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明星资讯腾讯娱乐2019年09月24日 00:36:07
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There is no more terrifying speech to make than a toast, because none is more prone to disaster. Even Mark Twain, at the height of his fame, confessed that he #39;was in awful terror#39; as he climbed onto a table to toast Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.再没有比致祝酒辞更令人恐怖的讲话了,因为它极易酿成一场灾难。就连马克?吐温在如日中天时也承认,当他爬上一张桌子向尤利西斯?S?格兰特(Ulysses S. Grant)将军敬酒时,他“感到心惊胆寒”。The 14 speakers who went before Twain that night had taken more than six hours. In an age where the only other entertainment option was picking lice off a mule, listening to speeches was the equivalent of going to an Arcade Fire concert.当晚在马克?吐温之前致辞的14个人花了逾六小时时间。在那个时代,除了演讲,其他活动就只有从骡子身上抓虱子,听演讲就相当于参加一场拱廊之火(Arcade Fire)摇滚乐队的音乐会。Today, however, we live in a world of diversions. I often find myself telling my kids, #39;Get off your phone and watch the TV!#39; Given our communal attention deficit, the pressure has mounted on toasts to be fast, funny and heartfelt as hell. Plus the stakes are higher: Your talk will likely appear on YouTube for the rest of time, popping up when the person you just met through OkCupid Googles your name.然而,如今我们生活在一个活动十分丰富的世界里。我常常对孩子说:“别玩手机了,看电视!”鉴于注意力短缺已成为一种通病,致祝酒辞的压力越来越大,要能快快说完,还要说得极其搞笑,极其诚挚。此外,风险也变大了:你说的话可能会一直放在YouTube上,你刚在交友网站OkCupid上遇到的人只要用谷歌搜索你的名字,它就会跳出来。So here are some tips to navigate the toasting minefield.以下是引导你安全通过祝酒辞雷区的一些小贴士。1. Don#39;t make it about you. The sneaky insertion of self-congratulation is the Speech-Transmitted Disease of our times. For instance, #39;Years ago I was marching up the ladder at Pamp;G and Jon supported my idea of adding a touch of gunpowder to Attack Body Spray. The success of Attack led to my becoming V.P. of Teen Odor Control. That#39;s the kind of guy Jon is.#39;1. 不要自吹自擂。借致辞之机偷偷自我吹嘘一番,是我们这个时代的“讲话传播病”。例如:“很多年前我在宝洁(Pamp;G)打拼的时候,乔恩(Jon)持我在攻击牌身体喷雾(Attack Body Spray)里加一点火药的想法。攻击牌的成功让我成为青少年体味控制(Teen Odor Control)部门副总裁。乔恩就是这样的人。”Nope. That#39;s the kind of guy you are. You#39;re there to say nice things about your friend or relative, so do just that. Your dead aunt wasn#39;t special because she was the inspiration for your still-available-on-Amazon novel about an English professor at Smith. We all crave praise and more sales, but this isn#39;t the time or place -- wait until you get married or die, and then maybe someone will deliver a nice, selfless toast about you.乔恩可不是这样的人,你才是。你到场应该是为了说说你亲友的好话,那就这样做就好了。你过世的姑姑很特别,但并不是因为她启发了你的灵感,使你创作了那本讲述史密斯学院(Smith)一名英文教授的故事、至今在亚马逊上仍未售罄的小说。我们都渴望受赞扬,渴望推销自己,但现在并不是恰当的时间和场合──等你结婚或去世时,或许会有人为你致一番漂亮、无私的祝酒辞。2. Keep it short. Unless you#39;re Louis C.K., people don#39;t want to hear you talk a lot. What#39;s the one thing they actually want from you? More time to go play Candy Crush.2. 保持短小精悍。除非你是喜剧演员路易斯?C?K(Louis C.K.),否则没人想听你长篇大论。听众真正想让你做的是什么呢?是让他们有更多时间玩糖果粉碎传奇(Candy Crush)。Three minutes is the perfect toast length, and since you#39;re not allowed to talk about yourself, how much is there really to say, right? The moment you go over five minutes, the interior monologue of every guest at the party is, #39;Please shut up, please shut up . . .#39; Give people the gift of surprise and delight by finishing up fast.祝酒辞的最佳时长是三分钟,既然不允许你谈自己,那还有什么好说的呢,对吗?祝酒辞只要超过五分钟,派对上所有客人心里都会开始嘀咕:“拜托你闭嘴,拜托你闭嘴……”请你快一点结束,给人们带去些许惊喜和快乐吧。3. Embarrassing isn#39;t the same as funny. An embarrassing story is like nitroglycerin -- you might get it to the Nazi bridge in time, but it#39;s more likely you#39;ll blow up your own Jeep instead.3. 别把难堪当有趣。让人难堪的故事就像硝化甘油──你也许能及时把它放到纳粹(Nazi)的桥上,但可能性更大的是你炸掉了自己的吉普车。The problem is the audience#39;s lack of context. They weren#39;t there with you, or as drunk as you, when Rajiv threw the stuffed tomato and knocked the dean off her bike. Also, the embarrassing story is often the only thing that everyone remembers from the event. Fifty years from now, people won#39;t recall a word that the minister said at the wedding. What they will have embedded in their minds is the image you painted of Jennifer relieving herself in Casey#39;s aquarium.症结在于听众不知道故事的来龙去脉。当拉吉夫(Rajiv)冲着系主任扔酿番茄,让她从自行车上摔下来的时候,他们并不在场,也没有像你一样喝醉。还有,难堪的故事通常是派对结束后大家记住的唯一一件事。五十年之后,牧师在婚礼上说了什么大家一个词也想不起来了。但你描述的那幅珍妮弗(Jennifer)在凯茜(Casey)的鱼缸里方便的画面会铭刻在他们的脑海里。Yes, you feel pressed to be funny, but the humiliating story doesn#39;t have much of an upside. And the downside? Waking up in a cold sweat for the rest of your life. Go with short and heartfelt instead.没错,你迫切想要表现得风趣,但讲些令人难堪的故事并没有什么好处。那坏处呢?你余生的每一天都会在一身冷汗中醒来。还是说点简短、诚挚的话吧。4. Pick one story, maybe two. Toasters often ramble from one anecdote to the next, turning their speech into a trail mix of stories, frustrating listeners desperate to find an Mamp;M. Choose a single theme about your subject -- Shannon looks like the Mona Lisa; Bob would have made a great trapped Chilean miner -- and pick a story or two that let you say something amusing or sweet to slam that theme through the hoop.4. 选择一个故事,两个也可以。致祝酒辞的人常常会从一则轶事扯到另一则轶事,把致辞变成了故事大杂烩,使急着想找颗Mamp;M巧克力豆来吃的听众沮丧不已。请为你的致辞选择一个单一主题──比如,香农(Shannon)长得像蒙娜?丽莎(Mona Lisa);鲍勃(Bob)本来有望成为被困井下的伟大智利矿工)──然后选择一两个合适的故事,使你能用有趣或温馨的话来把你的主题讲透。5. Write and rehearse. Don#39;t even think about winging it. Write your toast down, then print it on note cards, because when you pull out big sheets of paper people#39;s hearts sink. Practice the toast out loud at least five times in front of your cat (dogs are too easy an audience). You can memorize the speech, but bring your cards anyway -- it#39;s easy to go blank in front of friends whose pensions you put into Enron stock in 1999.5. 写下来并事先演练。即兴发挥?想都不要去想。把你的祝酒辞写下来,然后打印在记事卡上,因为如果你拿出大张大张的纸,人们的心情立马就会沉重。当着你的猫(让做听众太简单了)的面至少大声演练五遍。你可以把演讲辞背下来,但还是要带上记事卡──要是你在1999年把朋友的养老金投进了安然公司(Enron)的股票,现在你面对他们的时候,大脑会很容易变成一片空白。Twain reported that his toast was a hit -- it #39;shook [Grant] up like dynamite.#39; No pressure, but I#39;ll be tracking your toast#39;s success on YouTube.马克?吐温说,他的祝酒辞很成功──像炸药一样震撼了(格兰特)。”我不是有意给你施加压力,但我会上Youtube看你的祝酒辞说得成不成功。 /201311/266170

