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Business Highlights

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___Fast-growing web of doorbell cams raises privacy fearsAmerica’s fast-growing web of doorbell cameras is being fueled in part by the support of cities and police departments. They see the cameras as a tech ally in the never-ending fight against crime. But some privacy advocates worry that the program is being driven by overblown fears of crime and contributes to a surveillance society.___Deepfake videos pose a threat, but ‘dumbfakes’ may be worseSophisticated phoney videos called deepfakes have attracted plenty of attention as a possible threat to election integrity. But a bigger problem may be “dumbfakes,” simpler and more easily unmasked bogus videos that are easy to produce. Dumbfake video can still be effective in swaying opinion, experts say. So far, social media services are divided on how to handle them.___Corvette goes mid-engine for first time to raise performanceWARREN, Mich. (AP) — When you first lay eyes on the new 2020 Corvette, a modern version of the classic American sports car isn’t the first thing that pops into your head. Instead, you think Lamborghini, Lotus, McLaren. For the first time in its 66-year history, the Corvette engine will move from the front to just behind the driver. It dramatically changes the look of the car, but engineers say it will perform far better on the track and freeway. GM President Mark Reuss said the C8 will start below $60,000.___Appeals court upholds Trump move to drop mine pollution ruleBILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A US appeals court panel has sided with the Trump administration, ruling that state and federal programs already in place ensure that mining companies take financial responsibility for future pollution cleanups. The ruling Friday came after the administration was sued by environmental groups for dropping an Obama-era proposal that would have required the companies to prove they have resources to clean up pollution. The mining industry has a legacy of companies abandoning polluted sites.___Instagram expands hiding ‘likes’ to make you happierSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Instagram is expanding a test to hide how many “likes” people’s posts receive as it tries to combat criticism that such counts hurt mental health and make people feel bad when comparing themselves to others. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing service has been running the test in Canada since May. It has been expanded to Ireland, Italy, Japan, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand, but not the United States yet.___Labour nominee Scalia has long record of opposing regulationsWASHINGTON (AP) — Eugene Scalia has a decades-long record of challenging Labor Department and other federal regulations, as well as a famous last name. The combination proved irresistible to President Donald Trump.___Penney: We haven’t hired advisers for in-court restructuringNEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney says it hasn’t hired any advisers to prepare for an in-court restructuring or bankruptcy. The company’s statement Friday came after investors were rattled by a report saying the company was hiring experts to help restructure its debt. Reuters reported Thursday that Penney has held discussions with lawyers and investment bankers who work with struggling companies on debt restructurings. It cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Penney’s shares fell nearly 17% Friday.___American Express 2Q profits rise 9%, beating expectationsNEW YORK (AP) — American Express posted a 9% gain in second-quarter profits on Friday, helped by more of its cardmembers carrying a credit card balance and increased spending on its namesake cards. The New York company said it earned a profit of $1.76 billion, or $2.07 a share. That’s up from earnings of $1.62 billion, or $1.84 a share, in the same period a year earlier. Analysts were looking for AmEx to earn $2.03 a share, according to FactSet.___Lebanese losing faith as politicians fumble over economyBEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese TV stations have been blanketed for days with live coverage as lawmakers heatedly debated a controversial austerity budget meant to salvage the country’s flailing economy. Outside parliament, protesters and critics denounced the budget’s focus on tax hikes and wage cuts. In general, the Lebanese say they have little faith that their political elite, viewed as corrupt and steeped in personal rivalries, can tackle the country’s economic crisis.___Reined-in rate-cut expectations, Iran tensions hit S&P 500NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks pulled further back from their records on Friday to cap the weakest week for the S&P 500 since May. Indexes sloshed between small gains and losses for much of the day before turning lower in the afternoon after Iran said it seized a British oil tanker, the latest escalation of tensions between Tehran and the West. Reined-in expectations for how deeply the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at its next meeting also weighed on stocks.___The S&P 500 fell 18.50 points, or 0.6%, to 2,976.61. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68.77, or 0.3%, to 27,154.20, and the Nasdaq composite lost 60.75, or 0.7%, to 8,146.49. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 7.73 points, or 0.5%, to 1,547.90.The Associated Press read more

