Beware of Greeks building smart cars

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram An automobile revolution is under way, led by the Melbourne-based software company Connexion Media, which caters to what is emerging as the car industry’s most pressing demand: applications for smart cars. With the prediction that 90 per cent of cars (that is, approximately 250 million vehicles) will be connected to the internet by 2020, auto manufacturers are eager to embed new applications to their ‘smart cars’ sooner rather than later. Enter George Parthimos. His clients include some of the biggest car companies, such as Peugeot, Mercedes-Benz and Honda – not to mention General Motors and Ford, the first major companies to use the services of Connexion Media, listed onto the ASX in August 2014. The company’s claim to fame was the development of two applications designed for the interconnection of smart phones and cars: the miRoamer, which brings internet stations to car radio; and Flex, an application that not only helps users locate their car in real time, but also monitors diagnostics, such as engine performance, fuel consumption and driver behaviour. The latter is showing the way for the company’s future projects, especially as it aims to address concerns for security threats, given that internet-connected cars might become vulnerable to hackers, who could take control of them. Another issue of concern is that of distraction to the driver, as most of the smart car users’ demands lean towards infotainment, which will have the vehicles operate in a way similar to computer tablets, with their own app stores run by the car makers, from which the drivers would download upgrades and various applications. Among the ones most likely to be introduced in the near future is the Cheap Fuel Finder, an application that would have the car scan through all the petrol stations in a certain area in order to find the cheapest offer and use the GPS to navigate towards it. Another variation of the app would allow the car to locate parking stations, reserve a spot and automatically pay for it, as it will be linked with a credit card service. Similarly, as cars are already equipped with apps to monitor engine performance, they will be able to assess whether a service is needed, based on a series of data, not least of all the number of kilometres run, and automatically book for service, which will then have to be confirmed by the driver. Even more appealing to most drivers is the app which would introduce upgrades to reconfigure the way a car operates, such as an ‘economy mode’, a ‘green mode’, or even a ‘sports car mode’, which would increase the engine’s performance. “Australia is very highly regarded internationally for technology startup and for early stage development businesses. Where we fall over is that we don’t have capital support in order to proceed to commercialisation … We have great ideas, but we’re terrible at execution.”AN INNOVATION CENTRE FOR SMART CARS IN MELBOURNEGiven its status as an ASX-listed car software company and a leader in its field, Connexion Media has even more ambitious plans for its role as a factor of innovation in the Victorian economy environment, linking local startups with major industry players. For this purpose, George Parthimos plans an innovation centre for internet-connected cars to be established in Melbourne with a sister site in Detroit, home to major manufacturers Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler. With this initiative, Connexion Media will use its experience and position in the market to function as a liaison between the Victorian government and the city of Detroit, but also between startups and investors, notably private equity and venture capital groups interested in innovative entrepreneurship. “We’ve met with the minister of industry of Victoria, Lily D’Ambrosio, in order to discuss the concept behind this innovation centre and the fact that her counterparts in Detroit are ready to work with Australia,” George Parthimos tells Neos Kosmos. “She was very interested and we have began planning the centre, with the help of the state. Its goal will be the commercialisation of the high-tech products developed by start-ups that don’t have access to the market at the moment. Australia is very highly regarded internationally for technology startup and for early stage development businesses. Where we fall over is that we don’t have capital support in order to proceed to commercialisation, so that these products will get abroad. There are a lot of startups that for whatever reason have to go offshore. We have great ideas, but we’re terrible at execution. Given our direct relationship with the big car manufacturers, we can facilitate this process. Every time I get in touch with our clients, they all ask the same question: ‘George, what else have you got?’ We can’t do everything, this is why we want to work with companies that have got ideas,” The total cost of this centre is estimated at $5 million. The state of Victoria has already promised a grant but there is also interest from investors and private fund groups. “We have been told that the federal government is also interested in getting involved but we are still looking into it.”last_img read more

Tesla sends home 9 workers as Elon Musk chases elusive profits

first_imgElon Musk speaks at the International Astronautical Congress on September 29, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. Tesla is cutting 9% of its workforce in a major restructuring. [ Representational image]Getty imagesTesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that the luxury auto manufacturing firm will lay off 9 per cent of its workforce to show that it can be profitable after being unable to move into the black so far in the 15 years since it was founded.Elon Musk sent a letter to Tesla employees on Tuesday saying that “As part of this effort, and the need to reduce costs and become profitable, we have made the difficult decision to let go of approximately 9 per cent of our colleagues across the company.””These cuts were almost entirely made from our salaried population and no production associates were included, so this will not affect our ability to reach Model 3 production targets in the coming months,” he added, referring to the firm’s premier electric vehicle.The measure means that some 4,100 of the firm’s 46,000 employees will lose their jobs, although the layoffs will not affect operations at the factory producing the Model 3, Efe reported.The firm’s billionaire founder also told Tesla employees that the company will not renew the agreement it has with Home Depot to rent space at some 800 of the latter’s stores to sell its home solar panel products.Musk said that “In order to minimize the impact, Tesla is providing significant salary and stock vesting (proportionate to length of service) to those we are letting go,” and – regarding the massive layoffs, he added that he was “making this hard decision now so that we never have to do this again.”In May, Musk announced a significant reorganization of Tesla in the face of the economic difficulties it was facing and inability to turn a profit.Tesla’s losses increased by 97.5 per cent to just under $785 million in the first quarter of 2018, despite the fact that earnings rose by 26.4 per cent to more than $3.4 billion.Musk has denied that the firm was having financial problems, although key sector analysts have said that Tesla has been rapidly consuming its capital reserves and will probably need cash to stay afloat by the end of this year or the beginning of 2019.last_img read more