Deal will improve Google’s map imagery and help sp Internet access around the world.谷歌(Google)在太空科技领域的地位将得到进一步增强。Google GOOG -0.28% is about to increase its foothold on outer space tech.一份声明显示,这家互联网巨头以5亿美元收购了卫星公司Skybox Imaging。The Internet giant has purchased satellite company Skybox Imaging for 0 million, according to astatement.据报道,谷歌首先将利用此项收购改善其电子地图的图像质量。未来,谷歌也可能利用这家公司的务将互联网铺到全球更多地方。。“Skybox的卫星将帮助谷歌地图(Google Maps)准确提供最新图像。假以时日,我们还希望Skybox的团队和科技将能帮助改善互联网接入和灾难救援——这些是谷歌长期以来非常感兴趣的领域。”谷歌表示。The company will reportedly first use the acquisition to improve its imagery for digital maps. Down the road, Google may also use the company to bring the Internet to more places around the world.与此同时,Skybox也赞扬了这一新的合作伙伴关系:“我们双方都主张让信息(特别是准确的地理空间信息)变得更易获得和产生价值,”该公司在其客中宣称。“Skybox’s satellites will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. Over time, we also hope that Skybox’s team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief — areas Google has long been interested in,” Google said.Skybox补充说,协议“尚未最终完成”,而谷歌也提到,此项交易仍“取决于常规完成交易条件”,包括美国监管机构的批准等。 /201406/305762

Researchers in South Korea may soon have a natural, portable answer -- a "Kiss Apple" tiny enough to be stashed in a pocket or purse for quick eating prior to locking lips.Apples help freshen breath naturally and remove pieces of food stuck in the teeth, but the ping-pong ball-sized apple would be easier to carry around, and far less filling to gulp at a critical moment."We can mass produce the species with stronger functions that control food odors in as few as two years," Hwang added.韩国农业发展部的 Hwang Hye-sung 研究人员欲培养一种新品种的苹果(kiss apple),它的特点是小巧、切有治疗口臭的作用。据说这种苹果将只有乒乓球大小,便于携带,你可以随时随地的拿出来咬一口,它就像口香糖一样具有清新口气的作用。当然,同时也可拥有苹果的营养价值。Hwang Hye-sung 说该苹果可以帮助口气清新自然,同时还可以移除牙缝的残渣。目前计划这种苹果在2年内批量上市。 /201105/135415

  

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  Let’s face it: there is an inexplicable bond created when you slide a pencil or pen across a piece of paper, leaving traces of graphite or ink on what was once a blank canvas. That series of scratches coalesce to form a manifestation of an idea. As your mind scribbles and erases and scribbles some more, so does your hand. The physical steps become a part of the mental process.让我们面对现实吧:当你用笔在纸上写下一行字,把石墨或墨水凝成的字迹留在一张白纸上,总会产生一种说不清道不明的感觉。这一系列涂鸦变成了一种思想的体现。随着你的思想写写划划、删删改改,你的手也忙个不停。书写这套动作,已经成为思考过程的一部分。Technology has done wonders to reduce these steps. Computers and tablets (and keyboards and mice and capacitive displays and even speech recognition software) help us more quickly create. The problem, it seems, is that sometimes our minds aren’t quite up to speed. We need a little low-tech resistance to make the right ideas flow.科技奇迹般地缩短了这些步骤。电脑和平板电脑(以及键盘、鼠标、电容屏甚至语音识别软件等)使我们可以更快地进行思维的创造。但问题是,有些时候,我们的意识还没有跟上科技创新的脚步。所以为了让正确的创意喷涌而出,有时候我们不得不放慢脚步,来一点“低科技”作为佐料。As someone who makes a living staring at a blinking cursor that seems to always be a step ahead of me, I often find myself retreating to—if you’ll permit me saying so, here on this website—the analog version of Microsoft Word. Not to romanticize it, but writing is an intimate act, and that aspect is often overlooked as digitization marches on. (Well, except in Milan. The folks at Moleskineseem to get it.)作为一个依靠盯着闪烁的光标(它似乎总是比我快一步)讨生活的人,我经常发现自己对微软Word之类的软件有抵触情绪。我不是在吹嘘自己有格调,不过我认为书写是一种舒适的行为,但是随着数字化的发展,这一点经常被人忽略了。(呃,米兰人除外,做Moleskine高档笔记本的那群家伙似乎懂得这一点。)Believe it or not, technology companies seem to be aware of the problem. Microsoft, among others, is putting a lot of effort into replicating the familiarity of pen and paper on a layer of pixels below a slab of glass. It’s one reason why the company touted the Surface Pen as a primary selling point for its Surface Pro 3 tablet. As you may recall from an earlier column, I was veryimpressed with how it performed, and as I went from meeting to meeting with it during a trip to Japan, people continued to approach me and ask: “What stylus is that?” (Which was often followed by: “Does it work with the iPad?”)不管你信不信,一些科技公司也意识到了这个问题。比如微软等公司就花费大量精力,试图在平板电脑上模拟用纸笔写字的感觉。这也是为什么微软要把Surface Pen当作Surface Pro 3平板电脑的主要卖点之一。我在早些时候的一篇专栏文章中曾写道,Surface Pen的表现让我非常惊艳。前一阵我去日本出差时也带着它参加了一场又一场的会议,不断有人问我:“这是什么笔?”(下一句话经常就是:“它能在iPad上用吗?”)The Surface Pen does not work with an iPad, of course—its proprietary software is Microsoft-compatible only. But the inquiries set me on a search to find an iPad stylus that could replicate the experience of the Surface Pen and, by extension, the conventional pencil or pen.当然,Surface Pen是不能在iPad上用的,它的专有软件只在微软的产品上兼容。不过问的人多了,我就开始搜索有没有和Surface Pen的体验差不多、甚至接近传统纸笔书写感觉的iPad专用笔。