‘Space elevator’ would take humans into orbit
The project is a “space elevator,” and some experts now believe that the concept is well within the bounds of possibility — maybe even within our lifetimes.
A conference discussing developments in space elevator concepts is being held in Japan in November, and hundreds of engineers and scientists from Asia, Europe and the Americas are working to design the only lift that will take you directly to the one hundred-thousandth floor.
It is thought that inertia — the physics theory stating that matter retains its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force — will cause the cable to stay stretched taut, allowing the elevator to sit in geostationary orbit.
The cable would extend into the sky, eventually reaching a satellite docking station orbiting in space.
NASA is holding a $4 million Space Elevator Challenge to encourage designs for a successful space elevator.
Coming to a theater near you: more 3-D – CNN.com
Coming to a theater near you: more 3-D
- Hollywood will help pay for a $1 billion-plus rollout of digital technology in theaters
- About 20,000 movie screens in North America will get upgraded digital projection
- Upgrade is the critical first step towards being able to show lucrative 3-D movies
- Estimate: More than 1,500 locations will be able to show 3-D movies by 2010
iTWire – Rotten smells from rotten Apple Mac Pros?
Rotten smells from rotten Apple Mac Pros?
French Newspaper “Libération” has claimed (link to original French article) that benzene, styrene and other derivatives are being emitted by Apple’s high-end Mac Pro range.
UK tech site The Register translates much of the story into English, which has an “anonymous researcher” working for the French National Centre for Scientific Research nothing a “strong odor” from his Mac Pro, then days later having eye, throat and nose irritations.
But it turns out this isn’t the only case of bad smells, with users in Apple’s own forums also complaining of new car smells, strange odors, musty odors, rotting carpet and even cannabis smells, along with complaints of headachnes, nausea and dizziness!
Australia’s “first” LED TV launched by Samsung – Hardware – iTnews Australia
Australia’s “first” LED TV launched by Samsung
South Korean firm Samsung Electronics has beat its competitors to the market with Australia’s first LED television under $9999 – “arguably the most stunning picture ever seen on a television.”
The Series 9 LCD television uses a technology called LED Smartlighting, which Samsung says produces bright, vibrant colours and premium picture quality.
The Series 9 televisions also use a 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, the highest in the Australian market.
The Series 9 has four features also launched in Samsung’s Series 7 and 8. First, it accepts USB keys for displaying pictures, videos, movies and music. Second, it connects to an RSS viewer for news and information, which can be displayed while watching TV.
“The claim “the first LED television available on the Australian market” refers to Samsung launching the first mass market LED television widely available in major retail channels at a price under $9,999. A Samsung and a competitor 70″ LED television was previously available but in extremely limited distribution at a retail price of around $70,000; fewer than five units were sold across both companies*.”
The Series 9 will be available from October 2008 in 46 inches for $5,499 and 55 inches for $6,999.
Space junk, get your space junk here | NEWS.com.au
NASA celebrates 50 years of space exploration
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) turned 50 on the 1st october wednesday
NASA is responsible for civilian and military aerospace research, and the US space program.
According to The Space Review, for every $US1 the US Government spends on NASA, it spends $US98 on social programs.
Although NASA was established on July 29, 1958, it didn’t begin operations until October 1 that year.
It replaced the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics which had been around since 1915
Music publishers fail to get rate rise, iTunes stays
Music publishers fail to get rate rise, iTunes stays
The US Copyright Royalty Board today announced it would freeze the rate that digital-music stores must pay music publishers.
The rate remains at USD$0.091 per song and applies to both digital downloads and CDs. The rate for ring-tones is nearly three times higher at USD$0.24. The group of music publishers pushing for the increase wanted rates to rise 66 percent across the board.
iTunes threatened to close the store if the rates rose – yeah right!
Google brings back search from 2001
Google brings back search from 2001
To mark its tenth birthday Google has resurrected its 2001 index. You can Google yourself and your friends to see what the world was like seven years ago.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef now on Google Maps
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef now on Google Maps
In a world first, Google has added the first large scale marine environment to its online mapping service, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
While you still don’t get street level view of the entire reef, it’s now possible to get a much clearer picture of the thousands of coral cays, lagoons and underwater reefs that make up what is the world’s biggest structure built by organisms.
