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Tap and go: Sydney has the Opal, but how long will we need it?

Sydney Morning Herald, 31 July 2015

For Sydney public transport users, the Opal card was a long wait. But now the smartcard it is here – 15 years after the former government promised its like for the Sydney Olympics, more than 70 per cent of all journeys are now made on an Opal – there's every chance the card could soon be overhauled. In multiple areas – in what we pay for public transport, in how we pay for it, and in the sort of information we give and receive from transport cards – the arrival of the Opal is likely to be a precursor to bigger changes to come.

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China-Tied Hackers That Hit U.S. Said to Breach United Airlines

Bloomberg, 29 July 2015

The hackers who stole data on tens of millions of U.S. insurance holders and government employees in recent months breached another big target at around the same time — United Airlines. United, the world’s second-largest airline, detected an incursion into its computer systems in May or early June, said several people familiar with the probe. According to three of these people, investigators working with the carrier have linked the attack to a group of China-backed hackers they say are behind several other large heists — including the theft of security-clearance records from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and medical data from health insurer Anthem Inc.

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SEQ’s futuristic ‘inland freight port’ takes first steps

Brisbane Times, 28 July 2015

Southeast Queensland's futuristic "inland port" – straddling the interstate rail line between Brisbane and Melbourne ports and allowing 15000 hectares for future industry – is about to become a reality. The inland port is at Bromelton – six kilometres west of Beaudesert – and part of the 15,000 hectare Bromelton State Development Area announced eight years ago in 2007.

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Safety and financial concerns close in on Thai International

Crikey, 27 July 2015

The ‘real’ news about Thai International is getting worse as safety and financial performance concerns generate negative headlines in Bangkok. The Bangkok Post has reported that Airports of Thailand Plc is looking for aircraft parking to cope with the worst-case scenario in which Thai flights may be banned in other skies due to safety concerns.

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Solar + Battery Storage Cheaper Than Grid Electricity In Australia

Zayed Energy Prize, 21 July 2015

The uptake of solar energy + battery energy storage in Australia is very likely to be "unstoppable" — owing to the fact that solar + battery storage can already be installed in large quantities in many places at a cost that's cheaper than grid electricity — according to the head of Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Australia, Kobad Bhavnagri. That prediction came recently as part of a comment that the analyst is predicting that 37 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity and 33 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery storage capacity will be installed in the Oceanic country by the year 2040.

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Boeing looks at pricey titanium in bid to stem 787 losses

Reuters, July 2015

Boeing Co, which loses about $23 million on every 787 Dreamliner passenger jet that leaves the factory, is trying to stem the losses by cutting the use of one of its signature ingredients: titanium. The strong, lightweight alloy used extensively on the 787 costs seven times more than aluminum, and accounts for about $17 million of the cost of the $260 million plane, according to industry sources.

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Global Renewable Energy Is Status Positive

Renewable Energy World, 16 July 2015

The headline figure from the authoritative REN21 Renewables Global Status Report 2015 (GSR) states renewables accounted for more than 59 percent of all new electricity generating capacity installed worldwide during 2014.

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DonӴ panic! Traffic congestion is not coming for our cities

The Conversation, 27 July 2015

There is a new fear on the block. Not just ISIS, home invasions, wind turbines and the budget deficit, but now we must fear … traffic congestion. The Infrastructure Australia report on the future needs of our cities emphasises the growing problem of urban traffic congestion all over the country. It is echoed by the State of Australian Cities report.

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How a Wind Turbine Works

US Department of Energy, 20 June 2014

Since the turn of the century, total U.S. wind power capacity has increased more than 24-fold. Currently, there’s enough wind power capacity in the U.S. to generate enough electricity to power more than 15 million homes, helping pave the way to a clean energy future.

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Oil crash could be ‘far worse than 1986’, says Morgan Stanley

Brisbane Times, 24 July 2015

Morgan Stanley has been pretty pessimistic about oil prices in 2015, drawing comparisons to the some of the worst oil slumps of the past three decades. The current downturn could even rival the iconic price crash of 1986, analysts had warned – but definitely no worse.

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