2018年04月25日 16:53:01|来源:国际在线|编辑:澎湃开放
Science and technology.科技。Mining asteroids.小行星采矿。Going platinum.小行星采矿——淘铂去。Mining metals from asteroids seems a bonkers idea. But could it work?小行星采矿这想法听似疯狂,但行得通吗?CAN reality trump art? That was the question hovering over the launch on April 24th, at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, of a plan by a firm called Planetary Resources to mine metals from asteroids and bring them back to Earth.4月24日,行星资源公司(Planetary Resources)在西雅图的航天物馆(Museum of Flight)启动了一项计划——在小行星上采矿并将矿物带回地球。对这项计划,人们一直都在疑惑:现实能否战胜艺术?It sounds like the plot of a film by James Cameron-and, appropriately, Mr Cameron is indeed one of the companys backers. The team behind the firm, however, claim they are not joking. The companys founders are Peter Diamandis, instigator of the X Prize, awarded in 2004 to Paul Allen and Burt Rutan for the first private space flight, and Eric Anderson, another of whose companies, Space Adventures, has aly shot seven tourists into orbit. Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, respectively the chief executive and the chairman of Google, are also involved. So, too, is Charles Symonyi, the engineer who oversaw the creation of Microsofts Office software (and who has been into space twice courtesy of Mr Andersons firm). With a cast-list like that, it is at least polite to take them seriously.这听着就像詹姆斯?卡梅隆的电影中的情节——恰好,詹姆斯?卡梅隆实际上就是这家公司的赞助人之一。但是公司背后的团队宣称小行星采矿这事可不是在开玩笑。行星资源公司的创始人是X奖(2004年Paul Alle和Burt Rutan因首次实现私人太空飞行而获颁此奖)发起者Peter Diamandis和拥有太空探险公司(Space Adventures)(已将七位游客送上太空)的Eric Anderson。GOOGLE的总经理Larry Page和董事长 Eric Schmidt也参与其中,曾负责监督开发微软办公软件的工程师Charles Symonyi同样是其中一分子(通过Eric Anderson的公司,他也上过太空两次)。阵容如此强大,出于礼貌至少也该重视这个想法。As pies in the sky go, some asteroids do look pretty tasty. A lot are unconsolidated piles of rubble left over from the beginning of the solar system. Many, though, are pieces of small planets that bashed into each other over the past few billion years. These, in particular, will be high on Planetary Resources shopping list because the planet-forming processes of mineral-melting and subsequent stratification into core, mantle and crust will have sorted their contents in ways that can concentrate valuable materials into exploitable ores. On Earth, for example, platinum and its allied elements, though rare at the surface, are reckoned more common in the planets metal-rich core. The same was probably true of the planets shattered to make asteroids. Indeed, the discovery of a layer of iridium-rich rock (iridium being one of platinums relatives) was the first sign geologists found of the asteroid impact that is believed to have killed the dinosaurs.这想法虽不切实际,但有些小行星看来确实很诱人。它们许多是由太阳系诞生时遗留下来的碎石堆成的,结构松散;但仍有很多是过去几十亿年里小行星相互碰撞产生的碎片。特别是后者将被行星资源公司优先列在其采矿清单上。因为在行星诞生时,矿物熔化之后会层化为地核、地幔、地壳;这个过程将使其中物质分门别类,令有价值的矿物浓缩成可供开采的矿石。例如在地球上,铂和铂系元素在地表上虽然罕见,但人们认为在富含金属的地核里却是较为常见的。对于那些相互碰撞后其碎片形成小行星的行星而言,情况可能同样如此。实际上,地质学家们提出小行星曾撞击地球的第一个据就是发现了富含铱的岩层(铱是铂的同族元素之一)。人们认为恐龙就是因小行星撞击地球而灭绝的。Most asteroids dwell between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. But enough of them, known as near-Earth asteroids, or NEAs, come within interplanetary spitting distance of humanity for it to be worth investigating them as sources of minerals—if, of course, that can be done economically.