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CSR Limited is a major Australian industrial company, producing building products and also has an investment in the Tomago aluminium smelter located near Newcastle, New South Wales. It is publicly traded on the Australian Securities Exchange. In 2012, it has approximately 3,600 employees and reported an after-tax profit of $90.7 million . The company has a diversified shareholding with predominantly Australian fund managers and retail owners. Founded in Sydney in 1855 as the Colonial Sugar Refining company, the company first began refining imported raw sugar, expanding into the Melbourne market in the 1870s. Over the next two decades, mills were established in Queensland and Fiji, which began to process domestically-grown sugar. In 1923, the Queensland state government signed an agreement with CSR to refine all of that state's sugar production, a monopoly that was to continue until 1989. Mills outside Queensland were sold in the 1970s. About 80% of production is exported.Until 2010, the refined sugar products for the retail market were produced in a joint venture with Mackay Sugar Co-Operative , who operate refineries in Mackay , and Melbourne. The CSR brand is used on most of the retail sugar products produced. The production makes up around 60% of the sugar on the Australian domestic market, and 80% of that in New Zealand. Using the molasses by-product from the sugar mills, the company also distills ethanol for use in fuel ethanol manufacture, and varying grades of domestic industrial ethanols for food production and other chemical processes.The company began to diversify into building products as early as 1942, with the construction of a plaster mill in Sydney, and in 1947 the company began manufacturing plasterboard there, bringing the product to the Australian market. It acquired Bradford Insulation in 1959, which produced heat insulation materials for buildings, and currently has a substantial share of the insulation market in Australia. It has established insulation businesses in China, Thailand and Malaysia, originally in joint ventures with local partners, but now wholly owned. The company also produces fibre cement sheeting, aerated concrete products, bricks, and systems to support plasterboard construction through Rondo, a joint venture with Boral. It spun off its interests in heavy building products, then producing more than half the group's profits, to a separate listed company, Rinker Group, in 2003. In 2007, CSR acquired the Australasian glass businesses of Pilkington and the Melbourne based glass processing company DMS Glass, subsequently renaming both as Viridian.The company's interest in aluminium is through an approximate 25% stake in the Tomago aluminium smelter near Newcastle, New South Wales.The current managing director is Rob Sindel, a CSR employee since 2009, and the chairman of the board of directors is Jeremy Sutcliffe, the former managing director of Sims Metal. The group's corporate headquarters is in North Ryde , a suburb of Sydney. In December 2010, CSR sold its sugar and ethanol business, Sucrogen, to the Singaporean company Wilmar. Wikipedia.

Mukamal K.J.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Chen C.M.,CSR | Rao S.R.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Breslow R.A.,U.S. National Institutes of Health
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2010

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the association of alcohol consumption and cardiovascular mortality in the U.S. population. Background: Alcohol consumption has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in cohort studies, but this association has not been prospectively examined in large, detailed, representative samples of the U.S. population. Methods: We analyzed 9 iterations of the National Health Interview Survey, an annual survey of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults between 1987 and 2000. Exposures of interest included usual volume, frequency, and quantity of alcohol consumption and binge drinking. Mortality was ascertained through linkage to the National Death Index through 2002. Relative risks were derived from random-effects meta-analyses of weighted, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for cardiovascular mortality from individual survey administrations. Results: Light and moderate volumes of alcohol consumption were inversely associated with cardiovascular mortality. Compared with lifetime abstainers, summary relative risks were 0.95 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.88 to 1.02) among lifetime infrequent drinkers, 1.02 (95% CI: 0.94 to 1.11) among former drinkers, 0.69 (95% CI: 0.59 to 0.82) among light drinkers, 0.62 (95% CI: 0.50 to 0.77) among moderate drinkers, and 0.95 (95% CI: 0.82 to 1.10) among heavy drinkers. The magnitude of lower risk was similar in subgroups of sex, age, or baseline health status. There was no simple relation of drinking pattern with risk, but risk was consistently higher among those who consumed ≥3 compared with 2 drinks/drinking day. Conclusions: In 9 nationally representative samples of U.S. adults, light and moderate alcohol consumption were inversely associated with CVD mortality, even when compared with lifetime abstainers, but consumption above recommended limits was not. © 2010 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Source

