Friday, August 22, 2008

Food prices rising

I read this online today. Are we headed towards a breaking point? Gas prices, food prices, global warming...

Food prices to post biggest rise since 1990: USDA

By Christopher DoeringWed Aug 20, 5:43 PM ET

U.S. consumers should brace for the biggest increase in food prices in nearly 20 years in 2008 and even more pain next year due to surging meat and produce prices, the Agriculture Department said on Wednesday.

Food prices are forecast to rise by 5 percent to 6 percent this year, making it the largest annual increase since 1990. Just last month, USDA forecast food prices would climb between 4.5 and 5.5 percent in 2008.

"It's a little bit of a surprise how strong some of the numbers were in July," USDA economist Ephraim Leibtag, who prepared the forecast, said in an interview.

"We've been waiting for some moderation, but especially with some of the meat prices and how much has come through relatively recently (at the retail level) leads me to believe the overall number may be a little bit higher for the year," he added.

Leibtag said he expected food prices to moderate, but the timing depends on what happens to volatile energy and food ingredient costs.

Prices are expected to rise by 4 percent to 5 percent in 2009, lead by red meat and poultry. The forecast, if correct, would be the third straight year where food prices have surged at least 4 percent.

In its latest food prices report, USDA said the increase for 2008 was due partly to higher costs for meat, poultry and fish, which make up about 12 percent of total food spending. Overall, costs for these items are forecast to rise 3 percent compared to 2.5 percent estimated last month.

Prices for fruits and vegetables, which account for more than 8 percent of food spending, will also rise 5.5 percent versus 5 percent predicted in July.

USDA also forecast increases this year of 9.5 percent for cereals and bakery products, a 14 percent surge for eggs and a 13.5 percent hike for fats and oils.

A broad range of commodities posted record highs this year, including corn and soybeans. Prices have since backed off as concerns over smaller crops due to a wet spring in the U.S. Midwest have largely dissipated.

In its first estimate of the fall harvest, USDA last week forecast a corn crop of 12.29 billion bushels, the second largest on record.

Despite the near-record crops, farm-gate prices for this year's corn, wheat and soybean crops, while lower than earlier forecasts, will still set records.

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said last week he did not see any relief for food prices during the remainder of the year.

The cost of energy -- used to transport, package and process foods -- is still boosting food prices, even though energy prices have dropped. Oil has slumped from a record high above $147 a barrel on July 11 to $115.

"We haven't seen those prices reflected in the finished products yet," Schafer said.

Americans spend more than $1 trillion a year on groceries, snacks, carry-out food and meals in restaurants. Farmers get 20 cents of the food dollar and the rest goes to processing, labor, transportation and distribution.

(Editing by Christian Wiessner)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Who Killed the Electric Car?


I finally watched this film. Wow... what was with GM? They recalled all the EV1, dismantle and crushed them! Weird! And there was actually electric cars nearly 100 years ago?! Huh?!

Government supporting hydrogen cars instead of electric cars?

Conspiracy?

Check out the website: http://www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Is TV dead?

I read this online today:

Is the Internet finally killing TV?

More than 80 million Americans have watched a TV show online. By 2013, a research group says, scheduled programs will account for less than half of all video viewed.

By Christian Science Monitor

Is this the summer that the Internet finally kills television as we once knew it?

Most industry observers are stopping short of that prediction, citing some significant hurdles still in the way.

But the growing number of new deals and new devices being announced suggests that a profound change in the way people watch video -- and what video they watch -- is under way.

The line between "television" and video via the Internet already has blurred and may disappear in coming years.

At least one industry analyst has declared "TV is dead" and welcomes Americans to a new age of video everywhere.

Increasingly, Americans are watching video when they want to, and on the screen that suits them at the time. And more programming is from new sources that threaten to unlock Hollywood's domination of content.

Video is now delivered on displays and devices of every shape and size, from gigantic theater screens and ever-larger home projector screens to flat-screen HDTVs and from desktop and laptop computer monitors to tiny personal screens such as those found on iPods and mobile phones. Meanwhile, NBC Universal is touting its coverage of the Summer Olympics in Beijing as "the single most ambitious digital event coverage ever." Along with video coverage on several of its cable TV networks, NBC is streaming 2,200 hours of live competition in 25 sports on the NBCOlympics.com Web site.

"The Olympic viewer will be able to define his or her own Olympic experience like never before," said Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics, in announcing coverage plans last month. Media coverage has speculated that heavy viewing of Olympics on workplace computers would cause systems to bog down or crash.

"NBC is certainly taking the right approach by stepping back and trying to look at (the Olympics) as a holistic suite of (video) offerings and then trying to figure out what pieces best go where," says Kendall Whitehouse, senior director of information technology at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The big disconnect

How do you get all that interesting Internet video onto your nice big-screen TV? Walt Mossberg, personal technology columnist at The Wall Street Journal, has some ideas.