大部分的小行星都位于火星和木星的轨道之间。但近地小行星(即NEAS)也不少,它们距离地球很近,值得勘探。当然,费用要划得来才行。First catch your hare.勿谋之过早。The first thing is to locate a likely prospect. At the moment, about 9,000 NEAs are known, most of them courtesy of ground-based programmes looking for bodies that might one day hit Earth. That catalogue is a good start, but Planetary Resources plans to go further. In 2014 it intends to launch, at a cost of a few million dollars, a set of small space telescopes whose purpose will be to seek out asteroids which are easy to get to and whose orbits return them to the vicinity of Earth often enough for the accumulated spoils of a mining operation to be downloaded at frequent intervals.首先,要找到一个可能有矿藏的小行星。目前已探明的近地小行星约有9000颗,其中大部分是地面计划在寻找可能撞击地球的天体时探测到的。从这个范围开始寻找是很好,但行星资源公司却有更远大的计划。该公司打算在2014年耗资数百万美元发射一组小型太空望远镜,用于寻找容易到达的、能经常回到地球附近的小行星,以便常将所采矿物送回地球。That bit should not be too difficult. But the next phase will be tougher. In just over a decade, when a set of suitable targets has been identified, the firm plans to send a second wave of spacecraft out to take a closer look at what has been found. This is a significantly bigger challenge than getting a few telescopes into orbit. It is still, though, conceivable using existing technology. It is after this that the handwaving really starts.这一步应该不会太难,但下一步就难度更大了。当该公司发现了一组适合采矿的小行星时,便计划要在短短十年多一点的时间内发送第二批宇宙飞船仔细研究一下这些小行星。这个挑战可比向太空中发射几个望远镜要艰巨得多。不过,利用现有的技术仍是可以实现的。在这之后,纸上谈兵才真正开始。Broadly, there are two ways to get the goodies back to Earth. The first is to attempt to mine a large NEA in its existing orbit, dropping off a payload every time it passes by. That is the reason for the search for asteroids with appropriate orbits. This approach will, however, require intelligent robots which can work by themselves for years, digging and processing the desirable material. The other way of doing things is for the company to retrieve smaller asteroids, put them into orbit around Earth or the moon, and then dissect them at its leisure. But that limits the value of the haul and risks a catastrophic impact if something goes wrong while the asteroid is being manoeuvred.要将所采矿物运回地球大致有两种方法。其一是在不改变其轨道的情况下于一颗较大的小行星上采矿,在这颗小行星每次接近地球时卸下所采矿物。这就是为何要寻找轨道合适的小行星的原因。不过,此法需要能独立工作数年的智能机器人来开采并加工有价值的矿物。其二是行星资源公司改变较小的小行星的运行轨道,将其安置在环绕地球或月球的轨道上,再在有空时仔细研究之。但那将减少每次采矿的量,且要承担移动小行星时出现问题而带来灾难性后果的风险。Either way, the expense involved promises to be out of this world. A recent feasibility study for the Keck Institute for Space Studies reckoned that the retrieval of a single 500-tonne asteroid to the moon would cost more than .5 billion. Earlier research suggested that, to have any chance of success, an asteroid-mining venture would need to be capitalised to the tune of 0 billion. Moreover, a host of new technologies will be required, including more-powerful solar panels, electric-ion engines, extraterrestrial mining equipment and robotic refineries.不论哪种方法,所需费用都一定是天价。最近,克柯太空研究所(Keck Institute for Space Studies)进行的一项可行性分析认为,将一颗重量为500公吨的小行星移到月球附近所耗资金将超过二十五亿美元。较早前的研究指出,必须投资一千亿美元才有可能实现小行星采矿。