Skype caves in to user outrage over 4.0 design
Skype caves in to user outrage over 4.0 design
Skype has been forced to revise its 4.0 beta release after outraged users bombarded it with criticisms of the screen-hogging and unintuitive design.
The first beta version of Skype 4.0, released in June, sported a radical change to its interface. It switched from the customary small screen list of contacts found in most chat applications to a full-screen experience designed to make it easier to hold video calls and manage multiple conversations.
Skype has not yet committed to a final release date for Skype 4.0. Once the Windows code is finalised, the code will be ported to other platforms such as Mac OS X, Lewis said. “There are many more of these features to come. 4.0 is not finished, it’s still a beta product.”
Microsoft to launch ‘Windows Cloud’ this month: News – Software – ZDNet Australia
Microsoft to launch ‘Windows Cloud’ this month
Microsoft will launch an operating system for the ‘cloud’ in four weeks, chief executive Steve Ballmer told delegates at a Microsoft-sponsored developer conference in London on Wednesday.
“Every time there’s a big new trend, a big new opportunity, we write a new operating system,” Ballmer told delegates at the conference. “We’re now in the process of writing a new operating system. For lack of a better term, before we announce it in four weeks, I’ll call it Windows Cloud.”
Telstra’s daylight saving warning on mobile phones | Australian IT
Telstra’s daylight saving warning on mobile phones
THE move to a uniform start to daylight saving on Sunday could confuse your mobile phone, Telstra has warned.
Clocks are put forward one hour in Victoria, NSW, the ACT, Tasmania and South Australia on Saturday night.
It is the first time the states will have a synchronised start, and Telstra says the date changes could cause issues for some newer communications devices.
Nokia offers unlimited music for one-off fee | Australian IT
Nokia offers unlimited music for one-off fee
the major record companies are offering listeners the chance to download and keep any song ever recorded.
The catch is that they will have to buy a 129.95 pound ($295.78) pay-as-you-go mobile phone which will entitle them, later this month, to download songs either to the handset or to a computer.
The mobile is made by Nokia, under its Comes With Music brand, and it is partnered by Universal Music, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music – the record companies that once tried to sue people who pirated song after song from the internet.
In Australia, the service is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2009. Local pricing has yet to be announced.
Nokia’s Comes With Music, available from October 16 in Britain allows unlimited acess to songs for one year, but after that a customer has to buy a new phone. Any songs downloaded are tied to the particular handset – the first Comes With Music model, the 5310, has 8 gigabytes of memory and can store 6000 songs.
Uni plan to teach basics of English | The Australian
Uni plan to teach basics of English
Monash University to introduce a remedial writing course focused on “language mechanics”, such as basic grammar and punctuation.
Baden Eunson, lecturer at the university’s School of English, Communications and Performance Studies, and convenor of the new course, said roughly 90 per cent of his first-year students could not identify a noun.
“If you ask them to identify adjectives and other parts of a sentence only about 1 per cent can manage,” he said. “It is not really a surprise as only about 20 per cent of English teachers understand basic grammar.”
7.30 Report probes eBay, PayPal
Fran Foo | October 02, 2008
AN INVESTIGATION into the activities of eBay Australia and its subsidiary PayPal are expected to air today on the ABC’s 7.30 Report, as foreshadowed in The Australian this week.
Paul Foster received a refund from PayPal days before The 7.30 Report was scheduled to air a story on eBay and PayPal
The TV program will look at criminals in cyberspace and address claims that eBay isn’t doing enough to curb the prevalence of rogue traders on its website.
It is understood Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel was invited to comment on air.
It will also feature victims of eBay traders who are demanding more action and accountability from the online auction giant in light of the recent collapse of one of eBay’s largest sellers, EBS International.
Thousands of people were caught high and dry when EBS, known on eBay as Ebusiness Supplies, was liquidated in late July.
As earlier reported, one victim of EBS and a PayPal member was recently reimbursed, days before the TV program was scheduled to go on air.
iTunes store shutdown feared
By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley
There are more than 8.5m songs on iTunes store
A veiled threat by Apple to close its iTunes store has emerged 18 months after it was issued and just a day before royalty rates are to be set.