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High technology products from methane AustralianIndian joint venture

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first_imgEden Energy has executed a non-binding terms sheet with Indian Oil Corp (IOCL) through which, subject to certain conditions being satisfied, the two companies will enter into a farm-in agreement to scale up a new Pyrolysis technology jointly developed by Eden and the University of Queensland, to produce hydrogen and ultra-strong solid carbon fibres and nanotubes from methane gas.The new pyrolysis technology was developed jointly by Eden and the University of Queensland with support from the Australian Research Council. Through this technology, methane (natural gas) is broken down into its atomic constituents of hydrogen gas and solid carbon, without the production of carbon dioxide, to produce carbon fibres and nanotubes that exhibit tensile strengths up to several hundred times greater than that of steel. If successfully piloted on a commercial scale, the process could have important implications for the wide commercialisation of these ultra-strong forms of carbon that can be used in composite materials for the construction, electronics, aerospace and vehicle building industries.IOCL, India’s flagship national oil company and downstream petroleum major, is the country’s largest commercial enterprise, with a sales turnover in 2008-09 of more than A$60 billion – the highest ever for an Indian company. It is also the highest ranked Indian company in the prestigious Fortune ‘Global 500’ listing, having moved up 11 places to 105th position in 2009. IOCL’s involvement in the farm-in agreement will be managed by its R&D division which operates an A$250 million worldclass R&D facility at Faridabad near Delhi.In 2005, the Indian Government designated IOCL as the core agency for developing the ‘Indian Hydrogen Roadmap’ and promoting the use of hydrogen and HCNG or Hythane®, a blend of hydrogen-enriched natural gas, for transport and electricity generation in India. In this role, IOCL in 2008 engaged Eden’s wholly owned US subsidiary, Hythane Co, to build for IOCL the first public Hythane® station in India, at Dwarka near Delhi.The New Pyrolysis TechnologyUnlike most hydrogen production technologies, this new Pyrolysis technology has the very significant advantage of not producing carbon dioxide as an unwanted by-product. Instead, this technology produces only hydrogen and solid carbon powder (Carbon Black), together with, under certain conditions, carbon fibres and multi-walled and single-walled carbon nanotubes.Carbon fibres and carbon nanotubes have enormous tensile strength, as well as being exceptional conductors of electricity, and are currently used in super-strong, ultra-light carbon composite materials that are deployed extensively in the production of the latest fuel efficient airliners (Airbus A380 and Boeing 787) and in Formula 1 racing cars. However, current production methods are expensive, which has thus far limited the widespread commercial use of these materials.The new pyrolysis process, if successfully scaled up from the existing laboratory scale to commercial production, could open up large commercial markets for these high value carbon composite materials in the structural materials markets, where they could potentially displace both steel and aluminium in many applications. Additionally, the potential Greenhouse Gas savings that would be likely to result from the widespread use of carbon composite materials in substitution for steel and aluminium could be very significant.Eden has reached a preliminary in-principle agreement with the University of Queensland (UQ) for Eden to purchase from UQ, in consideration of the issue to UQ of 3,750,000 fully paid ordinary shares in Eden, its 50% interest in the patents and intellectual property developed by this project. This acquisition will enable Eden to satisfy the provisions of the Terms Sheet with IOCL, which require Eden to transfer to IOCL a 50% interest in the new technology upon IOCL firstly funding the up-scaling of the technology by approximately 18 times, to a bench scale size of 120 litres of methane per hour, and then a further thousand-fold up-scaling to a pilot plant capable of processing 120 NM3/hour of methane, which would be enough methane to run between 15-20 natural gas fuelled buses on a continuous basis The total cost of these two phases has been estimated at approximately A$2.6-3.6 million.The Terms Sheet with IOCL contains a number of conditions precedent, including IOCL being satisfied with both a demonstration of the technology at UQ, and with Eden’s and UQ’s right to ownership of the intellectual property, and their right to commercialise it. It is estimated that this up-scaling process would take between 18-24 months to complete.Subject to completion of the preliminary matters detailed above, Eden will secure a highly capable and strategically placed major partner with which to undertake the development and commercialisation of this groundbreaking and extremely promising carbon technology, effectively leaving the hydrogen as a very cheap but valuable by-product.last_img read more