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Alternative energy powered cars on a roll at CES PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by RYAN NAKASHIMA, AP Business Writer   
Friday, 10 January 2014 07:40

LAS VEGAS (AP) — While autonomous driving is a major theme at the International CES gadget show, cars that use futuristic sources of energy are potentially much closer on the horizon.

Ford Motor Co. showed off a prototype solar hybrid car called the C-MAX Solar Energi, which has a gas engine along with rooftop solar panels that also power the engine. The car is designed to park under a 15-foot-tall carport made of a thin magnifying glass called a Fresnel lens that concentrates the sun's rays onto the panel to efficiently generate electricity. The carport isn't portable. So the car has to stop and recharge.

Seven hours of sunlight gives a full charge — the average amount of light in a typical American city, according to Michael Tinskey, Ford's associate director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure.

The vehicle must park facing east-west and inch forward to make the most of the sun's rays as it passes overhead. With the movement, it'll get a full charge, enough to run 21 miles on electricity only. Without the movement, it'll get only 3 miles of juice on a seven-hour charge, before the gas engine needs to kick in.

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China's auto sales rise 15.7 percent in 2013 PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 07:29

BEIJING (AP) — China's auto sales rose 15.7 percent last year to 17.9 million vehicles, boosted by strong demand in December, an industry group reported Thursday.

Sales growth in China, the biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold, has slowed but still outstrips Western markets. Automakers including General Motors and Toyota reported record China sales in 2013 and BMW said this country became its biggest market.

December was China's busiest sales month yet at 2.1 million vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. It gave no growth rate, but that total would be a 17 percent increase over the figure reported earlier for December 2012.

Competition is intensifying as automakers plow billions of dollars into developing models to suit Chinese tastes. Some have launched low-cost brands created for this country.

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IBM's Watson supercomputer gets its own business PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by BREE FOWLER, AP Technology Writer   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 09:54

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the most famous "Jeopardy!" champs of all time is moving to Manhattan.

No, it's not Ken Jennings.

IBM announced Thursday that it's investing over $1 billion to give its Watson supercomputer its own business division and a new home in the heart of New York City.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based computing company said the new business unit will be dedicated to the development and commercialization of the project that first gained fame by defeating a pair of "Jeopardy!" champions, including 74-time winner Jennings, in 2011.

In the years since Watson's TV appearance, IBM has been developing the supercomputer for more practical purposes and changed it to a cloud-based service. Its massive data-crunching capabilities are currently being used in industries ranging from health care to banking.

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Macy's cutting 2,500 jobs in reorganization PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, AP Retail Writer   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 07:23

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's Inc. is cutting 2,500 jobs as part of a reorganization to sustain its profitability.

Shares rose 5.5 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday.

The announcement comes on the heels of a strong holiday shopping season for the department store chain, which also runs the higher-end Bloomingdale's chain.

Macy's said the moves will save it $100 million per year and forecast a 2014 profit above Wall Street's forecasts.

Macy's has been a standout among its peers throughout the economic recovery and has reaped the benefits of its strategy of tailoring merchandise to local markets. But like other merchants, Macy's is grappling with a still cautious shopper. It's also trying to respond to shoppers' shift toward buying and research on their PCs and mobile devices like smart phones.

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