而且,还需要大量新技术,包括功率更大的太阳能电池板、电子离子引擎、太空采矿设备和自动冶炼厂。All of which can, no doubt, be done if enough money and ingenuity are applied to the project. But the real doubt over this sort of enterprise is not the supply, but the demand. Platinum, iridium and the rest are expensive precisely because they are rare. Make them common, by digging them out of the heart of a shattered planet, and they will become cheap. The most important members of the team, then, may not be the entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who put up the drive and the money, nor the engineers who build the hardware that makes it all possible, but the economists who try to work out the effect on the price of platinum when a mountain of the stuff arrives from outer space.当然,若为这个项目投入足够的资金和人才,以上种种都能实现。但对于这种工程浩大的项目,人们真正质疑的并非是否有人能提供这种务,而是有没有这种需求。正因为稀有,铂、铱等矿物才价格不菲。若这些矿物能在一个由碎片构成的行星的地核中被开采到,它们就成了普通金属,价格也会变得便宜。所以,这个团队里最重要的成员可能不是推动这项事业并参与投资的企业家和风险投资人,也不是设计实现这一目的的硬件工程师;而是当大量的铂从天外而来时,那些试图算出其对铂价冲击的经济学家。201208/195548Business.商业。Formula One.一级方程式赛车。Flagged down.落马。Can Formula One succeed without Bernie Ecclestone?没有了伯尼#8226;埃克莱斯顿,F1能否继续传奇?BERNIE ECCLESTONE, the boss of the Formula One Group, rarely sticks around for the finish of a Grand Prix. This is meant to show what a serious businessman he is. Still, eyebrows lifted when he didnt turn up at all to last weekends race at Hockenheim in Germany. An ongoing court case in Germany over a payment of m from Mr Ecclestone to a banker who was involved in the sale of Formula One to CVC Capital, a private-equity firm, in 2005 has put his future at the top of the sport in doubt. German media reported that, had Mr Ecclestone gone to Germany, he might have run into trouble.F1的掌门人伯尼#8226;埃克莱斯顿很少会在国际汽车大奖赛结束后逗留。这意在显示他是一个谨慎的商人。然而公众的对他上周一直没有出现在德国霍根海姆大奖赛一事依旧表示惊讶。在2005年,参与CVC资产合作伙伴公司(一家私募股权公司)收购F1股份的高管承认收到了埃克莱斯顿4千4百万“好处费”,这件正在审理的案子让伯尼在此项运动上掌门地位受到质疑。德国媒体报道称,如果埃克莱斯顿去了德国,他将陷入困境。For CVC Capital, the uncertainty over Mr Ecclestone, who is 81, is becoming a problem. CVC took a huge risk in buying into the sport, at a time when several teams were threatening to break away and form a new outfit, in the hope of extracting a larger share of profits. The breakaway never happened and CVC profited handsomely.对于CVC资产合作伙伴公司来说,81岁埃克莱斯顿的不可靠将成为最大的问题。CVC为收购F1管理公司承担了巨大的风险,因为为在当时有数车队为了争取更大的利润分成,威胁退出F1另组建新赛事。车队退赛没有发生,CVC也赚得漂亮的一手。CVC had hoped to reduce its stake with an initial public offering (IPO) of Formula One on the Singapore stock exchange. However, in May it sold a total of 21% of the sport, for .6 billion, to three institutional investors: Waddell amp; Reid and BlackRock, both American asset managers, and Norges Bank Investment Management, Norways state money manager. Combined with cash from the business, the sale gave CVC a tasty 300% return on its original investment-though an IPO could have earned it more. In June CVC postponed the proposed IPO, blaming market conditions.CVC本打算通过在新加坡券交易所为F1首次公开募股的方式减持股份。但是在五月,CVC将16亿美元即总资产的21%卖给了三个团体投资人:同为资产管理者的Waddell amp; Reid和黑石,还有挪威投资管理——挪威的国家资金管理者。尽管公开募股会赚的更多,结合从营销中获得的现金,出售给团体投资人还是带给了CVC为原有投资300%的高额回报。在6月,CVC归咎于市场行情,推迟了原有计划的公开募股。