Posts Tagged ‘WSJ’

Google Skunkworks Working on ‘X Phone,’ Reports WSJ

December 23rd, 2012 12:26 admin View Comments


The Wall Street Journal says that Google’s not quite content to be just a name printed on certain Android phones, and has set some of the cellphone engineers from Google-owned Motorola Mobility to work on high-end project known internally as the ‘X phone.’ The rumored phone, says the article, “is due out sometime next year,” and is meant as a technology flagship for Android phones, incorporating more innovative features than typical phones, such as advanced gesture recognition. Some of those features, like a flexible screen, have reportedly already been dropped from the design, though. If the X Phone materializes, a tablet is expected to follow.

Source: Google Skunkworks Working on ‘X Phone,’ Reports WSJ

In the World of Big Stuff, the US Still Rules

December 4th, 2012 12:14 admin View Comments

United States

westlake writes “From Peoria, the WSJ a look at the giant trucks manufactured by Komatsu and Caterpillar. ‘In certain areas — notably aircraft, industrial engines, excavators and railway and mining equipment — the U.S. exports far more than it imports. These industries produce relatively small numbers of very expensive goods, requiring specialized technology and labor. Their competitive advantage rests partly on expertise built by U.S. companies in making durable, high-tech weaponry and other equipment for the military — frequently applicable to other products.’ It may surprise you to learn that Komatsu doesn’t employee a single industrial robot. The quality of workmanship simply isn’t there where it is needed.”

Source: In the World of Big Stuff, the US Still Rules

Airlines Face Acute Pilot Shortage

November 13th, 2012 11:14 admin View Comments


Hugh Pickens writes “The WSJ reports that U.S. airlines are facing their most serious pilot shortage since the 1960s. Federal mandates are taking effect that will require all newly hired pilots to have at least 1,500 hours of prior flight experience — six times the current minimum. This raises the cost and time to train new fliers in an era when pay cuts and more-demanding schedules already have made the profession less attractive. Meanwhile, thousands of senior pilots at major airlines soon will start hitting the mandatory retirement age of 65. ‘We are about four years from a solution, but we are only about six months away from a problem,’ says Bob Reding, recently retired executive vice president of operations at AMR Corp. A study by the University of North Dakota’s aviation department indicates major airlines will need to hire 60,000 pilots by 2025 to replace departures and cover expansion over the next eight years. Meanwhile, only 36,000 pilots have passed the Air Transport Pilot exam in the past eight years, which all pilots would have to pass under the Congressionally imposed rules, and there are limits to the ability of airlines, especially the regional carriers, to attract more pilots by raising wages. While the industry’s health has improved in recent years, many carriers still operate on thin profit margins, with the airlines sandwiched between rising costs for fuel and unsteady demand from price-sensitive consumers. ‘It certainly will result in challenges to maintain quality,’ says John Marshall, an independent aviation-safety consultant who spent 26 years in the Air Force before overseeing Delta’s safety. ‘Regional carriers will be creative and have to take shortcuts’ to fill their cockpits.”

Source: Airlines Face Acute Pilot Shortage

Will Your Books and Music Die With You?

August 25th, 2012 08:25 admin View Comments


theodp writes “Many of us will accumulate vast libraries of digital books and music over the course of our lifetimes, reports the WSJ, but when we die, our collections of words and music may expire with us. ‘I find it hard to imagine a situation where a family would be OK with losing a collection of 10,000 books and songs,’ says author Evan Carroll of the problems created for one’s heirs with digital content, which doesn’t convey the same ownership rights as print books and CDs. So what’s the solution? Amazon and Apple were mum when contacted, but with the growth of digital assets, Dazza Greenwood of MIT’s Media Lab said it’s time to reform and update IP law so content can be transferred to another’s account or divided between several people.”

Source: Will Your Books and Music Die With You?