My search began with Pencil from FiftyThree ( and up). Its chiseled form is reminiscent of a carpenter’s pencil, and its walnut or graphite housing underscores the reference. On the business end you’ll find a soft rubber tip designed to glide across an iPad display; the butt of the tool offers another contact point that’s meant to duplicate an eraser. Thanks to a Bluetooth 4.0 sensor, the implement can detect tip pressure (which, through software, translates to line thickness), determine when the eraser end is in use, and eliminate any errant doodling when you rest your palm on the screen.我首先找到的是FiftyThree公司推出的Pencil笔(售价60美元以上),它的造型让人联想起木工铅笔,胡桃木加铅笔芯的搭配更强化了这种感觉。笔尖一端有一个软软的橡胶头,用来在iPad显示屏上写字;笔端有另一个接触点,模拟的是橡皮擦的功能。借助一个蓝牙4.0传感器,它可以探测笔尖的压力(通过软件可以转换成笔迹的粗细),也可以探测到你是在使用笔尖还是使用橡皮擦,同时也可以避免当你把手放在屏幕上时,出现不合时宜的涂鸦。Writing with Pencil, it was apparent that I was using a digital tool. Instead of concentrating on what I was writing, I constantly found myself focusing on what I was writing with. How I positioned the tip of the stylus was a persistent thought because its soft material made the contact point change in shape as I wrote with it. My letters would blend together unnecessarily, not unlike the stereotype of a physician’s freehand, leaving me to decipher my own transcribed thoughts. Pencil makes for a superb sketching tool, but as a writing implement it left me wanting.用这笔写字时,我明显能感到自己是在用一款数码工具在写字。因此我关注的不是我在写什么,而是一直把注意力放在我的书写工具上。我一直在想自己应该用什么姿势使用这笔,因为接触点的软质材料容易在书写时变形。我的字迹会出现不必要的模糊,就像医生开处方的草书一样,有时候很难识别。Pencil笔可能是一很好的画画工具,但是作为书写工具仍稍嫌不足。The Cosmonaut by Studio Neat () was recommended to me by a er. This stylus was thick like the Pencil but was cylindrical, designed to replicate the feel of a dry erase marker. The Cosmonaut is far simpler than its peers because it lacks internal electronics and dedicated software, instead relying on a device’s capacitive screen for interaction. The rubber tip of the stylus is firm and made for a consistent contact point on the iPad’s screen. Despite the tool’s girth, I felt like I had more control over my handwriting than the Pencil—I could indeed my own handwriting. Unfortunately, it stops there: because the stylus lacks its own software, it offers little in the way of pressure detection or quick-erase smarts.Studio Neat公司推出的Cosmonaut笔(售价25美元)是一位读者给我推荐的。这笔的粗细跟Pencil差不多,但它是圆柱型的,使用时感觉像是一白板笔。Cosmonaut要比其它电容笔简单多了,因为它没有复杂的内部结构和专用软件,而是依靠设备的电容屏进行交互。它的橡胶笔尖较硬,而且与iPad屏幕的接触点比较一致。尽管这笔还是比较粗,但我觉得我对字迹的控制要好于Pencil——至少我能看懂自己写了些什么。可惜它的好处也就止于此处,由于这笔缺乏自有软件,它既没有压力探测功能,也没有迅速删除功能。Is simple better for a stylus? I walked out of a Best Buy with a slim model made by Targus () to find out. The implement has a soft rubber nib on one end and most closely resembles the shape and size of a traditional pen. Like the Cosmonaut, the Targus stylus lacks internal components or accompanying software. Unlike the Cosmonaut (but quite like the Pencil), it was a complete distraction during use. It quickly became clear to me that this stylus was better suited to acute tasks, such as selecting icons or buttons in an interface, rather than free-form writing.对于电容笔来说,是否简单才是更好的?我在百思买(Best Buy)买了一Targus公司生产的一较修长的电容笔(售价9美元)。这笔有一个较软的橡胶笔尖,形状和大小都像传统铅笔的笔尖。像Cosmonaut一样,它也没有内部元件或专用软件。不同之处在于(这一点跟Pencil比较像),它在使用的时候非常容易让人分心。它很快使我意识到,这笔比较适合应急,比如选择图标或者按钮什么的,而不是自由书写。To the other end of the price spectrum, then. The Adonit Jot Touch (0) was by far the most expensive stylus I tested, and like most of the models I used, it had a thicker profile, akin to a full-size Sharpie (but with two buttons where your thumb might rest). Like the Pencil, the Jot Touch uses software to facilitate interaction with an iPad. The two buttons can be assigned actions, depending on your composition app of preference; during my testing, I set the bottom one as an “Undo” action and the top one as a “Redo.” (What can I say, I’m an indecisive writer.) Though the Jot Touch’s body is thicker than a traditional pen, its “Pixelpoint” tip isn’t, and I found it suitable for writing at length.再说说高端产品。卖价120美元的Adonit Jot Touch是目前为止我测试过的最贵的一电容笔。另外和大多数我测试的其它产品一样,它的“三围”也比较丰满,有点像一大号的Sharpie牌签字笔,它有两个按钮,你可以把拇指方在上面。像Pencil一样,这笔通过软件来促进与iPad的交互。根据你的偏好,这两个按钮可以进行指定的操作。在我的评测过程中,我把下面那个按钮设置为“撤消”功能,把上面那个按钮设置为“恢复”功能(没办法,我写作时爱犹豫)。虽然这电容笔比传统钢笔要粗上一圈,但它的“像素点”端却没那么粗,而且我发现它很适合长时间写作。The world of styluses is surprisingly large, and I in no way claim to have tested every size, shape, or type available on the market. (In Best Buy alone, there was a four-foot section of them.) I evaluated the implements above on the advice of ers and personal research, using the Noteshelf app as my digital paper of choice. (Which, I should note, explicitly supports the Pencil and Jot Touch.)电容笔已经成了一个大得惊人的产业,而且我也绝不敢声称我把市面上的每一种规格、型号、外观的电容笔都测试了。(光是在百思买超市里,就有四英尺长的一排货架是卖电容笔的。)我根据读者的建议和个人的搜索评测了上述几款产品,搭配的书写应用软件是Noteshelf。(务必要指出的是,它对Pencil和Jot Touch持得特别好。)After a week of staring at my embarrassing penmanship—at times laughing at the fact that it could actually get worse than what’s aly become of it in this keyboard-first world we live in—I came to an obvious conclusion. The Jot Touch, with help from Noteshelf, is the iPad stylus that best replicates the pen and paper experience so many covet.我连续看了一个星期我那令人尴尬的书法,好几次苦笑着承认一个事实:在这个以键盘为主的世界,我们的字只会写得越来越难看。在这之后,我得出了一个明显的结论:Jot Touch电容笔在NoteShelf软件的配合下,可以说是在iPad上模拟传统纸笔体验最出色的电容笔。But a facsimile is not the real thing. If you’re looking for an intimate, creative, even romantic way to put pen to paper—well, you know what to do. Let the mind wander. Doodle in the margins. There’s a time to be efficient. This isn’t it.但模拟得再像,毕竟也不是真的。如果你想要一种放松的、创造性的甚至是有格调的书写体验——你知道该怎么做。让思想游荡,让笔尖在白纸上涂鸦。有些时候我们必须追求效率,但是写作不能这样。 /201409/327312