Private-equity firms do not often have to deal with chaps like Mr Ecclestone, who has dominated the sport for decades. In CVC had to join an apology made by Mr Ecclestone for seeming to praise Adolf Hitler. Also that year Sir Martin Sorrell, the boss of WPP, an advertising giant, who sits on the Formula One Groups board, protested when Mr Ecclestone complained that a life ban from Formula One given to Flavio Briatore, Renaults team chief, for ordering a driver to crash, was excessive (The ban was overturned in 2010).私募股权公司不需要经常与像埃克莱斯顿这样献身于F1数十载的老伙计进行交易。在年CVC不得不参与到埃克莱斯顿关于自己表扬希特勒的言论的道歉中。在同一年中,WPP,这个广告业巨头的总裁、F1董事会成员之一苏铭天爵士,对埃克莱斯顿的抱怨表示反对,因为埃克莱斯顿认为认为对于雷诺车队队长弗拉维奥?布里亚托利操纵车手故意撞车被终生禁止参与F1任何赛车事务的处置太过分了(这项禁令于2010年废除)。Now CVC is waiting to see whether Mr Ecclestone will be charged in connection with the case involving the German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky. On June 27th Mr Gribkowsky was found guilty in Munich of receiving corrupt payments, and given a prison sentence, which he is now appealing. According to people close to the sport, if the German authorities charge Mr Ecclestone with a non-trivial offence in relation to the payment to Mr Gribkowsky, (which he has admitted making, though he says he was being blackmailed), he will be permanently removed as chief executive of Formula One Group.现在CVC正在作壁上观,看埃克莱斯顿是否因与德国家Gerhard Gribkowsky 受贿案关联而被控诉。7月27日,Gribkowsky被查出于慕尼黑受贿,已被判入狱,但他现在正在申诉。根据体育圈的人说,如果德国当局对埃克莱斯顿给Gerhard Gribkowsky行贿一事判他严重犯罪(行贿一事埃克莱斯顿已经承认),就算他声称自己是被勒索,他也将永久被剥夺F1首席执行官的职位。CVCs managing partner, Donald Mackenzie, is said to be worried about how his possible departure might affect the business. The Formula One Group depends on reaching agreement with a dozen racing teams and the Federation Internationale de lAutomobile, which regulates racing. In the past Mr Ecclestone has handled the teams brilliantly, using divide-and-rule tactics to prevent any serious rebellion and to keep a large share of revenues for his firm. He maintains close relations with circuit owners and governments, which together make up the sports largest source of revenue, in the form of hosting fees. It is not obvious who inside the business could succeed him; Mr Ecclestone reportedly jokes that a number two could send faxes and bring coffee, but nothing else.CVC的合伙人之一麦肯齐,据说他很担心埃克莱斯顿可能的离开对商业带来的影响。F1的正常运转离不开12参赛车队的合作以及负责管理赛车项目的国际汽车联合会的持。在过去的日子里,埃克莱斯顿运筹帷幄,运用分而治之的策略杜绝任何违规行为并为自己的公司保持巨大的收益。赛道所有者和政府以主办的形式为整个赛事的收益投入巨资,埃克莱斯顿则与这些人保持着紧密的联系。目前在赛车圈内尚未发现合适继任者;埃克莱斯顿据报道有过这样的玩笑话:二把手可以发传真可以买咖啡,但是除了这些也没什么别的能耐了。Bernies blinkers 伯尼的马失前蹄Mr Ecclestone is a skilled dealmaker; but he has missed out on two areas of opportunity for the sport. The first of these is the internet. Formula One has barely begun to develop its business online. Licensing Formula One brands and content to -games firms could generate pots of money, as could online betting.埃克莱斯顿是个经验丰富的交易商,但他在这项运动的两个方面错失良机。第一个是网络;F1基本没有开发其商业网络,向公司出售F1品牌商标和赛事相关内容的使用权可以带来大量的金钱收入,媲美网上。