Every year, TIME reaches out and finds some of the best innovations, and we've already seen their opinion on 2009's best offering: NASA's Ares I rocket . But this year is the first they stopped spending so much time on the good stuff, in order to put the spotlight on the year's absolute worst inventions.
December 2, 2009 DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co.'s big U.S. gamble on small cars begins Wednesday when it formally unveils American versions of the new Fiesta subcompact at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Ford is hoping that the Fiesta and the U.S. version of the European Focus will take sales from the competition as the market shifts toward well-appointed smaller, more efficient vehicles.
December 2, 2009 DETROIT (AP) — The leader of the new General Motors was done in by an old problem at the nation's largest car maker: Change wasn't happening fast enough. GM's board and CEO Fritz Henderson parted ways Tuesday, the board upset that the automaker's turnaround wasn't moving more swiftly and Henderson frustrated with second-guessing, two people close to the former CEO said.
December 2, 2009 RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Workplace inspectors cited ConAgra Foods Inc. and a contractor for dozens of serious safety violations in the June explosion at a Slim Jim plant that killed four people, the state Labor Department said Tuesday. Most of the citations against ConAgra Foods and Energy Systems Analysts Inc.
December 2, 2009 HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Workers at the Harley-Davidson plant in south-central Pennsylvania are poised to vote on whether to accept a labor contract that could keep the plant there. However, the contract up for a vote Wednesday also would pave the way for deep job cuts at the York plant.
December 2, 2009 FRANKFURT (AP) — German carmaker Daimler AG said Wednesday it will move some of its Mercedes Benz C-Class car production to its Tuscaloosa, Ala., plant to take advantage of a growing market, lower production costs and to avoid currency fluctuations. Daimler said production of the new generation of the C-Class should start there in 2014.
December 2, 2009 Northrop Grumman Corp. said on Tuesday it won't bid on a huge contract to make a new Air Force tanker plane unless the Defense Department changes the rules. Northrop has been tussling for years with Boeing Co. over a contract worth at least $35 billion to build 179 new Air Force tankers.
December 2, 2009 Recently, opinion columnist Stanley Fish asked his New York Times readers to weigh in on their least favorite popular phrases— And the Winner: ‘No Problem’ —things people found to be overused, latently offensive, or just simply redundant.
Goff’s Enterprises (Pewaukee, WI) have designed a portable Weld/Grind Cell that features Goff’s weld/spark resistant curtain material, made for demanding industrial environments. The cell is ideal for a welding or grinding process that has just been added to the production line, or when your welding needs must be portable.
The TruMark 5020, a new fiber laser marker from TRUMPF (Farmington, CT), is ideal for applications on metals and plastics with high speed and excellent edge quality requirements. The 5020’s dynamic scanner module is able to convert pulse frequencies of up to 1 MHz into a correspondingly high processing speed.
Hougen Manufacturing (Flint, MI) has launched a new line of portable magnetic drills, upgrading the long-standing HMD914 with a lightweight body and an ergonomic handle. In addition, the HMD914S features a swivel base drill-to-magnet coupling that provides versatility and precise positioning, which makes it ideal for challenging fabrication or jobs involving horizontal or overhead drilling.
Motoman’s (Dayton, OH) new 6-axis MA1400 “Master Arc” welding robot significantly increases uptime by integrating the torch into the upper arm, and is available in floor-, wall-, or ceiling-mounted configurations. The MA1400 is ideal for high-density layouts with multiple robots working in close proximity due to its integrated cabling, which reduces interference and cable wear.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Rural areas in middle America are being hit particularly hard by what could be another dip into recession for the region, according to a survey of business leaders and supply managers in nine Midwest and Plains states released Tuesday. November's Business Conditions Index for the Mid-America region stood at 47.
GRENADA, Miss. (AP) — The AbitibiBowater newsprint plant in Grenada now employs 181 people — its lowest number on record — but Manager Wade Taylor says they "have been willing to do whatever is necessary to keep the plant going." Newsprint sales have been shrinking over the years, and this year was difficult, Taylor said.
SAKAI, Japan (AP) — Huge sheets of glass are guided by robotic arms, sliding and turning in a towering germ-free plant, the world's first making giant "10th generation" panels for flat screen TVs. Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp.'s futuristic-looking plant doesn't have a single worker on the floor.