Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse sets the record as the world’s fastest roadster

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We have recently witnessed the tug of war over the title of the world’s fastest car between Bugatti Veyron and Hennessey with Hennessey Venom GT being crowned as the winner, as of date. In an attempt to avenge the move, Bugatti Veyron has dropped its top to zoom faster to set the world speed record for open-top production sports cars. Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse has already been boasted off as the fastest roadster in production. All set to be debut at the Shanghai Motor Show 2013, the Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse hit the top speed of 408.84 km/h (254.04 mph) and is now officially the fastest roadster in the world. Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu attempted this record-breaking feat on a black and orange Vitesse, at Volkswagen Group’s proving grounds in Ehra-Lessien. Collectors and deep pocketed autophiles can rush to be the fastest to book this beast as only eight of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse World Record Car (WRC) Edition will be available for a worthy price of 1.99 million euros ($2.6 million).

After setting the record, Liu quoted, “This was a very exciting moment. In our training sessions we exceeded 400 km/h but the fact that I could surpass this unbelievable speed once again and even higher has made me very proud. The car is even at such high speeds incredibly comfortable and stable. With an open top, you can really experience the sound of the engine and yet even at higher speeds I did not get compromised by the wind at all.”

Press release states, ‘The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse has been on the market since the spring of 2012. Its power comes from an 8 litre W16 engine, which pours 1,200 PS and a torque of 1,500 Nm at 3,000 to 5,000 rpm to the road. Its high performance handling can be attributed to a racing chassis which together with extremely fast-acting shock absorbers and reinforced anti-roll bars guarantees exact control of both the four-wheel- drive system and the entire vehicle. Other factors that enable such performance at the upper limits include a standard carbon monocoque with high torsional rigidity and an outer shell made entirely of carbon fibre. Keeping wind noise and air turbulence to a minimum in the vehicle’s interior is a particular concern with open-top vehicles. In the Vitesse, a specially developed roof spoiler along with an intricately designed windbreak guarantees calm open-top driving; indeed these were preconditions for reaching the record-breaking speed of 408.84 km/h.’

[via – http://www.luxurylaunches.com/%5D

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Jay-Z gifts Beyonce a $3 million private island to celebrate their anniversary

beyonce-jayz-600x363 islandFollowing in the step of celebrities who have traded buying holiday homes for their own private islands like Julia Roberts, Sir Richard Branson and Johnny Depp. Since singer Beyonce has returned to her rightful place in the spotlight it has been difficult for them to spend some normal family time. Jay-Z really must want some undisturbed peace as he puts down £2 million to buy his wife Beyonce their own private island in North Abaco, Bahamas.

As a mark of the their fifth wedding anniversary, this private haven is like a gift by the 43 year old star for Beyonce and their 15 month old daughter Blue Ivy so they can have a peaceful getaway far from the hovering paparazzi and public’s eye. “A private island means they’ll be able to have quality time with minimum staff and security”, a source said.

Though a downside to the island is its patchy phone reception and no TV satellite, but it is to see if the couple sees that a boon or curse.

[VIA – http://www.luxurylaunches.com/%5D

World’s tallest hotel opens in Dubai

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At Dubai’s newest hotel, an elevator ride is a journey in itself.

The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai officially opened Wednesday as the world’s tallest hotel.

Granted the official record from the Guinness Book of World Records, the 72-floor latest icon in Dubai’s skyline is made up of two towers standing 355 meters (1,164 feet) tall. Only one tower is currently open; the second is slated to open in 2014.

It’s the first of the Marquis brand of JW Marriotts — “reserved only for the most iconic properties within the Marriott International portfolio,” according to the company — to be built outside North America.

The hotel adds nine restaurants and five bars and lounges to the dining and nightlife options in the city. While dwarfed by the Burj Khalifa, currently Dubai’s and the world’s tallest manmade structure at 830 meters, it’s the tallest building entirely dedicated to a hotel.

Still, it’s not the world’s highest hotel.

That title goes to the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong, which occupies the top floors of the 488-meter-tall (1,601 feet) International Commerce Center.The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai hopes to tap into the MICE market (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions), a segment that in the United States is worth about US$106 billion, according to JW Marriott. “The hotel will fill a long identified gap in the market where groups, meetings and conventions of up to a thousand people can meet, sleep and dine under one roof,” said Rupprecht Queitsch, general manager of the new property. “Until now, Dubai has not had a single location of this size to accommodate this type of group.”

