News Briefs: January 2019

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Texas Border Business

Amazon Jumps Microsoft, Becomes most Valuable U.S. Company for First Time

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For the first time, Amazon is the most valuable publicly traded U.S. company after surpassing fellow tech giant Microsoft in a mixed trading session on Monday. Amazon shares closed up more than 3 percent, pushing the e-commerce giant’s market capitalization to $796.8 billion, according to Dow Jones Market Data Group. Source: Fox Business

Navajo company looks into buying northern Arizona coal mine

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A Navajo Nation energy company studying the purchase of a coal-fired power plant on the reservation says it’s looking into the mine that supplies it, too. The tribal government asked the Navajo Transitional Energy Company in October to look into acquiring the Navajo Generating Station near Page along the Arizona-Utah border. Its owners are closing it in December, citing cheaper power from natural gas. Source: AP News 

New technology created to protect wind turbines from lightning

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An ongoing partnership between Wichita State University and Westar Energy recently resulted in the implementation of a new technology aimed at protecting wind turbine blades from lightning strikes. The technology, which minimizes the damages and costs involved with lightning strikes, was developed by Billy Martin, director and senior research scientist in the Environmental Test Lab at WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research. Source: Newswise


Reimagining Information Processing

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Because technology is a part of our everyday lives, it may be difficult to imagine what the future of technology will look like, let alone what it has the potential of accomplishing. West Virginia University physicists Cheng Cen, Lian Li, Yanjun Ma, Ming Yang and Chenhui Yan are looking beyond the limits of classical computing used in our everyday devices and are working toward making quantum device applications widely accessible. Source: Newswise

Power plant mothballed, cutting grid’s summer power capacity

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A Central Texas coal-fired electric generating plant will be shut down this summer, cutting the state’s biggest electric power grid’s reserve capacity for meeting summer demand. The Texas Municipal Power Agency has notified the Electric Reliability Council of Texas that it won’t operate its Gibbons Creek Generating Station this summer, the Houston Chronicle reported. That comes after three coal-fired plants owned by Irving-based Vistra Energy were shut down last year. Source: AP News. 

Ford wants its cars to ‘talk’ with traffic lights and pedestrians

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At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the automaker announced plans to start selling cars that feature this type of technology in 2022. The technology, called cellular vehicle-to-everything (or C-V2X for short), uses wireless signals to share road data, such as a car’s location or the color of a traffic light, with other vehicles. Ford believes it will make cities safer by better informing drivers of their surroundings and compares the innovation to the invention of the traffic light in the 19th century. Source: CNN

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Boeing delivers record 806 aircraft in 2018, shares jump 4 percent

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Boeing Co (BA.N) delivered a record 806 aircraft in 2018 as it overcame supplier woes, retaining the title of the world’s biggest plane maker for the seventh straight year. The company’s shares rose as much as 3.9 percent to $340.90 and were the biggest percentage gainer on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI). Source: Reuters

Netflix and chill no more – streaming is getting complicated

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Image for illustration only

Streaming TV may never again be as simple, or as affordable, as it is now. Disney and WarnerMedia are each launching their own streaming services in 2019 in a challenge to Netflix’s dominance. Families will have to decide between paying more each month or losing access to some of their favorite dramas, comedies, musicals and action flicks. Source: AP News

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