Remember Broad Sustainable Building, the Chinese firm that put a 30-story hotel up in fifteen days? The web is abuzz with news that BSB is now planning to erect the world’s tallest building. The Sky City building, located in Chinese provincial capital Changsha, will top out at 838 meters. The Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest, tops out at 828 meters. But whereas the BK took five years to construct, BSB is projecting they can put Sky City up—all 220 stories of it—in just three months. The big question is, How? The answer is the same as with the 15-day hotel: Pre-fab. As CNN’s Shanghai branch reports , The key to achieving such stunning speed is an innovative construction technique developed by BSB. Most of the company’s buildings are pieced together with prefabricated components from its factory. In this case, 95 percent of Sky City will be completed before breaking ground. [BSB CEO Zhang Yue] said Sky City is expected to consume a fifth of the energy required by a conventional building due to BSB’s unique construction methods, such as quadruple glazing and 15-centimeter-thick exterior walls for thermal insulation. The company’s construction methods also seem to save money. According to Chinese newspaper 21 Century Business Herald, the total investment in Sky City is RMB 4 billion (US$628 million), compared with US$1.5 billion on Burj Khalifa and US$2.2 billion on Shanghai Tower. BSB expects the building will go up in January 2013. If it does, Dubai shouldn’t feel too bad about losing the World’s Tallest Building title; at least they can point out that the as-yet-undisclosed architect of Sky City, according to BSB, hails from Dubai himself. (more…)
Archive for June 19th, 2012
Competition for the US cellular speed crown is certainly fiercer than it was last year , when Verizon’s 4G LTE let it walk over the competition unimpeded. With AT&T’s LTE in the running, though, have the ranks changed? No, but only just barely: as PCMag discovered in its annual countrywide testing, Verizon mostly trumped its fellow telecom giant in upload speeds and reliability. AT&T could once more claim to be best in a category with the fastest downloads, although it’s counterbalanced by having a considerably smaller LTE network. For everyone outside of T-Mobile and its still very respectable HSPA+ network, it’s better luck next year. We’ll be most intrigued then, quite frankly — in addition to 2013 giving us a genuinely functional Sprint LTE network , that’s when we could see a blistering-fast T-Mobile LTE-Advanced produce an upset victory. US 3G and 4G networks face off once more, Verizon just squeaks out win over AT&T originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 18 Jun 2012 23:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | PCMag | Email this | Comments
“It embodies hardware and software working together. People want to work and play,” Steve Ballmer said today amid much fanfare at Milk Studios in downtown Los Angeles. Microsoft has officially entered the ring with Apple. Microsoft views the Surface as a “stage for Windows 8.” It’s 9.3mm thin, has full size USB 2.0 ports, a massive kickstand and weighs only 1.5 lbs. The casing is made out of magnesium (specifically, a material Microsoft calls VaporMg) and screen is covered in the Gorilla Glass 2 and optically bonded, a feature Microsoft brags was specifically made for the Surface. The Surface is directly aimed at consumers, and with that, the iPad. Windows 8 is at the core of Surface. As such, it’s Metro device but also has access to all the Windows, not to mention Xbox features. This is clearly the product Microsoft had in mind when it announced the Xbox SmartGlass feature at E3 earlier in the month. Microsoft also announced several accessories for the Surface including a clever 3mm thick cover that features a full (albeit super-slim) keyboard. Since it’s held on by magnets, it will likely be called a copy of the iPad’s SmartCover, too. The backside of the Surface even features a massive, unit-wide kickstand. There will be two hardware options for Microsoft’s Surface, with both an ARM option and, for the full Windows experience, an Intel chip. But like most hardware, it’s nothing without the right software. Ballmer was very clear at the beginning of the announcement event that this tablet’s strength is the Windows ecosystem. This tablet runs Windows 8, and with that, both Metro and the traditional desktop environment. Every application that runs on Windows, save perhaps Skyrim and the like, should run on a x86 Surface. Still, if Microsoft is attempting to take on Apple, it will need to court a new crop of developers. The iPad’s strength comes from its legions of small 3rd party devs that for the most part completely ignore all things Microsoft. Up until this product, there wasn’t another tablet platform with the same sort of penetration numbers as the iPad. But with the Surface, Microsoft is essentially giving developers a massive user base as the applications will hit both mobile and desktop units — and Metro’s dedication to the touchscreen makes the deal even sweeter. The new Windows RT-powered Surface will sport either 32 or 64GB of storage depending on the purchaser’s preference, while the more traditional Intel variant will come with either 64 or 128GB. Microsoft declined to dive into specifics about their new tablet’s release, though they were quick to note that the Surface tablets would be priced “competitively” when they make it to market. Click to view slideshow.
The Army’s cancelled Ground Mobile Radio cost $6 billion to fail. In 1997, the Defense Department began its quest for the perfect family of radios: software-defined radios that, like computers, could be reprogrammed for different missions and could communicate with everything the US military used. Digital signal processing could adaptively use available radio spectrum based on the needs of the moment, turning soldiers, tanks, planes, and ships into nodes of a broadband radio-based network. The goal was to solve radio problems like this one in Afghanistan, detailed by the Center for Public Integrity in January 2012. Soldiers who watched an ambush forming on a ridge nearby found themselves limited by the hugely variable needs of their many radio systems: They had short-range models for talking with the reconstruction team; longer-range versions for reaching headquarters 25 miles away; and a backup satellite radio in case the mountains blocked the transmission. An Air Force controller carried his own radio for talking to jet fighters overhead and a separate radio for downloading streaming video from the aircraft. Some of these radios worked only while the troopers were stationary; others were simply too cumbersome to operate on the move. Read more | Comments