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Wed, May 25, 2005 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take 

AGENCIES

■ Shipping

Cargo volume to soar

The volume of cargo passing through China's ports every year is expected to rise by more than 50 percent in the next five years, a report said yesterday. Communications Minister Zhang Chunxian (張春賢), speaking at a conference in Shanghai, said the total cargo volume would rise to 5.5 billion tonnes a year by 2010 from 3.6 billion tonnes last year, the state-run newspaper Shanghai Daily reported. Zhang said the number of shipping containers passing through the country's ports will rise to 140 million 20-foot equivalent units, by 2010, up from 61.5 million last year, it said. The amount of cargo handled by China's ports jumped 21.3 percent last year, the report said.

■ Education

Trump starts online school

Donald Trump has a new venture: Trump University. The school consists of online courses, CD-ROMs, consulting services and seminars. The for-profit university doesn't offer degrees or grades. Courses cost US$300 and take one to two weeks to complete. "In today's hyper-competitive business climate, the need for the highest quality education has become more crucial than ever," Trump said on Monday at a news conference at Trump Tower. "But people are looking beyond the traditional business education model, which involves hours in the classroom and relies primarily on book learning," he said.

■ Digital Cameras

Pentax to eliminate jobs

Pentax said yesterday it would slash 300 jobs, becoming the latest digital camera maker to trim its work force as prices for the photo technology plummet. The Japanese company said the job cuts, to be carried out by March 2007, would save it ?184.7 million (US$1.7 million) as part of a total cost-cutting plan that will save ?617 million. The company had 5,244 workers on its payroll at the end of last September.

■ Surveys

HK less entrepreneurial

Hong Kong is losing its famous entrepreneurial spirit as young people spurn the chance to start their own businesses, according to a survey published yesterday. The territory ranked close to the bottom of a list of 35 countries and territories worldwide for entrepreneurs with only 3 percent of people starting their own businesses. That figure compared to 5.7 percent in Singapore, 4.5 percent in Germany, 11.3 percent in the US and 13.4 percent in Australia, which topped the survey by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

■ Technology

Scientists keep eyes open

When taking a group picture, photographers often find some of their subjects' eyes are closed. So Japanese researchers have developed technology that can reliably take photographs in which everyone's eyes are open, the researchers said yesterday. According to the researchers led by University of Electro-Communications professor Masahide Kaneko, the new technology snaps 15 frames in the 0.5 second after the shutter is pressed. It automatically analyzes the shape and color of each person's eye area and selects a shot in which everyone's eyes are open, they said. If such a photo cannot be found, it chooses the one with the largest number of people with their eyes open. It then uses the other photos taken to replace the subjects' closed eyes with the images of their open eyes by cutting and pasting.

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