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Posts Tagged ‘homes’

From bathroom to bedroom, homes get ‘smart’

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Mobile phones aren’t the only things getting smart. Home appliances are too.

GE’s Nucleus™ energy manager with Brillion™ technology serves as home-energy command center

On display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) here along with the latest smartphones and touchscreen tablet computers are ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators and other products for the “connected” home.


South Korea’s LG Electronics is displaying its “Thinq” home appliances which are connected to a home Wi-Fi network and can be controlled by a smartphone or a computer.


They include washing machines that can be instructed from the office to run at the most cost-effective times and a camera-equipped robot vacuum cleaner, the Hom-Bot, which can be instructed remotely to clean the floor.


The camera embedded in the robot can also be used to keep an eye on the house while the owner is away.


Also from LG Electronics are refrigerators with touchscreen LCD displays that let users keep tabs on where items are located in the refrigerator and when they expire.


An owner can access the information while shopping via a smartphone and check whether they have enough milk or orange juice, for example.


In case of a problem such as a door left open, the LG refrigerator can send an alert to an owner’s smartphone or computer.


Tom deSalvo, a spokesman for Kenmore, the appliance brand of retail titan Sears, said the company is researching the possibilities of being able to turn an oven or a clothes dryer on or off using a smartphone.


Safety questions have not made this a reality yet, he said, but as of next year, the temperature of a Kenmore oven, for example, can be regulated from a distance using a smartphone.


US home appliance giant General Electric is making its first appearance at CES to show off its home energy management solutions including “Nucleus,” which gives consumers information about electricity consumption.


Nucleus, which is expected to be available later this year, works with smart meters, smart appliances, programmable thermostats and software applications to help homeowners monitor their usage and reduce their electricity bills.


Joseph McGuire, the president of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, said US government energy standards — and tax credits for energy efficient appliances — were a big driver for innovation in the sector.


Ultimately, though, it’s consumers who will decide, he said, with the ability to cut down on electricity bills a prime motivating factor.


It’s not just the standard household items such as washers and dryers which are taking advantage of the latest technology, other products on display here are too.


Cedric Hutchings, co-founder of Withings, a French start-up showing off a baby monitor, a blood pressure monitor and other products at CES, said smart devices are opening up all kinds of new possibilities for the home.


The Withings baby monitor features a camera equipped with night vision that can send pictures and audio to an iPhone or any other device with a connected screen.


A microphone allows parents to talk to the child from another room and they can set alarms to be awoken if a baby’s sleep is disrupted.


 

Source: SGGP

Shock as Australians return to flood-hit homes

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:11 am

ROCKHAMPTON, Australia, Jan 7, 2011 (AFP) – Australians were greeted by scenes of devastation as they picked through their flood-shattered homes, with forecasts of more heavy rain Friday threatening a multi-million dollar clean-up.


More than 300 houses have been completely inundated by the floods caused by the torrential rain which has lashed Queensland for weeks, wiping out crops, slashing mine production and forcing thousands from their homes.

An aerial photo shows the flooded Depot Hill area south of the flood disaster area of Rockhamption on January 6, 2011. AFP

The large town of Rockhampton moved into recovery mode as the massive volume of water — estimated to cover an area the size of France and Germany combined — moved towards the sea, while residents of other communities returned home.


“It’s devastation,” said publican Shane Hickey as he surveyed the impact of the one-metre (three-feet) high inundation of his business in Condamine, west of Brisbane.


Hickey, allowed back into the town along with other evacuated residents on Thursday, said it looked like a cyclone had hit his Condamine Bell Hotel.


“It’s just flattened everything, all the grass is mud, all the plants have been torn out of the ground, the trees have gone over and are just covered in silt and mud,” he told Australian news agency AAP.


“All the fridges are gone, the freezers, washing machines, all the laundry.


“It smells. You think to yourself the best way to fix this up is to just bulldoze the lot and start again.”


Inland of Rockhampton in Emerald, which suffered 80 percent floods, the clean-up was well underway with residents removing rubbish and sorting out their homes.


But the waters are set to recede slowly from Rockhampton, which is facing another dump of heavy rainfall over the weekend, and residents are not expected to be able to return to their homes for another week.


Mayor Brad Carter said the “enormous body of water”, which animal protection officials say is seething with up to one million snakes and deadly saltwater crocodiles, was moving slowly.


“We are not going to see much movement, just a slight drop, so it will be a long time before many of our residents can return to their homes,” Carter told the Seven Network on Friday.


The full impact of the flood is not yet known but the Queensland government has estimated the total damage bill will hit about $150 million.


Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said heartache was in store for many residents who would be returning to towns such as Theodore, which was completely evacuated during the floods, to inspect their homes.


“They’re coming home to a lot of heartache, a lot of suffering and for many of them the first glimpse of what’s been left behind of what was their precious possessions, their homes,” Bligh told the Nine Network.


“I think it’s going to be a very painful process.”

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Source: SGGP

Indian police raid homes of Delhi Games chief

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 5:55 am

 Indian police on Friday raided the homes of the chief organiser of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, Suresh Kalmadi, as part of a probe into graft allegations that surrounded the event.


A spokesperson from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said police had conducted searches at Kalmadi’s residences in the capital and the western town of Pune, and at the home of his personal secretary Manoj Bhore.

Commonwealth Games chief organiser Suresh Kalmadi speaks at the event’s closing ceremony at Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi in October, 2010

The Games, which were held in Delhi in October, were hit by claims of massive financial irregularities as the budget ballooned to an estimated six billion dollars.