NBC concedes that this unprecedented blanket of coverage across TV, Internet and mobile devices amounts to a giant experiment. "I have no idea how people are going to use this stuff," Alan Wurtzel, the company's research chief, told The Associated Press.

This spring and summer, deals to make video more ubiquitous across screens have popped up with more and more frequency:

* Netflix (NFLX, news, msgs), the video rent-by-mail company, has struck several new agreements to deliver its content online. A new $100 box from Roku the size of a paperback book lets users stream any of about 10,000 movies from Netflix to their TVs (though the vast majority of Netflix's library will still be available only through DVDs by mail). South Korea's LG Electronics announced it will offer a high-definition (HD) disc player that also will be able to access HD-quality movies from Netflix via the Internet. And Microsoft (MSFT, news, msgs) will stream Netflix video to its Xbox 360 videogame consoles. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)
* Sony (SNE, news, msgs) says it will offer a movie and TV show download option for its Playstation video-game console.
* Apple (AAPL, news, msgs), which sells millions of videos online through its iTunes store, relaunched its Apple TV player, which can send that content to a TV set.
* Amazon.com (AMZN, news, msgs), the online retailer, is offering Amazon Video on Demand, which will give users immediate streaming access to 40,000 movies and TV shows. This video is now available only on a computer.
* At least a half-dozen TV manufacturers, including Sony, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, news, msgs) and Samsung, have said they will sell sets that are continuously connected to a broadband Internet network, allowing Web content, including video, to move easily to the biggest screen in the house.
* TiVo (TIVO, news, msgs), the digital video recorder, will supply video from YouTube, the online video site famous for short, often amateur videos.
* Hulu was launched in March as a Web site offering free, ad-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies from NBC, Fox and other networks.

While these new services get video moving to new screens, none is a complete solution on its own, says the Wharton School's Whitehouse. "There are a lot of different companies supporting different file formats," he says. What you don't have is the one device that can "get content from all the major services like Hulu and Netflix and iTunes."

There's a kind of convergence between TV and Internet that's happening, "but not really a friendly one (for consumers), I think," says Bobby Tulsiani, an analyst who tracks developments in internet video for JupiterResearch.

TV networks, he says, have a time-tested model for making money through advertising and the fees cable TV companies pay to carry their programming. Online distribution presents potential new revenue sources, but also the danger that viewers will slide online, where profits are less certain.

YouTube has popularized video viewing online. But the conventional wisdom has been that people won't watch anything longer than two or three minutes on a computer screen.

That assumption has been proved wrong with the huge popularity of TV series online.

"We've moved from TV on this biggest screen to TV on this middle screen," the computer, says Tulsiani. It's "a critical change," he says. "That's the fastest-growing segment of who's watching TV content."


Nearly 80 million Americans (43% of those who go online) have watched a TV show on the Internet, according to a February survey by Solutions Research Group in Toronto. Just a year ago, the figure was 25%.

Total video viewing will rise from about six hours a day today to a projected eight hours daily by 2013, Solutions forecasts, and fewer than four hours of that will be spent watching conventional TV.

The Internet is producing more and more polished original content. This summer Joss Whedon, creator of the critically acclaimed TV shows "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel" and "Firefly," produced "Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," an Internet-only "TV series" that's become an online viewing phenomenon.

It's also the kind of Internet video that viewers may wish they could easily shift to their TVs so they could watch from their sofas.But not everyone is convinced that Internet video and TV are about to converge. "It's the most overrated, over hyped story in the tech world today," says Phillip Swann, president and publisher of TVpredictions.com. "It's simply not convenient yet."

Swann also disputes the idea that network TV schedules are going out the window as people call up online video whenever they want it. "People like routine, they like to able to know what is going to be on at 8 o'clock," he says.

Also standing in the way is the need for true HD-quality video to be available over the Web. "They're a long ways from that," Swann says.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lightning GT Electric Sports Car


I read this article about a new electric sports car. Will it happen? Is it real?
Does it work?

New Lightning GT electric sports car promises 700bhp

By Quentin Willson, sundaymirror.co.uk
27/07/2008

British International Motor Show

This week's London Motor Show was a muted affair. Both mood and visitor numbers seemed low to me.

One of the busiest stands was in the green eco area where enthusiasts, who would once have been drooling over the Ferrari 599 Fiorino, were swapping mpg figures for the Mini Cooper Diesel and new Lotus Evora.

Most supercars seemed impossibly irrelevant, but there was one that made the most incredible promises.