On the 71st and 72nd floors, the Vault Lounge offers panoramic views of the city.

[http://travel.cnn.com/]

The 25 Most Miserable Places in the World

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The misery index, a crude economic measure created by Arthur Orkum, sums a country’s unemployment and inflation rates to assess conditions on the ground (the higher the number, the more miserable a country is). The reasoning: most citizens understand the pain of a high jobless rate and the soaring price of goods.

Business Insider totaled the figures for 197 countries and territories — from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe — to compile the 2013 Misery Index.

Note: Results are based on CIA World Factbook data, which estimates figures for countries and territories that do not have reliable local reporting agencies. The CIA World Factbook was last updated on February 11, 2013.

For full details kindly click o the link ;
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-25-most-miserable-places-in-the-world-192748535.html?page=all

Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative is Good Business

4Afrika-300x205This week, Microsoft announced the launch of its new initiative 4Afrika. The 75 million USD project aims to increase internet accessibility via affordable smart devices, educate the next generation of African web developers and promote new Africentric technologies.

The initiative represents a new strategy in which social and business ventures work synergistically rather than independently.

In the past, multinational corporations have used affiliate foundations to engage in aid work throughout the continent. These philanthropic programs, while certainly commendable, are generally intended to showcase corporate responsibility and community values.

This is largely due to the fact that international companies have historically run extractive programs in Africa. Companies based on oil and gas exploitation, mining and agribusiness take basic materials from the African continent and distribute them to international markets. These corporations tend to see Africa simply as the bottom of the supply chain rather than a market for serious, business-minded investments.

Instead of investing to develop local markets these companies conduct sporadic and schizophrenic philanthropic campaigns. In Africa, the corporate citizenship programs for companies like Shell, De Beers and Monsanto consist mostly of small-scale social projects like health clinics or micro-credit schemes.

Microsoft’s new 4Afrika initiative stands in stark contrast to these corporate philanthropy programs. 4Afrika is not an aid project, but rather a strategic campaign which will help create and galvanize a significant, largely untapped market. Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative is good business, plain and simple. It is a socially responsible investment of corporate scale, and will probably make Microsoft a lot of money in the long run.

Ultimately, meaningful development in Africa will come primarily through private sector investments and long-term projects like Microsoft’s, not corporate (or private) philanthropy.

Moreover, Microsoft’s investment in African human capital sets an important precedent: slowly but surely businesses are beginning to see that Africa can provide more than just raw materials. Africans’ rapidly increasing buying power represents a significant and lucrative new market. Microsoft (and a select few other US companies) figured it out. How long until others follow suit?

[fORBES.COM]

Kate Middleton’s Royal Baby: Why the Second Picture Could Be Worth a Fortune

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categoryheader_royals2The world is super-excited for the first real glimpse of Kate Middleton’s baby bump, let alone the actual baby that’s scheduled to show up in July.
But when her and Prince William’s child arrives, can you imagine the type of beyond-Brangelina bidding war that will ensue for the first picture of the royal offspring?
Well, that is, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge planned to handle such matters like mere civilians. Which they almost certainly will not. Sniff.
Kate Middleton, not showing quite yet, visits maternity store
“Everyone is going to be racing to get that first picture of William and Kate’s baby. It could be worth millions to outlets around the world,” a longtime royals watcher tells E! News. “It’s the most anticipated baby in years, everyone wants to see that first picture. If any photographer is able to get the first pic, it would be the biggest scoop in the world.”
But, what does the royal family want with such an unseemly to-do?
“The palace will do everything they can to reduce the bounty on that baby’s head,” the expert says. “It is fully expected that William and Kate will walk out of the hospital with the baby in their arms so that the world’s media will all get the same picture at the same time.”

That was good enough for Princess Diana, who introduced William to the world in that fashion more than 30 years ago.
So, if the first official photograph of the little prince or princess is going to go to everybody for the price of a memory stick, the spoils then go to the shutterbug who gets the first unofficial picture.
“There are some overseas outlets that will pay a fortune for it,” says our source, “although in the U.K., it’s unlikely anyone will buy it, as they won’t want to upset the palace.”
Kate Middleton portrait artist fires back at critics
“Unfortunately, the child will always have a price on his or her head,” the expert adds. “Every exclusive set of pictures, as that child grows up, could fetch tens of thousands.”
Same goes for the first picture of the expectant mum’s baby bump—which, we admit, we are eagerly awaiting.
“Everyone wants to see the first glimpse of the bump,” acknowledges the royals watcher. “But Kate’s royal protection officers are doing everything they can to give Kate as much privacy as possible. The likely scenario is that, as soon as Kate starts showing, the palace will organize a public event so Kate can be photographed by everyone. That way they will be able to kill the market and stop photographers following Kate as much.”
How…civilized!

[E online]

The 1-Click Shopping – BuyCommonthings.Com

1 click1-Click, also called one-click or one-click buying, is the technique of allowing customers to make online purchases with a single click, with the payment information needed to complete the purchase already entered by the user previously. More particularly, it allows an online shopper using an internet marketplace to purchase an item without having to use shopping cart software. Instead of manually inputting billing and shipping information for a purchase, a user can use one-click buying to use a predefined address and credit card number to purchase one or more items.
This new style of shopping online has been made popular by the best online grocery company in Nigeria BuyCommonThings.com and they are now putting words into action by commencing a schedule delivery of purchased goods to their esteemed clients who have signed up through their channel and also have indicated their willingness to participate and also shop regularly.
The beauty of it all about this shopping style and technique Is that not only is it quite convenient, affordable and less stressful, it literally saves you a whopping 50% off your shopping time, affording you the best of your time.
To sign up for this program kindly follow the link http://bit.ly/VkpMML

Virgin Atlantic soars high with world’s first in-flight art gallery

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virgin-atlantic-41Passengers flying on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class between London and New York will be treated to the first ever-airborne commercial art gallery. The service, which has been dubbed ‘The Gallery in the Air’, will allow passengers to purchase the work of renowned street artist Ben Eine. Ben Eine has always been well know in London, especially for his work on Middlesex street, which thanks to him has been renamed Alphabet street. However Eine rose to global prominence when Prime Minister David Cameron gifted one of his paintings to President Barack Obama. The display will operate like a traditional exhibition with upper class passengers having the chance to take a virtual tour of the gallery and see behind the scenes footage of how each piece was constructed. The buying process is the same as any in flight product and will allow customers to but the pieces duty free.

The collection draws inspiration from London and New York as well as the artist’s partnership with Virgin Atlantic. The collaboration is to be the first of many such partnerships and will last from February 1st to the 28th. Most street artists are skeptical of partnering with a brand, but Eine says that the presence of Richard Branson helped persuade him to partner with Virgin Atlantic. The gallery will feature works ranging from $4,000 to $24,000.

2014 Bentley Mulsanne enhanced with comfort and entertainment to debut at Salon d’Auto, Geneva 2013

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bentley-mulsanne-14The Mulsanne is one of the most luxurious cars ever produced by Bentley and it is all set to become even more comfortable and luxurious this year. Since it was first introduced to the world in 2010 it has only gotten better, with advancements in both comfort and technology. This flagship Bentley car will be unveiled with its new advancements at Salon d’Auto in Geneva this March. The most important change to be made to 2014 Bentley Mulsanne is in the area of comfort and convenience, which includes comfort headrests with manually adjustable wings for lateral support. Also available are new footrests which have been specifically designed to blend in to the to each individual vehicle. To provide an additional level of comfort there will also be duck down filled loose cushions that will be finished with the traditional Bentley Wing emblem.

Privacy is of course central to most Bentley owners lives, regardless of whether you’re a celebrity or businessperson. So Bentley has provided with new privacy curtains that can be added as Crewe – fitted option. They are available on the rear doors and and rear windscreen in Black or Ivory; these opulent curtains can be drawn with one touch as they have been integrated into the window lift switches.

Technology is always changing and the Bentley Mulsanne has changed to accommodate the latest in technology, the rear cabin offers the highest level of technology today. There are rear picnic table designed to accommodate an iPad and a wireless keyboard, they also double as a smooth hide trimmed writing surface. You can even stay connected via the Wi-Fi router fitted into the rear cabin. Twin 8-inch LCD head rest screens and a DVD player, all supported by Naim for Bentley’s premium audio system further enhances the entertainment

Connectivity is at it’s best in the 2014 Bentley Mulsanne with the option of a high speed Wi-Fi router with a UMTS phone module and SIM card reader. This allows for a rolling Hot spot that lets you simultaneously connect 8 devices. A dedicated antenna housed on the boot lid outside the vehicle’s steel frame allows for a much stronger signal strength than a handheld device.

For those looking for purely Aesthetic changes, Bentley has added three new colors to the Mulsanne Palette, Dark Cashmere, Portofino and Damson. In addition to these there are also three new additions for the interior hide colors, Damson, Saffron and Brunel. They are also offering a set of bespoke fitted luggage for the Mulsanne. Italian luggage specialists Schedoni has exclusively designed the bags to fit perfectly in the Bentley trunk. The collection is made up of 6 pieces, two small cases, two large cases and two foldable garment bags. The collection has been made of the same hide that goes into the interiors of the Mulsanne and can be customized to your personal tastes.

2013 Panerai Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica

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panerai-pockrt-watch-2Panerai introduces an exclusive Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica which is in amalgamation of the essence of the past with the strong technical knowhow of today, both combined in a unique and fascinating way. The Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica is the first pocket watch by the makers though there are specimens of the same in the brand’s history. The tourbillion regulator in its graceful and breathtaking P.2005/S skeletonised version is a watch with a very superior technical content. The tourbillon cage makes two rotations per minute on an axis perpendicular to that of the balance

Other highlighting specifications include a Radiomir case 59 mm in diameter in ceramic made from zirconium oxide, power reserve of six days and KIF Parechoc anti-shock device. The chain of this pocket watch is inspired by a nautical chain and can be easily removed, transforming the watch into a table clock. Adhering to tradition, the watch is water-resistant and guaranteed to a pressure of 3 atmospheres (30 metres).

2013 Panerai Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica is an exquisite edition of only 50 watches of 10.05mm thickness and comprising of 31 jewels, giving it an admirable look.

Unique Koenigsegg Agera Zijin rides with gold interiors in China

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koenigsegg-agera-zijin-china-21Koenigsegg have created a one of supercar for a Chinese customer titled the ‘Zijin,‘ which literally means ‘purple gold,‘ purple and gold bring to mind royalty and opulence which is exactly what this Koenigsegg Agera Zijinrepresents. The exterior has been painted a deep royal purple with light blue tinted carbon fiber accents added for an additional dimension. The name of this one of a kind car has been painted on to the back in cursive gold writing. The base of the car was taken from the 2013 Agera R and then worked into this opulent creation. The interiors of this car are nothing to scoff at either, with a purple leather seats and gold metallic vent surroundings. The main console control unit is in fact made entirely of solid gold. The interiors work harmoniously with the exteriors following the strict Purple and gold color scheme with even the steering wheel being gold.

The Koenigsegg Agera Zijin features a 5 liter twin turbo charged V8 engine that produces 1040hp with E85 fuel, thus proving itself worth of the royal color scheme attached to it. While the Zijin borders on gaudy, it is sure to get you noticed.

Dreamliner’s Bad News May Be Getting Worse, And Not Just For Boeing

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boeing 787 hometopfeature_panel14_0_mainstory-1358900913No one knows yet what’s causing electrical problems on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jets. But just days after the global fleet was grounded by aviation officials and investigators began probing the jet’s high-tech electrical system, one thing is becoming clear: The fix isn’t likely to be simple, and the Dreamliner could be on the ground for a long time.

The 787′s troubles began with an incident in Boston on January 7, when a battery on an empty jet caught fire. On January 11, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ordered a review of the 787’s critical systems. But on January 16 another Dreamliner was forced to make an emergency landing in Japan after on-board alarms indicated smoke in an electrical compartment, and passengers reported a burning smell in the cabin. As a result, the FAA ordered all operators of U.S.-registered Boeing 787 to cease operations. International aviation authorities followed suit, and by January 17th, the worldwide fleet of had been grounded.

It didn’t take long for investigators to discover the root of the problem: The high-tech Dreamliner uses lithium-ion batteries –the same kind you might find in your laptop or cell phone– and electric motors instead of traditional hydraulic controls. Battery-based systems are smaller and lighter, and were supposed to make the Dreamliner far more fuel efficient. But in the few cases under investigation, the batteries heated up and caught on fire. So investigators tried to figure out why.

The best-case scenario for Boeing and its airline clients was that the batteries were simply over-charged, making the problem user error, as opposed to some deeper flaw in the Dreamliner’s design. But on Sunday the National Transportation Safety Board completed its examination of flight recorder data from the jet that caught fire in Boston, and determined that the affected battery did not exceed its designed voltage.

Now investigators at the NTSA, the FAA and their international counterparts are widening their focus to examine the entire auxiliary power unit –and that’s where Boeing starts to have a problem. In addition to its novel electrical design, the Dreamliner pioneered new levels of subcontracted manufacturing: While each 787 was assembled at Boeing’s plant in Everett, Washington, more than 70% of the jets’ individual components were outsourced to some 900 subcontractors all over the world.

By outsourcing construction of the Dreamliner’s systems, Boeing reduced the complexity and cost of manufacturing the new jets. But they also increased the complexity of tracking down problems; the auxiliary power unit alone contains parts from Japan’s GS Yuasa Corporation, France’s Thales Group and North Carolina-based UTC Aerospace Systems, a subsidiary of Connecticut’s United Technologies.

Investigators will have to deal with a complicated network of global interests, experts and technologies just to figure out how the Dreamliners’ power system was supposed to work in the first place, much less how it ended up broken. It’s not the sort of problem you can unravel in just a couple of weeks.

Further complicating the problem: The different international aviation authorities involved in the investigation already seem to be taking different approaches. Japanese officials seem focused on GS Yuasa’s batteries, while the FAA and NTSB seem to be more interested in UTC’s electrical controllers.

At this point, the best-case scenario for Boeing is probably for investigators to decide that the affected Dreamliners simply had bad batteries; If that happens, the batteries can simply be replaced, and the fleet can be returned to flight.

The worst case scenario: Investigators decide that the use of lithium ion batteries is inherently flawed, and Boeing has to to totally redesign the jet’s electrical system and deploy major fixes across the fleet.

Either way, it could be a long time before anyone knows what went wrong, how to fix it, and Boeing manages to roll out the repairs to the fifty Dreamliners on the ground worldwide.

The longer the Dreamliner is grounded, the bigger this problem gets. Right now United Airlines is the only US carrier that actually has 787s in its fleet, so it wasn’t difficult to swap out the affected jets. But the company has only taken possession of six of the fifty Dreamliners it ordered. Meanwhile, American Airlines is waiting for 42 Dreamliners and Delta Air Lines for 18; overall, Boeing has delivered only 5o of more than 800 Dreamliners ordered to date.

That means if the investigation drags on, airlines around the world are going to start hurting for their new Boeing aircraft. And if the problem does finally turn out to be a fundamental issue with lithium-ion batteries, other manufacturers will start to have problems, too: Airbus uses similar batteries on their A380 superjumbo jet.

So far, investors are keeping their fingers crossed. Shares of Boeing stock fell just 1.17% on Monday, and are down only 1.59% for the month to date.

Fasten Your Seatbelts: Google’s Driverless Car Is Worth Trillions

Much of the reporting about Google’s driverless car has mistakenly focused on its science-fiction feel. While the car is certainly cool—just watch the video below about a 95%-blind man running errands—the gee-whiz focus suggests that it is just a high-tech dalliance by a couple of brash young multibillionaires, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

In fact, the driverless car has broad implications for society, for the economy and for individual businesses. Just in the U.S., the car puts up for grab some $2 trillion a year in revenue and even more market cap. It creates business opportunities that dwarf Google’s current search-based business and unleashes existential challenges to market leaders across numerous industries, including car makers, auto insurers, energy companies and others that share in car-related revenue.

Because people consistently underestimate the implications of a change in technology—are you listening, Kodak, Blockbuster, Borders, Sears, etc.?—and because many industries face the kind of disruption that may beset the auto industry, I’m going to do a series of blogs on the ripple effects that the driverless car may create. I’m hoping both to dramatize the effects of a disruptive technology and to illustrate how to think about the dangers and the opportunities that one creates.

In this installment, I’ll start the series with a broad-brush look at the far-reaching changes that could occur from the driver’s standpoint. In the next installment, I’ll show just how far the ripples will reach for companies—not just car makers, but insurers, hospitals, parking lot operators and even governments and utilities. (Fines drop when every car obeys the law, and roads don’t need to be lit if cars can see in the dark).

After that, I’ll explore how real the prospects are for driverless cars. (Hint: The issue is when, not if—and when is sooner than you think.) In the last three installments, I’ll go into the strategic implications for Google, for car makers and, finally, for every company thinking about innovation in these fast-moving times.

To begin:

Driverless car technology has the very real potential to save millions from death and injury and eliminate hundreds of billions of dollars of costs. Google’s claims for the car, as described by Sebastian Thrun, its lead developer, are:

We can reduce traffic accidents by 90%.
We can reduce wasted commute time and energy by 90%.
We can reduce the number of cars by 90%.

To put those claims in context:

About 5.5 million motor vehicle accidents occurred in 2009 in the U.S., involving 9.5 million vehicles. These accidents killed 33,808 people and injured more than 2.2 million others, 240,000 of whom had to be hospitalized.

Adding up all costs related to accidents—including medical costs, property damage, loss of productivity, legal costs, travel delays and pain and lost quality of life—the American Automobile Association studied crash data in the 99 largest U.S. urban areas and estimated the total costs to be $299.5 billion. Adjusting those numbers to cover the entire country suggests annual costs of about $450 billion.

Now take 90% off these numbers. Google is claiming its car could save almost 30,000 lives each year on U.S. highways and prevent nearly 2 million additional injuries. Google claims it can reduce accident-related expenses by at least $400 billion a year in the U.S. Even if Google is way off—and I don’t believe it is—the improvement in safety will be startling.

In addition, the driverless car would reduce wasted commute time and energy by relieving congestion and allowing cars to go faster, operate closer together and choose more effective routes. One study estimated that traffic congestion wasted 4.8 billion hours and 1.9 billion gallons of fuel a year for urban Americans. That translates to $101 billion in lost productivity and added fuel costs.

The driverless car could reduce the need for cars by enabling efficient sharing of vehicles. A driverless vehicle could theoretically be shared by multiple people, delivering itself when and where it is needed, parking itself in some remote place whenever it’s not in use.

A car is often a person’s second largest capital expenditure, after a home, yet a car sits unused some 95% of the time. With the Google car, people could avoid the outlay of many thousands of dollars, or tens of thousands, on an item that mostly sits and, instead, simply pay by the mile. Driving could become Zipcar writ large (except the car comes to you).

Looking worldwide, the statistics are less precise, but the potential benefits are even more startling. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1.2 million people are killed on the world’s roads each year, and as many as 50 million others are injured. And the WHO predicts that the problems will only get worse. It estimates that road traffic injuries will become the fifth leading cause of worldwide death by 2030, accounting for 3.6% of the total—rising from the ninth leading cause in 2004, when it accounted for 2.2% of the world total.

If Google could give everyone a world-class electronic driver, it would drastically reduce the deaths, injuries and direct costs of accidents. The driverless car might also save developing countries from ever having to replicate the car-centric infrastructure that has emerged in most western countries. This leapfrogging has already happened with telephone systems: Developing countries that lacked land-line telephone and broadband connectivity, such as India, made the leap directly to mobile systems rather than build out their land-line infrastructures.

China alone expects to invest almost $800 billion on road and highway construction between 2011 and 2015. It is doubtful, however, whether even this massive investment can keep up with the rising accidents and traffic congestion that the country endures. And road construction won’t deal with the issue of pollution, to which the massive car buildup contributes and which, as the following FT video reports, is becoming an ever more politically sensitive issue.

In sum, the Google driverless car not only makes for a great demo; it has worldwide social and economic benefits that could amount to trillions of dollars per year.figure-1-great-mileage3

LVMH collaborates with TDIC to build one of the biggest malls in UAE

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louis-vuitton-help-create-mall-4That Louis Vuitton is the leading name in luxury is not unknown. Like a magic wand, Louis Vuitton transforms its products into exquisite pieces of luxury. In fact Louis Vuitton and luxury are today synonyms. So we commend the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) who have decided to hire the expertise of the famed luxury brand, Louis Vuitton to build a 168,000 square metre luxury mall on Saadiyat Island connecting to Abu Dhabi’s three planned mega museums. The developer, TDIC, announced that it had formed a joint venture with L Real Estate, a private equity fund in which the Louis Vuitton owner LVMH is a minority investor. The mall, christened “The District” mall is touted to become one of the biggest malls in UAE and would form a triangle between the three museums.

The mall is expected to house more than 550 stores, many of which would be outdoors. The retail destination would be home to all types of stores from luxury and fashion brands, department stores, home furnishing chains to art galleries and family entertainment venues.

The three-storey mall would be classified into four zones. Three of the four – Luxury Street, Canal and Main Street zones – would be located outdoors on two levels. Luxury Street is expected to boast of elite fashion stores while Canal would include cafes and restaurants next to a canal opposite the Guggenheim. The Main Street zone would include stores and outdoor cafes.L Real Estate which specialises in luxury shopping will collaborate with TDIC to develop the mall on a 17-hectare plot of land in the new cultural district. The construction for the mall is expected to begin in 2014 and it is expected to be completed by 2017 to coincide with the opening of the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim Museum.

World’s first jewelry made of space gold launched at Dubai International Jewellery Week

If your love is truly exceptional, then why not
confirm its existence with the blessings from the
heavens? SpaceWed can help you do just that. It is
the only brand in the entire world to offer you
exclusive wedding rings that were sent into outer
space. To commemorate 50 years of Yuri Gagarin’s
space flight, the rings were sent aboard the UP
Aerospace SL-5 rocket on the 20th of May, 2011.
The nose of this rocket was filled with 2.5 ounces of
gold and sent into space for fifteen minutes. But
what makes these rings really special is that only
50 of these bands have been created on Earth. And
at speeds of 4,000 miles per hour, these rings have
received the heavenly aura that will help set your
marriage a part from the rest of humanity. They are
engraved with unique serial numbers that can be
selected by the clients themselves.
These fantastic pieces of jewelry come in a
customized designed Space Capsule and include a
Certificate of Space flight and the documentary of
the rocket launch.
Recent surveys say that over 100,000 couples get
married every day, around the world. So if you want
to make sure your union is extraordinary get a gift
that is really out of this world. You can visit the 16th
edition of the exclusive Dubai International
Jewellery Week and get your own Space Wedding
Ring.
The rings are valued between $12,000 and $17,000
or you could also get lucky at the Raffle Draw and
win it!

The Ocean Empire LSV is the world’s first self sufficient Zero Carbon Life Support Vessel

With so much of pollution killing sea life a green
way of enjoying life on the high-seas is always
welcome. And so superyacht catamaran Ocean
Empire LSV (life support vessel) comes as a fresh
breath. This 44m Solar Hybrid Superyacht features 2
Hydroponic farms and fishing facilities for on sea
harvests. The yacht reportedly features “solar
powered propulsion systems and all the Hotel
amenities of a luxury global voyager are supplied
by harnessing 3 major sources of sustainable of
energy, along side illuminating 2 Hydroponic
farms.”
The yacht also works on wind power, which runs “an
auxiliary automated SkySail that drives the Ocean
Empire to 18+knots while charging her GM ESS2
batteries through power sailing KER.” And lastly the
“Waves motion captured through Motion Damping
Regeneration (MDR) give out a new form of ATMD
(Adjustable Tuned Mass Damper) developed in
collaboration with Maurer Sohnes Gmbh”
The ultra green yacht which features 50% reduction
in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can house
10 guests and a crew of 8. It can hit cruising speeds
of over 12knots and hit high speeds of over 18
knots. It is reported that the cost of a basic ultra
green Ocean Empire LSV will start at around
$25million and may reach as high as high as $60
million with options that include naval defenses
with extra crew and 4,000kws of additional power to
reach a maximum speed of 55 knots. (100kph).

Louis Vuitton Winter Resort store opens up in Switzerland

Don’t you just love it when you hear about luxury
stores opening up across the globe? This just means
that luxury is now around the corner for quite a few
people. Working towards this endeavor of making
luxury accessible to more luxury lovers across the
globe is Louis Vuitton who has opened yet another
store, this time in Switzerland. This is the second
store of the famed luxury house in Switzerland,
following the opening of its first store in the famous
Swiss ski resort in 2004. The new Louis Vuitton
Winter Resort store has opened up on the renowned
Promenade, Gstaad.
The store depicts the architectural traditions and
designs of Louis Vuitton and yet beautifully blends
with the pristine Alpine region. Evoking a sense of
sophistication, luxury and all things nice, it invites
the shopper to experience luxury at its best.
Promising to be a successful venture, this new store
will surely not fail to attract the luxury lovers.
Louis Vuitton recently opened its first pop store in
Paris and also saw the reopening of its store in
Hong Kong’s iconic Pacific mall.

The Alpina is the perfect way to enjoy Gstaad

Gstaad has seen it’s first luxury hotel opened in
over a century, the arrival of the Alpina, Gstaad is
bound to change it from a hidden treasure to a
celebrity and billionaire hang out. Opened in
December 2012, this hotel is more than just a place
to cool your heels between adventure sports in the
Alps; the $337 million hotel is an icon of Swiss
tradition and worldly luxury. The hotel works
seamlessly with the gorgeous landscape, by using
craftsmanship typical to the region and local
materials. This includes centuries old fir wood
crafted by master artisans, stones from the Alps
and repurposed wood from nearby centuries old
farmhouses.
The living spaces are divided into deluxe rooms,
junior suites, deluxe suites, grand luxe suites and
the panorama suite. I call them living spaces
because rooms seems almost too crass a term to
describe them, the two highlights of these living
spaces are the Grand luxe suites and the Panorama
suite. The grand luxe suites include a space to
entertain guests, a working area, an alpine stone
fireplace surrounded by a chaise lounge and leather
armchairs, an internally lit bookcase and most
incredibly a generous south facing terrace that give
you spectacular views of Les Diablerets and Gstaad
village. The pinnacle of this luxury hotel however is
the 400 sq m Panorama suite. This three bedroom
duplex is so large that it actually gives you views
from both the north and south with a view over the
mountains, meadows and the Gstaad village. The
Panorama suite contains a beautiful wood burning
fireplace set with a floor to ceiling chimney piece, a
kitchen for in suite meals, a balconied master
bedroom, a grand staircase leading to the suites top
floor where one would find a private spa, jacuzzi, a
fitness centre, a massage area and a skylight
framing the mountain peaks. Personally the
highlight for me is the bathroom with a free
standing tub, over sized shower heads, a tv inset
into the mirror and Onyx wall scones dramatically
set into the marble walls

While I severely question anyone who might decide
to venture out of these incredible suites, even I
have to accept that the Alpina’s Six Senses Spa
might be worth it. The 21,500 square foot spa
houses specialist practitioners, practicing world-
renowned treatments. The spa features special
couples treatment rooms, a flotation room,
Hammam, Colonics treatment room, color therapy
room, ayurveda treatment room, oriental room, salt
room and a cave room. Guests will also have access
to a jacuzzis, an indoor and outdoor pool, a yoga
studio and a gym.

The Alpina also houses the first European outpost of
the Megu concept of restaurants, which serves
modern Japanese cuisine, at the Alpina Gstaad,
guests can expect some of Japan’s most unusual
ingredients prepared by two expert Japanese chefs.
Additional to Megu The Alpina will also house a
traditional Swiss stübli, a more casual restaurant
Sommet which features the handiwork of award
winning chef Marcus Lindner, the Alpina lounge and
bar gives you breathtaking views of the Alps as you
sample their eclectic collection of spirits. However
if you really want to feel like you’re on holiday,
perhaps you would enjoy the more rustic wine
cellar, which house over 1700 bottles. The Aplina
even provides for the more dapper gentlemen
amongst us with an old school Cigar room, perfect
in the beautiful setting of Gstaad.