  A dramatic plan to transport humans beyond the solar system within 100 years today received the backing of former President Bill Clinton.美国正在开展一项名为“百年星舰”的宇宙探索计划,希望在百年内能够让人类冲出太阳系,抵达其他遥远的星球。该计划获得了美国前总统比尔#8226;克林顿的持。The 100-year Starship project, which was set up with US military seed funding, plans to develop huge #39;starships#39; to send humans far into space.“百年星舰”计划是用美军的种子基金创立的,将建造大型“星际飞船”,把人类送往太空。It has aly received large amounts of funding, and former President Bill Clinton has even stepped in to serve as the symposium#39;s Honorary Chair.该计划已得到大批资金资助,美国前总统克林顿还作为名誉主席出席了研讨会。In a statement, Clinton said: #39;This important effort helps advance the knowledge and technologies required to explore space, all while generating the necessary tools that enhance our quality of life on earth.#39;克林顿在声明中说:“这项重要研究能帮助我们增进探索太空的知识和技术,还能让我们生产出提高地球上人们生活质量的必需工具。”The astronaut who became the first black woman in space in 1992 has been chosen to skipper the ;100 Year Starship; project.在1992年进入太空的首位黑人女宇航员梅#8226;杰米森被选为“百年星舰”计划的首任机长。;The 100 Year Starship will make the capability of human travel beyond our solar system to another star a reality over the next 100 years,; she said.她说:“在未来一百年内,‘百年星舰’计划会让人类冲出太阳系,飞往其他星球的梦想成真。”;We will embark on a journey across time and space. If my language is dramatic, it is because this project is monumental.;“我们将开启跨越时空的星际之旅。如果我说得太夸张的话,那是因为这项计划本身就很有纪念意义。”;And our team is both invigorated and sobered by the confidence DARPA has in us to make interstellar flight a reality.;“我们的团队充满活力,美国国防高级研究计划署对我们也很有信心,星际飞行的梦想终将成真。” /201209/199400

  Twitter should take inspiration from Asian social media groups that convince users to pay for services rather than relying on advertising, the company’s revenue chief told the Financial Times.Twitter全球营收业务总裁亚当#8226;贝恩(Adam Bain)对英国《金融时报》表示,该公司应从亚洲的社交媒体企业那里吸取灵感,说用户为务付费,而不是单纯依靠广告收入。Adam Bain said Twitter and the rest of the US internet sector could learn from the revenue model that has emerged in Asia, where products such as chat apps are used as platforms to sell everything from stickers to in-app games.贝恩指出,Twitter以及美国互联网行业的其他公司,应学习亚洲地区出现的营收模式;在亚洲,聊天应用等产品被用作电商平台,销售从贴纸到应用内购游戏等各种商品。But he stopped short of suggesting that Twitter itself was planning on rolling out paid features on its platform.但他并没有明确表示,Twitter自身正计划在其平台上推出付费功能。“The model of why people pay for certain features, in Korea and Japan – there’s a really good example for the rest of us to learn,” he said. “The way they’ve got consumers to pay for features and services is interesting, and something everybody in our space could learn from.”贝恩表示:“在韩国和日本,促使人们愿意为某些特色功能付费的业务模式,对于我们其他人来说是非常好的学习案例。他们吸引消费者为其特色功能及务付费的方式很有意思,美国互联网行业的所有企业都能从中学到点什么。”Twitter is expanding its advertising business outside the US. Although more than three-quarters of users are overseas, that segment only contributes about a quarter of the revenue.Twitter正在美国以外的市场拓展广告业务。虽然该公司海外用户所占比例超过四分之三,但这部分用户仅为该公司带来了约四分之一的收入。The nearly-eight-year-old company made the vast majority of its 5m in revenue last year from advertising, in the form of promoted tweets, accounts and trends, with a small contribution from selling Twitter data to partners. But it is reported to be working on incorporating e-commerce into the platform after hiring Nathan Hubbard, the former chief executive of Ticketmaster , to work for Mr Bain just before its initial public offering last autumn.Twitter成立现已八年。去年该公司收入6.65亿美元,绝大部分来自广告业务,主要形式包括推广性质的tweet消息、账号以及热门话题,还有一小部分收入来自于向合作伙伴出售Twitter数据。Twitter在去年秋季首次公开募股(IPO)之前,聘请了Ticketmaster前首席执行官内森#8226;哈伯德(Nathan Hubbard)在贝恩手下工作;有报道称,自那以来Twitter一直致力于将电子商务纳入其平台。Mr Bain has been travelling to learn about how marketers use the platform – and its rivals – and opening regional offices.贝恩近期一直在到处出差,一方面了解市场营销人员使用Twitter和其竞争对手的情况,另一方面在设立一些地区办公室。While Twitter competes with Facebook for social media advertising spending across the world, in Asia it faces other rivals in the form of chat apps such as Tencent’s WeChat and the Japanese service Line. Snapchat, which Facebook tried to buy, according to two people familiar with the matter, has also said Tencent was a “role model” for the company.虽然Twitter与Facebook在全世界争夺社交媒体广告业务,但在亚洲,Twitter还面临其他竞争对手,比如腾讯(Tencent)旗下的聊天应用微信(WeChat)、以及日本的聊天应用Line。据两位知情人士透露,Facebook曾试图收购的Snapchat也曾表示,腾讯是该公司的“学习榜样”。Facebook’s bn acquisition of WhatsApp last month underlined the value of chat apps and the importance for US social networks of further penetrating global markets.Facebook上月斥资190亿美元收购WhatsApp,凸显出了聊天应用的价值,以及进一步渗透全球市场对美国社交网络企业的重要性。But Mr Bain said that even in Asia there was no service offering quite what Twitter did to advertisers. “Our view is that Twitter is live, public, conversational and distributed. The power of those things together no other platform is offering. There are things that are live but not public or conversational or distributed, or those that are public that aren’t live and conversational.”但贝恩表示,即便是在亚洲,也几乎没有什么务能与Twitter提供给广告商的务相匹敌。“我们认为,Twitter是实时的、公开的、可对话的、以及可传播的。