The Copyright Royalty Board meets on Thursday to rule on a requested 66% increase for sales of digital music from 9 cents to 15 cents a track.
A rise would have to be paid by either Apple, the record company or consumer.
Apple opposed the rate hike and has said it is unwilling to raise its 99 cents a song price or absorb a rise.
In April 2007 the company’s vice president for iTunes, Eddy Cue, submitted testimony to the Board at the Library of Congress.
“If iTS (iTunes Store) were forced to absorb any increase in the mechanical royalty rates, the result would be to significantly increase the likelihood of the store operating at a financial loss – which is no alternative at all.
“Apple has repeatedly made clear that it is in this business to make money, and would most likely not continue to operate iTS if it were no longer possible to do so profitably,” said Mr Cue.
The National Music Publishers’ Association has asked for the royalty rate increase and has said it believes everyone will benefit because the digital music market is growing.
“I think we established a case for an increase in the royalties,” said David Israelite, president of the NMPA.
“Apple may want to sell songs cheaply to sell iPods. We don’t make a penny on the sale of an iPod.”
The Recording Industry Association of America said sales of digital songs and albums rose 46% last year to $1.2bn (£652m).
Apple pays an estimated 70% of digital music revenue to record companies which in turn pass on a percentage to artists. It is that percentage that is expected to be changed on Thursday.
The forthcoming decision by the three judge panel will set rates for the next five years. It will be the first affecting digital sales.
Meanwhile the Digital Media Association, which represents Apple and other online music services, has asked for the rate to be pegged at 4.8 cents a track.
With CD sales falling last year by 20% to $7.4bn (£4bn), record companies are unlikely to be willing to soak up any increase in rates.
Greg Sandoval at CNET said the timing of the emergence of the Apple document is interesting.
“When it comes down to mass appeal, Apple holds all the cards.
” If word gets out that music publishers are trying to stick it to consumers, and Apple is fighting to keep prices down on their behalf, well, there’s liable to be public backlash against the labels.
“If this thing follows the normal course, there would be calls for boycotts, protests and so on.”
Piper Jaffray estimates that Apple will sell 2.4 bn songs this year, giving it an 85% share of the digital music market.
Music stars unite to seek control
By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News
Robbie Williams is currently working on a new album
UK pop and rock stars are taking action to try to gain ownership and control of their work from record labels.
Robbie Williams, Radiohead, Kaiser Chiefs and The Verve are among the acts who have signed up to a new pressure group, the Featured Artists’ Coalition.
It wants artists to keep the rights to the music they create and to have a greater say in how their songs are sold – and a bigger slice of the takings.
It is a sign of a shift in power in the music industry in the digital age.
In the last 12 months, big names have seen their options multiply after a string of stars shunned traditional record contracts and found new ways of releasing music.
At the same time, many acts have felt they have been ignored when their record labels and music publishers have struck new digital deals.
A spokesperson from the BPI – the body that represents the UK’s recorded music business – said it was “looking forward” to working with the coalition.
“The UK music business is a complex community that binds performers, songwriters, promoters, managers, agents, record labels, publishers, distributors, manufactures and retailers.
“No one part of the business can function without the other. This is a business under huge external pressure, and we are stronger united.
“The creators themselves – featured artists, session musicians and songwriters lie right at the heart of this business, and we look forward to working closely with FAC in the future.”
The Featured Artists’ Coalition’s main demands include allowing musicians to keep the copyright to their own music, which could then be leased to record companies.
No unlocked iPhones in Australia: Apple
Fran Foo | October 02, 2008
OVER the weekend unlocked Apple 3G iPhones went on sale in Hong Kong, allowing consumers to purchase the mobile device without being tied to a carrier.
Apple Australia, however, has no plans to follow suit.
“We have four carrier relationships in Australia,” an Apple Australia spokesman said.
Apple’s Hong Kong online store is selling the 8GB model for $HK5400 ($875) and $HK6200.
Upon launch in Hong Kong the device was only available through Hutchison Telecom on a two-year contract.
The move is an interesting change of tack for Apple which has so far resisted calls to offer the iPhone outright.