Second, Formula One has failed to establish itself in America, despite corporate sponsors need for exposure in the worlds biggest market. Partly because of the steep fees that Mr Ecclestone charges to host a Grand Prix, circuits often end up losing money and stop hosting the event; there has been no American race for the past five years. That will soon change, with Austin, Texas, hosting a race in November and plans for a Grand Prix in New Jersey in June 2013. Red Bull, a team owned by an Austrian energy-drinks firm, is said to be looking at launching a new “Stars and Stripes” Formula One team with American drivers. Local drivers boost audiences.第二则是尽管赞助商需要在这个世界最大的市场中露面,F1还是没有进军美国。一部分是由于埃克莱斯顿所需举办大奖赛的经费逐年攀升,赛道所有者往往赔本最终停止举办比赛——美国已经在过去的五年没有举办了。这即将发生改变,德州的奥斯汀市将在11月举办比赛并计划将于2013年6月在新泽西举办大奖赛。由澳大利亚功能饮料公司所有的车队红牛,据说将成为一个由美籍车手参与的新“星条旗”车队,本地的车手则会增加观众的数量。Although losing Mr Ecclestone may not be as big a car crash as some fear, there are other risks for the company that sits atop the sport. The biggest is that the teams will demand more money. Without them, after all, there is no show, and they are the sports biggest cost. Over time, the racers have claimed an ever larger slice of the cake. In 2003 the teams collectively commanded an estimated 27% of the profits that Formula One derived from its three main businesses (hosting fees from governments, selling television rights, and advertising and sponsorship). In a new deal that lasts until 2020, now signed by nearly all of the teams, they will get 63%.尽管失去了埃克莱斯顿可能不会像撞车那么让人害怕,然而其他的风险对于该公司来说则比比赛本身更重要。最大的问题就是车队会索取更多的利润分成。毕竟没有这些车队,那就没有比赛可言,但他们是整个赛事中花费最大的。随着时间的推移,参赛者要求分到的蛋糕越来越大块。2003年,车队总共要求的经费大约占F1从三大主要商业项目(政府的主办费,电视直播的版权和赞助商的广告费)收益的27%。在一项持续至2020年,现在所有车队几乎都签署了的新交易中,他们将分到收益的63%。And some people wonder if Formula One can carry on charging governments so much to host races. By expanding outside traditional markets in Europe, Formula One has been able to keep raising its fees; non-European governments such as Singapores or Indias pay two-fifths more on average to host Grands Prix than traditional markets. For now, demand from governments comfortably exceeds the number of racing slots available. Mr Ecclestone has no shortage of calls from countries such as C?te dIvoire and Bulgaria seeking the prestige of hosting a race. Soon, however, they may be calling someone else.有些人怀疑F1还能否继续像现在这样向政府收取大量承办费用。通过跳出欧洲传统市场进行扩张,F1已经可以持续不断地募集经费;非欧洲国家政府例如新加坡和印度,相比传统市场平均付了举办大奖赛费用的五分之二。目前,政府的需求远大于已有可用于比赛的赛道数量。埃克莱斯顿呼吁像科特迪瓦和保加利亚这样,试图通过举办比赛增加威望的国家毫无压力。不过不久之后,这些国家可能要联系其他人了。 201208/193355

Science and Technology科技Computer-generated imagery计算机图像生成技术Fabricating fabric虚拟面料How to generate more realistic images of clothes如何生成更逼真的衣物图像FILMS like ;Captain America;, ;Tron Legacy; and ;The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; have shown that it is possible to use computer-generated imagery (CGI) to make actors look younger, older or wimpier than they actually are, in a surprisingly realistic manner.电影《美国上尉》、《创战记》和《本杰明?巴顿奇事》表明计算机图像生成技术能以惊人的逼真手法使演员看上去比实际更年轻、老态或懦弱。At least, it is possible if those altered actors are kept at a suitable distance from the viewer.这种效果至少在那些被改造过的演员与观众保持合适距离时能够实现。The difficulty of recreating the textures of both skin and fabric means the effect is less convincing when seen close up.皮肤和面料纹理重建的困难在于它们被放大观看时,效果并不理想。