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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Sony Planning Slimmer PlayStation 3

September 19, 2012 8:09 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The new PlayStation 3, closer to the size of a laptop, is half the size of the original model, introduced in 2006. It also offers more hard-drive memory at 500 gigabytes and 250 gigabytes, up from the current 320 GB and 160 GB options. The global rollout starts Sept. 25 in North America, where the 250 GB version will sell for $269.

RIM Licenses Microsoft Patent

September 19, 2012 8:00 am | News | Comments

BlackBerry maker is licensing technology from Microsoft to let BlackBerry devices store and transfer large files more easily. Under the deal, Microsoft will license patents to a filing system called exFAT. Microsoft says it improves upon older storage systems in dealing with larger files, such as those used for photos and video.

Apple Shares Hit $700

September 18, 2012 1:11 pm | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Apple's stock reached $700 for the first time on Tuesday, setting a record for the company the day after it announced that orders for its iPhone 5 topped 2 million in the first 24 hours. The stock traded as high as $701.44 in the morning, up a quarter of a percent from Monday's close. It later fell slightly.

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LG Unveils Flagship Smartphone

September 18, 2012 4:44 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

LG said Tuesday that the Optimus G will go on sale in Japan next month and in the U.S. in November. That would put LG's new phone, which costs $894 without subsidies from operators in South Korea, in competition with Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy Note II smartphones during the fall and the winter holidays.

Apple Says iPhone 5 Is Thinner, Lighter

September 12, 2012 1:43 pm | by Michael Liedtke and Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writers | News | Comments

Apple marketing head Phil Schiller unveiled the the year's most eagerly awaited phone Wednesday at an Apple event in San Francisco. As expected, the screen is taller than on the iPhone 4S, making room for another row of icons. Schiller says the screen is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter.

Philips To Cut 2,200 Jobs By 2014

September 11, 2012 9:40 am | News | Comments

Royal Philips Electronics NV, the largest maker of lights, says it plans to cut 2,200 jobs by 2014 to save €300 million ($383 million) per year. Saving money will lessen "the effects of macro-economic headwinds and changes in pension cost accounting" said Philips Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten in a statement.

Silicon Valley Isn't Sharing Facebook's Misery

September 10, 2012 2:35 pm | by Barbara Ortutay and Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writers | News | Comments

By most indications, tech companies in this hub of innovation are humming along, even as Facebook and Zynga endure steep declines in their stock prices that have wiped out more than $60 billion in wealth in the past six months. Companies catering to mobile devices, business software and data management products are thriving.

Push-Button Power

September 10, 2012 12:12 pm | by Meaghan Ziemba, Associate Editor, Product Design & Development (PD&D) | Articles | Comments

Industries are experiencing a growing need for sensors, switches and devices that monitor the surrounding environment; for example, in industrial applications, the proximity of devices may need to be monitored for efficiency and sustainability reasons. These applications require sensors to monitor and report conditions that enable an automated system to make intelligent decisions based on the sensor data received.

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Kodak Job Cuts Continue As It Aims To Exit Ch. 11

September 10, 2012 11:36 am | News | Comments

Kodak is reshuffling some executives and continuing to cut jobs as the pioneering photography company tries to emerge from bankruptcy protection. Eastman Kodak Co. said it cut approximately 2,700 employees worldwide since the beginning of the year, and plans to eliminate roughly 1,000 more by 2012's end. Annual savings from these cuts should reach about $330 million, the company said Monday in a regulatory filing.

Toys R Us Gets Into The Tablet Computer Game

September 10, 2012 11:05 am | News | Comments

The 7-inch touchscreen tablet comes with 50 preinstalled apps selected for children, including games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, and a book app called istorybooks. It will retail for $149.99 and runs on Google Inc.'s Android operating system. Toys R Us sells other electronics including Apple Inc.'s iPad, but this is its first store-brand tablet.

Early Laptop Designer Moggridge Dies At 69

September 10, 2012 9:36 am | News | Comments

Bill Moggridge, a British industrial designer who designed an early portable computer with the flip-open shape that is common today, has died. He was 69. Moggridge is credited with the design of the Grid Compass, a computer that had a keyboard and yellow-on-black display that sold for $8,150 when it was released in 1982. It was encased in magnesium and seen as rugged, and was used by the U.S. military.

Freescale Webinars Demonstrate Better Product Design

September 7, 2012 5:16 pm | News | Comments

element14, the first collaborative community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts and a part of global electronics distributor Premier Farnell [LON:PFL], announced today that it is co-sponsoring two free 1-hour webinars with Freescale Semiconductor entitled, “Energy efficient designs made simple with the rich enablement of Kinetis L series microcontrollers."

