Company: About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $88 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008. For more information, please visit the Sony Global Web Site.

Company: About Epson and Epson Imaging

Epson is a global leader in imaging products including printers and 3LCD projectors. With an innovative and creative culture, Epson is dedicated to exceeding the vision and expectations of customers worldwide with products known for their superior quality, functionality, compactness and energy efficiency.

Epson is a network of 93,279 employees in 107 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and to the communities in which it is located. Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corp., the Group had consolidated sales of 1,347 billion yen in fiscal 2007.

Epson Imaging Devices Corporation is a leader of small and medium sized LCD products.

Seiko Epson, Sony to enter discussions on alliance

TOKYO, Japan—Seiko Epson Corporation and Sony Corporation have announced that they will begin discussions about an alliance in the field of small and medium-sized liquid crystal displays (LCDs), including the transfer of a part of business assets of Epson to Sony. The parties hope to enter into a legally binding definitive agreement by the end of June 2009.

To date, Epson Imaging Devices Corporation, a subsidiary of Epson, has implemented a series of restructuring measures in its small and medium-sized LCD business. At the same time, Epson Imaging has endeavored to shift its product portfolio while developing original high-definition and ultra-wide viewing angle technologies, based on its amorphous silicon TFT and low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) TFT technologies. An alliance with Sony would enable Epson Imaging's LCD technology and amorphous silicon TFT production capability to be fully utilized and broader customer demands to be satisfied.

In its small and medium-sized LCD business, Sony is focusing on LTPS-TFT LCD, and in order to accelerate the development and commercialization process, Sony has also decided to consolidate its resources within its subsidiary, Sony Mobile Display Corporation, resulting in a unified operation containing development, design and production to realize a stronger business structure. Through the contemplated alliance, Sony aims to increase the competitiveness of its small and medium-sized LCD business by incorporating Epson's wide range of technologies, in particular Epson Imaging's amorphous silicon TFT technology, and LCD product designs and production capabilities.

Poverty conference set in Manila

MANILA, Philippines—SEARCA, a Philippine-hosted regional center for agriculture based in Los Baños, together with the University of the Philippines School of Economics (UPSE), is organizing a one-day conference on poverty to be held on March 31, 2009, at the Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila, Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines.

The poverty conference is an offshoot of the book-writing project of UPSE and SEARCA titled “Causes of Poverty: Facts, Theories, Remedies“ which is slated to hit the shelves later this year.

The conference is expected to be attended by leading economists in the country. It will feature paper presentations that will provide an updated in-depth view of the poverty issue, its relationship to economic growth and globalization, and the policy and institutional reforms required for poverty reduction. It also deals with specific sectoral and policy concerns that have significant implications for poverty and income inequality such as labor, education, health, and local governance. It aims to help decision-makers choose the right policy options to issues and concerns related to poverty.

SEARCA, headed by poverty expert Dr. Arsenio M. Balisacan, is one of the 15 “regional centers of excellence” of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), an intergovernment treaty body founded in 1965 to foster cooperation among Southeast Asian nations in the fields of education, science and culture.

Parties interested in participating in the conference may contact the Conference Secretariat at telephone (049) 536-3459, 536-2290 local 419, fax (049) 536-7097 or e-mail on or before March 23, 2009.

New Honda Insight starts under USD 20,000

The Insight is being touted as the most affordable new hybrid available in the United States

The all-new 2010 Honda Insight goes on-sale March 24 with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $19,800 for the Insight LX, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. has announced.

The distinctively styled, five-passenger, five-door dedicated hybrid vehicle is powered by an Integrated Motor Assist™ (IMA™) system comprised of a 1.3-liter i-VTEC® gasoline engine and a 10-kilowatt electric motor that together contribute to an EPA-estimated city/highway fuel economy rating of 40/43 miles per gallon. The Insight features the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist™), an innovation that can further enhance efficient vehicle operation while providing feedback related to individual driving styles.

"The all-new Honda Insight brings the cost of entry for hybrid technology within closer reach of an entirely new car-shopping audience," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda. "In addition to making good environmental sense, hybrid technology is now entering a new era where it can also make financial sense for a broader range of customers."

A sleek exterior blends design elements from the original 2000 Insight's highly aerodynamic side profile with a front-end design similar to the hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity, a marquee environmental product for Honda. The interior offers a roomy passenger environment with a configurable rear seating and cargo area that benefits from 60/40 split fold-down seats.

Major features standard to the Insight LX include front, front-side and side-curtain airbags; an anti-lock braking system; a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT); Eco Assist; automatic climate control; tilt and telescope steering column; manual driver's seat height adjustment; power windows; a four-speaker AM/FM audio system with CD player and auxiliary audio input for external digital music players; and much more.

A more premium version of the Insight is also available. The Insight EX, with a MSRP of $21,300, adds to the Insight LX features with Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®); alloy wheels; cruise control; steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters; an upgraded audio system with six speakers; USB audio interface; a center console with armrest and storage compartment; heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals; and much more. Exclusively available on the Insight EX, the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System (6.5-inch screen) with voice recognition provides routing and guidance to individual addresses and more than 7 million points of interest within the continental United States. Models equipped with the navigation system also include Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® for hands-free operation of compatible mobile telephones, along with related steering wheel-mounted controls for voice activation of navigation and hands-free telephone systems.

