Google, Swiss rail boost Zurich’s Europpallee

Crowds for after-hours drinks and dinner are likely to swell as Google moves into Europaallee in Zurich

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The trendy shops and eateries near Zurich’s main train station, in the Europaallee district, will soon get a boost from a new batch of Google employees. The SBB/CFF rail company and Google have signed a contract, with the tech company leasing all remaining office and services space in the district. The move […]

Zurich news: airport closing, NZZ tussle, USA flights

Zurich airport - don't forget to charge your electronic devices!

ZURICH – Part of Zurich airport was closed briefly Monday afternoon following a “threat”, say officials, without elaborating. Charge your electronic devices! Zurich airport has had a new security policy in place since 10 October, and if you haven’t yet flown from there to the US or Canada, you should be aware of it: “Passengers […]

JPEG on the beautiful future of images

Touradj Ebrahimi, EPFL professor and president of JPEG (photo, ©2014 Alain Herzog/EFPL)

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Touradj Ebrahimi, professor at EPFL in Lausanne, has just been named president of JPEG – that’s right, it’s an organization, not just a photo format. Photographers and designers are so familiar with JPEG (aka JPG), the world’s most popular image format, that we’re likely to forget there is an organization – and […]

No, our water doesn’t come from Chury


BERN, SWITZERLAND – Asteroids, and not comets, most likely delivered water to our planet, say researchers at the University of Bern. The team, working with groups from the US and France, have determined that the source of water on planet Earth is not comets, notably Chury type comets, using data from the Rosetta space mission. […]

Glycerol, the new hope to replace old plastic

The use of biodegradable plastic packaging made of polylactic acid (PLA) is spreading. Since this year, PLA cups are available also in the ETH canteens. (Photo: Bo Cheng / ETH Zurich)

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Glycerol is the latest hope for a recyclable replacement for oil-based plastics, say researchers at ETH in Zurich. “Most types of plastic do not biodegrade but break up into ever smaller pieces while remaining a polymer. Also, most types are made from oil, a rapidly dwindling resource,” the university says in a […]

Taking a news break

Dear readers, taking a 2-day break after eye surgery today – computer ban. Back next week! Nevertheless, I will be signing books, Vineglorious! Switzerland’s Wondrous World of Wines, 6 December, Saturday 11-12:30 at Payot in Nyon, at the Migros centre near the train station. A couple ofstories you should be following: Traffic alert, Rolle to […]

A scourge of modems

A what of wildebeest - do you know the collective noun?

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A few days of Internet ups and downs, which severely limited my ability to post news, seems to have drawn to a close. While pulling out my hair over the down side of technology (= sometimes it breaks), I spent a little time online elsewhere reading things like a list of “animal […]

Cern launches Open Data Portal


2 new particles discovered, Cern says in busy week GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Cern on Thursday 20 November launched its Open Data Portal, making data from real collision events, produced by the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) experiments, openly available for the first time. “It is expected that these data will be of high value for the […]

Swiss Empa researchers among “top 100 thinkers”


Researchers immitate moths’ eyes for solar energy of future ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Artificial moth eyes could provide us with solar energy in the future, if work in this area at Empa continues to be successful. The researchers say their work is far from ready for industrial applications, but their work has just been rewarded. The […]

Geneva inches way to world internet home

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Geneva’s dream of becoming the home to internet governance, is inching closer to reality at a three-day conference that opened Monday. CEO of Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Fadi Chehadé, suggested in his opening speech at the Geneva Internet Conference that the city could play a key role as […]