In Australia iPhones can be purchased from Optus, Virgin, Telstra and Vodafone.
Apple retail stores don’t sell the iPhone outright but their employees would help customers choose between the four carriers.
Consumers can, however, unlock the device under certain terms and conditions and for a fee. Virgin, for example, charges $80 for purchases within the first 12 months.
There are a variety of iPhone plans locally; one of the lowest is Vodafone’s $59 per month iPhone bundle for 24 months. It includes $310 credit per month.
For data-hungry users, Virgin claims to offer 1GB of data and $520 monthly credit for $70 a month over two years.
Optus sells the iPhone 3G for $729 (8GB) or $849 (16GB) on a pre-paid basis, but stocks are extremely limited, a company spokesperson said.
Its sleek multi-touch screen and easy to use interface has seen the device sell like hot cakes. Since it was launched on July 11 in over 20 countries, more than a million 3G iPhones have been sold.
Nipping at Apple’s heels is internet behemoth Google with its new Android operating system, slated for smartphones.
T-Mobile recently introduced its touchscreen, Android-powered G1 phone, manufactured by Taiwan’s HTC, and set to go on sale this month in the US.
Current – New Nokia phone, music service set to cripple Apple
New Nokia phone, music service set to cripple Apple
By Patrick Avenell
Nokia has once again ramped up its peripherals offering, and is now taking on Apple, and the iPhone, in the digital music/mobile phone market.
Launched in Singapore earlier today, Nokia’s new Comes With Music digital entertainment service promises to give users of certain Nokia handsets one year of free unlimited access to the Nokia music store’s complete catalogue. The first qualifying device is the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, which was also unveiled today.
Talking about this launch is Nokia vice president, sales, Chris Carr.
“With the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, we set out to connect people through the one thing we all feel a universal connection to – music,” said Carr. “The way in which people enjoy music is different around the world. With that in mind, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic gives people the freedom to experience music they love in the way they prefer.”
The Comes With Music service is set to be rolled out in Australia in early next year, although Nokia Australia refused to speculate on a specific date.
“Comes With Music sets a precedent for consumer value and convenience that the rest of the digital entertainment industry is already copying,” said Nokia head of entertainment & communities category management Andrew Connell. “The freedom and simplicity of the service is unparalleled. Comes With Music gives you unlimited access to the millions of tracks in the Nokia Music Store and the music is all yours to keep – because its not a revolution unless you get to keep your music.”
The prospect of granting owners of a specific Nokia handset unlimited access to a plethora of music, both old and new, across many genres, must be disturbing to Apple, and its flagship iTunes store. The iTunes store currently charges $1.69 for a single download. This new announcement from Nokia, a company that already dominates the iPhone in terms of unit sales, could spark a trend from the leading handset suppliers, leading users away from pay-to-download online music stores.
In related news, one feature of the newly re-designed online Nokia Music Store causing some consternation with users is administrator only function. Unlike other sites, the Nokia software requires that one be the administrator of the computer in order to install the program. This excludes many potential users, who may be trying to access the store from a work or university computer. Considering how easy it is to download songs for free, albeit illegally, barriers such as these should not exist for those wishing to do the right thing.
Current – Samsung and Sony neck and neck in the LED LCD race
Samsung and Sony neck and neck in the LED LCD race
By Martin Vedris
SYDNEY: Samsung and Sony are competing to be first to market with several new technologies, including OLED, 200 HZ high frame rate and LED backlighting on LCDs. This latest technology is the subject of a small dispute.
In the competitive world of flat panel TV, it’s not only the panels that are getting thinner, the margins are getting thinner as well, and it’s all happening as a faster rate as new technology comes to market.
The technology race is a true test of survival — the key to success is bringing new technology to market and Samsung and Sony’s recent LCD TV releases are good examples.
Samsung has just released its Series 7, 8 and 9 LCD TVs with the flagship being the Series 9, with LED backlighting and a 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.
In part of Samsung’s press release on 30 September, it was claimed the Series 9 was “the first LED television available on the Australian market”.
A Sony spokesperson pointed out, however, that 12 months ago, “Sony Australia released the BRAVIA KDL70X3500 LCD TV in October 2007. This TV features a Triluminous LED backlight — making it the first LED backlight TV in Australia.