没有任何其他平台能够同时满足这些特质。有些产品是实时的,但不公开、不可对话或不可传播。有些产品是公开的,但却不实时、也不可对话。”Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research, said there was no reason western consumers could not be convinced to pay for online services like those in Asia.Pivotal Research的分析师布赖恩#8226;威泽(Brian Wieser)表示,我们有理由认为,西方消费者能像亚洲消费者一样,被说为网络务付费。 /201403/279313The cognitive challenges of walking while texting are well known, both to scientists and to those of us who have ambled into a light pole or a fellow pedestrian or have been on the receiving end of someone else#39;s distracted movements. Strolling while talking on the phone — or, more particular, texting — ties up the brain#39;s relatively limited working attentional resources, most researchers would agree, much as those activities do when you are driving.边走边发短信会带来认知挑战,这一点不仅仅为科学家,也为那些曾经一头撞上电线杆或者别的路人,或者曾被走神的人撞上的人来说所熟知。边走边使用电话——或者更具体地说,发短信——涉及到的工作记忆资源相对有限,至少不会超过你开车时发短信涉及的大脑资源,对此大部分研究人员都认同。But walking is not driving. In some ways, it#39;s more demanding. You sit while you drive. Walking requires a multitude of orchestrated actions and reactions. But whether and how using a phone affects the physical process of walking and whether those impacts might have health costs have been little explored.但走路跟开车不同。在某种角度来说,它提出的要求更高。开车时你是坐着的,而走路需要多种行为和反应协调一致。不过,用手机是否或如何影响走路这种生理过程,以及这种影响是否会产生健康损害,这些还甚少得到研究。So researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, rounded up 26 healthy adults for a study, published last month in PLOS One, and sent them strolling repeatedly along a 28-foot stretch of hallway while cameras captured their steps. In one setup, the volunteers walked without a phone; in another, they a long text on a phone#39;s screen; and in a third, they texted ;The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.; The volunteers were told to hold the phone and type as they usually would. They were also asked to try to walk as normally as possible.澳大利亚布里斯班的昆士兰大学(University of Queensland)研究人员因此做了一项试验,征集了26名健康成人,并请他们在一条长为28英尺的走廊上反复行走,用摄像机记录下他们的脚步。一次安排这些志愿者在走路时不拿手机;另一次边走边在手机上看一条长长的短信;第三次则是边走边发短信,内容为:敏捷的褐色狐狸跳过了懒。志愿者需要手持手机,用习惯的方式来编辑短信内容,同时需要走起路来尽量跟平常一样。这份研究上月发表在《公共科学图书馆·综合》(PLOS One)上。As it turned out, texting significantly distorted their gait and walking form, whether they intended to contort themselves or not. Most noticeable, the volunteers began to walk with a more upright and rigid body position. Their heads froze into cocked and largely unchanging positions, eyes on the screen, chins bent toward their chests. Their necks and lower back joints had significantly less range of motion. They displayed ;tighter mechanical constraint; in their upper bodies and midsections, according to the researchers; arms stopped swinging loosely and were bent and locked into place. The pelvic joints likewise stiffened, making leg motion jerkier. In general, the texters moved ;like robots,; said Siobhan Schabrun, an honorary senior fellow at the University of Queensland, who led the study.研究发现,不管人们是否会有意识地加以控制,发短信都会显著扭曲人们的姿势和步态。最值得注意的是,这些志愿者走起路来时,身体的姿势变得更为挺直、僵硬。他们的头歪了起来,而且角度没怎么变化,眼睛盯着屏幕,下巴垂到胸前。他们的脖子和后腰关节活动范围显著变小。据研究人员说,这些参试人员的上半身和腰腹部出现了“更紧张的力学约束”,上臂不再松弛摆动,而是弯了起来,固定在身体两侧。骨盆关节同样僵硬,这令双腿动作变得不再稳定。这项研究的领导者、昆士兰大学荣誉资深研究员西沃恩·斯格布兰(Siobhan Schabrun)介绍说,总的来看,发短信的人走起路来“像是机器人”。Simultaneously, their gait patterns changed. Texters took significantly shorter steps, and their pace slowed. They also ;deviated more from a straight line,; the study#39;s authors wrote, meaning that with almost every step, they set their feet farther to the side.与此同时,他们的步态模式也改变了。发短信的人走的步伐明显变小,速度放慢。研究的作者在论文中指出,他们同时“常常偏离直线”,这指的是参试人员每走一步,步子都会往路边凑近一点。These adjustments, although relatively slight, could result in both immediate and longer-term physical consequences, Dr. Schabrun said. In the short term, they increase the likelihood that you will trip, and not merely because you neglect to look where you are going while texting. ;Previous studies, many in elderly populations, have shown that a more rigid posture, such as this, can put you at greater risk of falling,; Dr. Schabrun said.斯格布兰士说,这些调整尽管较为微妙,但可能会产生即时和远期的生理后果。短期来说,这会加剧人们绊倒的可能性,而且这不仅仅是因为你在走路时没看路。“此前很多在年长人群中进行的研究已经显示,出现这一类僵硬体态,更容易加大你摔跤的危险,”斯格布兰说。Frequent peripatetic texting also may cause or worsen neck and shoulder pain, Dr. Schabrun suggested, by reducing the neck joint#39;s natural range of motion. If you walk and text, occasionally move out of pedestrian traffic and gently tilt your head forward and back, an easy exercise to combat neck stiffness.斯格布兰士还认为,频繁在走路时发短信会限制脖子的自然活动范围,引发或加剧脖子和肩膀疼痛。如果你非得走路时发短信,那么最好是能不时离开人行道,轻轻地前后扭动头部,这种简单运动可以应对脖子僵硬。This brief intermission from texting may also reorient your body#39;s relationship with space, Dr. Schabrun said. Normally, the body prioritizes maintaining balance over almost all other demands, she pointed out. But in perhaps the most significant implication of her study, her volunteers#39; bodies and brains appeared to be ;prioritizing texting.;斯格布兰说,发短信时短暂休息下,还有可能让你的身体调整与空间的关系。她指出,我们的身体通常把保持平衡放在其他所有需求之上,但在她的研究中,一个最重要的发现也许在于,参试者的身体和大脑似乎把“发短信视为重中之重”。 /201409/331471

  

  

  