Premier Farnell Brings Raspberry Pi Manufacturing Back To UK

September 7, 2012 1:37 pm | News | Comments

This deal is a major coup for the UK manufacturing industry and represents a return home for the innovative British-designed Raspberry Pi, which to date has only been manufactured in China. Utilising Sony UK Technology Centre’s state of the art lean manufacturing techniques, the site will be initially produce over 300,000 units for customers across the world and is expected to create up to 30 additional jobs.

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LG Front-Runs Sony With Ultra-Definition 84-In TV

September 7, 2012 1:03 pm | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

That means LG Electronics USA is pushing out its set with so-called "4K" resolution before Sony Corp., which will have a similar set in stores in December for $25,000. The set's resolution will be 3,840 by 2,160 pixels, which compares with 1920 by 1080 pixels for today's best HDTVs.

Intel Cuts 3Q Revenue Outlook On Softer Demand

September 7, 2012 9:25 am | News | Comments

Intel chips go into about 80 percent of personal computers and into a vast number of servers as well, making it a bellwether for spending on computers. The company now expects revenue of about $13.2 billion, but says that figure could be up or down $300 million. Its prior guidance was for revenue between $13.8 billion and $14.8 million.

Amazon Aims At Apple With New Kindle Tablets

September 6, 2012 2:59 pm | by Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Amazon.com Inc. refreshed its Kindle line of gadgets on Thursday. It updated its Kindle Fire tablet computer and announced new stand-alone e-reader models. The Fire will be an effort to take a larger share of a tablet computer market dominated by Apple's iPad.

To Cloud Or Not?

September 6, 2012 2:20 pm | by Don Lyman, CEO, Docassist | Articles | Comments

Cloud technology is proliferating throughout corporations around the globe, and manufacturing companies have been among the earliest adopters of cloud-based solutions. New technologies are fueling a rapid decline in storage and bandwidth pricing, important economic factors which drive the selection of cloud-based solutions over on-premise solutions for manufacturers of all sizes.

FBI Disputes Claims Of Hackers' Apple Data Breach

September 5, 2012 9:34 am | by Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press | News | Comments

The group called AntiSec has released a link to a database of more than 1 million unique identification numbers for Apple devices, which could include iPhones and iPads. AntiSec said the data is just a piece of the more than 12 million unique identification numbers and personal information on the device owners that it got from a laptop used by an FBI agent.

Murata Turns To Tiniest Device For Big Business

September 5, 2012 9:24 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Small is big for Murata: The Japanese electronics maker has developed the world's tiniest version of a component known as the capacitor. And that's potentially big business. Capacitors, which store electric energy, are used in the dozens, even in the hundreds, in just about every type of gadget — smartphones, laptops, parts for hybrid cars, medical equipment and digital cameras.

Dawn Craft To Depart Asteroid For Dwarf Planet

September 5, 2012 4:59 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

After spending a year gazing at Vesta, NASA's Dawn spacecraft was set to cruise toward the most massive space rock in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter — a voyage that will take nearly three years. Firing its ion propulsion thrusters, Dawn had been slowly spiraling away from Vesta for more than a month until it was to pop free from its gravitational grip.

Malaysia Rare Earths Plant Wins License To Operate

September 5, 2012 4:34 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Australian miner Lynas Corp. says it has secured the Malaysian government's approval to fire up a controversial rare earths plant. The operating license ends months of delays sparked by safety concerns surrounding the Australian company's plans to process rare earths crucial for manufacturing high-tech products.

Q&A: Critical Innovation Trends And Technology

August 31, 2012 11:00 am | Articles | Comments

Traditional analytics technologies have long been deployed by manufacturers to analyze the performance after the fact. Focus is shifting to predictive applications which can identify and correct issues before they become widespread. Manufacturers are increasingly leveraging technologies developed in web search, social media and related consumer-oriented areas to drive benefits in manufacturing areas like quality and supply chain.

Trimble Navigation To Buy TMW Systems For $335M

August 27, 2012 9:56 am | News | Comments

GPS manufacturer Trimble Navigation Ltd. said Monday that it has agreed to buy TMW Systems Inc., a privately held provider of enterprise software to transportation and shipping companies, for $335 million in cash. TMW's software platform is used to manage the operations of transportation companies, store data and automate certain tasks. The company is based in Beachwood, Ohio, and has 500 employees.

Samsung Takes 3 Percent Stake In ASML

August 27, 2012 3:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

ASML Holding NV says that Samsung Electronics Co. has agreed to buy a 3 percent stake in it for $625 million, following the lead of other key computer chip manufacturers Intel Corp. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. In July, Intel bought 15 percent of the Dutch company, and earlier this month, TSMC bought 5 percent. Like the others, Samsung will also help ASML invest in research and development.

Samsung To Invest $4 Billion In Austin Plant

August 21, 2012 9:07 am | News | Comments

Samsung Electronics co. will spend $4 billion renovating its plant in the U.S. to increase production of advanced chips used in smartphones and tablet computers. Samsung's Tuesday announcement is its latest push into the lucrative logic chip business.

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