Motorola defends contracting practices

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Morola Solutions is rejecting as innuendo a series of articles in which McClatchy examined the companys decades-long dominance of the emergency communications market.

The stories described multiple ways that city, county and state officials have favored Motorola with noncompetitive contracts, including from at least nine of the nations 20 largest cities. The firm has reaped billions of dollars in annual revenue amid a nationwide push to avoid a repeat of the radio failures of 9-11.

In a statement, the company called it very disturbing that a news organization would cast suspicion of any Motorola contract with a government entity that did not fit a generic, competitive-bid model, and at the same time cast aspersions on the integrity of the government entities with which we do business.

Motorola issued the statement and sent a letter to The Sacramento Bee, a McClatchy newspaper, which published an editorial Sunday challenging policymakers to ask hard questions about how the company has preserved an estimated 80 percent share of the public safety two Way Radio market.

Motorola said various legally available contract vehicles that forgo competitive bids enable governments to procure in a manner that can achieve cost savings for taxpayers, and enable faster implementation, which can be an important consideration for equipment that can serve as a lifeline for first responders.

The company did not address concerns about its radio prices up to $7,500 apiece.

McClatchy also reported that foundations for Motorola and its former parent donated more than $25 million over six years to nonprofits with police- and firefighter-related missions, aiding a constituency that has backed its products.

The company called it very disturbing that a news organization would question a law-abiding companys community citizenship.

Motorolas employees and shareholders are deeply proud of the investments our Foundation makes to better the communities where we operate, it said, adding that the donations further the invaluable partnership we have with the public safety community.

In addition, the company defended former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who responded to radio outages from Hurricane Katrina by spearheading a push for a new statewide radio system and a separate high-speed broadband data-delivery network for first responders.

Motorola won both contracts, which could generate $300 million. Months after leaving office, Barbour registered as a Motorola lobbyist, McClatchy reported.

Barbour, a Republican, showed tremendous leadership throughout the rebuilding of the devastated areas of Mississippi, the company said.

Leaders like Governor Barbour personally understand how the public safety community relies on survivable, interoperable communications during disasters and crises, the company said. That kind of leadership and experience is invaluable to us and the first responders Motorola Solutions serves every day across the country. We are proud to have Governor Barbour on our team.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/04/09/5723842/motorola-defends-contracting-practices.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

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What is the difference between a nickel metal hydride battery and a lithium-ion battery

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Some of the pro writers on the net are at such a top level that i wonder if any of them have ever printed a book? well now and then i like to spotlight these brilliant content pieces and heres one i found remarkable the other day.

Many batteries are used in ipods/ipad, mobile phones, Walkie Talkie and lot of our other gadgets, but what batteries do they use? This is a very good question.

In purely scientific terms, Kristen Hall-Geisler of How Stuff Works.com puts it this way:

The most obvious difference between Li-ion and NiMH batteries is the material used to store power. Lithium-ion batteries are made of carbon and highly reactive lithium, which can store a lot of energy. Nickel metal hydride batteries use hydrogen to store energy, with nickel and another metal (such as titanium) keeping a lid on the hydrogen ions.

Each type has its merits and drawbacks. For example, the nickel-metal hydride battery (NiMH) is the cheaper of the two, but they are far heavier and more cumbersome. However, both types can store similar amounts of charge, although generally Lithium-ion (Li-ion) can hold more.

Overall, NiMH batteries generally last longer than their Li-ion counterparts as well, especially when subjected to extremes of hot or cold. As Hall-Geisler points out:

Some Li-ion batteries don’t last as long in extreme temperatures, particularly in very hot climates. But manufacturers are working to improve the chemistry to make the Li-ion batteries last as long as the vehicles they power.

Having said all that, Li-ion is probably the battery type with the most promising future, at least in terms of consumer electronics. As one expert from the Battery University website writes,

For many years, nickel-cadmium had been the only suitable battery for portable equipment from wireless communications to mobile computing. Nickel-metal-hydride and lithium-ion emerged In the early 1990s, fighting nose-to-nose to gain customer’s acceptance. Today, lithium-ion is the fastest growing and most promising battery chemistry.

Lithium Ion is a comparatively low maintenance technology and is generally easier to use than NiMH batteries. No special memory or scheduled cycling are needed to keep it going for longer. However, Battery University is quick to note that:

Aging is a concern with most lithium-ion batteries and many manufacturers remain silent about this issue. Some capacity deterioration is noticeable after one year, whether the battery is in use or not. The battery frequently fails after two or three years.

For its part, NiMH is also safer than Li-ion. Battery University has this to say,

The advancements of NiMH are impressive. Since 1991, the specific energy has doubled and the life span extended. The hype of lithium-ion may have dampened the enthusiasm for NiMH a bit but not to the point to turn HEV makers away from this proven technology. Batteries for the electric powertrain in vehicles must meet some of the most demanding challenges, and NiMH has two major advantages over Li-ion here. These are price and safety. Makers of hybrid vehicles claim that NiMH costs one-third of an equivalent Li-ion system, and the relaxation on safety provisions contribute in part to this price reduction.

One thing that always surprised me, is that Durex never took a leaf out of Duracells book with regards to the bunny that keeps going and going advertising motif. If you work in marketing, or if you know anybody in marketing, you should think on that concept. Either way, somebody should pitch it, Im behind you 100%. I need to see that ad in my lifetime.

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