The reason is that, whereas it is possible to simulate realistically the forces which make virtual skin and fabric hang, bend, flap and stretch, recreating the subtle ways they reflect light has so far proved extremely tricky.原因在于尽管计算机能够真实地模拟使虚拟皮肤及面料产生悬挂、弯曲、飘动和拉伸的外力,但迄今为止想要找到构建反射光的精妙方法仍是极为困难的事情。The shimmer and sheen of both fabric and skin depend on the geometry of their internal structures—the exact arrangement of ths or protein fibres.皮肤和面料的微光及光泽都取决于它们内部的几何结构——织线或蛋白纤维的精确排列。This is hard to model accurately.这种模型很难精确地建立。Steve Marschner and his colleagues at Cornell University have, though, come up with a way to get round that problem.不过康奈尔大学的史蒂夫?马施纳及其同事们发现了一个解决此问题的方法。Instead of modelling, they are copying.他们不是建立模型而是采用拷贝技术。They are using computerised tomography (CT) to analyse the structures of fabrics at high resolution and then plugging the results into CGI.他们利用电脑断层扫描术(简称CT)以高分辨率分析面料的结构,然后将结果输入到计算机影像生成系统。That, allied to the laws of optics and some heavy-duty computer power, seems to do the trick.结合光学定律和强大的计算机处理能力,这种方法似乎能够达到理想效果。Computerised tomography is most familiar as a medical technique for examining peoples insides.;电脑断层扫描术;是最广为人知的医学技术,主要用于人体内部检查。Like classical radiology it uses X-rays.与传统放射学相同,它也使用X射线。But because the image is constructed inside a computer using shots taken from many different directions, rather than being a single exposure recorded on photographic film, CT can capture fine detail and record soft tissues that are invisible to classical radiology.但是因为计算机构建内部图像时采集的是多角度拍摄数据,而不是靠摄影胶片上的单一曝光影像,所以电脑断层扫描术能够捕捉细节并记录下传统放射学无法看到的软组织。Dr Marschner and his colleagues used a benchtop version of CT, developed for looking at the structure of materials rather than at human bodies, for their experiment.马施纳士及其同事们采用了台式版本的CT进行实验,这种CT是被研制用来观察材料结构而非人体的。Employing doses of X-rays many times stronger than those used to study people, they obtained high-resolution information about small pieces of fabric.使用比人体研究高数倍的X射线剂量,他们获得了小块面料的高分辨率信息。Computerised tomography allows the three-dimensional structure of the fibres in such scraps to be recorded, with all their kinks and imperfections.;电脑断层扫描术;能够记录零碎面料的三维结构和所有的扭结和缺陷。A number of small pieces can then be patched together into an entire garment inside a computer, in the same way that a handful of actors are turned into a CGI crowd.然后计算机将大量细碎面料拼凑成一件完整的衣,采用同样方法,可将少数演员转换成电脑合成人像。But because the internal structure of each bit of the garment matches that of a real piece of cloth, the way light will play on it can be calculated far more realistically than if it were just a computer model of what the interior of cloth is thought to look like.但是因为这件装每片面料的内部结构都与真实布料匹配,因此与仅是看上去象布料的计算机衣模型相比,光线在其上的表现效果能够更加逼真。Demonstrating the results of their technique at the SIGGRAPH computer-graphics conference in Vancouver this week, Dr Marschner and his colleagues showed realistic renderings of felt, gaberdine, silk and velvet.本周,马施纳士及其同事们将他们的技术成果在温哥华举行的计算机图形会议上展示,并向人们演示了毛毡、华达呢、丝绸和天鹅绒的逼真效果图。Moreover, their renderings remain realistic even when viewed close up.此外,他们的效果图即使被放大观看依然很逼真。Sadly, skin is still beyond them.但可惜的是,他们仍然无法让皮肤实现这样的效果。