The CBI spokesperson said a top police official had written to the government earlier this month requesting Kalmadi’s removal from the chairmanship of the Games organising committee on the grounds that he was obstructing the investigation.


Kalmadi, who took much of the international criticism about unfinished facilities and poor planning, quit as secretary to India’s ruling Congress party in November.


The CBI raided the homes of other top committee officials in November and arrested the sacked treasurer, M. Jayachandran, the third official to be accused of forgery and cheating over the awarding of Games-related contracts.


Police have charged two other former Games officials over alleged corruption.


Companies contracted to provide sports surfaces, training equipment and landscaping for the Games were also raided by tax inspectors in October.


The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) national watchdog has received complaints alleging up to 1.8 billion dollars of Games money was misappropriated.


A CVC report into the Games has confirmed the use of poor-quality materials and massive cost overruns on construction projects.


A defiant Kalmadi brushed off corruption allegations, telling reporters in November: “I have not done anything wrong, even in a single thing. I welcome the investigations and will answer all queries.”


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up a panel after the Games concluded to investigate graft claims and two other government bodies are also running separate probes.

Source: SGGP

Poor people to have new homes before Tet holiday

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:23 am




Poor people to have new homes before Tet holiday


QĐND – Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 21:9 (GMT+7)

PANO- Permanent Vice-Chairman of The Hanoi People’s Committee, Phi Thai Binh, recently urged investors and entrepreneurs in social housing projects in the locality, to accelerate the implementation.


At a meeting between local authorities and the investors and entrepreneurs, the official asked them to speed up the construction of social housing projects in order to hand over homes to social beneficiaries before the traditional Lunar New Year Holiday.


According to the City Construction Department, there are 8 businesses that are investing in 11 social housing projects with some 16,500 apartments.


The agency estimates that only 1 project has been finished and several others could be wrapped up before the holiday.


Under the schedule, some thousands of low income families in Hanoi can move into their new homes to celebrate the happiest Tet holiday.


Translated by Thu Nguyen


Source: QDND

Cao Bang: Red mud flood engulfs homes, crops

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2010 at 8:20 am

Vinh Phuc builds homes for low-income people

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Architects design flood-proof homes

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 at 11:21 am

Floods inundate homes, crops in central region

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2010 at 7:11 am

Tornado leaves 70 homes toppled and roofless in Ca Mau

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Tornado with strong winds, heavy rains and high ocean tides caused much of damage for people in the southern end province of Ca Mau August 14.

Army forces help residents repair and rebuild houses after a tornado lashes Ngoc Hien and Tran Van Thoi districts, Ca Mau Province August 14 (Photo: SGGP)

According to the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the tornado destroyed 23 homes and blew 46 others’ roofs away while another was trucked by lightning in two coastal districts of Ngoc Hien and Tran Van Thoi.


Meanwhile, giant waves sank Nguyen Van Xe’s fishing boat together with seven fishermen into the sea, destinies of these unlucky men have yet known. Elsewhere the border army forces saved 13 other fishermen who fell into the sea during the fierce tornado.


High ocean tides severely engulfed and sent parts of 1,500 meters of the sea dyke tumble in the westward Ca Mau Province.


The same day afternoon, a two-hour downpour inundated streets under 0.2-0.5 meters of floodwaters, causing the worst traffic jam in many years for Cach Mang Thang Tam Street in Can Tho City.


Thousands of motorcycles lined up along one kilometer of the street. The downgraded drainage system together with narrow alleys along the street’s sides has been blamed for worsening the flooding.


In the Central Highlands, a tornado raged through Xuan Tho Commune in Da Lat City August 13, leaving about one billion dong in loss.


The one hour tornado, which swept through the commune’s Xuan Thanh Village, uprooted over 500 pines and crushed a truck.


It also crumpled 700 square meters of glasshouses and ravaged much of farming area. Local residents reported that was the worst ever tornado in the area.

Source: SGGP

Tornado leaves 70 homes toppled and roofless in Ca Mau

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2010 at 11:24 am

Tornado with strong winds, heavy rains and high ocean tides caused much of damage for people in the southern end province of Ca Mau August 14.

Army forces help residents repair and rebuild houses after a tornado lashes Ngoc Hien and Tran Van Thoi districts, Ca Mau Province August 14 (Photo: SGGP)

According to the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the tornado destroyed 23 homes and blew 46 others’ roofs away while another was trucked by lightning in two coastal districts of Ngoc Hien and Tran Van Thoi.


Meanwhile, giant waves sank Nguyen Van Xe’s fishing boat together with seven fishermen into the sea, destinies of these unlucky men have yet known. Elsewhere the border army forces saved 13 other fishermen who fell into the sea during the fierce tornado.


High ocean tides severely engulfed and sent parts of 1,500 meters of the sea dyke tumble in the westward Ca Mau Province.


The same day afternoon, a two-hour downpour inundated streets under 0.2-0.5 meters of floodwaters, causing the worst traffic jam in many years for Cach Mang Thang Tam Street in Can Tho City.


Thousands of motorcycles lined up along one kilometer of the street. The downgraded drainage system together with narrow alleys along the street’s sides has been blamed for worsening the flooding.


In the Central Highlands, a tornado raged through Xuan Tho Commune in Da Lat City August 13, leaving about one billion dong in loss.


The one hour tornado, which swept through the commune’s Xuan Thanh Village, uprooted over 500 pines and crushed a truck.


It also crumpled 700 square meters of glasshouses and ravaged much of farming area. Local residents reported that was the worst ever tornado in the area.

Source: SGGP