  For years, Germany#39;s ambitious effort to generate bountiful electricity with wind farms rising from the deep blue sea has been drowning in red ink. Now, investors like Blackstone Group LP and suppliers like Siemens are looking to buck that trend.多年来德国雄心勃勃的开发海上风电的计划举步维艰,一直处于亏损之中。现在像黑石集团(Blackstone)这样的投资者以及西门子(Siemens )等供应商则希望扭转这一势头。Offshore wind holds enormous potential for plentiful, environmentally friendly energy because the open sea is almost always windy. But ever since Germany started planning investments in the sector -- around the start of the century -- obstacles have piled up, including a lack of component suppliers and the absence of equipment needed to link turbines to the national power grid. Even the ships needed for construction out in open water were unavailable.由于大海上几乎总是有风,因此海风具有开发丰富且环保电力资源的巨大潜力。但自从德国在本世纪初开始规划海上风电项目投资以来,遭遇了重重阻力,包括缺少配件供应商、没有连接风力涡轮和国家电网所需的设备。即便是在开放水域建设所需的船只也无从获得。As a result, early offshore-wind projects blew through budgets and schedules because developers had to invest billions of dollars in ports, special barges and power connections.因此早期的海上风电项目预算严重超标,投产也被延迟,因为开发商需要为港口、专用船只及电力连接设备投入数十亿美元。Siemens, the world#39;s largest manufacturer of offshore wind turbines, and its partners concede they underestimated the challenges behind offshore wind. The financial fallout from these challenges was highlighted last week, when Siemens said it booked 128 million euros (1 million) in new charges related to connecting offshore wind farms to the power grid. It blamed unexpectedly high costs for shipping, installing and starting up grid components.全球第一大海上风电涡轮生产商西门子及其合作伙伴承认,他们低估了海上风电项目背后的挑战。上周这些挑战对财务的影响得到了印。西门子表示,公司新计入1.28亿欧元(合1.71亿美元)与连接海上风电场和电网相关的出。西门子称运输、安装以及启动涡轮组件的成本高出了预期。They say, however, that they managed to learn new skills in the process.不过该公司表示,在这一过程中他们学到了新的技能。Private-equity firm Blackstone and German project developer WindMW have invested 1.2 billion euros in the Meerwind -- German for #39;sea wind#39; -- project, more than 50 miles (about 85 kilometers) off Germany#39;s coast on the North Sea. Meerwind, which counts 80 massive Siemens turbines, is expected to start delivering electricity late this year -- about a year behind schedule.私募股权公司黑石集团和德国项目开发商WindMW已在这个位于北海、距离德国海岸50多英里(约合85公里)的海上风电项目上投入了12亿欧元。这个名为Meerwind的项目共有80个大型西门子涡轮机,预计将在今年底开始发电,比原定时间推迟了一年左右。Building Meerwind proved daunting, despite its relatively shallow waters. Engineers had to anchor foundations for turbines, transformers and converter stations more than 130 feet beneath the surface, which proved far more difficult than expected.虽然处于浅水,但Meerwind的建设异常艰难。工程师必须将涡轮机、变压器和换流站的底座固定在水面以下130多英尺处。这个过程的难度被明比预期大得多。Another problem was wiring the system to move gigawatts from the sea to consumers on land. This requires offshore converter stations the size of factories, which Siemens builds at a price of around 1 billion euros each.另一个问题是给这个系统装电线,以便将海上发的电输送给陆地的消费者。这需要建设规模有工厂那么大的海上换流站。每建一个换流站花掉西门子大约10亿欧元。Siemens says delays in manufacturing and preparing the converters have cost it roughly 900 million euros in the past two years, including the latest charges announced Thursday. The company finally installed the last two stations in July.西门子称,过去两年在制造和准备换流站方面的拖延使公司损失近9亿欧元,其中包括周四宣布计提的出。西门子在7月份终于安装完了最后两个换流站。Tim Dawidowsky, chief executive of Siemens#39;s electricity-transmission unit, said Siemens has nearly doubled the amount of time allotted to build offshore converter stations to five years.西门子输电子公司的首席执行长Tim Dawidowsky说,西门子为建造离岸换流站安排的时间增至五年,延长了近一倍。Despite its challenges, wind power remains a crucial element in Germany#39;s strategy to replace nuclear and fossil-fuel plants with more environmental sources. The country#39;s exit from nuclear energy was speeded up after a tsunami crippled Japan#39;s Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011. Germany closed eight of its oldest nuclear plants immediately following the disaster and plans to close the other nine by 2022.尽管存在上述挑战,但在德国用更环保电力来源取代核电厂和化石燃料电厂的策略中,风电仍占有重要地位。在2011年3月海啸导致日本福岛核电站发生事故后,德国加快了退出核电的步伐。福岛核电站事故发生后,德国立即关闭了八座最老旧的核电站,并计划到2022年关闭余下九座核电站。Other wind farms, including the Nordsee Ost project developed by German utility RWE , are under construction.其他风电站在建设中,包括德国公共事业公司RWE 开发的Nordsee Ost项目。Last year, renewable energies accounted for 24% of Germany#39;s power generation. And with a share of more than one third of that, wind energy is by far the biggest generator of #39;green#39; electricity in the country, according to energy lobby BDEW.去年,可再生能源发电量占德国发电量的24%。能源业游说团体BDEW说,风电占德国可再生能源发电量的比例超过三分之一,是德国“绿色”电力的最大来源。Offshore wind only accounts for a fraction -- less than 1% -- of the Germany#39;s renewable-energy generation, but the densely populated country aly has allocated its most promising onshore wind spots, leading investors to look to the sea.海上风力发电在德国再生能源发电中仅占很小的一部分──不到1%,然而在这个人口密集的国家,最有前景的陆上风力发电项目已经瓜分完毕,所以投资者们只好将目光投向海上风力发电。To date, Germany has an offshore capacity of around 630 megawatts of offshore wind power and plans to boost that tenfold by 2020 to 6.5 gigawatts. By 2030, it aims for offshore capacity of 15 gigawatts.迄今为止,德国的海上风力发电量约为630兆瓦,德国计划使海上风力发电能力到2020年提高到10倍,达到6.5千兆瓦;到2030年达到15千兆瓦。Technological challenges behind offshore wind may be shrinking, but the economics remain daunting. One kilowatt-hour of electricity generated offshore costs up to 18 European cents, compared with 11 cents for solar power and 8 cents for onshore wind. Coal and gas plants generate electricity for as little as 4 cents per kwh.海上风力发电在技术上日趋成熟,但从经济角度来考虑,仍令人踌躇。海上风力发电的成本最高可达0.18欧元/度,而太阳能发电和陆上风力发电的成本分布为0.11欧元和0.08欧元,煤炭和天然气发电的成本则低达0.04欧元。