Internet users are doing far fewer searches for sex and pornography and more for e-commerce and business than they were seven years ago, University of Pittsburgh and Penn State researchers say. “20% of all searching was sex-related back in 1997, now it’s about 5%,” said Amanda Spink, the University of Pittsburgh professor. It’s a little bit more in Europe, 8-10%, but in comparison to everything else, it’s a very small percentage.
Wireless networking will drive adoption of advanced automated meter reading that reduces water, gas and electricity costs by up to 25%, according to a research study by ON World. With utility costs rising by as much as 10% per year, conservation is becoming increasingly important. ON World projects that fixed wireless endpoints will increase 52% annually until 2010 when 33 mln units will be shipped worldwide.
Although spending on IT outsourcing services in the energy and utility industry is slightly down this year, META Group expects to see growth in 2005, according to preliminary results of its annual energy and utility industry IT spending study. As many as 38% of study participants indicated they expect to see increases in outsourcing in the future, with cost reduction cited as the key business driver.
The study also finds that in the absence of a major external driver, such as deregulation, IT spending in the energy and utility industry will remain relatively constant for the short term, with only 5% growth in IT spending as a percentage of revenues in 2004 compared to 2003. The average IT spending per customer remains flat at $50, as does average spending per employee ($13,764).
America burned 8.93 million barrels of gasoline a day in 2003, 8.14 million barrels of it produced by domestic refineries. If U.S. refineries operated at peak gasoline output despite seasonal swings in motor-fuel sales, they might sustain 8.7 to 8.8 million barrels a day of production, assuming their equipment could take the stress
Across the companies surveyed, revenues increased 71%, from US$128 million in 2001 to US$219 million in 2002. Despite an increase in revenue between 2001 and 2002, none of the companies surveyed were profitable, largely due to the high cost of low-volume production and a continual focus on R&D. Losses totaled US$405 million in 2002, up 35% from 2001. R&D expenses account for a major proportion of fuel cell companies operational costs. Overall, R&D spending increased by US$42 million or 19% between 2001 and 2002 and for most companies this spending outweighed revenue. Cash flows for the companies surveyed were negative in 2002 compared to positive in 2001. A major factor in this change was the significant decline in cash flow from financing ? from US$612 million in 2001 from US$159 million in 2002 ? accompanied by an increase in the negative cash flow from operations ? from US$200 million in 2001 to US$338 million in 2002.
Four years later, that could spiral upward to 1 million fuel cell laptops and $150 million in revenue, growing to 120 million laptops and $1.2 billion by 2011, the firm predicts.
Prices are expected to run about $200 initially for a fuel-cell battery, compared with anywhere from $120 to $180 for traditional laptop batteries used in the most powerful notebooks.