India launches $35-$60 tablet computer

The ultra-low cost tablet is designed to make e-learning available to more of India’s population. It will sell to students for $35 and to retail customers for $60. It is the same size as Amazon’s latest kindle, which costs $199 with more functionality. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/9e714b34-ef53-11e0-918b-00144feab49a.html

Electric car charging-points rolling out across Britain

The Welcome Break and Little Chef chains are installing charging points for electric cars at their restaurants across the country, in partnership with electricity companies. Blackfriars station in London is getting a new (solar PV) roof that will generate about half the electricity it uses.

Tesla motors unveils electric family car

Tesla Motors, inventors of the all-electric sports car that did 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, with a top speed of 125mph, has now launched a family model. Range is 300 miles. Top speed is 130mph. Acceleration time from 0-60mph is 5.6 seconds. Founder Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, said “We are trying to change the [automotive] …

Google joins “East London Tech City”

As jobs go at BAE Systems, Google has taken out a (minimum) ten year lease on a seven storey building in East London joining Amazon, Intel, and Facebook in the Government’s high tech scheme. Dublin is competing for the same investments, with a Euro cost base and lower tax rates. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/3aa3812e-e929-11e0-af7b-00144feab49a.html

Volatility and Stability

Industrial metals such as copper, zinc and platinum had until recently escaped the volatility of the metals market — whatever the financial markets might do, these metals were connected to a real world of real demand: real contracts for electrical wiring, galvanised steel and catalytic converters in car exhausts. Yesterday, however, on the assumption of …

Diverging metals prices

The price of gold is being forecast to pass $2,000 an ounce next year. And yet miners/manufacturers of industrial metals, such as iron and copper, are finding customers asking for shipments to be delayed. This is a “marked shift in industry sentiment from only six weeks ago, when most … groups painted a bullish outlook for commodities …

Copper price falls further

The price of copper has fallen to a 10-month low. The price of copper is seen as closely linked to industrial demand. The latest fall is seen as driven not by the current balance between supply and demand, by uncertainty about the growth outlook in Europe (eurozone crisis) and China (maintaining relatively high interest rates …

‘Rare earths’ not so rare

Japanese scientists have discovered huge deposits of “rare earth” minerals on the mud floor of the Pacific Ocean around Hawaii and Tahiti. These minerals are crucial for making electronics products such as smartphones, tablet devices, flat-screen TVs and hybrid cars. Until now China, with the largest land-based deposits of these minerals, has had about 97% of global production. …