ZiiLabs unveils tablet designs

by Hiranand Sunny Naresh

“The demise of the Desktop with the future of on Tablets” – Oogle. 
Tablets to target OEM markets

SINGAPORE – Creative Technology is dipping its finger in the tablet pie. However, it is not in the form of consumer tablets – yet.

Its wholly-owned media processor and platforms company ZiiLabs has announced a new range of reference designs for Android tablets which look set to generate a wave of tablet computers capable of giving the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 a run for its money.

Aimed at the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) market, the ultra-slim, slight and sleek ZiiLABS Jaguar3 series sports a 10.1 inch screen and is only 8.1mm thick. OEMs have the option of reducing the thickness to 7.4mm if they are willing to bear the additional costs.

And the specs are not too shabby either. The Jaguar3 series tablets come with two processor options – the 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 based ZMS-20 StemCell processors and next generation ZMS-40 SoC chip which sports a ARM Cortex-A9 and 96 StemCell Processors – both clocking in at 1.5 GHz.

The ZMS 20 is a dual-core processor, while the ZMS 40 is a quad-core processor that promises to deliver performances that can rival a laptop while consuming only a single watt of power.

This means that the device can last for over 10 hours of video playback and Web browsing while weighing no more than 480g.

In addition, the higher end JAGUAR3 comes with a customisable camera configuration maxing out at 12 megapixels. The camera can be coupled with software supporting HDR imagery and panoramic shots and upgraded sound configurations are also included courtesy of Creative’s Sound Blaster.

Chairman and CEO of Creative Technology Sim Wong Hoo believes that the JAGUAR3 can help usher in a new dawn for tablet computers.

He said: “JAGUAR3 allows OEMs to enter this huge explosive market instantly and economically while reducing the risk significantly. It breaks new ground as the most powerful, lightest, slimmest and most complete Android 3.2 tablet reference designs on the market.

“If you look into the future of computing through our JAGUAR3 technology, you will realise that the PCs today will look more and more like mainframe computers of yesteryear. With the performance provided by JAGUAR3, tablets will be the mainstream computing devices of tomorrow,” added Mr Sim. HIRANAND SUNNY

Rising prices cut into incomes

Updated: 2011-09-27 09:22 By Bao Chang (China Daily)

People move into gold, diamonds and other commodities to protect savings from ravages of inflation
BEIJING – “Do you want to buy some gold for spot trading?” came the call for the third time in a week to Wang Xiaojie, who works for a State-owned bank in Beijing Financial Street.
The street that lies under the shadow of dense skyscrapers housing a multitude of domestic and foreign financial institutions is currently flooded with gung-ho gold salesmen, as bustling as the nearby shopping center, although the market for the yellow metal has been suffering hits recently.
International spot gold prices suffered the largest two-day drop last month, declining by $148.50 from an all-time high of $1,911.46 a troy ounce on Aug 22. They have been up and down ever since.
“The setback is inevitable but it is still too early to call the top of a bull market in gold and the arguments for buying have never been stronger,” the UK’s Financial Times cited British investor Jim Slater as saying. He added that the Chinese government has been encouraging its population to buy gold. The current exchange-traded funds and very low interest rates are making it much easier and less costly for private investors to own the precious commodity.
People’s strong enthusiasm for investing in gold, stock and real estate markets have demonstrated that they are keen to increase their incomes against a backdrop of high inflation.
Driven by robust market demand, the price of commodities has grown at a fast pace this year. On Sept 15, HSBC lifted its 2012 gold price forecast to $2,025 an ounce from a previous $1,625. Gold Fields Mineral Services Ltd (GFMS), a London-based independent precious metals consultancy, said it could “easily” see gold spiking through $2,000 an ounce by the end of this year.
The price of diamonds has increased by more than 30 percent in the Chinese market after being marked up eight times internationally this year.
“Diamonds are also embracing a wave of enthusiasm from private investors as inflation remains high, the stock market fluctuates and investment in the real estate market is limited,” said Tang Jiarui, a retail analyst at Everbright Securities Co Ltd.
“China’s full-year inflation might exceed the country’s 2011 full year target of 4 percent, judging from the current trend”, said Zhang Xiaoqiang, deputy chief of the National Development and Reform Commission, during the Summer Davos held in Dalian from Sept 14 to 16.
Zhang said 4 percent was the country’s previous prediction for the full year but it could be exceeded, judging from the current situation.
China’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, eased to 6.2 percent year-on-year in August, from 6.5 percent in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
“Chinese people who used to put most of their yearly savings in their bank accounts will see their private assets suffering a rapid decline because the inflation rate is higher than banks’ time-deposit rate. In other words, it is a negative-interest environment,” said Liang Da, from the NBS.
The People’s Bank of China, the central bank, raised bank’s benchmark one-year borrowing and lending rates by 25 basis points in July, making it clear that taming inflation remains a top priority even as economic growth eases.
It’s the third time the central bank raised interest rates this year. The move increased the benchmark one-year deposit rate to 3.5 percent.
However, compared with the CPI in August, the negative interest rate is 2.7 percent.
“The current situation has made it very difficult for Chinese citizens to preserve the value of their assets. The income they could generate from bank deposits is extremely limited,” Liang said.
“However, income from assets will increase rapidly in the future as wages increase, the financial industry develops and people become more familiar with investment portfolios,” Liang added.
Currently, the investment channels in China mainly include stocks, foreign currency, real estate and commodities including gold.
Income from Chinese people’s assets presently accounts for little more than 2 percent of the total per capita disposable income, while the ratio for payroll income is about 65 percent.
“Income from assets is expected to experience fast growth and involve diverse sources in China because people will have enough assets and ability to invest and withstand market risks,” Liang said.
Statistics from the People’s Bank of China show that the savings deposits of China’s urban residents now amount to 30.3 trillion yuan ($4.73 trillion) in total, with each person on average possessing 23,000 yuan by the end of 2010.
Premier Wen Jiabao said during this month’s Dalian Davos that the per capita disposable income in real terms for both urban and rural residents has risen more than 7 percent over the past year. He added the government will continue to increase incomes along with the growth of the national revenue in a move to synchronize the development of both residents and the nation’s wealth.

