respected on lifestyle and health.

For example, some participants participated Taipei Cycle and TaiSPO with different product lines to do several marketing on bicycle and fitness equipments, this also echoed the “Three New Movements” proposed by Giant Co., Ltd. to make a simple bicycle with multiple applications and functions. As of those facts above, Wikinews Journalist Rico Shen interviewed Ideal Bike Corporation and Gary Silva, designer of “3G Steeper” to find out the possibilities on the optimizations between two elements, fitness and bicycle.

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January 29th, 2019

Japan earthquake death toll estimated at over 10,000

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Japan earthquake death toll estimated at over 10,000

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The official death toll from the devastating Japanese earthquake that hit on Friday is now nearing 1,900, while police officials say that it is all but certain the final toll will be at least 10,000 people dead.

Bodies are still being recovered—2,000 thus far in the Miyagi Prefecture alone. The official count of those missing has now reached 2,300, though in one town alone, an estimated half of the 17,000 person population is still unaccounted for. Approximately 350,000 people have been left without homes; shelters are providing housing for the moment.

Due to infrastructure damage, survivors in the hard-hit northeast coast of Japan are coping with limited resources, including food, water and electricity. In the Iwate Prefecture, a government official stated that the incoming goods from relief efforts are only about ten percent of what is necessary.

At the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, a second explosion occurred on Monday at the building housing Reactor 3, following an explosion Saturday at the Reactor 1 building. Reactor 2 was also reported to have difficulties with its cooling system.

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January 29th, 2019

Supporters of Myanmar’s Suu Kyi mark detained leader’s 62nd birthday

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Supporters of Myanmar’s Suu Kyi mark detained leader’s 62nd birthday

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained leader of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar marked her 62nd birthday today, still under house arrest, where she has spent most of the past 17 years.

About 250 supporters met at the National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Yangon, not far from Suu Kyi’s home, and held a rally calling for her release. Doves and balloons were released into the air, under the watchful eyes and video cameras of around 50 plainclothes police officers, who were stationed across the street.

The police force was augmented by a dozen truckloads of members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association, the political arm of the State Peace and Development, the junta that rules Myanmar.

“The doves symbolise peace. We also released colourful balloons, which rise like her prestige when they fill the sky,” NLD women’s wing leader Lai Lai was quoted as saying by Agence France Presse.

With the party marking marking Suu Kyi’s birthday as “Myanmar Women’s Day,” Lei Lei read out a statement at the ceremony, calling Suu Kyi “irreplaceable” and praising her “honesty, bravery and perseverance.”

Security was beefed up around Suu Kyi’s lakeside home on University Avenue, which is usually open to traffic during daytime, but is closed on significant anniversaries such as Suu Kyi’s birthday or the May 30 anniversary of her detention.

NLD supporters said police were also watching their homes.

“Plainclothes police circled around my house on their motorcycles last night until dawn,” Su Su Nway, 34, was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse. She was arrested on May 15 with 60 others during a prayer rally for Suu Kyi in Yangon, and was released for health reasons on June 7. She said around 52 NLD supporters were still in custody.

Suu Kyi is generally barred from receiving visitors, so she spent the day alone. Except for her maid, a personal physician, a dentist and an eye specialist, the only other person to visit with Suu Kyi in the past year was United Nations Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari, whom she met for one hour last November at a government guest house.

Winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for 11 of the past 17 years, continuously since 2003. Her National League for Democracy won a landslide election in 1990, but the military, which has ruled Myanmar since 1962, refused to honor the results. The country is also known as Burma, but the military government renamed it Myanmar in 1989.

Calls for Suu Kyi’s release have been issued by the NLD, various world bodies and other countries, but the pleadings have been met by no response from the generals.

“In our view, until their constitution is ratified, she will not be released,” Sann Aung, a Bangkok-based leader of the Burmese government-in-exile was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“They are worried that she will be a threat to the National Convention and the referendum,” he told Reuters, referring to the planned national referendum on a new constitution that is being written by the generals.

The Nation newspaper in Bangkok marked Suu Kyi’s birthday with an editorial, saying that sanctions against the Myanmar regime have been ineffective.

“The junta has earned huge amounts of foreign revenue from oil and gas exports, with prices jacked up many times over. With rich mineral resources, energy hungry countries have been attracted to Burma despite the repressive nature of the junta,” the editorial said, also making note of a recent deal that Russia has made to build nuclear reactor in Myanmar.

The paper also said Myanmar bodes ill for the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations regional grouping.

“As long as Aung San Suu Kyi remains incarcerated, ASEAN’s reputation and the group’s international standing will be tarnished. Asean leaders have repeatedly appealed to the Burmese junta to free her, but to no avail … today, Burma is the black sheep of ASEAN. Without any current provisions for sanctions, Burma will remain as intransigent in the future as it is today.”

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January 29th, 2019

Scaffolding Towers Report: The Super Speedy 80 Light Trade Alloy Tower}

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Submitted by: Reynaldoix Branch

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January 22nd, 2019

Category:July 14, 2010

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Category:July 14, 2010
? July 13, 2010
July 15, 2010 ?
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Pages in category “July 14, 2010”

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