« Hyundai releases initial details on the coming IONIQ hybrid | Main | Audi to use Gen 2 zFAS controller in production e-tron quattro; piloted driving; moving to domain-controlled architecture » Qualcomm subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., introduced its latest Qualcomm Snapdragon automotive processors, the Snapdragon 820 Automotive family, offering a scalable next-generation infotainment, graphics and multimedia platform with machine intelligence and a version with integrated LTE-Advanced connectivity. The new processors expand Qualcomm’s automotive technology portfolio, adding to a collection of integrated solutions in the areas of telematics and connectivity, as well as high definition graphics and multimedia for rich infotainment systems, machine intelligence and sensor fusion for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), GNSS location technologies, V2X (Vehicle to Vehicle/Infrastructure/Pedestrian) communications for improved safety and driver convenience, and wireless charging for electric vehicles. The recent acquisition of Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited (CSR) has brought additional technology assets to Qualcomm Technologies’ automotive portfolio, including leading Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, audio, and GNSS location technology solutions. Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited is now called Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. (QTIL). The combined CSR and Qualcomm Technologies automotive roadmap has already yielded involvement in more than 100 major automotive programs with most global automotive OEMs. Qualcomm Technologies’ highly integrated system-on-chip (SoC) platforms reduce bill-of-materials (BOM) costs, accelerate time-to-market, and reduce overall system risk for OEMs by providing hardened systems and comprehensive software support. Snapdragon 820A. The Snapdragon 820A, introduced at CES 2016, is Qualcomm Technologies’ newest automotive grade system-on-chip (SoC). Qualcomm Technologies has taken a modular approach to designing the Snapdragon 820A, enabling a vehicle’s infotainment system to be upgradable through both hardware and software updates, thereby enabling vehicles to be easily upgraded with the latest technology. The 820A is engineered with custom-built, highly optimized cores designed for heterogeneous computing—the ability to combine its diverse processing engines within the system-on-chip (SoC), such as the CPU, GPU and DSP cores, to achieve previously unattainable performance and power savings. The Snapdragon 820A family is based on 14nm FinFET advanced process node running Qualcomm Technologies’ custom 64-bit Qualcomm Kryo CPU, Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU, Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP with Hexagon Vector eXtension (HVX), Qualcomm Zeroth machine intelligence platform, and the Snapdragon 820Am version with integrated X12 LTE modem capable of 600 Mbps downlink / 150 Mbps uplink. Qualcomm’s first custom-designed 64-bit quad-core CPU, the Kryo CPU uses Qualcomm Symphony System Manager as an intelligent resource management tool for Snapdragon that extends control of task scheduling and power management across the entire processor. The Kryo CPU has 2x performance and efficiency when compared to the CPU of the Snapdragon 810. The Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU offers 40% improvement to graphics performance, compute capabilities, and power usage when compared to Adreno 430. Significant improvement to the Hexagon 680 DSP enables the CPU to offload many tasks for more efficient processing. The Hexagon 680 DSP also allows for ultra-low power “always-on” sensors and advanced low power-image processing. The new Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP brings significant improvement to performance and battery life. The Zeroth initiative, a machine intelligence platform on Snapdragon 820A, is designed to enable automakers to develop state-of-the-art deep learning-based solutions using neural networks for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and in-vehicle infotainment scenarios, and run them efficiently on embedded platforms in the vehicle. Zeroth accelerates execution of deep neural networks using the heterogeneous compute engines that are part of the Snapdragon 820A. A Zeroth-powered development kit for automotive solutions will be available for the Snapdragon 820A. Supporting LTE Category 12 download speeds of up to 600 Mbps, and LTE Category 13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps, the Snapdragon 820 processor with X12 LTE supports 33% faster peak download speeds, and triple the peak upload speeds of Snapdragon 810 processor with X10 LTE. The automotive industry has long been asking for a single scalable solution capable of delivering the rich user experience and level of performance, connectivity and upgradability that consumers are accustomed to on their personal mobile devices – including real-time cloud connectivity and navigation, immersive 4K graphics and video displays, the flexibility of hardware and software upgradability, and the deep learning and remote diagnostic capabilities needed to deliver the next level of safety performance in the vehicle. The Snapdragon 820 Automotive platform has been designed to deliver all of these capabilities and much more. The version with integrated X12 LTE modem is designed to support continuous in-car and cellular connectivity, featuring the leading 4G LTE Advanced Pro that can support up to 600 Mbps download/150Mbps upload speeds, stream HD movies into the car, serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot supporting 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO, connect multiple mobile devices inside the car, and support 802.11p DSRC for V2X (Vehicle to Vehicle/Infrastructure/Pedestrian) communications. Local connectivity inside the car via Bluetooth supports content sharing between mobile devices brought into the car and the car’s infotainment system. Qualcomm Technologies is also helping to lead the 3GPP in developing specifications for automotive V2X, for both LTE release 14 (LTE V2X) and 5G standards. The Snapdragon 820A’s sensor integration provides cognitive awareness and vehicle self-diagnostics, supports ADAS features for improved vehicle safety systems, and provides location and navigation through GNSS and dead reckoning technologies. By integrating advanced camera and sensor processing, the 820A supports critical always-on warnings and emergency services, extends standard cameras to Intelligent Cameras, and supports parking assist periphery vision features using surround view cameras. These features are supported by the on-chip Hexagon 680 DSP with HVX, which supports multiple automotive camera sensors connected simultaneously. The Snapdragon 820A family of automotive-grade processors is designed for the automotive ecosystem and offers a number of features: Qualcomm Technologies is also collaborating with Aisin AW to develop the modular infotainment solution utilizing the Snapdragon 820A. As part of the automotive ecosystem, Neusoft Corporation, industry experts in ADAS Vision solutions, also collaborates with Qualcomm Technologies to provide cognitive vision solutions on Snapdragon 820A, leveraging the compute performance of the HVX vision engine alongside infotainment systems. Automotive samples of the 820A family are expected to be available in Q1 2016. Other Qualcomm automotive solutions. In addition to the new 820A, the combined portfolio of automotive solutions includes:

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 162.75K | Year: 2010

There is a strong need for a new network to consolidate electronics research in UK universities. In recent years there have been major changes in technology, as the push for miniaturization has led to components with characteristics far from ideal transistor switches interconnected by wires instantaneously. Todays transistors get too hot, leak current, vary in size and are produced in their billions on chips the size of a thumb nail interconnected relatively slowly by miles of wiring. This creates a formidable challenge for designers, who already face the complexity of design on a bewildering scale. The public have an appetite for all things electronic and demand new and better products year on year. This also creates a challenge for designers and an opportunity for the electronics community. By working together these challenges can be tackled, making the UKs electronics community fit for purpose in the coming years to face critical challenges at the interface between design and technology. Complementing industry facing groups such as the National Microelectronics Institute (NMI) and the Electronics Knowledge Transfer Network (EKTN), the network will form part of a highly visible coordinated alliance to government and the media, who can use it for information, opinion and clarification in this space. This is important for the UK economy as the global electronics market is worth more than a trillion dollars annually. The initial membership will be drawn from the technology community who formed the Si Futures network and those participating in the design Common Vision. Together they represent a significant proportion of the UK academic community. There is a recognition that a broader electronics research community than those included in the previous network grants need to come together.

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Join Timberland President, Stewart Whitney and VF Senior Director, Global Corporate Sustainability, Letitia Webster as they share their experiences in driving and integrating CSR agendas at both brand and corporate levels in Phoenix at GreenBiz 16.

