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Posts from the ‘Locale is International’ Category

Smart cities can be vulnerable: That Dallas emergency siren hack is a warning of things to come

Salon, 15 April 2017
By infrastructure-hacking standards, the overnight triggering of the Dallas storm-warning system on April 7 was relatively benign. Starting at about 20 minutes before midnight more than 150 sirens across the city of 1.3 million people blared periodically, alarming residents in this tornado-prone part of the country. Worried that something was amiss, locals overloaded the city’s 911 emergency-calling system, causing what could have been harmful delays, while officials scrambled to figure out what was going on. They shut down the system at 1:17 a.m. and worked overnight with West Shore Services, a Michigan-based company hired by the city last year to maintain the network, to fix the problem, according to local news reports.
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The COMAC C919 jet, China’s answer to the Boeing 737 now just needs to sell

WA Today, 26 April 2017
When China unveiled an historic order for its first large commercial jetliner at a national air show in 2010, Western journalists were kept away, and only local media were allowed to witness a major turning point in China’s aviation ambitions. The COMAC C919 jet is expected to stage its maiden flight in the coming weeks, and foreign media and potential buyers will be invited in force – illustrating how Beijing is adjusting to competition for a slice of global jet sales worth $US2 trillion over the next 20 years. But after three years of delays and almost a decade in development, China’s answer to the Boeing 737 and its state-owned designers face a daunting phase: selling the jet abroad in a market dominated by Boeing and Airbus .
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Emirates trims US flights after Trump administration curbs

Washington Post, 19 April 2017
Emirates, the Middle East’s biggest airline, said on Wednesday it is cutting flights to the United States because of a drop in demand caused by tougher U.S. security measures and Trump administration attempts to ban travelers from Muslim-majority nations. The decision by the Dubai government-owned carrier is the strongest sign yet that the new measures imposed on U.S.-bound travelers from the Mideast are taking a financial toll on fast-growing Gulf carriers that have expanded rapidly in the United States.
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Did Seattle’s mandatory helmet law kill off its bike-share scheme?

The Guardian, 18 April 2017
A small group of supporters, journalists and a city councilman gathered at the end of last month to take Seattle’s cycle share bikes out for one last spin. Mayor Ed Murray had pulled the plug on the Pronto system after two-and-a-half years of low ridership, financial troubles and waning political support.
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How murals helped turn a declining community around

The Conversation, 13 April 2017
The inner-city district of Shandon, Ireland, has a history that dates back to medieval times. Its narrow streets and laneways are an eclectic architectural mix – Georgian, Victorian and modern buildings nestle alongside terraced worker’s cottages. But Shandon had become rundown despite its heritage value. Our research examined how, over the last 15 years, community groups in Shandon created public murals as part of a successful process of reversing decades of stagnation. In the later part of the 20th century, declining local employment opportunities and suburbanisation had prompted many residents to leave Shandon. Part of the Irish city of Cork, the district also suffered from a lack of a coherent planning framework. One of the vehicles for bringing the community together and revitalising Shandon was a mural project called “The Big Wash-Up”.
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Germany unveils zero-emissions train that only emits steam

Independent, 1 November 2016
Germany is set to introduce the world’s first zero-emission passenger train to be powered by hydrogen. The Coradia iLint only emits excess steam into the atmosphere, and provides an alternative to the country’s 4,000 diesel trains.
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How Delta masters the game of overbooking flights

PBS Newshour, 29 December 2015
When Delta overbooks a flight, they let their passengers decide how much getting bumped is worth. I discovered this last week when I checked in online for my flight from Minneapolis to Philadelphia. What was the minimum I was willing to accept in travel vouchers to take a later flight — $500, $300, $200, less? After doing some rough mental calculations, I bid $300. High enough to cover most of a ticket to Mexico and low enough to be competitive without feeling exploited.
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Air passengers face a bumpier ride due to climate change

RE neweconomy, 10 April 2017
Air passengers face various irritations when flying, from lost luggage to unappetising food. But one problem – turbulence – is not only unsettling for passengers but potentially dangerous too. What’s more, it is expected to worsen in future.

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VW ‘dieselgate’ [UK] payout offer outrageously low, says Sadiq Khan

The Guardian, 12 December 2016
Sadiq Khan has called on the government to secure proper compensation from Volkswagen for the “dieselgate” scandal, saying the £1.1m pledged so far was outrageous. The London mayor said the settlement was far too low compared with the £12bn payout achieved by US authorities for VW’s use of sophisticated “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests.
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Clear air plans won’t punish drivers of older diesel cars, [UK] PM promises

The Guardian, 5 April 2017
Theresa May says she will not punish drivers of older diesel cars who were encouraged to buy the polluting vehicles under the Labour government. A crackdown on the vehicles to tackle poor air quality has been announced by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, with drivers of polluting vehicles facing £24-a-day charges to drive in central London from 2019.
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