Brazil eyeing Japan’s help in oil project: reports

July 21, 2014

AFP – The New Age, 7/21/2014

Brazil plans to use Japanese technology in building a floating structure and ships for its huge offshore oil development project, media reports said Sunday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will announce the use of Japanese technology in building a so-called “logistics hub” for the project when they meet in Brazil on August 1, according to a draft of their joint statement, Kyodo news agency said.

The massive floating structure under consideration would be about 300 metres (984 feet) long and 100 metres wide, Kyodo said, citing government sources.

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Brazil approves new pesticide to combat coffee beetle

July 18, 2014

Reuters, 7/18/2014

Brazil’s government approved the use of pesticides with the active ingredient cyantraniliprole to fight the coffee borer beetle, a note published in the country’s Official Gazette said on Friday.

Coffee cooperatives had been lobbying for the approval after the government said it would no longer allow farmers to use another product, endolsulfan, to prevent the beetle from damaging crops.

Cyantraniliprole is approved for use in the United States, the European Union, Canada and Japan, according to a statement from Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry.

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Batteries and business in Brazil

July 18, 2014

Jessica Orwig – Physics Today, 7/18/2014

When Italian physicist Alessandro Volta was electrocuting frog legs in the 19th century, he was unaware of how vast and significant his subsequent discoveries would be for science and industry. In 1800 Volta designed the world’s first battery, which is not too different from the one that powers your smartphone today. Amy Prieto wants to change that.

Prieto is an associate professor at Colorado State University’s chemistry department. In 2008 she cofounded Prieto Battery. Today’s batteries are too expensive to produce, and they display “low battery” too soon after charging for Prieto’s liking. That is why she and her company are working toward a novel design that is 10 times more powerful, 5 times longer lasting, and less expensive than any battery on the current market.

“We’re trying to build this dream battery with these pretty amazing attributes. But the way that we make it is also pretty unusual,” says Prieto, who is one of many speakers presenting at this year’s Industrial Physics Forum (IPF) Conference on Industrial Physics in Emerging Economies II at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil.

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China web giant Baidu launches search engine in Brazil

July 18, 2014

Paul Bischoff – South China Morning Post, 7/18/2014

Baidu announced today that it has officially launched its search engine in its biggest market yet outside of China, Brazil.

The Portuguese-language version of Baidu, dubbed ‘Baidu Busca’, currently covers web, images, and video searches. It has also incorporated a localised version of its Postbar (“Tieba” in Chinese) trending forum feature.

Baidu founder and CEO Robin Li was in Brasilia Thursday to announce the launch, which happened to coincide with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

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Brazil After The World Cup: Images Show What Billion-Dollar Stadiums Could Become

July 18, 2014

Philip Ross – International Business Times, 7/17/2014

Now that all the World Cup hoopla has ended and the millions of visitors to Brazil have bid farewell, the question remains: What will a country that spent $4 billion to renovate and build new soccer stadiums do with all that vacant space?

Some of the stadiums will still be used for soccer matches, but others have no obvious niche to fill now that the World Cup is over.

So a group of sustainable urban designers came up with a potential adaptive reuse: Using them as housing for the homeless and the displaced. Designers from 1week1project, an architectural think tank based in Paris and Santiago, say turning those stadiums into apartments for Brazil’s homeless would have the added effect of addressing the negative publicity Brazil generated for its exorbitant spending to upgrade its soccer infrastructure while social services languished — and while 250,000 low-income people across Brazil were forcibly relocated or evicted from their homes to make way for new construction.

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5 Key Things To Know Before Doing Business In Brazil

July 16, 2014

Natalie Burg – Forbes, 7/15/2014

For Major League Gaming (MLG), the reasons for expanding into Brazil were obvious. After 11 years in the U.S. and several successful partnerships in Europe and Asia, the eSports league—yes, that means competitive video gaming—and network announced its first South American expansion in February.

“We’ve been watching the market for a couple of years now and have seen the growing economy and the growing middle class.,” said MLG co-founder and president Mike Sepso. “It’s one of the fastest growing markets for video game sales. There are a number of gamers who compete there, but there wasn’t anything established in terms of an actual league. ”

MLG is just one of many U.S. businesses entering the Brazilian market, but doing so is often harder than it looks.

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Smartphones represent 76 percent of all phones in Brazil

July 15, 2014

Angelica Mari – ZDNet, 7/14/2014

Smartphones now represent the majority of the mobile phone market in Brazil, according to recent research.

IDC data compiled by the Brazilian Electrical and Electronics Industry Association (Abinee) suggests that only 24 percent of all mobiles in the country are feature phones.

Brazil has seen the domination of its mobile phone market growing steadily every month over the last year, apart from a minor setback of a percentage point in January 2014.

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Never mind football, perhaps the scientists from Brazil can revive national pride

July 11, 2014

Robert Young – The Conversation, 7/11/2014

One of the reasons Brazil took its loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-finals so hard was because many Brazilians wrongly believe the rest of the world only looks up to them for their footballing skills. Brazil has many world leading projects, but they can be overshadowed by the beautiful game.

During the opening ceremony of the World Cup there was a moment when the Walk Again Project of Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis was supposed to be showcased – it received less than three seconds of coverage. It is a world-leading project in which paraplegics are able use their thoughts to control an exoskeleton. But Nicolelis went to develop the project in the USbecause the right environment was lacking in Brazil for his research.

When it comes to higher education, Brazil is ranked 13th for global scientific productivity of papers published, but in terms of scientific innovation it is a very low performer.

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Why Mexico Is Speeding Past Brazil in Cars

July 11, 2014

Brendan Case and Christiana Sciaudone – Bloomberg Businessweek, 7/10/2014

Remember in the 1990s when some Cassandras feared the North American Free Trade Agreement would someday help Mexico eclipse car production of its higher-cost rivals north of the border? Two decades later, Mexico is making its move, but against another competitor: Brazil.

The country is poised to overtake South America’s largest nation as the top Latin American automobile producer for the first time in more than a decade. Mexico’s ascent is fueled in part by auto sales running at the fastest pace in almost eight years in the U.S., its largest market. The boom coincides with a slump in Brazilian production through June as its domestic demand cools.

“People talk about the energy and telecom industries in Mexico, but the auto industry is going to continue as the icon of this country,” says Luis Lozano, lead automotive partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Mexico City. Passing Brazil, where output has fallen 17 percent this year, would vault Mexico to No. 7 among the world’s auto producers. China is No. 1, followed by the U.S.

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Cybercrime Scheme Aims at Payments in Brazil

July 2, 2014

Nicole Perlroth – The New York Times, 7/2/2014

SAN FRANCISCO — Security researchers have uncovered what they believe is a significant cybercrime operation in Brazil that took aim at $3.75 billion in transactions by Brazilians.

It is unclear what percentage of the $3.75 billion worth of compromised transactions was actually stolen. But if even half of that value was redirected to criminals, the scope of the swindle would eclipse any other previous electronic theft.

The thieves preyed on Boleto Bancário, or Boletos, a popular Brazilian payment method that can be issued online and paid out through various channels like banks and supermarkets, said the researchers at the RSA Security division of EMC Corp.

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