News Article | April 8, 2016
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I still remember the first CD I ever bought. It was the soundtrack for the brilliant animated feature, The Prince of Egypt (I was a Christian nerd, cut me some slack). However, I can’t remember the last CD I bought, because it’s been so long. I’ll admit to being a late adopter when it comes to new technology, but even I haven’t purchased a CD since at least 2006. For about 10 solid years I’ve used either an iPod or smartphone for all my music needs, but I still see CDs everywhere. Against all the odds, a huge number of people are still buying CDs. Like, a really huge number. Digital sales only eclipsed CDs for the first time in 2014, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). That year, global sales of physical music (most of which are CDs) totaled $6.82 billion, which was down about 8 percent from the year before. Billboard reported in July of 2015 that in the first half of the year, CD sales were in fact down from the last half of 2014, but still totaled 56.6 million units. In spite of the fact that digital options are widely available for music procurement, CDs are still being sold by the tens of millions. In fact, according to a February 2016 report provided by media and technology analysis company Media Insights & Decision In Action (MIDiA), “CD buyers are the largest single group of recorded music consumers with 32 percent penetration compared to 28 percent for concert goers, 25 percent for music downloaders and 10 percent for subscribers.” So how did these shiny discs become such a tenacious facet of our culture? The result of combined research and development from the tech companies Philips and Sony, Compact Disc technology was created to produce both better-sounding audio, and a more portable audio device and player. While the public wouldn’t get their paws on the jewel-cased mini-records for several more years, the first CDs ever pressed were debuted to the media on March 8, 1979. CDs were eventually made available for commercial purchase in 1982, when Billy Joel’s album 52nd Street went on sale as a CD in Japan. The first CD ever released in the US was, of course, Born In The USA from Bruce Springsteen. CD sales peaked in 1999 and 2000 (makes perfect sense when you consider TLC came out with “No Scrubs” in 1999 and Destiny’s Child dropped “Say My Name” in 2000). In 2000, 730 million CDs were sold in the U.S. alone. But in 2001, CD sales took a hit, dropping to 712 million, and then down to 649.5 million in 2002. Not coincidentally, the first iPod was released in 2001. CD sales have been declining in the US ever since, but they’re still selling well over a hundred million per year. Clearly record companies continue to make CDs because there’s one heck of a consumer demand. But why on earth do people still want to buy CDs, rather than seamlessly buy and play digital music, or collect vinyl records that have that special hipster nostalgic element? It turns out people just like CDs, despite the ready availability of digital music. “CDs are far from dead, and I don’t believe they will be any time soon,” said Zack Zarrillo of Synergy Artist MGMT and Bad Timing Records. Zarrillo said that, from a musician's perspective, CDs make a lot of sense. “The important thing to know about CDs is that they’re very cost effective,” he told me. “Buying 1,000 CDs through a plant like DiscMakers may cost just over $1,000—meaning the price per unit for each CD is likely under $1.50 in value. That’s an affordable purchase for growing bands and small labels, and one with decent margin for a $5 or $10 sale.” So for a band, a CD is a cheap way to get your music out there to fans who come to shows and want to buy band merchandise, and who are happy to cough up the dough. For fans, Zarillo said CDs still have appeal to older folks who may not want to use iTunes, and to people who still like to listen to music in the car. The appeal of CDs as being easily played in the car seems to be a popular response as to why people are still buying them. I reached out to a handful of my friends to ask about why they still buy what to me seems like veritable Luddite technology, and many of them told me that they have a CD player in their car, and thus they buy CDs to rock out while driving around, even though the radio or a USB hookup for a smartphone or mp3 player is an option. One of my friends, Sarah, said “I buy [CDs] still because driving in the car (with the CD player) is the only time I really get to listen to music. I always scour the clearance shelves at Half Price Books and get stuff like "1997 Grammy Nominees.” My stepmom told me “I’m old school, what else would I do? It reminds me of my youth, collecting albums and such.” So perhaps the nostalgia factor of having music in physical form still matters to music consumers. While some car newer manufacturers such as Tesla are making cars without CD players, many car-makers such as Volkswagen, Ford, Lexus, and Mitsubishi have 2016 models with a CD player still in the dashboard stereo. In 2013, Ford told Cars.com that the extinction of CD players in cars “is for our customers to decide,” adding that they “monitor usage and will react accordingly.” For now, that means continuing to make at least some models with an in-dash CD player. For those who might not have a CD player in their car but want one, or who want to replace their existing car CD player, it turns out the aftermarket (used sale) for car CD players is still very strong. In 2015, over 5.5 million aftermarket car CD players were sold in the United States, that’s a 7 percent growth from 2014. The desire to play CDs in the car is strong, and apparently getting stronger. But beyond the desire to listen to CDs in the car and nostalgic appeal, research suggests that the sound quality of CDs themselves could be a significant reason why audiophiles are clinging to physicals discs. In 2014, Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited (CSR), a U.K.-based audio and communications technology developer, released a survey of 2,000 people who listen to music at home in 2014, which found that 77 percent of at-home-listeners wanted better sound quality from their music. With CD sales still relatively high, it could be that Philips’ and Sony’s endeavor to create higher quality audio with the CD was so successful that it still hasn’t been topped, and people want CDs sheerly for the quality of the sound. This same study found that 76 percent of those who listen to music at home feel that ease of use is “highly critical” when they’re choosing a new audio system. Frankly, for less digitally-savvy music lovers, there are fewer contemporary technologies more straight-forward than popping in a CD and hitting play. What all this boils down to, is the sheer habit. That’s what Mark Mulligan, media analyst at MIDiA Research told me. I asked Mulligan what is driving the consumption of CDs today and he told me it is “simply habit.” He added that there is a “split music buying base, polarized between tech sophisticates that stream and less tech savvy mainstream CD buyers who like the familiarity of the CD. They see little in the way of benefits from streaming and value physical ownership.” As it turns out, that force of habit may be strong enough to keep the CD industry alive—for a little while longer, at least. On a road trip last month, my boyfriend picked up a few new CDs from a thrift store. I didn’t really understand why he wanted to buy more CDs when we both have iTunes at our fingertips, but I have to admit I was excited to listen to Brian McKnight for an hour straight. Something about the memory of belting out Backstreet Boys or Destiny’s Child with my friends in high school while cruising around provides a special nostalgia that feels great to indulge, and evidently, I’m just in the habit. Given that the CDs we picked up were only 50 cents, why not? Why Is This Still a Thing is a column exploring the anachronistic, seemingly-outdated technology that surrounds us. New columns appear every Friday.

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