#39;Long-term subsidy programs need to be in place to cover this gap,#39; said Magnus Dale, senior analyst at consultancy IHS Energy in Paris.咨询机构IHS Energy的高级分析师戴尔(Magnus Dale)表示,要弥补以上差距需要有长期补贴项目。Germany is offering long-term support to the sector, guaranteeing subsidies for offshore wind farms for up to 12 years, despite having slashed its capacity target through 2030 by 40% as part of an effort to curb spiraling costs.德国正在向该行业提供长期持,为海上风电场提供最长12年的补贴,尽管该国已经把到2030年的装机容量目标下调了40%,以遏制不断上升的成本。The country still expects total renewables subsidies to rise to around 24 billion euros this year, a bill that electricity consumers are paying through a surcharge on their power bills.德国仍预计,今年可再生能源补贴总额将升至大约240亿欧元,而这笔钱将由电力消费者买单──通过额外收取电费的形式。The industry believes that further industrialization and technological progress will help reduce the cost of offshore wind.该行业认为,工业化的进一步发展和科技的进步,将有助于削减海上风力发电的成本。Michael Hannibal, head of Siemens#39;s wind-power division, said the offshore industry aims to cut costs by around 40% by 2020. This would still be around 35% higher than onshore wind today -- and 2.7 times more expensive than coal and gas -- but more reductions are expected to follow. To achieve this, Siemens is looking to develop bigger and more efficient wind turbines.西门子风电部门的负责人汉尼拔(Michael Hannibal)称,海上业务的目标是到2020年将成本降低40%左右。届时这一成本水平仍将比现今的陆地风电成本要高35%左右,比煤炭和天然气发电成本高出1.7倍,但是预计未来还将继续下降。为了实现这一目标,西门子正在考虑研发更大、更高效的风力涡轮机。Siemens#39;s biggest wind generator has a capacity of 6 megawatts but the company needs to begin looking at 8 MWs, said Mr. Hannibal. Rivals Areva SA and Vestas A/S aly offer 8 MW units.汉尼拔称,西门子最大风力发电机的装机容量是6兆瓦,但是该公司需要开始考虑8兆瓦的机组。西门子的竞争对手阿海珐(Areva SA)和维斯塔斯(Vestas A/S)已经有8兆瓦的产品了。Over the long-term, the goal is to bring down cost, so that offshore wind can compete with coal and gas, Mr. Hannibal said.汉尼拔称,长期目标是降低成本,使得海上风力发电可以与煤、气发电竞争。 /201408/320039

  There#39;s a technology revolution in the auto business, and it involves more than streaming radio apps and voice-activated Facebook updates.汽车行业正在经历一场技术变革,而且不止是网络电台应用和声控Facebook更新那么简单。Consumers who haven#39;t shopped for a new car for five or more years -- and that#39;s a lot of people, since the average U.S. vehicle has been on the road for just over a decade -- may encounter some exotic new advances.在美国公路上奔驰的汽车平均年龄为10年多一点,很多消费者至少已有五年没有购置新车。当他们进入车市,也许会发现汽车多了一些新奇的高科技功能。To attract safety-conscious drivers, some car makers are revisiting the question, #39;Is there anywhere else we can stash an air bag?#39; Night-vision systems not unlike what the military uses to spot enemies in the dark are appearing at the upper reaches of the luxury market. And to meet tougher fuel-economy standards, car makers are installing transmissions with up to nine speeds.为吸引注重安全的车主,一些汽车制造商正在重新考虑一个问题:“还有没有更多的地方可以放置安全气囊?”顶级的豪华车市场已出现汽车夜视系统,可以媲美军队用于在黑暗中识别敌人的夜视技术。为符合越来越严格的燃油经济性标准,制造商正在汽车上配备高达九速的变速箱。Only a few customers might order such novel features. But what starts out as a costly, brand-burnishing option in a luxury sedan often migrates into wider use as technology prices invariably drop. Here#39;s a sample of new technology hitting showrooms this year.目前,只有少数消费者愿意花钱选购这样的新奇功能。然而,豪华车上一些价格高昂、彰显品牌的选配项目往往会在技术成本不可避免地日趋降低后一举成为广泛应用的大众配置。下文列出了2013年出现的一些高科技。Click an Inflatable Seat Belt气囊安全带Auto makers and safety-technology suppliers such as Sweden#39;s Autoliv have developed shoulder straps with air bags built in. In the U.S., Ford Motor Co. was the first to offer this bag-in-belt technology on 2011 Explorers. Now, Mercedes-Benz will offer it on its new S-Class sedans.汽车制造商以及瑞典奥托立夫公司(Autoliv)等安全技术供应商已研究出集成安全气囊的安全肩带。在美国,福特汽车公司(Ford Motor Co.)首开先河,在2011款Explorer汽车上安装了气囊安全带。现在,梅赛德斯-奔驰公司(Mercedes-Benz)也在其新款S级轿车上提供这一配置。Although traditional lap and shoulder belts prevent thousands of deaths a year, they can also cause what researchers call #39;seat-belt syndrome.#39; The belts can lead to severe injuries to organs, muscles and spines, especially in violent crashes. Inflatable seat belts are meant to reduce this risk. Traditional air-bag systems mounted in the car#39;s steering wheel and elsewhere use a hot gas to rapidly inflate the bag during a crash. To prevent burns, bag-in-belt systems use a cold gas to inflate its protective bladder.虽然传统的腰带式和肩带式安全带每年都能防止数千起死亡事故,但也会引起研究人员所谓的“安全带并发症”(seat-belt syndrome)。安全带可能导致人体组织、肌肉和脊椎的严重损伤,尤其是在猛烈的撞车事故中。气囊安全带的应用正是为了降低这一风险。传统的气囊系统一般安装在汽车的方向盘等地方,在撞车时点燃固态燃料并产生气体,使气囊迅速膨胀。为防止乘客被炙热气体灼伤,气囊安全带使用冷气体来给气囊充气。Ford says it currently offers bag-in-belt systems on four models -- the Explorer, the Flex wagon and the Lincoln MKT. About 25% of people who buy those vehicles order the bag-in-belt option, Ford says. Mercedes says it will likely move the technology into other models, but isn#39;t outlining specific plans.福特公司表示,其目前在四款车型上提供气囊安全带,分别为Explorer、Flex旅行车和林肯(Lincoln)MKT。在购买上述车型的消费者中,约有25%选购了气囊安全带配置。梅赛德斯-奔驰公司称,其打算将这一技术运用到其他车型上,但还没有公布具体计划。Spot Pedestrians in the Dark夜视行人识别系统Safety regulators around the world are increasingly focused on motor-vehicle accidents involving pedestrians, and that#39;s spurring development of new systems to help drivers see people on foot before it#39;s too late.全球的汽车安全监管部门都越来越重视涉及行人的机动车事故,这刺激了用于帮助驾车者提前发现行人以及时采取避险措施的新系统的研发。