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Product Development

May 27, 2009 | Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Amgen Inc. paid $50 million Tuesday for the rights to develop and sell an experimental drug that treats heart failure. The drug, known as CK-1827452, is being developed to reactivate the heart's beating during heart failure by prompting muscle fibers to contract, said Mary Klem, a spokeswoman for Amgen. The hope is that Amgen of Irvine and Cytokinetics Inc. of San Francisco can develop the drug for the mass market, she said.
May 20, 2009 | Alana Semuels
More than a decade ago, Palm Inc. rose to prominence on the strength of its Palm Pilot, a small device that put computing power literally into customers' hands. In its stock's first day of trading nine years ago, the shares nearly tripled from their initial offering price. But the technology market bust, lowered demand and the rise of smart phones, where Palm's Treo was once a major player, took their toll.
May 7, 2009 | Alana Semuels
It's not even 10 inches tall, it's just one-third of an inch thick, and it costs nearly $500. But Inc.'s Kindle DX, unveiled Wednesday, has already been assigned a huge job: reversing the fortunes of the struggling newspaper industry. After announcing the features of the new device, which include a bigger-than-ever screen and a PDF reader, the Seattle company also revealed a partnership with Washington Post Co. and New York Times Co.
April 22, 2009 | Margot Roosevelt
Arnold Klann has a green dream. It began 16 years ago in a sprawling laboratory in Anaheim. This year, he hopes, it will culminate at a Lancaster garbage dump. There, in the high desert of the Antelope Valley, Klann's company, BlueFire Ethanol Fuels, plans to build a $100-million plant to convert raw trash into an alcohol-based fuel that will help power the cars and trucks of the future. It's just the sort of improbable concoction that California is now demanding.
April 13, 2009 | Alex Pham
Only a few years ago, bigger guns, badder enemies and louder explosives mattered most in video games. Now, small is beautiful, and Apple Inc.'s iPhone is largely responsible. The surprising emergence of the iPhone and its phone-less sibling, the iPod Touch, as hand-held game consoles has started to change the dynamics of the $40-billion game software industry.
March 24, 2009 | John M. Glionna
This is a nation addicted to speed. And to ride Japan's super Shinkansen, or bullet train, is to zip into the future at speeds reaching 186 miles per hour. From Nagoya to Tokyo, the scenery whizzes past in a dizzying blur as the sleek engine with its bullet-like nose floats the cars along elevated tracks -- without the clickety-clack of the lumbering U.S. trains that make you feel as though you're chugging along like cattle to market.
March 23, 2009 | Alex Pham
It's no coincidence that most of the blockbuster video games of the last two decades have been gorefests and war simulations. Their creators were single guys in their teens and 20s whose all-night coding sessions were fueled by Doritos and Mountain Dew. John Smedley was one of them. In the mid-1990s, he helped make the trailblazing online game EverQuest, a slash-'em-up fantasy world that only a Dungeons & Dragons-obsessed geek could love. But Smedley has grown up, and so has the industry.
March 17, 2009 | Susan Carpenter
When it comes to electric vehicles, the Tesla Roadster and Chevrolet Volt get all the love. But there are other EVs rolling around, and they're balancing on two wheels. Since 2007, when Vectrix of Middletown, R.I., first rode onto the scene with its battery-powered Maxi Scooter, a growing number of U.S. start-ups have entered the plug-in two-wheeler market. They've invested millions of dollars in vehicles, many of which are poised for production within a year.
February 24, 2009 | Carol J. Williams
When does a great idea become a patentable invention? That was a question easier to answer when Thomas Edison came up with the lightbulb and Whitcomb Judson devised the zipper -- Industrial Age innovations that clearly fit with old ideas of what it meant to invent something. But a recent case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit points up the difficulty of making such judgments in the age of the Internet. Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw of WeatherWise USA Inc.
November 23, 2008 | David Colker
This is not a good year for technological advancements in televisions. It's not the fault of science or engineering. Several new types of TVs hit the marketplace in 2008, and they're breathtakingly wonderful. But they're also expensive, for the most part, and that's the problem. A state-of-the-art TV isn't going to be at the top of many shopping lists during hard times. On the bright side, new technologies eventually get cheaper. Lots cheaper.
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