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Mid Day Report

Daily news and top headlines for IT professionals

Microsoft's New Patent Pact Nets Key Royalty-Generating Deals

October 24, 2011 4:19 am | News | Comments

REDMOND, Wash (AP) — Microsoft Corp. said Sunday it reached a patent licensing agreement with Taiwan-based Compal, giving the software giant royalty-generating deals with more than half of the world's manufacturers of mobile devices that run Android and Chrome. Microsoft maintains that Android and Chrome use certain Microsoft patents and that manufacturers must pay to run the technology on their products.

Science Fiction-Style Sabotage A Fear In New Hacks

October 24, 2011 4:17 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN JOSE, California (AP) — When a computer attack hobbled Iran's unfinished nuclear power plant last year, it was assumed to be a military-grade strike, the handiwork of elite hacking professionals with nation-state backing. Yet for all its science fiction sophistication, key elements have now been replicated in laboratory settings by security experts with little time, money or specialized skill.

Ousted CEO Speaks Out After Questioning $687M Payment

October 24, 2011 4:16 am | by Robert Barr, Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — The ousted chief executive of Japan's Olympus Corp. says the company isn't doing enough to investigate a massive $687 million payment to mysterious financial advisers as part of a takeover. The camera and medical device maker says outside lawyers and accountants will be part of what it called an independent review.

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Solar Energy Is Getting Its 'Day In The Sun'

October 24, 2011 4:12 am | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Solar energy may finally get its day in the sun. The high costs that for years made it impractical as a mainstream source of energy are plummeting. Real estate companies are racing to install solar panels on office buildings. Utilities are erecting large solar panel "farms" near big cities and in desolate deserts.

Chrysler's Detroit-Area Union Votes In Favor Of New Labor Pact

October 24, 2011 4:12 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area union is supporting a new labor contract with Chrysler Group, giving the agreement a boost after "no" votes at other key locals. An official at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant says 53 percent of those voting supported the new contract. The plant employs 2,400 assembly workers who make the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 200.

Good Industrial Design Requires Consumer Insight

October 21, 2011 8:03 am | by Tor Alden, HS Design | Articles | Comments

The virtual explosion in new technologies over the past couple of decades has had a dramatic effect on industrial design and the product development process. The availability of new materials and communication techniques, along with vast amounts of computer memory at almost unbelievably low prices, has transformed the product designer’s world in ways that could not have been foreseen — back when clouds were for weather forecasters and tablets required a pen or pencil.

Can Manufacturing Go Mobile?

October 21, 2011 6:28 am | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers are going mobile — whether it's for inventory control, dealing with customer orders, or managing employees — with a growing network of software providers that are riding on the consumer wave. This is part one of a two-part series on mobile technology in manufacturing.

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A Mosaic Of Solar Energy

October 21, 2011 6:18 am | Videos | Comments

CNN's Errol Barnett talks to Dan Rosen of Solar Mosaic about the future of solar energy. Solar Mosaic allows people to own a share of a community solar project. Here's how it works... If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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AT&T Sees Slowing Growth In Wireless

October 21, 2011 4:36 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Running one of the biggest U.S. wireless networks has been a reliable way for AT&T to boost revenues, quarter after quarter, as people loaded up on phones, and then traded up to smartphones. But the easy money may already have been made, AT&T's latest results show.

China Rare Earths Supplier Suspends Production

October 21, 2011 4:34 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — China's biggest producer of rare earths is suspending production for one month in hopes of boosting slumping prices of the exotic minerals used in mobile phones and other high-tech products. This week's move by Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech might fuel tensions with the United States and Europe.

Pentagon Weighing How To Respond To Cyber Attacks

October 21, 2011 4:32 am | by Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press | News | Comments

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Defense Department is finalizing policies that will determine what the military can do in the event of a cyberattack as the government figures out who should have the power to shut down computer networks seized by an enemy nation, terrorist group or criminal hacker. Gen.

HP's Chief Strategy Exec Is First Casualty Of Shakeup

October 21, 2011 4:30 am | News | Comments

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co.'s chief strategy officer, Shane Robison, is stepping down, one of the first major casualties at the technology giant under new CEO Meg Whitman. The 57-year-old, who has been with HP for 11 years, will retire effective Nov. 1, the company said.

Ford: UAW Deal Raises Yearly Labor Costs Minimally

October 21, 2011 4:28 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — A new contract between Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers union will raise the automaker's labor costs by less than 1 percent a year, reaching a company goal of holding costs fairly steady, executives said Thursday. Ratings agencies took note, and Fitch Ratings upgraded Ford's debt within hours of the company's conference call to discuss the agreement.

U.S. Economy Shows Signs Of Health After Slump

October 21, 2011 4:26 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Write | News | Comments

y Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Write r WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy appears slightly healthier than many had feared it was a few weeks ago, raising hopes that it can end the year on an upward slope. A raft of data Thursday show layoffs are trending down to a six-month low and factories in the Mid-Atlantic are growing again after contracting for two months.

Remote Monitoring Systems: What To Think About

October 20, 2011 9:12 am | Articles | Comments

Here are the most important factors process manufacturers should consider when implementing a remote monitoring system in their facilities. Ed Orvidas, Strategic Account Manager, Culligan International In the food and beverage industry, water is used in nearly every stage of production.

Switch Innovations Ensure Device Advancements

October 20, 2011 8:38 am | by Jean-Michel Bourin, Product Marketing Director, C&K Components | Articles | Comments

Designers, OEMs, and manufacturers must continue to cater to ever-changing consumer demands that challenge each to come up with “the next big thing” in electronic devices. A traditional five-way tactile switch. Consumer and prosumer electronics are constantly being re-engineered to meet demands for greater functionality and sleeker designs in the quest to become “the next big thing” in the market.

RedPrairie Appoints Former Governor Tim Pawlenty To Board Of Directors

October 20, 2011 5:48 am | News | Comments

ATLANTA - RedPrairie Corporation, a global supply chain and retail technology provider, announced today the appointment of Tim Pawlenty to RedPrairie's Board of Directors. Pawlenty, the former Governor of Minnesota and well-established advocate for business, joins RedPrairie's Board of Directors effective immediately.

Muffineering: Cupcake Cars

October 20, 2011 5:42 am | Videos | Comments

Lisa Pongrace's cupcake cars are powered by electric motors, and evolved from a costume idea for Burning Man. After building the first prototype, her friends wanted their own mobile muffins and helped create a fleet of confectionery art cars. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Bringing The Power Of Manufacturing To The Desktop

October 19, 2011 11:44 am | Videos | Comments

As CEO of MakerBot, Bre Pettis champions a revolutionary manufacturing technology that allows people to design and print out objects on their desktop. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

Hand-Held Color Imaging

October 19, 2011 11:14 am | Product Releases | Comments

Honeywell (Fort Mill, S.C.) has announced the Xenon 1900 Color scanner, a hand-held area-imaging scanner that allows users to capture color images and scan high-contrast color bar codes while retaining high performance on black-and-white bar codes. According to the company, the ability to read color bar codes -- such as red code on a white background -- will eliminate the need for multiple image cature and storage devices, which minimizes compromised data.

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