7/12/2008

Sun lays off approximately 1,000 employees

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Following through on a restructuring plan announced in May, Sun on Thursday laid off approximately 1,000 employees in the United States and Canada.

All told, the company plans to reduce its workforce by approximately 1,500 to 2,500 employees worldwide. Additional reductions will occur in other regions including EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Reducing the number of employees by 2,500 would constitute a loss of about 7 percent of the company’s employees.

“Every part of the company’s staffing infrastructure was evaluated and reductions were made across all levels, including vice presidents and directors,” a Sun representative said Friday morning. The company declined to provide the names of these directors and vice presidents.

Sun has cited the economy as the reason for its recent troubles, which saw the company losing $34 million in the fiscal quarter that ended March 30.

Yahoo to offer ad-supported free game downloads

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo Inc said on Thursday it would offer its users hundreds of popular casual online games as free downloads backed by revenue from advertising integrated into the games.

More than 400 ad-supported games from top casual games publishers like Anarchy Big Fish Games and Sugar Games will be available to users before year-end, Yahoo said.

The company is working with technology providers Double Fusion and NeoEdge to sell and integrate video ads into the Yahoo! Games catalog.

New windows double as solar panels

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A new type of solar panel that allows light to pass through it like a pane of glass has been invented by scientists who said that it is 10 times more powerful than conventional methods of producing energy from sunlight.

The discovery raises the prospect of using ordinary domestic windows to generate electricity with minimum structural alterations, although scientists have not yet worked out how much it would cost to convert a domestic home to a solar-powered generator.

Instead of coating the entire solar panel with solar cells - the expensive semiconductor devices that turn the energy of sunlight into electricity - the new solar panel works on the principle of concentrating the light, and the energy, at the edges of a pane of glass where it can be collected by the solar cells.

Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston said that the “solar concentrator” is made from a film of organic molecules that can be coated on to glass window panes or other surfaces exposed to sunlight. This allows light to pass straight through the window even though it is being used to generate power.

It also means that the expensive solar cells need only be placed around the edges of the collecting area, so that there is little need to track the movements of the Sun for generating maximum power, as well as reducing overall costs.

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