If its maker's claims are true, the British-built carbon-fibre bodied Lightning GT isn't just a hugely desirable and sexy performance coupe, it could also hold the technology that will change the way we drive forever. With an electric motor at each wheel, the battery-powered Lightning is said to push out a massive 700bhp and can run for 200 miles on a 10-minute charge.

These Holy Grail numbers, which have yet to be independently tested, are due to the Lightning's revolutionary nano-titinate batteries that have a 12-year life expectancy, retain 85 per cent of their charge after 15,000 cycles and, unlike conventional hybrid batteries, are free from heavy metals, toxins and graphite.

And the Lightning lives up to its name. Sixty comes up in an unfeasible four seconds, but top speed will be limited to 130. It looks infinitely prettier than Tesla's much-vaunted electric Roadster, and comes with ABS, traction control, regenerative brakes and electric doors. You can even programme it to make the exhaust note of a throaty V6 or V8.

To be honest, it all sounds too good to be true, while the rumoured £120,000 price tag means we won't be seeing them in supermarket car parks any time soon. If the Lightning's incredible battery technology actually works, and can be produced at a lower price, the future of fast cars (or indeed any cars) might not be as grim as we all thought.

Engine: Hi-Pa Drive electric
Power: 700bhp
0-60: 4.0 secs
Max: 130mph (limited)
Price: £120,000
In A Word: Will this dream come true?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Japanese Car Runs on Water?


I was researching Hybrid-Electric Cars today and found out about this Japanese Car that runs on water? Do believe it or not? Is it a scam?

June 14, 2008

Japanese company Genepax unviels car that runs on Water

I would not believe it, if news would not be carried by Reuters. And if I did not see their video coverage. Also in my experience Japanese companies usually do not lie, and would not go public, if this was a hoax or not a completely working unit. Company CEO Kiyoshi Hirasawa presented their eco-friendly car that runs on nothing but water in a test drive. genepax h20 water carWhile test car is one of smalles (like Smart), the company is in talks for mass production of engine unit (converter from water to hydrogen), production of which currently costs 15.000 USD, but as soon as next year with right quantities it could be lowered to below 5.000 USD…

Big advantage of this solution is that there is only water in car's tank, and hydrogen is produces on needed basis. So no difficult hydrogen storage questions, and safety concerns… Genepax is alread in talks about mass production with another Japanese manufacturer.

The car has an energy generator that extracts hydrogen from water that is poured into the car's tank. The generator then releases electrons that produce electric power to run the car. Their new "Water Energy System (WES)," generates power by supplying water and air to the fuel and air electrodes using a proprietary technology called the Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA). The secret behind MEA is a special material that is capable of breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen through a chemical reaction. Exact details were kept secret, but new process, while based on existing technology, is expected to produce hydrogen from water for longer time than any method currently available. Furthermore, WES does not require a hydrogen reformer, a high-pressure hydrogen tank, or any special catalysts to get the job done. Acording to Genepax's results, one liter of water (and you can use any kind of water, even sea water) powers the car for about one hour, with top speed of around 80 km/h.

During a recent conference, Genepax unveiled a fuel cell stack with a rated output of 120W and a fuel cell system with a rated output of 300W—and there are plans for a 1kw-class generation system for use in both electric vehicles and houses sometime in the future. At this point, the cost of production on the water-powered vehicle engine itself is around about ¥2,000,000 (US$18,522), but they hope to drop the price to ¥500,000 (US$4600) or less if they succeed in bringing it into mass production.

I Am A Money Magnet


Looking for some Money Magnetism! So I found some online! Here you go!

Say each 10 times and feel it:

I am a powerful money magnet
I am receiving $25,000 of unexpected income
I love money
I am wealthy now
Money comes to me effortlessly
My connection with Infinite Intelligence is yielding me vast amount of money
I thank you for all the money you have given me and my friends. Thank you for my neighbors new truck
I am a money magnet and money comes to me effortlessly and easily

• Visualize and imagine yourself spending all the money you want, as though you have it
already.
• Do not speak or think of the lack of money for a single second.
• Be grateful for the money you have. Appreciate it as you touch it.
• Make lists of all the things you will buy with an abundance of money.
• Appreciate all the riches around you, including the riches of others. Look for wealth wherever you go, and appreciate it.
• Be certain that money is coming to you.
• Love yourself and know that you are deserving and worthy of an abundance of money.
• ask yourself often during the day, am I attracting money now or pushing it away with my thoughts.
• Always, always pay yourself first from your wage, then pay your creditors.
(in that single act, you are telling the Universe that you are worthy and deserving of more).
• Do whatever it takes to feel good. The emotions of joy and happiness are powerful money magnets. Be happy now!
• Love yourself!

Wealth is a mindset.
Money is literally attracted to you or
repelled from you. It's all about how you think.

Now Let go of your thoughts and focus on the moment