Media Center on the way
Philips intends to bring a so-called Media Center into stores by the end of the year. The firm revealed the plans prior to a recent international electronics fair in Berlin. The device resembles a DVD recorder, but in fact is a combination of entertainment electronics and a computer. The Showline Media Center MCP9350i can store videos, photos and music in its 250 gigabytes of storage space. These can then be sent on to other audio or video devices for playback, using either a cable or wirelessly. The Media Center also offers two TV tuners to allow one program to be watched while another is being recorded. It also has a built-in DVD and CD recorder and insertion slots on the front for various storage media types. The Media Center is due in December with a Pentium 4 chip, USB 2.0 and Firewire. Philips declined to name a price.
Mitsubishi pulls PC's LCDs
Mitsubishi Electric Corp will stop production of liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) for personal computers as early as 2008 and focus on smaller panels for cellphones, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported, without citing sources for the information. Mitsubishi Electric expects personal-computer panels will make up 10 percent of its total LCD sales in six months through to this month, down from 15 percent at the end of March as it seeks to counter price competition by rivals in South Korea and Taiwan, the newspaper said. Hitachi Displays Ltd, a unit of Hitachi Ltd, will raise production of cellphone panels, the newspaper said. The company's LCDs larger than 10 inches will be mainly for television sets, the newspaper said. Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co, an affiliate of Toshiba Corp, will reduce its LCD panels for personal computers to 15 percent of total sales, down from 30 percent, the newspaper said.
Fuel monopoly attacked
China Eastern Airlines (東方航空), one of China's top three carriers, has called for an end to the monopoly of fuel supply in the domestic market, which has sent its profits diving, state media said yesterday. "The fuel monopoly system must be broken to let airlines have the freedom to choose where to buy," said Li Fenghua (李豐華), president of China Eastern Airlines Group Co, in a report on the China Daily Web site. China Aviation Oil Holding Co holds a near-monopoly on China's jet-fuel market, limiting the choice for airlines such as China Eastern, which purchases 70 percent of its fuel from the domestic market. "The fuel market, which is monopolized by one company, has put Chinese airlines in an unfavorable position to compete with their overseas counterparts," Li said.
■ Mobile phones
Spice Nepal sets up shop
A privately owned cellular phone company yesterday said it had started services in Nepal, breaking the monopoly held by a state-owned telecommunications company. Spice Nepal Private Ltd said in a statement that it began signing up subscribers over the weekend in Kathmandu, and would spread its service to other cities in Nepal. Spice Nepal's entry into the cellphone market comes after the government opened the telecommunications industry to private businesses in 2000. Until Spice Nepal's entry, only government-owned Nepal Telecom provided cellphone services. It has about 300,000 subscribers.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit