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Outsourced Product Development and R&D Support Services Provide Industry with Competitive Edge

News Machinery - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 23:32

Product development efforts are often complicated, multi-phase endeavors. Multiple departments or researchers with different disciplines frequently need to interact in order to drive forward progress on a new product. Developing new materials and new devices can also oftentimes involve new techniques on the edge of a company's core competency. - - In many cases, there is a significant amount of experimentation required for a single stage of development. In an ideal circumstance, theory and...

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Voith Announces New Spreader Roll Capabilities in North America

News Machinery - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 19:42

Voith has established spreader roll services at its West Monroe, Louisiana, facility, with the creation of a dedicated, expert spreader roll team that is able to resolve spreader roll issues. With the new service, Voith now offers bowed spreader roll repairs and rebuilds to the North American paper mill market. “With the implementation of this specialized roll service, we will be able to better serve our customers here in North America,” said Richard Berry, Senior Vice President Sales, Vo...

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ANDRITZ at IDEA 2019

News Machinery - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 19:02

STATE-OF-THE-ART PRODUCTION PROCESSES FOR HYGIENE NONWOVENS In a continuously changing nonwovens market, the demands of first-class nonwovens production are increasing constantly – lower production costs, higher capacities and speeds, improved product quality as well as sustainable and intelligent production, to name but a few. ANDRITZ provides first-class air-through bonding, spunlaid, spunjet, spunlace, WetlaceTM, converting technologies and corresponding services to meet these demand...

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Hackers wanted for Swiss e-voting system

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 18:00
Registration is open for those who want to help reveal cracks in Switzerland’s future e-voting system – and maybe earn a cash bounty. Critics say the test is a farce. In a public intrusion test, Swiss Post will allow hackers to legally attack its e-voting system from February 25 to March 24. The goal is to improve the system’s security. As of Thursday, nearly 2,000 hackers had registered here to participate in the test: with 26% in Switzerland, 15% in France, 7% in the US and 5% in Germany. Over the past 15 years several cantons have used e-voting on a trial basis with systems developed by Swiss Post or canton Geneva. Many Swiss voters – especially those living abroad – are eager to vote online. + Why Swiss expats are demanding e-voting Now Swiss Post and the federal government are harnessing the power of hackers to identify vulnerabilities in the new e-voting system before it’s used in real life. Over the course of a month, the international hacker community is encouraged to ...
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Valmet Strengthens Its Business in Asia Pacific by Opening New Offices in Vietnam, Malaysia and Japan

News Machinery - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 17:19

Valmet has recently opened new offices in Vietnam, Malaysia and Sapporo, Japan to further strengthen its operation and local presence in Asia Pacific. "Valmet has a strong position in Asia Pacific. We believe that the new offices and expanded local capabilities allow us to better serve our customers and further strengthen our position in the area. Being close to our customers is the key for us, as we want to understand our customers' specific needs as well as develop right solutions and s...

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Changes ahead for homeschooling families

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 14:00
There are 1,000 children being homeschooled in Switzerland, 600 of them in the western Swiss canton of Vaud. But the rules there could be tightened, which will affect families like the homeschooling Bydes. In Switzerland, education is regulated by the cantons, which means there are differences across the country despite recent moves to harmonise the schooling system. Students taught at home have to pass regular tests in Maths and French or German. Inspectors visit their homes at least once a year to check that the children meet the standards set.  There are proposals to revise the law in canton Vaud, which might require homeschooling parents to have teaching qualifications in the future. Julien Schekter, a spokesman for the Vaud cantonal government, explained, "This revision will specify the framework within which homeschooling must be provided in order to ensure that sufficient basic education is provided". More will be known about these changes by the end of the summer. Meet ...
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How you move a priceless 1.5-ton Buddha across continents

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 09:00
The loan of a three-metre tall, 2,000-year-old Gandhara-period Buddha statue proved to be a bigger challenge than anticipated for Zurich’s Rietberg museum.  Museum curator Johannes Beltz remembers when he first set eyes on the statue housed in the Peshawar museum, located near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.  “The museum was half empty as many exhibits were on their way to South Korea for an exhibition on Buddhism. The other artefacts were covered up as there was some renovation work going on,” he told swissinfo.ch.  Disappointed, Beltz asked for the largest statue to be unveiled. It was love at first sight and he was determined to bring the huge stone sculpture to Switzerland.  “It is probably one of the biggest Buddhas of that period of Gandharan art. It is almost perfectly intact which is very rare for such a massive sculpture,” he says.  The ancient state of Gandhara, located in the present-day Peshawar region, was known for its Indo-Greek art work and was one of the ...
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Startup makes life-saving robots inspired by flies