Need to narrow income gap

Updated: 2011-09-16 08:01 By Xiao Gang (China Daily)

The key issue for China now is to focus on implementing bold, comprehensive reforms to rebalance wealth distribution
According to the 2011 Forbes Billionaires List, the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), contributed 108 of the 214 new billionaires and accounted for one in four of the total number, a jump from one in ten five years ago. The number of Chinese billionaires on the list nearly doubled.
In striking contrast, China still has about 150 million people living on less than one US dollar per person per day and more than 60 percent of urban residents cannot afford an apartment. China’s Gini coefficient, a key indicator of inequality, reached a record high of 0.49 in 2006 and has been hovering around 0.5 in recent years, surpassing the “warning line”. Many people believe that the income gap is actually far larger than the official figures suggest.
The fast growth of China’s economy has fueled the rising number of wealthy individuals, whose wealth comes mainly from private businesses, property speculation, initial public offerings and high-earning jobs. Interestingly, the average age of Chinese millionaires is 39 years old, 15 years younger than their Western counterparts.
Although historically the course of industrialization and modernization in pursuit of economic prosperity seems to lead inevitably to wealth disparity, the key issue for China now is to focus on implementing bold, comprehensive rebalancing reforms.
Adjusting China’s development model means refocusing gross domestic product (GDP) growth toward more “people-oriented growth”, in order to boost the welfare of ordinary citizens. The Chinese economy’s over-reliance on investment has aggravated the declining household share of the national income, resulting in consumption making up just 35 percent of GDP. This figure is a record low for any major economy, and well below that of other developing countries such as India.
To reverse this trend, various measures need to be taken to further raise household incomes, including enacting mandatory wage growth targets, spending more on social welfare programs and expanding affordable housing, as well as comprehensively reforming the personal income tax system.
A survey, conducted by the Shanghai Committee of the China Democratic League, has found that about 68 percent of the working population in the city is employed in the lowest-paying sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, catering and retail. The minimum monthly salary is 1,120 yuan ($170), and despite ranking the second highest among Chinese cities, this is only around 30 percent of the average salary in the city, down from 44.6 percent in 1993. In contrast, an internationally accepted level is that a monthly minimum salary should be no less than 50 percent of the city’s average income levels.
Obviously, the system of fair distribution according to performance should further reflect the labor value in the market, but getting “the first income distribution” right is more important because if there is something wrong with the first distribution, it is very hard to correct it through a second one.
The financial system must play a role in narrowing the income gap. Gradual liberalization of interest rates could be a better way to raise deposit rates, thus preserving households’ purchasing power in inflationary periods. Meanwhile, raising the lending rates might be helpful in curbing investment and transferring wealth from producers to households.
Given the current tightening liquidity environment, Chinese banks are starved for funds and are intensifying the competition for deposits through exploring innovative ways to deliver wealth management products for high-value customers. As a result, wealthy individuals and companies are the largest beneficiaries of the banking system.
Considering the importance of employment created by small-and-medium-sized enterprises, Chinese banks should be developed on a more balanced, coordinated base, making microfinance more accessible to both small businesses and average citizens to improve employment and increase household incomes.
For decades, a widening income gap has been one of the problems faced by those countries stuck in the “Middle Income Trap” both in Latin-America and Asia. Only a few countries such as Japan, South Korea and Singapore, have successfully avoided the trap. China faces a similar situation despite its characteristics of a large population and fast-growing urbanization, and will not maintain long-term sustainable growth without closing the gap between the haves and have-nots.
This is not only an economic issue, it is also closely related to political theory and social stability. Paul Collier, an Oxford University economist, examined data from nearly every country going back to 1960. He found that above a certain income threshold, democratic countries become less prone to unrest as they get richer, whilst autocracies tend to suffer higher levels of unrest.
Usually, reforms in countries entering the middle-income development phase are fettered by specific interests groups, which leads to rent seeking, speculation and corruption. Therefore, it is necessary for policymakers to contemplate a set of top-to-bottom steps on the road to reform.
Rebalancing an economy is never an easy process, since it requires both a strong stomach for reform and also a suitably cautious approach, combined with a true sense of the moment.

The author is chairman of Board of Directors, Bank of China.

Asia’s expansion fueled by Road and Rail

Thu May 19, 2005 2:16 pm MST by oogle 

Just imagine,
If Malaysia’s Causeway project is divided into,
Two segments – Immigration & Railway station,
Where it is linked to Singapore’s MRT,
And Goods and human can pass freely,
All the way to China,
There will be free movement of Tour buses,
Containers and cars,
All the way to China,
All countries along the way,
Will have their economies expand,
At least 500% upon completion,
Upon the signing of the FTA,
This is the most exciting time in the history of Asia,
Nowhere have we come so close,
To developed economy status,
Prosperity for the rest of the world.

Prices for air cargo will drop,
Which will be compensated  by volume,
When roads and rails are completed,
In a few year’s time,
It will fuel the biggest expansion,
For roads and rails.
Prices for ship cargo will drop because of supply,
To a level that will be competitive with,
By roads and rail,
And the expansion of all markets with relations to it,
More aircrafts, trucks and buses,
More cargo and passengers too,
When the passes between Burma and Vietnam is completed,
Traffic will explode into real GDP growth,
And all people living in Asia,
Will not live in poverty any more.

Contributed by Oogle.


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