More than 4,000 pedestrians a year die in the U.S. after being hit by a car. Nearly 70,000 were injured in motor-vehicle accidents in 2011, according to government data. Many of these incidents happen at night.在美国,每年有超过4,000个行人因撞车事故死亡。据美国政府公布的数据,2011年,因机动车事故受伤的行人数量接近70,00人;很多事故都在夜间发生。This year, German luxury brand BMW is launching a #39;dynamic-spotlight#39; technology that uses an infrared camera mounted behind the grille to see down the road ahead. Software can pick out the outline of a person (or animal) and signal the car#39;s headlights to illuminate them -- and help prevent a collision. The system also shows an in-cabin alert, projecting an icon representing a person enclosed in a yellow triangle onto either a dashboard screen or the windshield.2013年,德国豪华车品牌宝马公司(BMW )推出“dynamic-spotlight”夜视系统,通过安装在汽车前格栅后面的红外线摄像头来观察前方路面情况,相关软件能够识别行人(或动物)的外形轮廓,启动汽车前大灯照亮前方,协助避免碰撞事故的发生。该系统也有驾驶舱提示功能,发现行人时系统会在仪表盘屏幕上显示或在挡风玻璃上投射一个黄色三角形内置人形的图标。Design Your Own Dashboard设计自己的仪表盘Dashboards used to be static displays with mechanical dials and gauges. Now, auto makers are ditching the dials in favor of programmable screens that can display more information and allow drivers to personalize the look of the cockpit displays.汽车仪表盘曾经是静态显示的各种机械表盘。现在,汽车制造商正在采用可以编程的屏幕,用于显示更多信息,并允许驾驶者自行定制仪表盘界面。The new Lexus IS F-Sport model, due out this June, uses a thin-film transistor display and a moving tachometer dial (which measures RPMs) to create a hybrid of the traditional and the new. The technology is adapted from Lexus#39;s super sports car, the LFA. By toggling a control on the steering wheel, the driver can get the big dial in the center of the dashboard to move to the right, revealing a flat-screen display that can be customized for two different drivers. #39;We can change languages, miles per hour to kilometers#39; and show information such as route guidance, says Bill Camp of Lexus#39;s training operation, Lexus University.新款雷克萨斯(Lexus) IS F-Sport车型计划于2013年6月推出,其仪表盘采用雷克萨斯超级跑车LFA上的技术,通过薄膜晶体管屏幕和一个发动机转速表,打造出传统与创新相结合的显示方式。驾驶者可以拨动方向盘上的控制键,将仪表盘中央的大表盘移到右边,腾出空间来为两类不同的驾驶者定制表盘。雷克萨斯公司内训部门“雷克萨斯大学”(Lexus University)的比尔坎普(Bill Camp)说:“我们可以改变仪表盘的显示语种,切换英里和公里计量方式”,并能显示路面导航等信息。Shift Into Ninth Gear九速变速箱Ever-tougher federal demands for fuel efficiency have led car makers to add more gears to transmissions. And more. And more.美国政府对汽车燃油经济性日益严格的要求迫使汽车制造商增加变速箱档位。没有最多,只有更多。You don#39;t have to be very old to remember when most cars came with four-speed transmissions. Now, Chrysler Group LLC says it will introduce a nine-speed gearbox designed to fit into a relatively small, front-wheel-drive car.即便不是年纪很大的人也能回忆起大多数汽车都采用四速变速箱的时代。现在,克莱斯勒集团(Chrysler Group LLC)称其将推出一款九速变速箱,用于尺寸相对较小的前轮驱动汽车。ZF Friedrichshafen , the German company that makes the nine-speed transmission, says it can improve fuel economy by 10% to 16% compared with a six-speed automatic, mainly because it offers a wider sp of gears to keep the engine in the #39;sweet spot,#39; where it#39;s turning as slowly as possible to stay at a certain speed.九速变速箱制造商德国采埃孚股份公司(ZF Friedrichshafen )表示,与六速自动变速箱相比,九速变速箱能提高燃油经济性10%到16%,主要是由于其齿轮组传递范围更广泛,能在特定的发动机转速下延缓切档,保持引擎处于“最有效点”。Such a transmission#39;s challenge lies largely in the software that controls the vehicle#39;s shifting. Too much and drivers could feel as if the car is constantly changing gear and not running smoothly. Too little and the fuel-economy benefits don#39;t materialize.这类变速箱的主要挑战在于一个智能控制换档的软件。如果换档过于频繁,驾驶者可能感觉得到,认为发动机运行不够平滑顺畅。如果换档过少,燃油经济性的好处就不能得以体现。Michael Ebenhoch, director of ZF#39;s front-drive transmission development, says that with nine speeds, #39;we are getting closer to the maximum#39; for a passenger car. On the other hand, he says, #39;the guy who developed the five speed said we don#39;t need six.#39;采埃孚公司前轮驱动变速箱研发组的负责人迈克尔艾本诺克(Michael Ebenhoch)说,九速变速箱“已接近乘用车变速箱的档位极限”,但从另一方面来说,“当年开发五速变速箱的人也说过今后不再需要六速变速箱”。Drive by Computer电脑自动驾驶Traditionally, steering a car has involved a series of mechanical connections that allow the wheel in your hands to guide the four wheels on the road. Infiniti#39;s new Q50 sedan -- which replaces the current G series in the Nissan Motor Corp. luxury brand#39;s lineup -- boasts the industry#39;s first so-called steer-by-wire system, which swaps out those mechanical elements with an all-electronic system.以往,汽车转向涉及一系列机械传动,让驾驶者通过手中的方向盘指引汽车的四个轮子。英菲尼迪(Infiniti)新款Q50轿车旨在替代日产汽车公司(Nissan Motor Corp.)高端的G系列车型,宣称其在行业内率先使用了所谓的线控转向系统(steer-by-wire system),将转向过程中的机械环节全部替换为电子系统。Proponents say an electronic signal can be faster than a mechanical linkage at translating what the driver does with the steering wheel to the road. The electronic system also allows drivers to choose among four different degrees of serenity or sportiness in the handling. If the electronics fail, Infiniti says a backup mechanical-linkage system will keep the car under control.持者表示,全电子系统能更快地对驾驶者的转向意图做出反应,驾驶者可以选择四种不同程度的转向处理方式,或注重平稳,或彰显运动。英菲尼迪称,如电子转向系统失灵,备用的机械连接系统能够避免汽车失控。The steer-by-wire system is part of an array of technology on board the Q50, including advanced cruise control and radar-enabled braking, that allows the driver to take control when the road is fun and twisty, but also enables the car to handle a lot of driving work itself during a routine commute.线控转向系统是Q50车型上一系列高科技配置中的一部分,此外还有先进的巡航系统和自动刹车雷达,不但能让驾驶者自如应对地形复杂的路段,还能让汽车在常规驾驶时自动处理许多行车事宜。 /201303/231237

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