CALIFORNIA: Apple said last week it was rejoining a programme to certify its products as environmentally friendly after a controversy that could have dented sales of its popular
gadgets. The company said it was reversing its decision to quit the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) global registry. Apple Senior Vice President Bob Mansfield said, “I recognise that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.” Apple offered no explanation but speculation centred around its use of batteries on some MacBooks which are glued into the frame and not easily recycled. City Chief Information Officer Jon Walton said that San Francisco had ‘reached out to Apple’ about the problem. EPEAT, which gives green ratings to computer desktops, laptops and monitors,
was launched in the US in 2006. Greenpeace International Analyst Casey Harrell said, “We applaud Apple for ‘thinking green, not greedy’ and listening to its customers’ calls
not to pit design needs against the environment.”
Probable digital train tickets for NY
NEW YORK: Some New York commuters may soon consider paper railroad passes and lines at ticket vending machines annoyances of the past, now that smartphones can be used to pay for the train to work. Metro-North (MN) Railroad, the nation’s second-largest commuter rail line, said last week that next month it is starting a mobile ticketing pilot programme that allows passengers to buy and display tickets on their iPhone, Android or BlackBerry smartphones. Participants in the trial, initially just railway employees, will be able to download a free app to their smartphone and, with it, use their credit or debit card to buy a digital ticket. Train conductors can check the screen of the phone in the passenger’s hand and validate the ticket either visually or by using a hand scanner to read the ticket’s barcode. MN said that if the pilot is successful it will expand it to include customers. It carries roughly 141,000 passengers each day, most of whom take two trips daily.
‘Lego Batman 2’ top video game in June
NEW YORK: Retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories fell 29 per cent in June, marking the seventh consecutive month of decline. Sales totalled USD 700 million.
Console, portable software, video games sales fell 29 per cent from a year earlier to USD 329 million. Sales of hardware fell 45 per cent to USD 201 million. The study of NPD Group tracks sales of new physical products — about 50 to 60 per cent of the total spending. Excluded are sales of used games and rentals as well as digital and social-network spending. NPD also listed the top-selling games in June: ‘Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes,’ ‘Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier,’ ‘Diablo III,’ ‘Max Payne 3’, ‘NBA 2K12,’ ‘Batman Arkham City,’ ‘Pokemon Conquest,’ ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,’ ‘Battlefield 3,’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man.’ —