The high intensity of the X-rays involved would be too damaging for use on a living human being, and a corpse would probably not produce the right results.因为高强度的X射线会对人体造成很大损伤,而采用尸体实验可能得不到正确的结果。But once the rendering technique has been speeded up (at the moment it is still a bit slow and clunky), the swish of a virtual cloak or the doffing of a computerised hat should look far more realistic than it does now.但是一旦绘图技术突飞猛进(目前技术仍有些缓慢和粗陋),虚拟斗篷的抖动或电脑生成帽子的脱落动作会比现在看上去更为逼真。In the meantime, according to Dr Marschners colleague Kavita Bala, the technology might have an application in online retailing.同时,马施纳士的同事卡维塔?巴拉表示这项技术可能会在网上零售业得到应用。At the moment, people buying clothes over the internet have only standard photographs to help them choose their purchases.目前,人们在网上购买衣物仅能通过浏览标准图片帮助选购。Using CT-based computer graphics might, paradoxically, give a better idea of what the material an item of clothing is made from is really like than can be garnered from a boring, old photograph of the original.相反,基于电脑断层扫描术的计算机图形技术可能提供了一个更好的办法,人们能够看到一件衣所使用材料的真实质地,而无须将令人生厌,老旧的原物照片收集来观看。 /201211/207628

Business Nokias new phones Not drowning, but waving商业 诺记新机 悬崖边的挣扎The struggling phonemaker shows off its first Windows handsets深陷泥潭的诺基亚展示自己的第一款微软win7系统的手机.EIGHT months ago Stephen Elop, Nokias newish chief executive, told the Finnish phonemakers staff that they were ;standing on a burning platform; and had no choice but to jump into the ;icy waters; below.8个月前,斯蒂芬埃洛普,这位新晋诺基亚的首席执行官,向这个芬兰手机制造巨头的员工发表了讲话,说;我们正处于一个燃烧的平台之中,别无选择之下,只能跳入下方冰冷的海水中;。His plan for fishing the company out of the freezing briny rests largely on making smartphones that use Microsofts Windows operating system—and getting them to market quickly.很大程度上,他将引领诺基亚走出低谷的希望寄托在了制造使用微软操作系统的手机,并将其快速推向市场的计划之上。On October 26th Mr Elop unveiled the first of these devices.在10月26日,埃洛普揭开了首批机型的面纱。On a live feed from Salo, in Finland, a proud employee packed a Lumia 800 into its box.在芬兰萨罗的现场转播中,一位骄傲的诺基亚员工将一部Lumia 800 装进了包装盒内。It is due to go on sale in six European countries next month. It will have a cheaper sibling, the Lumia 710.此款机型计划下个月在六个欧洲国家上市,并且它将有一个廉价姊版本----即Lumia 710.By recent standards, this is fast work. Nokia had been slow to cotton on to the popularity of touch screens.照现今业界的标准,之前对触摸操控流行趋势的反应迟钝,但这次的行动确实迅速。Its own operating system, Symbian, which was not designed for touch, looked clunky.它的自家操作系统,塞班,并没有专门为触摸操作而设计,而且看起来非常过时。While Nokia dithered, consumers lapped up Apples iPhone and the many smartphones based on Googles Android operating system.当诺基亚正因此而站在十字路口犹豫时,许多顾客转而选择了苹果的ipohone和基于谷歌安卓系统的手机。All this cost Mr Elops predecessor, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, his job in September 2010.这就导致了埃洛普的前任Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo在2010年9月丢掉了工作。Having plumped for Windows over Symbian and MeeGo, a system Nokia had worked on with Intel, a huge semiconductor-maker,在下定决心选择了微软的系统而非塞班亦或是和半导体制造商英特尔合作开发的Meego系统之后,Mr Elop has had to move quickly.埃洛普先生必须要加速行动了,Even fewer people want Symbian, though Nokia updates and supports it: Nokias smartphone sales fell by 39% in the year to the third quarter, when the firm made its second quarterly operating loss in a row.尽管诺基亚一直在为塞班系统提供升级和技术持,但是想拥有一部塞班手机的顾客已经越来越少了。