Refrigerators are a necessary part of today's kitchen, but with them comes a whole list of environmental concerns. Some have hydrofluorocarbons for insulation; HFCs were supposed to be an eco-friendly alternative to chlorofluorocarbons (which are known for their ozone-destroying effects), but turned out not to be so great for the environment, either. But GE is bringing an HFC-free fridge to the market this year.
The new version of the GE Monogram will use cyclopentane in place of HFCs. It's another hydrocarbon, but is less of a pollutant. Unlike many other hydrocarbons, cyclopentane also has a reduced risk of … Read more
Did you know there's some leeway on when a refrigerator must run its automatic defrost cycle?
Well, apparently, there is, and it could help ease the stress on local energy grids during peak hours, according to GE Consumer & Industrial.
Currently, GE refrigerators' automatic defrost modes are prompted by factors like door openings. But, the company says, it could build refrigerators that delay that cycle until a local electrical grid signals it's a good off-peak time to suck down more electricity.
Refrigerators are not the only appliances that could be programmed to wait for convenient times to run. … Read more
NISKAYUNA, N.Y.--With a 1914 electric car displayed outside, General Electric last week hosted a symposium on batteries for transportation and the electricity grid.
GE has been working on battery-powered vehicles for decades. Although those projects didn't yield mass-produced electric vehicles, GE executives said that the conditions for increased use of batteries on the grid and in vehicles have never been better.
The same conditions that are driving GE's Ecomagination initiative--a limit on natural resources like fossil fuels and fresh water as well as regulations to cut carbon emissions--make batteries a good area for research, said Mark … Read more
Will Apple's decision to use Nividia chips in its new MacBooks be a catalyst for change?
With all the hoopla surrounding Apple's choice of Nvidia graphics in its new MacBooks fading, it remains to be seen if Nvidia's GeForce 9400M has legs.
Intel has a successful integrated graphics franchise and is the leader in laptop graphics. Before I get slammed, let me be clear that I'm not talking about performance. I'm referring to market share. Many laptop suppliers--particularly in the low-cost and ultraportable segments--default to Intel graphics because it offers adequate performance, reasonable power efficiency, … Read more
Our struggling economy has put just about everyone in the country back in touch with the part of their judgment that decides when it's a good time to splurge and a good time to save. In the wake of rising oil prices, a planet that's heating up, and falling stocks, the emphasis on energy-efficient home technology is higher than ever.
GE has responded by planning a release of a line of green appliances in early 2009. The line is part of GE's "ecomagination" initiative, and will include an array of ''smart" refrigerators, ranges, washers … Read more
The latest MacBook Air masks a lot of new electronics under an old skin.
To me, the new MacBook Air (MBA) is truly a second-generation product despite its unchanged appearance. But before I explain why, let me clarify where I am coming from.
I have been using an MBA for the last eight months. Why the over-priced Air? I am a minimalist when it comes to computers (though not necessarily when it comes to spending money on computers). The more spartan the laptop is, the better. In a well-executed design this translates to more portability, which, for me, takes priority … Read more
Nvidia on Wednesday introduced its GeForce 9400M graphics chip, a direct threat to Intel's graphics silicon.
Apple's choice of the 9400M for its refreshed MacBook line heralds a much-needed infusion of competition in the market for mobile integrated graphics--a low-cost solution that is built into Intel chipsets. To date, Intel has dominated the market, with many of the top notebook vendors defaulting to Intel graphics in low-end models and ultraportables. Apple chose Intel graphics for previous versions of the MacBook and MacBook Air.
Toshiba will begin shipping a 256GB solid-state drive, matching Samsung, its bigger, badder rival.
Another nail in the hard-disk-drive coffin? Well, not quite. But Toshiba's drive rivals magnetic drives in size while delivering better performance.
Solid-state drives are more expensive than hard-disk drives but are also generally more power efficient and faster.
Toshiba is trying to keep pace with the 800-pound SSD gorilla, South Korea-based Samsung. Samsung is the largest flash memory chip supplier in the world and has stated in the past that it would sample a 256GB SSD in September. Toshiba is ranked No. 2.
And the … Read more
A joint venture between General Electric and Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer Tautung will market LCD TVs next year in the U.S. The new company, called General Displays & Technologies, plans to introduce its first GE-branded models next spring, joining the likes of Westinghouse and Polaroid that leverage well-known brands to appeal to buyers in a crowded, confusing HDTV marketplace.
The GE TVs won't mirror the bare-bones features of those other brands, however, and we presume pricing will be accordingly higher. The most-interesting feature from our perspective is Internet connectivity.
"We are developing advanced, Internet capabilities for content delivery to televisions, without the need for a PC. This includes IPTV through cable, satellite, and advanced fiber-optic television connectivity," said Mike McConnaughey, the new firm's CEO. "The long-term strategy is to allow consumers to customize their viewing experience by downloading widgets and a variety of services directly to their HDTVs."
The company will partner with NBC Universal, a subsidiary of GE, to develop an open platform for content delivery.