One-charger-fits-all: an energy efficient new mobile phone solution
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has given its approval to an energy-efficient one-charger-fits-all new mobile solution. Every mobile phone user will benefit from the new Universal Charging Solution (UCS), which enables the same charger to be used for all future handsets, regardless of make or model.
In addition to dramatically cutting the number of chargers produced, shipped and subsequently discarded as new models become available, the new standard will mean users worldwide will be able to charge their mobiles anywhere from any available charger, while also reducing the energy consumed while charging.
The new UCS standard was based on input from the GSMA, which predicts a 50% reduction in standby energy consumption, elimination of 51,000 tons of redundant chargers, and a subsequent reduction of 13.6 million tons in greenhouse gas emissions each year.
India, China agree to fight climate change
India and China have just signed an agrrement to cooperate on ways to fight climate. The pact comes ahead of the December UN climate-change summit in Copenhagen that will aim to reach a treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol and regulate carbon emissions. The protocol expires in 2012.
Nanos ‘under fire’
The world’s cheapest car manufactured by India’s Tata Motors is reported to have developed some fault. Three Nano car drivers in three different cities of Delhi, Ahmedabad and Lucknow reported the engine catching fire spontaneously.
Tata Motors ruled out a recall of the little “people’s car” despite the fires, which started in the steering column. A spokesman for Tata Motors, which also owns Jaguar and Land Rover in Britain, said it was considering carrying out “preemptive audit checks” on new Nanos to check the fault. It denied that the car will have to be redesigned and said a recall would not be necessary.
The malfunction is the latest in a series of glitches to have beset the Nano, a model that was heralded as ushering in a new era of super-thrifty engineering and lauded as an emblem of India’s status as an emerging economic power when it was first unveiled in Delhi in January 2008.
Low recruitment in Afghan police jeopardises Allied exit strategy
American efforts to expand Afghanistan’s security forces are faltering, leaving the largest training centre in the country operating at only 25% capacity. A newspaper correspondent from Kabul reported that recruitment has been low in recent months amid rising Taliban violence and political instability after the unresolved election. Thousands of men are leaving the force every month.
A strong and competent police force is a central part of General Stanley McChrystal’s counter-insurgency strategy. He has called for the force to be increased from about 93,000 to 160,000.
Kuwaiti women granted right to obtain passports without husbands’ approval
Another milestone in Kuwaiti women’s march to equality promised by the 1962 constitution was achieved when the state’s highest court granted women the right to obtain passports without their husbands’ approval.
Unlike conservative neighbours like Saudi Arabia, women in Kuwait can vote, serve in the Parliament and drive – and now can obtain their own passports. In many countries in the region, women cannot travel or obtain a passport without the consent of their male guardian.
Nobel Peace prize award surprises even the winner!
President Barack Obama said he was ‘surprised and deeply humbled’ by the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award him the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He said he viewed the decision more as ‘a call to action’ and less as recognition of his own accomplishments.The committee said it honoured Obama for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”.
Obama said he did not feel he deserved “to be in the company” of the past Peace prize winners, but would accept the prize while pushing for a broad range of international objectives, including nuclear non-proliferation, a reversal of the global economic downturn and a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict
A majority of the Nobel Committee, at first, had not decided to give the peace prize to Barack Obama, but in a surprise move, the Nobel Committee attributed the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama less than nine months after he taken office.
NASDAQ-like market launched by China
China has announced the launch of NASDAQ-like market for the growth of enterprises. The chairman of country’s Securities Regulatory Commission, Shang Fulin, said the market, namely ChiNext, stands for ChinaNext. He was referring to Chinese enterprises of the next generation. The first batch of 28 enterprises have just been listed and started trading.