Baltimores Harbor Bank to Get Benefit of 33 Million Tax Credit Award

first_imgThe United States Department of the Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund announced June 13 that it has awarded Harbor Bankshares Corp., parent of The Harbor Bank of Maryland, a total of $33 million in New Market Tax Credits.The tax credits will allow Harbor Bank to offer loans with incentives that attract investors to low-income and distressed communities, the bank said in a statement.“The New Markets Tax Credit Program creates jobs and critical investments in low-income neighborhoods and rural communities across the nation,” Amias Gerety, acting assistant secretary for financial institutions, said in the statement. “Often the New Markets Tax Credit is the most critical piece of the puzzle when trying to finance important economic development projects across the country. It’s ability to attract private-sector capital into some of the most economically distressed and underserved communities is a hallmark of this important economic development program.”Harbor Bank was founded in 1982 as a vehicle to provide commercial banking products to the largely unbanked urban community in Greater Baltimore. Community dedication helped Harbor win coveted New Market Tax Credits previously, awards which are now engaged in several major developments.Harbor provided $25.5 million of its New Market Tax Credit allocation to the Life Sciences and Technology Park in East Baltimore, the $1.8 billion project revitalizing 88 acres near Johns Hopkins Hospital. The investment allows developer Forest City Enterprises and East Baltimore Development, Inc. to provide community services such as housing relocation, workforce development, and family support to those impacted by the redevelopment.On the West side of Baltimore, Harbor provided $14.5 million in New Market Tax Credit funding for the $77 million University of Maryland, Baltimore Biotech building. This investment allows developer Wexford Science and Technology to create economic benefits including new jobs while offering reduced cost space to small businesses in the deprived surrounding area. Will Assist Attracting Investors to Low Income Distressed Communitieslast_img read more

City zoologists yet to confirm insect bites

first_imgKolkata: City based zoologists have no clue whether Tarantulas or some other insects have bitten people across some districts in Bengal as they are yet to receive samples of the insects from the affected areas.In the past one month, reports of insect bites have come from Nadia, East Midnapore and West Midnapore and South 24-Parganas. The doctors, who have treated the patients, said the patients have been bitten by Tarantulas.The zoologists maintained that without getting samples of the insects, it is difficult to say whether the victims were bitten by Tarantulas or some other insects. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsProfessor Ena Ray Banerjee, head of Immunobiology and Regenerative Medicine Research Unit, Calcutta University said unless the samples are received it is difficult to say anything about the variety of the insects. She said in May 2016, some people were bitten by insects in Belda and Debra in West Midnapore district and her research unit had received two samples, one dead and another living. The department had conducted DNA sequencing of the species and found that the variety of Tarantulas was not found in India or had not been reported earlier. She said the places, where people are being bitten by insects which may or may not be Tarantulas, should get in touch with the Immunobiology and Regenerative Medicine wing so that researchers can go and collect the samples for DNA sequencing. She said because of high temperature the Tarantulas have come out looking for food. She urged people not to panic as the stings do not carry poison.last_img read more

Must sell by owner Your dream home close to the beach

first_img Next Image No related posts. info heading info content Previous Imagecenter_img Price: $890,000 |  NegotiableListing agent: Mary Anne WestonCellphone: +(506) 8814-0614Email: mweston@ticotimes.netBedrooms: 3Bathrooms: 3Lot: 22,922.28 sq. ft.Construction Area: 5,177 M2PROPERTY FEATURES:Ocean view residential home under tropical contemporary architecture; 2 stories.The master bedroom is on the top floor with a private terrace, direct access to the swimming pool, a walk-in closet and complete bathroom with tub and shower.Second master is on the lower level and has a private bath and direct access to the garden.The third bedroom is also on the lower level, has access to the garden and shares bath with TV room.A TV room that can be converted into a 4th bedroom.Ocean-view kitchen with food storage.High ceilings, ocean view, living and dining room to the main terrace.344 sq. ft. pool with reflection pool area and outdoor shower.Maid room and laundry.2-car garage with electric gate and storage.Check out all of our offerings in our new real estate section here.  Facebook Comments read more