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 12:00
The drones of Lausanne start-up Flyability can reach inaccessible areas, reducing not only costs but also the risk of a fatal accident. The flying robots have quickly become one of the success stories and symbols of Switzerland’s “Drone Valley”.  “After the earthquake in Haiti [in 2010] and the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima [in 2011] it became clear that robots weren’t able to penetrate difficult environments to examine the situation or to check for victims. We said to ourselves that it had to be possible to make a robot that could get into isolated places with many obstacles and tight spaces,” says Patrick Thévoz.  + Drones - the basics So in 2014 Thévoz and his cousin Adrien Briod founded Flyability in Lausanne. They had both recently graduated with a Masters in microtechnology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). Thévoz then worked as a business strategy consultant and Briod did a doctorate in flying robots. These two experiences were perfect for ...
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Swiss film producer honoured at Berlin Film Festival

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 10:56
Swiss producer Arthur Cohn was recently recognised for his career achievements with the Cinema for Peace award at the Berlin Film Festival. The 92-year-old has won numerous honours, including six Oscars. Cohn received the award on Monday evening from American actress Faye Dunaway and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. His best-known productions include Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini (1972), Black and White in Color (1976), Dangerous Moves (1984), Central Station (1998) and One Day in September (1999). In his acceptance speech, Cohn emphasised his productions have always been guided by the emotional side of history. He expressed his wish that today's cinema would contain less sex and violence, but more humanistic values. Cohn received a long standing ovation. The Cinema for Peace Foundation aims to promote "peace and understanding around the world. " Previous winners include U.S. actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron, the Dalai Lama, former Soviet ...
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Using Swiss AI and drones to count African wildlife

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 08:40
After a promising first run in Namibia, a Swiss project could aid savanna conservation using drones and automatic image analysis. To get a sense of how many animals live in a given area, game counts are typically done in real time by sharp-eyed people in vehicles. The Savmap project, started at Swiss federal technology institute EPFL and involving scientists in Switzerland, Namibia and the Netherlands, uses drones and artificial intelligence (AI) to count wild animals more efficiently.  “Human eyes are very good at detecting animals, but not at screening countless images. Computers can process a lot more data,” explains Swiss geo-information specialist Devis Tuia, who received a personal grant from Swiss National Science Foundation to form a lab to develop data science-based solutions for the use of remote sensing data in the environmental domain. This can be used to improve wildlife monitoring methods in places like Namibia, for example.  During the four-year project, which ...
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More and more people opting to die at home

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 16:27
The treatment and comfort offered dying people in Switzerland could yet be improved, according to newly-published research.  In a new report (“Death in Switzerland: individual and societal perspectives”) the researchers found that four out of five people die in hospitals or care homes – places often ill-equipped for treating the dying, and which do not always take account of their needs. More and more people wish to pass away at home, the researchers found: the demand for home care is rising strongly. But such care can be costly and is not reimbursed by basic insurance coverage. The families of those who die at home often end up exhausted. The overall conclusion of the study was that palliative nursing facilities need to be boosted, without forgetting that the end of life period can only be planned and controlled to a certain extent.  “Timely palliative treatment should be a given for the care and treatments planned during the end of life period,” the researchers write.
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Religious groups advocate ‘conversion therapy’ for homosexuals

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 13:25
Even in modern Switzerland, homosexuals are being bullied into undergoing conversion therapies to change their sexual compass.  Thomas Lauber grew up in a strict Swiss religious community and was forced to deny his sexual orientation. He took part in seminars in which he was told that his homosexuality was a demon, from which he must free himself. He has since come out as gay, and is president of the Fribourg LGBT group, Sarigai.  In Geneva, also, there is a self-help group called Le Lab, which helps people reconcile their homosexuality with their spirituality. (RTS/swissinfo.ch) 
Categories: News EN

Should academics be taking the plane for short trips?

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 12:00
The University of Basel is considering a proposal that students should take the train rather than fly for short-haul academic trips, as a way of cutting CO2 emissions. It’s not the only Swiss university looking at cutting down academic plane travel. There has been much talk in recent years, in international circles, about the paradox of researchers needing to collaborate and network but racking up many polluting air miles as they jet to conferences and events. This was what was behind the “1,000-kilometre principle” discussed at a recent University of Basel Senate meeting and put forward by students. Under the proposal – the first of its kind in Switzerland – those studying at the university would take the train rather than the plane for university-organised trips under 1,000 kilometres (such as to Brussels or London) if there are “adequate train and travel links”. It would not affect professors’ research travel, according to the meeting’s minutes.   The university agreed with ...
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Kathryn Karol: Why Clean Water is Vital to Elevating Women and Girls out of Poverty

News Machinery - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 19:48

The Caterpillar Foundation is on a mission to alleviate poverty and place people on a path to prosperity. To help people reach their potential, the Foundation focuses on addressing the root causes of poverty through strategic investments in three critical program areas:  basic human needs, education  and the  environment. When people's basic needs – like access to clean water – are met, they are able to more effectively pursue economic and educational opportunities. And when they can...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=235682

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Can the city of peace stop the arms race?