A 4-cylinder engine with intelligent variable valve timing and a DC brushless electric motor forms the foundation of the IMA hybrid system. The electric motor, positioned in-line between the engine and the transmission, adds power during acceleration and in certain cruising situations, and recaptures energy from the vehicle's forward momentum during braking (regenerative braking).

The Insight's IMA system has the capability to operate exclusively on electric power in certain low- to mid-speed cruising conditions. It can also provide cylinder deactivation during deceleration and an idle-stop feature when the vehicle is stationary. With a 10.6-gallon fuel tank, the Insight delivers an estimated maximum driving range exceeding 400 miles. Models for sale in California and states that have adopted the California Air Resources Board (CARB) ZEV standards receive an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) emissions rating.

The Insight introduces Eco Assist to help drivers achieve improved real-world fuel economy. Eco Assist is a feature designed to help drivers optimize fuel efficiency for their given set of driving conditions. Pressing the ECON button can further enhance the efficiency of multiple vehicle systems: throttle control, CVT operation, idle-stop duration, air conditioning and cruise-control operation (EX only). Eco Assist also provides feedback about driving style via a 3D-appearing background within the speedometer. The background changes colors from green to blue to reflect how efficiently or inefficiently the driver is accelerating or braking (green = efficient). The driver's results are continuously tracked as fuel-economy ratings are shown per drive cycle and on a lifetime basis in the form of plant-leaf graphics that appear in the Multi-Information Display (MID). Up to five leaves can be ‘earned' as the driver demonstrates a fuel-efficient driving style. A real-time score is shown in the Eco Guide MID screen.

Standard safety features on all Insights include dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags; front-side airbags with a passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); side-curtain airbag system; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution (EBD); driver's and front-passenger's active head restraints and a front body designed to mitigate pedestrian injuries. All new Insights also feature Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, which provides improved frontal-crash compatibility between vehicles of different size and ride height.

Honda is a leader in developing cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies, including the original Honda Insight, introduced as America's first mass-produced hybrid car in December 1999. Honda is also a leader in the development of advanced alternatives to gasoline, including the zero-emission, hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity fuel-cell car, the world's most advanced production fuel-cell automobile.

Company: About Nokia

Nokia is the world's number one manufacturer of mobile devices by market share and a leader in the converging Internet and communications industries. We make a wide range of devices for all major consumer segments and offer Internet services that enable people to experience music, maps, media, messaging and games. We also provide comprehensive digital map information through NAVTEQ and equipment, solutions and services for communications networks through Nokia Siemens Networks.

Nokia Developer Summit features latest in mobile application development

ESPOO, Finland - Nokia has announced the 2009 Nokia Developer Summit to be held in Monte Carlo, Monaco from April 28-29, 2009. Tero Ojanperä, Executive Vice President, Nokia Services, will deliver the opening keynote, addressing leading software developers, network operators and content partners about Nokia business and development opportunities.

Registration is now open. Attendees from around the world will learn, share and explore the latest in application and content development, integration and distribution opportunities for Nokia devices and services.

At the event, Ojanperä will deliver "Developing for the Era of Social Location," affirming the exciting possibilities available to software developers interested in the convergence of social networking, physical location and mobility using Nokia platforms.

Additional keynote speakers include Lee Williams, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation, who will address the "Evolution of Open Mobile Platforms"; and Michael Halbherr, Vice President of Nokia Location Based Services, who will discuss "Unleashing Innovation for the World with Maps."

The latest Nokia Developer Summit agenda includes experts from the world of mobile technology and is available at the site.

Attendees at the Nokia Developer Summit will receive the latest updates about publishing to the Ovi Store, a self-service publishing tool that provides developers with an easy way to distribute and monetize their applications and content to millions of consumers using Nokia devices.

"The 2009 Nokia Developer Summit will gather developers from around the world to learn about the latest technologies and business opportunities that only Nokia can offer," said Rob Taylor, Head of Forum Nokia. "The Summit brings developers, global network operators, business partners and Nokia experts together in a truly collaborative learning environment that explores how Nokia can help developers improve their business and tap into the growth in mobile application development opportunities worldwide."

In addition, software developers attending the 2009 Nokia Developer Summit will learn about:

- Advanced technical information about Nokia technologies and development platforms, including Ovi, Flash Lite, Web Runtime, Qt, maemo and Nokia touch-screen interfaces;

- Partnership opportunities with Nokia, as well as funding opportunities for developers through Nokia's venture capital arm, Nokia Growth Partners; and

- Marketing and promotional opportunites through Forum Nokia plus revenue sharing and pricing strategies for Ovi Store.

Developer attendees can also schedule one-on-one meetings at the Summit with Nokia technology and business experts to answer open questions. In addtion, attendees can participate in special hands-on lab exercises in the latest mobile technologies and platforms that promise to substantially broaden the software development and business horizons of mobile developers who attend the event.

On Day Two of the Summit, attendees will have the opportunity to watch an elite group of developers selected by Forum Nokia, as they go face-to-face in a 24-hour "Hackathon" competition to complete Web Runtime widgets for the home screen of the new Nokia N97. The ideas for the "Hackathon" build upon the best widget ideas selected from more than 1,000 concepts submitted by consumers around the world for the Nokia N97 Widget Design Competition. The winning widgets created during the "Hackathon" will be distributed through the Ovi Store. For additional details about this contest, visit this website.