今年,截至第三季度,诺基亚公司已经连续两季营业亏损,其智能手机的销量下降了39%。Pricing is another sign of urgency. The Lumia 710 will be the cheapest Windows smartphone available. It may be the first to be offered free to low-tariff customers after operators subsidies, says Francisco Jeronimo of IDC, a research firm.IDC研究公司的Francisco Jeronimo说道:;定价(的高低)也从另一个方面显示了形势的紧迫性。Lumia 710将是市面上最便宜的搭载WP7操作系统的手机,并有可能经过运营商补贴之后免费提供给保税区的顾客。The new phones have more going for them than price and cool Nordic design. Operators will surely be glad of an alternative to Apple and Android.这两款新机的优点不仅仅是低价和时髦的北欧式设计,运营商们肯定乐于打破苹果和安卓两家独大的局面,并且微软的系统也比诺基亚的要可靠的多。Microsofts software is a more reliable bet than Nokias own.;相比于其出众的硬件配备,诺基亚所提供的软件实在是太过糟糕;。;Theyve had great hardware but the software was a disaster,; says Ben Wood of CCS Insight, another research group.;有了这两款手机,诺基亚提供的软件务将非常可靠;。;With this product, they know the softwares going to be rock solid.;CCS Insight 研究公司的Ben Wood 如是说。The phones contain applications to distinguish them from rivals,这两部新机里的内置应用使人们将它与其竞争对手区别开来,such as a navigation system for drivers that uses Nokias maps, by common consent the best in the trade, public-transport information for 450 cities in 44 countries, and streamed free music.例如比如车载导航系统就基于业内公认最顶尖的诺基亚数字地图里面包括了44个国家450个城市的公共交通信息,以及免费的音乐软件。Carolina Milanesi of Gartner, another research outfit, expects further differentiation once a new version of Windows appears, probably next year.分析机构Gartner分析师卡罗琳娜?米兰内塞(Carolina Milanesi)指出,或许明年微软研发出新一代操作系统时,这种差别将变得更明显。That said, Nokia must still work to keep its chin above the waves.这就是说,诺基亚还需在险境中奋力挣扎。Microsoft, though a titan in personal-computer software, is a homunculus in mobile devices. Nokias market share in America, where new smartphones are due to go on sale next year, has all but vanished.尽管微软是个人电脑方面的巨头,在移动设备方面却相对弱势,而且诺记在美国---也就是明年两部新机要上市地区的市场份额已经消失殆尽。Operators there may prefer Windows phones under more popular brands. And Windows ;tiles; require more explaining to the novice than the icons on an iPhone or Android phone.美国的移动运营商们也更倾向于销售较受欢迎品牌的微软操作系统手机,况且面向一个对手机一窍不通的人推荐预装微软操作系统的手机可比预装了IOS和安卓系统的手机要难多了。Hence Nokias plan to put lots of ;seeding; devices into retailers hands.所以说诺基亚的计划就是向尽可能多的零售商推广自己的最新产品。Nokia is still the biggest seller of less sophisticated ;feature; phones and shifted 25% more of them in the third quarter than the second.但诺基亚在非智能手机领域独占鳌头,在第三季度,其第三季度的出货量比第二季度增长了25%。This week it presented four new models,并在本周推出了四款新机型,aimed chiefly at aspiring, fun-loving youngsters in emerging markets—though they will be sold everywhere but America and Canada.主要针对新兴市场中朝气蓬勃、酷爱玩乐的年轻客户---尽管它们不会在美国和加拿大上市.Mr Elop thinks these products are ;blurring the line; between smartphones and feature phones: they even come with ;Angry Birds;, an online game to which many smartphone users have become hopelessly addicted, made by Rovio, another Finnish company.埃洛普先生认为这些产品正在使智能和非智能手机的界限变得模糊,愤怒的小鸟,这款由芬兰Rovio公司研发的令许多智能手机用户无可救药般喜爱的游戏也被移植到了诺基亚的非智能手机之上。Mr Elop does not need people to crave Nokias new phones. Merely to buy them.或许埃洛普先生需要做的并不是让人们对诺基亚的新机有多大的渴望,他只要让他们掏腰包将它们买下来,这就足够了。 /201212/215969

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