CEA Forecasts 30-50 Ultrabooks Expected to Launch at CES 2012

  • At a recent CES Unveiled event in London, Shawn DuBravac, director of research for the CEA, predicted that a large number of ultrabooks will debut at the 2012 CES conference in January. “We expect to see 30 to 50 new ultrabooks launch at CES,” said DuBravac. TechCrunch responded with, “That’s a whole lot of MacBook Air clones.”
  • Each year, there seems to be a single prominent device showcased at the annual confab. “iPad killers were out in force at 2011′s show. 2010 was all about 3D TVs while netbooks was the popular product in 2009,” suggests the post. “It seems that ultrabooks might be 2012′s hot product. But can they break the dreaded CES curse that plagued the previous hot products?”
  • TechCrunch describes how Android tablets failed to challenge the iPad and how 3D TVs and netbooks failed to achieve significant adoption. If ultrabooks dominate the 2012 event, will they face the same fate?
  • “Ultrabooks are supposed to be the answer to Apple’s increasingly popular MacBook Air. Intel designed the computing platform to be as thin as possible while keeping the price low. The first batch of ultabooks start at $899 and offer competitive performance. But they’re still not built as well as the MacBook Air.”

Hollywood Victory: Judge Orders BT to Block Newzbin2 Filesharing Site

  • A British judge has ordered BT, the United Kingdom’s largest ISP, to block access to Newzbin2, a website that makes Hollywood content available to its users illegally. The order also made a provision for blocking access even if Newzbin2 moved to another IP address or URL.
  • “The judge backed the argument brought by a coalition of Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros, Paramount, Disney, Universal, Fox and Columbia, which have argued that Newzbin2 has made millions profiting from exploiting other people’s work,” reports The Guardian.
  • This order may set a precedent for blocking of other illegal filesharing websites in the UK.
  • “Securing the intervention of the ISPs was the only way to put the commercial pirates out of reach for the majority of consumers,” said Chris Marcich, president and managing director of MPA Europe. “This move means that we can invest more in our own digital offerings, delivering higher quality and more variety of products to the consumer.”

3D Printing May Lead to Lighter Components and More Efficient Aircraft

  • ETCentric has been following a number of interesting developments in the 3D printing space, the latest of which involves printing mechanical components with metal powder that results in durable, lighter parts ideal for aircraft.
  • MIT’s Technology Review reports that EADS Innovation Works in England is using 3D printer technology to create jet components that weigh as much as half that of their conventionally manufactured counterparts.
  • EADS, which owns Airbus, hopes to transform manufacturing by creating strong, durable parts via 3D printers that are lighter and will make aircraft more efficient by burning less fuel.
  • Chris Turner, an engineer at EADS, is using machines that can create “intricate forms out of high-grade metal, an advance that has allowed researchers to apply the design possibilities of 3D printing to mechanical parts,” explains the article.
  • “The printers use software that works out where the parts need to bear loads and places material just in those areas, halving the weight of the complete part without sacrificing strength. That saves energy, metal, and money,” reports Technology Review. “The complex, curving forms that result couldn’t be cast in a mold or carved out of a larger block even with the most advanced computer-controlled tools, but they can be printed in a succession of layers tens of micrometers thick.”
  • The company hopes to eventually create mechanical parts as well as large aircraft components such as wing spars.

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