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Social maps that reveal a city’s intersections נand separations

TED talks, October 2014

Every city has its neighborhoods, cliques and clubs, the hidden lines that join and divide people in the same town. What can we learn about cities by looking at what people share online? Starting with his own home town of Baltimore, Dave Troy has been visualizing what the tweets of city dwellers reveal about who lives there, who they talk to — and who they don’t.

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Qantas first 747-400 to make an amazing last flight into history

Crikey, 29 January 2015

The first Qantas 747-400, which has held, since 1989, the title for the longest unrefueled flight commercial airliner flight between London and Sydney, is set to make what may be the world’s shortest ever delivery flight, from Sydney to Albion Park just south of Wollongong.

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Is it time to wave goodbye to Melbourne Bike Share?

Crikey, 27 January 2015

Melbourne Bike Share (MBS) is a white elephant. It has struggled to attract riders in even modest numbers since it was set up with 600 bikes (Bixis) by the Brumby government nearly five years ago. The current five year $5.5 million contract is due to expire in June this year; given its poor performance, the real cost to taxpayers is undoubtedly considerably more.

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For Saudis, Falling Demand for Oil Is the Biggest Concern

Bloomberg, 26 January 2015

As the world’s oil producers wring their hands over a global glut that’s pushing down prices, evidence is mounting that Saudi Arabia is more concerned about shrinking demand. The world’s largest exporter has chosen not to cut production, counting instead on lower prices to stimulate consumption, said Mohammad Al Sabban, an adviser to Saudi Arabia’s petroleum minister from 1988 to 2013. The Saudis are keeping an eye on investments in fuel efficiency and renewable energy, according to Francisco Blanch, Bank of America Corp.’s head of global commodity research.

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Tories forced into U-turn on fast-track fracking after accepting Labour plans

The Guardian, 26 January 2015

The government made a major U-turn on plans to fast-track UK fracking on Monday after accepting Labour proposals to tighten environmental regulations. David Cameron had previously said the government was “going all out” for shale gas development, but widespread public concern and a looming defeat by worried Tory and Liberal Democrat backbenchers forced ministers to back down.

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Sydneysiders ditch the car, but congestion remains

Crikey, 16 January 2015

The image above shows the change in per capita trips in greater Sydney over
the 10 year period from 2002/3 to 2012/13. It’s based on data collected by
the NSW Bureau of Transport Statistics for its annual household
travel survey. It’s consistent with the now-familiar understanding that per capita travel by
car is gradually falling in cities in many developed countries. The average
number of car trips made on a weekday by a typical Sydneysider declined from 2.9
10 years ago to 2.7 in 2012/13.

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What to Do With a Dying Neighborhood

The Atlantic, 14 January 2015

Covington, Georgia, decided not to let a half-completed development sit empty. But the city's solution has been both praised and vilified by observers.

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Toyota v Tesla: eliminating patent trolls to save the hydrogen car

Crikey, 15 January 2015

There has been much concern about the rise of patent trolls, the expenses of patent litigation, and the costs of patent transactions in the United States. The scholar James Bessen has been concerned that aggressive patent litigation has undermined innovation and entrepreneurship. The Supreme Court of the United States has responded to the perceived problems in respect of patent law with a string of significant patent rulings. However, the patent law reform process has been stalled in the United States Congress. While in corporate America, things are heating up.

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‘Catch-22’ — the paradox of peak oil in a volatile market

Crikey, 13 January 2015

The spectacular oil-price crash following the Saudi-led decision of the OPEC cartel to maintain production — despite a glut and in the face of softening demand — has left peak-oil theorists in an awkward position. Wasn't the cheap oil meant to be running out?

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Saudi Prince: Oil will never return to $100

CNN Money, 12 January 2015

The days of $100 oil prices may be gone forever. At least that's what Saudi Prince Alwaleed believes about oil, which plunged below $46 a barrel on Monday for the first time since the spring of 2009. The well-known billionaire investor recently told USA Today he's positive we're "never" going to see $100-a-barrel oil prices again.

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