For Sale: Internet Spying Business Developed For Gaddafi

March 9th, 2012 03:53 admin View Comments


itwbennett writes “French computer company Bull Group is looking to sell off the Internet spying software business of its subsidiary Amesys. The Eagle system, which was ‘designed to build databases supporting lawful interception activities on the Internet,’ has an interesting pedigree, having been ‘developed for Libya after signing a 2007 contract with the regime there,’ according to the WSJ.”

Source: For Sale: Internet Spying Business Developed For Gaddafi

WSJ Says Pro-ACTA Forces Helped Drive Anti-ACTA Reactions

February 9th, 2012 02:33 admin View Comments


pbahra writes with commentary from the Wall Street Journal: “Europeans will take to the streets this weekend in protest at the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, an international agreement that has given birth to an ocean full of red herrings. That so many have spawned is, say critics, in no small part down to the way in which this most controversial of international agreements was drawn up. If the negotiating parties had set out to stoke the flames of Internet paranoia they could not have done a better job. Accepted there are two things that should never be seen being made in public—laws and sausages—the ACTA process could be a case study of how not to do it. Conducted in secret, with little information shared except a few leaked documents, the ACTA talks were even decried by those who were involved in them.”

Source: WSJ Says Pro-ACTA Forces Helped Drive Anti-ACTA Reactions

China To Cancel College Majors That Don’t Pay

November 26th, 2011 11:23 admin View Comments


theodp writes “The WSJ reports that China’s Ministry of Education plans to phase out majors producing unemployable graduates. The government will soon start evaluating college majors by their employment rates, downsizing or cutting those studies in which less than 60% of graduates fail for two consecutive years to find work. What if the U.S. government were to adopt China’s approach? According to the most recent U.S. census data, among the first majors to go: psychology, U.S. history and military technologies. Lest you computer programmers get too smug, consider this.”

Source: China To Cancel College Majors That Don’t Pay

Sony Racing Apple To Develop ‘a New Kind of TV’

November 11th, 2011 11:53 admin View Comments


PolygamousRanchKid writes with an excerpt from SlashGear about Sony’s efforts to reinvent the television set — a task many suspect Apple is focused on as well. Quoting: “‘There’s a tremendous amount of R&D going into a different kind of TV set,’ CEO Howard Stringer told the WSJ (in a paywalled article). … [W]hat Apple and Sony agree on is that the traditional TV paradigm must evolve if the segment is to become profitable again. A new model is ‘what we’re all looking for,’ Stringer confirmed, suggesting that ‘we can’t continue selling TV sets [the way we have been]. Every TV set we all make loses money.’”

Source: Sony Racing Apple To Develop ‘a New Kind of TV’

iPhone 4S Pre-Orders Sell Out

October 9th, 2011 10:25 admin View Comments


Perhaps to one one’s surprise, the just-announced iPhone 4S has been been leaping off the shelves … in advance of it ever hitting shelves at all. In fact, as reported by numerous sources (here’s the WSJ’s version), the company’s pre-launch inventory has all been sold — and they only started taking the orders on Friday.

Source: iPhone 4S Pre-Orders Sell Out

Oil May Be Finite, But U.S. Production Is Ramping Up

October 9th, 2011 10:37 admin View Comments

United States

Hugh Pickens writes “The WSJ reports that the discovery of the gigantic and prolific Bakken oil fields of Montana and North Dakota have already helped move the U.S. into third place among world oil producers, and according to Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, the 14th-largest oil company in America, if fully developed the field in Bakken contains 24 billion barrels, doubling America’s proven oil reserves. One reason for America’s abundant supply of oil and natural gas has been the development of new drilling techniques, including ‘horizontal drilling,’ which allows rigs to reach two miles into the ground and then spread horizontally by thousands of feet.” Not surprisingly, Hamm considers some of the current administration’s loans and subsidies for alternative energy ventures to be misplaced.

Source: Oil May Be Finite, But U.S. Production Is Ramping Up