Sat, Nov 17, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs


Quanta, MIT in virtual project

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the world's largest maker of laptops, said it is developing a so-called "virtual computer" with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The company and the institute will cooperate to develop software and patents for the computers, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday, citing Quanta's chairman, Barry Lam (林百里).

"It's an academic project we have with MIT," said Carol Hsu (?[), spokeswoman for Taoyuan, Taiwan-based Quanta. "The idea is something we want to develop, and products could be a few years away."

Virtual computers will provide processing power to access data stored on a network without having their own storage drive.

Quanta makes the XO notebook for the One Laptop Per Child charity, which was started by Nicholas Negroponte, a co-founder of MIT's media laboratory.

Taipower dumps bonds sale

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電), the nation's biggest electricity producer, canceled a plan to sell NT$15 billion (US$464 million) in bonds this month after failing to agree on fees with banks.

The state-run utility won't auction bonds this month after the banks that were interested in guaranteeing the securities asked for higher fees than the company planned to pay, said Clint Chou (周義岳), a Taipower spokesman.

"We probably won't sell any more bonds this year," Chou said from the company's head office in Taipei yesterday. "We'll likely borrow from banks instead."

Arsenic allegations rebutted

Concentrations of arsenic and arsenic compounds in ambient air at the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區) are within environmental standards, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) said yesterday.

ITRI vice president Chu Hsing-sheng (曲新生) said that in the latest round of tests, airborne arsenic concentrations in and around the science park were found to be within the range of 1.5 nanograms to 2.1 nanograms per cubic meter, lower than the 6 nanograms per cubic meter that the EU has set as targets to be achieved by 2012.

Chu said the ITRI renewed monitoring in collaboration with the Hsinchu Science Park Administration and National Tsinghua University in order to alleviate concerns over allegedly high concentrations of airborne arsenic -- thought to reach 120 nanograms per cubic meter -- in ambient air at the Hsinchu Science Park.

Cellphone firms heed watchdog

Japan's two largest mobile phone operators agreed yesterday to alter advertisements after a government watchdog warned them that they misled customers amid a price battle in the sector.

Japan's Fair Trade Commission told industry leader NTT DoCoMo Inc and second-ranked KDDI Corp that their advertisements on discounts were attracting customers on unfair grounds. The firms pledged to respect the order.

The commission said the two operators advertised a 50 percent discount on the base price for calls without clearly specifying that customers needed to subscribe for two years to enjoy the rates.

HK growth slows

Hong Kong's economic growth slowed in the third quarter, expanding 6.2 percent from the same period a year ago, the government said yesterday.

GDP during the July-September quarter was slower than the 6.6 percent rate in the second quarter. On a seasonally adjusted basis, it rose 1.7 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter.

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