“In addition, the new 46 inch and 55 inch BRAVIA XBR models announced last week have a RGB Dynamic LED backlight and will arrive in stores in mid October.”
According to the tech specs, Sony’s Triluminous LED backlight technology expands the TV’s colour range by aligning individual clusters of red, green and blue LEDs. Sony says that the combination of LEDs in the three colours, hence ‘Triluminous’, significantly increases colour purity over the traditional single white LED backlights.
A Samsung spokesperson clarified the statement by saying, “the claim ‘the first LED television available on the Australian market’ refers to Samsung launching the first mass market LED television widely available in major retail channels at a price under $9,999.
“A Samsung and a competitor 70″ LED television was previously available but in extremely limited distribution at a retail price of around $70,000… Samsung apologises for any confusion.”
The Samsung Series 9 will be available from October 2008 in 46, and 55 inches for RRP $5,499 and RRP $6,999 respectively.
Samsung is claiming that a unique benefit of its ‘LED Smartlighting’ technology is that it significantly reduces power consumption via dimming system that switches individual LED lights on or off as required.
Current – Hot as hell day rocks air conditioner market, more heat predicted
Hot as hell day rocks air conditioner market, more heat predicted
By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY: A day of incredible heat in Sydney today has marked the start of the key air conditioner sales period. The mercury has hit a near-record 36° today, which is outstanding news for suppliers and retailers of cooling products.
A successful air conditioning sales season is determined not just by a hot summer, but by an early summer. Whilst Australia is known for its hot Januaries and Februaries, the Sun needs to shine most brightly in the spring in order to encourage consumers to make an investment in air conditioners and coolers. An oppressively hot October day, such as New South Wales is currently enduring, means that retailers should be bracing themselves for increased demand over the upcoming long weekend.
Talking about the impact weather has on the air conditioning market is LG Electronics category manager, air conditioning, Irena Stojceska.
“It matters a lot – heat is a massive factor, particularly with nights,” said Stojceska. “Days like the last couple, where the nights are warm are very encouraging.”
Current – Timely news for retailers, businesses with interstate operations
Timely news for retailers, businesses with interstate operations
By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY: Retail stores should take note this weekend of the shift to daylight savings time. Four states and one territory will be shifting this weekend, which will mean changes to service hours, and to interstate commerce activity.
On Sunday morning, residents in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory will move their clocks forward one hour at 2am. Western Australian daylight savings time will commence on Sunday 26 October 2008. Queensland and the Northern Territory do not have daylight savings time.
For retailers, this means that proprietors, owners and managers in affected states need to be aware that, if they open for Sunday trading, they are at the store and ready to open on time. Additionally, display stock which features time readouts, such as DVD and Blu-ray players, and iPod docks, should be adjusted at close of business Saturday night.
Once states begin adopting daylight savings, businesses involved in interstate commerce should note the changes in time difference. Queensland will move one hour behind the East Coast states, and 30 minutes behind South Australia. Western Australia will be three hours behind NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT until they too implement daylight savings time. From that point they will be two hours behind. At that time, Queensland will be one hour ahead of Western Australia until Autumn.
Queensland readers should also note that, as NSW is adopting daylight savings time this Sunday morning, the NRL Grand Final will commence at 4pm, Queensland time. Retailers who need to plan around this event, which is extremely popular in Queensland, should note the difference between the local starting time and the NRL’s advertised NSW starting time.
In related news, NSW, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory will be celebrating the Australian workers’ movement with their state’s Labour Day public holidays this Monday 6 October. In all other states, and the Northern Territory, Monday will be an ordinary working day.
Current – Samsung launches Australia’s first LED television.
Samsung launches Australia’s first LED television.
Samsung’s LED Smartlighting™ – sheer viewing pleasure
Samsung Electronics has today launched the first LED television available on the Australian market – the premium Series 9 LCD TV. Available in-store from October 2008, the Series 9 is set to offer arguably the most stunning picture ever seen on a television.
Samsung’s LED Smartlighting™ is an innovation in screen backlighting. Producing bright, vibrant colours and premium picture quality, it works seamlessly with the impressive 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio to set a new benchmark in the Australian market.