Australia Costa Group upbeat for 2019 despite pro

first_img Australia: Costa Group upbeat for 2019 despite pro … A new group representing Australia’s leading fresh fruit and vegetable companies has set its targets on making produce packaging 100% recyclable, newspaper The Australian has reported. The recently formed Australian Fresh Produce Alliance (AFPA) reportedly plans to work on achieving this with the country’s top retailers, including the two leading players Coles and Woolworths which have vowed to cut back the use of plastics in the produce aisle.“We are also looking at how can companies participate in closed loop systems where they get their recycled packaging back to re-use,” AFPA chief executive Michael Rogers, previously Hort Innovation’s general manager of trade, was quoted as saying.AFPA chairman Harry Debney, who is also CEO of Australia’s largest vertically integrated fruit company Costa Group, told the publication 75 per cent of AFPA’s members were already using fully recycled packaging.In a press release, the newly formed AFPRA noted its members accounted for AUD$4.5 billion of the sector’s AUD$9.1 billion in annual turnover, including AUD$410 million of the AUD$1.2 billion export totalMembers include Perfection Fresh, Costa Group, Fresh Select, Mackays, Montague, One Harvest, LaManna Premier, Freshmax, Rugby Farms, Driscoll’s, Pinata Farms, Mitolo Group, 2PH Farms and Fresh Produce Group.   March 18 , 2019 AUSVEG welcomes first female ag minister … Australia scores improved citrus, carrot access to … center_img “Australian horticulture at the policy level has always been fragmented. It has lacked an ability to communicate with key retailers,” Debney was quoted as saying.”The retailers were very keen to have a representative group that spoke for the industry about issues like packaging, recycling, food waste, labour and people, trade access, land use, water security and pollination.”The initiative will also reportedly seek to find a balance with the benefits packaging innovations have created for reducing food waste. “The Australian Fresh Produce Alliance will be first and foremost focused on achieving pragmatic solutions to some of the key issues facing the Australian fresh produce industry, including labour and people, packaging, waste, trade access, land use, water security and pollination,” Debney said in the press release.”Our aim is to not only represent the key industry players, but to also achieve outcomes on issues relevant to the broader industry.”Rogers highlighted the major contribution the Australian fresh produce industry made to the country’s economic growth, emphasizing it deserved “a prominent seat at the table” for addressing economic, environmental and social issues faced by the industry.”The Australian Fresh Produce Alliance has been established to perform this role and I look forward to working closely with government, retailers and other industry players to ensure our contribution is both meaningful and productive,” Rogers said. You might also be interested in Berries Australia: Govt must do more to address la …last_img read more

Collective Leadership of Congress Decided I Should Not Contest From Varanasi Says

first_img 2019 lok sabha electionsAkshay KumarMangoespm narendra modi First Published: April 28, 2019, 12:45 PM IST Breaking her silence on not contesting the Lok Sabha election from Varanasi, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said the decision to not field her against Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a “collective one” taken by the party leadership.Gandhi, who is handling the Congress campaign in east Uttar Pradesh, hinted that these responsibilities kept her from entering the poll fray herself. “I have a big responsibility here, many candidates wanted me to campaign for them and I didn’t want to disappoint them,” she told News18 India in an exclusive interview. Her statement that it was a collective decision, however, goes against what party leader Sam Pitroda said about it. He had said that the decision was taken by Gandhi herself. “It [not contesting from Varanasi] was Priyanka ji’s decision, she has other responsibilities. She thought rather than concentrating on one seat she should focus on the job she has at hand. So, that decision was her and she decided it,” he had told reporters two days ago at a press conference. The party’s decision to field Ajay Rai against PM Modi from Varanasi constituency had led to much disappointment, with many also claiming that the constant speculation, spurred on by the Congress party itself, had backfired.Earlier, Priyanka Gandhi had said that the decision to field her from Varanasi lay with the party and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.Gandhi said that as per estimates after three phases of polling, the BJP is far behind. “They will be in a big loss,” she said. “The Congress will be in the lead.”The Congress leader also dismissed claims that she had, on several occasions, hoped that her brother, Rahul Gandhi, would be elected as Prime Minister after the elections.“I have never said this. Yes, I want my brother to be happy and successful, and I wish that he succeeds in whatever he does,” she said. “Neither he nor I have any desire for a post.”Taking a jibe at PM Modi’s “candid and “non-political” interview with actor Akshay Kumar recently, she said it was “strange” that the PM was discussing this when the country was gripped by several issues of more importance.Gandhi said she had seen “parts” of the interview, which was telecast on April 24.“In the interview, I saw the bits about where he spoke about mangoes, how he eats mangoes,” she told News18. “It was very strange – when youth in the country are unemployed, farmers are harassed, women are facing several problems, we are discussing how to eat mangoes.” last_img read more