When Intel unveiled the Ultrabook platform back in May, the chip giant had some very specific guidance on what classes a laptop as an Ultrabook. The “thin, light, and elegant” portable machines have to use a Sandy Bridge Core processor, be no more than 20mm thick, and have a price point of $1,000 or less.That $1,000 price point limit means you should never have to pay more than the base MacBook Air configuration for an Ultrabook, which already makes them look competitive next to Apple’s laptops. Even so, $1,000 for a Windows 7 laptop puts them out of range of a lot of people more used to paying half that for a machine.According to Acer, anyone who can’t afford an Ultrabook now just has to wait. Jim Wong, president of Acer, has stated that by the second quarter of next year we will be paying between $799 and $899 for an Ultrabook, which is a 20% discount less than a year after they launched. But that isn’t the end of the price cuts. If you can wait until 2013, that thin and light Ultrabook you desire will apparently cost no more than $499.Dropping the price by 50% puts ultra-portable laptops in range of just about everyone. It also begs the question, what will happen to non-Ultrabook hardware? The $500 laptops of today will either disappear or be forced to drop in price. If that’s the case, then manufacturers will have to give away netbooks for free, and there will be mounting pressure on Chromebooks to also cut their prices significantly.If Acer’s predictions are right, then it’s likely Ultrabooks will become the norm, and we’ll have models ranging in price from $499 to $999 in a couple of years.via DigiTimes
The migration of the great snipe Gallinago media was previously poorly known. Three tracks in 2010 suggested a remarkable migratory behaviour including long and fast overland non-stop flights (Klaassen et al. 2011). Here we present the migration pattern of Swedish male great snipes, based on 19 individuals tracked by light-level geolocators in four different years. About half of the birds made stopover(s) in northern Europe in early autumn. They left the breeding area 15 days earlier than those which flew directly to sub-Sahara, suggesting two distinct autumn migration strategies. The autumn trans-Sahara flights were on average 5500 km long, lasted 64 h, and were flown at ground speeds of 25 m s-1 (90 km h-1). The arrival in the Sahel zone of West Africa coincided with the wet season there, and the birds stayed for on average three weeks. The birds arrived at their wintering grounds around the lower stretches of the Congo River in late September and stayed for seven months. In spring the great snipes made trans-Sahara flights of similar length and speed as in autumn, but the remaining migration through eastern Europe was notably slow. All birds returned to the breeding grounds within one week around mid-May. The annual cycle was characterized by relaxed temporal synchronization between individuals during the autumn-winter period, with maximum variation at the arrival in the wintering area. Synchronization increased in spring, with minimum time variation at arrival in the breeding area. This suggests that arrival date in the breeding area is under strong stabilizing selection, while there is room for more flexibility in autumn and arrival to the wintering area. The details of the fast non-stop flights remain to be elucidated, but the identification of the main stopover and wintering areas is important for future conservation work on this red-listed bird species.