“It is the combination of these two technology innovations – LED Smartlighting™ and a whopping 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio – that make our premium Series 9 a sight to remember,” comments Mark Leathan, General Manager, CE Marketing, Samsung Australia.
“In our recently completed annual Newspoll HD TV Survey, nearly 78 per cent of people said picture quality was a key factor in deciding on their HD television*. We are confident that this unit will deliver the highest quality pictures available on an LCD TV.”
Samsung believes that the aesthetic design is just as crucial as the TVs performance. The elegant Series 9 boasts a new premium black ‘Crystal Design’ bezel and matching glass base. This new premium black is comparable to a stylish carbon fibre finish and throws a subtle honeycomb dimension when the bezel captures any light.
Developed to enrich lifestyles and the entertainment experience, the Samsung Series 9 offers four key media solutions that will change how you interact with your television:
- InfoLive is an innovative feature which provides constant connection with a real-time RSS viewer for news, weather and stock information. Bring up live internet feeds while watching your favourite movie or TV show at the same time.
- WISELINK Pro makes it possible to plug and play favourite pictures, videos, movies and music through USB 2.0 connections. Grab the digital camera and entertain friends and family in the lounge room when you play back photos on the big screen.
- DLNA links your TV with your home PC to access any stored entertainment and media files. Now Mum and Dad can watch a movie in the lounge room while the children watch a slideshow upstairs, directly from the computer in the study.
- The in-built Content Library stores a wide range of informational and entertainment content such as fitness programmes, delicious recipes and games for children. It even includes a collection of art images so your TV can double as a framed masterpiece.
Another unique benefit of Samsung’s LED Smartlighting™ technology is that it significantly reduces power consumption. Its intelligent local dimming system senses input signals and turns individual LED lights on or off only as required.
The Series 9 will be available from October 2008 in 46, and 55 inches for $5,499 and $6,999 respectively.
Current – Sony and James Bond now in marketing overdrive
Sony and James Bond now in marketing overdrive
By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY: Sony Australia has ramped up its online and viral marketing campaign for the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. As announced on Current earlier this year, Sony has entered into a global joint marketing campaign with the producers of this latest installment of successful film series.
Expectant fans are being encouraged to visit a dedicated website, currently showing off both the film, set for local release on 27 November 2008, and a range of Sony products. Additionally, a site for mobile browsing has been established, with commuters and students being directed to www.quantumcode.mobi for their own Sony presents James Bond fix.
Sony CEO and chairman, Sir Howard Stringer, spoke at IFA in August about this cooperative.
“Developed as an artistic extension of the upcoming film, Quantum of Solace, which will be released in theatres worldwide by Sony Pictures this fall, the campaign will highlight Sony’s high definition product capabilities while capturing the energy and intensity of the 22nd James Bond adventure.
“This is the first time we have integrated our film and electronics marketing efforts at such a profound level bringing together Sony’s leadership in high definition with one of the world’s most powerful and iconic movie franchises.
“The campaign will launch first in Europe in September and then rollout worldwide timed to coincide with the film’s release.”
The movie medium as an advertising tool has been capitalised upon recently, with the high profile placement of Nokia products in The Dark Knight, Apple products in Sex and the City, and JVC in I, Robot. Although a feature of movies for some time, with particular reference to tobacco products in the pre-WWII days, the trend has become more a strategic marketing ploy in recent years.
Current – The end of an era: Matsushita becomes Panasonic
The end of an era: Matsushita becomes Panasonic
By Patrick Avenell
NEW YORK: Panasonic’s Japanese parent company, formerly known as Matsushita Electrical Industrial, has changed its name to Panasonic Corporation. This change brings the Panasonic, National and Matsushita brands all under the same recognisable banner.
With the change in name also comes a change in the company’s New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol, which is now PC. In its first day of trading under this new moniker, the company gained 21 cents to close at $17.54.
In a statement on Panasonic’s global website, a spokesperson said, “With this company name change and brand unification, the company has renewed its commitment to bringing the achievements accumulated through the three different names of Matsushita, National, and Panasonic under the one single name of Panasonic to enhance its brand value”.