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 18:00
Last week on the train to Geneva, I heard the tell-tale wail of sirens. That time of year again: to dust off the bunkers that every upstanding Swiss household has, test those blast-proof doors, and make sure those sirens can still howl in unison.  For so many years, Swiss civil defence was treated by many of us as a bit of a joke; I remember doing a very tongue-in-cheek report which included a scene in which my neighbour and I drank coffee in her bunker, surrounded by skis and bottles of wine.  No one, the jokey message suggested, ever expected those bunkers to be used for their original purpose…but they were awfully useful as wine cellars, ski depots, or at a pinch, ‘I want to be alone’ spaces for truculent teenagers.  But, just a couple of days after that annual siren test, an information sheet from the ICRC fluttered into my inbox, asking: ‘Is the world ready to face a nuclear war?’  The word ‘NO’ springs to mind faster than the speed of, well, one of those inter-ballistic ...
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Should Switzerland end its ban on blasphemy?

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 12:00
​​​​​​​ According to the European Court of Human Rights, the Prophet Mohammed may not be called a paedophile. This kind of statement also risks a fine in Switzerland, but some say the article behind it is outdated. When the Christian Asia Bibi became the first woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan, the country’s blasphemy laws became the focus of international attention. Although she was recently acquitted, critics said the laws were being used to repress Christian minorities or to get rid of undesirables. Pakistani Islamists in turn argued that it was the duty of every Muslim to kill blasphemers. Blasphemy is also an offence in Switzerland. Offenders may not be at risk of execution, like in Pakistan, but they could still face a fine. Article 261 of the Swiss Criminal Code says that “Any person who publicly and maliciously insults or mocks the religious convictions of others, and in particularly their belief in God, or maliciously desecrates objects of ...
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Geneva: Switzerland’s most cosmopolitan canton

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 11:32
New statistics underline Geneva’s status as the Alpine nation’s most international canton: almost two-thirds of residents hold a foreign passport.  According to cantonal statistics published at the beginning of February, the percentage of dual nationals (Swiss people with at least one other nationality) out of the total Geneva population almost doubled from 16% in 2000 to 27% for the 2014-2016 period.  The number of permanent foreign residents without a Swiss passport also rose two percentage points to 37% of the total population of 372,471.  Meanwhile, the percentage of people with Swiss citizenship only fell from 49% to 36% over the past 15 years, the office said. Of these, 86% are Swiss from birth. The figures relate to residents aged 15 and over and do not include international civil servants and asylum-seekers. The growth in the number of dual nationals can partly be explained by the recent rush to secure a Swiss passport before naturalisation changes came into force at ...
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Swiss dismiss freeze on construction zones

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 18:30
Voters in Switzerland have thrown out a proposal aimed at curbing urban sprawl. The initiative from the youth chapter of the Green Party failed to attract broad support. Final results show 63.7% of voters and all 26 cantons on Sunday rejecting the proposed freeze on construction zones across the country. Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said the outcome showed that the initiative had too many flaws and that existing legislation was better suited to regulate building activities. Admitting defeat, Luzian Franzini, co-president of the Green Party's youth chapter, said it was difficult to counter misleading arguments made by a broad alliance of opponents. "The clear result is disappointing, but at least we were able to launch an interesting debate," he told Swiss public radio SRF. The initiative's supporters argued that additional legal steps are needed to protect and preserve green spaces and arable land against rampant urbanisation in Switzerland. The proposal ...
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A village gets a luxury transformation

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 02/09/2019 - 12:00
Once an ordinary mountain village, an Egyptian billionaire’s vision to construct Switzerland’s largest tourist resort changed the landscape of the central Swiss town of Andermatt and the lives of the people there. Two photographers have highlighted the area's humbler roots.  The mega-resort was billed to be different from other Alpine holiday destinations: more luxury, up to six top-class hotels, 500 apartments, and even a congress centre with an indoor pool. A ‘grand deluxe suite’ at the Chedi Hotel, which opened in 2013, will set you back by about CHF1,700 ($1,710.00) per night, depending on the season. To date, around CHF1 billion have been invested so far, and the resort is still not fully finished.  A military history In 2004 the Swiss military was pared down and the specialist training centres, through which a steady flow of recruits once passed, were reduced in number, for instance in Andermatt. For decades, the Swiss army had been a source of wealth for the village in ...
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Cheesy study helps find the perfect fondue

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 02/09/2019 - 10:00
Swiss researchers have been busy testing the texture of cheese fondue – more specifically, how it flows. Or not. “There is no bigger shame in Switzerland than serving a fondue that is too liquid, gummy, or even phase-separated, and many myths without scientific base persist in Swiss kitchens on how to prepare the perfect fondue,” say scientists from the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health at Swiss federal technology institute, ETH Zurich. The typical fondue is made with Gruyère and Vacherin cheeses mixed with corn starch and white wine. Even novice cooks can guess that more starch will yield a thicker fondue, while more wine will thin it. But the Swiss researchers wanted to explore the viscosity in detail. “The flow behavior or rheology of fondue is crucial for mouthfeel, flavor release, and the tendency of fondue to cling to the bread,” points out the study, which has been published by the American Chemical Society journal, ACS Omega. The Swiss researchers spent weeks ...
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