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Found 5 results

  1. Traffic management APPlied logic Sep 13th 2011, 16:10 by The Economist online TRAFFIC lights are crucial tools for regulating traffic flow. They are not, however, perfect. Drivers exchange the gridlock that would happen at unmanaged junctions for a pattern of stop-go movement that can still be frustrating, and which burns more fuel than a smooth passage would. Creating such a smooth passage means adjusting a vehicle’s speed so that it always arrives at the lights when they are green. That is theoretically possible, but practically hard. Roadside signs wired to traffic lights can help get the message across a couple hundred metres from a junction, but such signs are expensive, and have not been widely deployed. Margaret Martonosi and Emmanouil Koukoumidis at Princeton University, and Li-Shiuan Peh at the Massachussets Institute of Technology, however, have an idea that could make the process cheaper and more effective. Instead of a hardwired network of signs, they propose to use mobile-phone apps. For a driver to benefit, he must load the team’s software, dubbed SignalGuru, into his phone and then mount it on a special bracket attached to the inside of his car’s windscreen, with the camera lens pointing forwards. SignalGuru is designed to detect traffic lights and track their status as red, amber or green. It broadcasts this information to other phones in the area that are fitted with the same software, and—if there are enough of them—the phones thus each know the status of most of the lights around town. Using this information, SignalGuru is able to calculate the traffic-light schedule for the region and suggest the speed at which a driver should travel in order to avoid running into red lights. Tests in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where five drivers were asked to follow the same route for three hours, and in Singapore, where eight drivers were asked to follow one of two routes for 30 minutes, revealed that SignalGuru was capable of predicting traffic-light activity with an accuracy of 98.2% and 96.3% respectively, in the two cities. This was particularly impressive because in Cambridge the lights shifted, roughly half-way through the test, from their off-peak schedule to their afternoon-traffic schedule, while in Singapore lights are adaptive, using detectors embedded under the road to determine how much traffic is around and thus when a signal should change. In neither case was SignalGuru fooled. Fuel consumption fell, too—by about 20%. SignalGuru thus reduces both frustration and fuel use, and makes commuting a slightly less horrible experience.
  2. http://9to5google.com/2011/09/22/google-becomes-a-virtual-mobile-network-operator-in-spain-rest-of-europe-coming-soon/ It be interesting to see them come here and become an MVNO with one of the carriers here and maybe even start up their own ISP.
  3. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette) Good to see we have some talent left in this city
  4. Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/iamgold-to-sell-niobec-mine-in-quebec-for-500-million/article20906794/
  5. http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2016/02/should-the-law-step-in-to-outlaw-pedestrian-cellphone-use/462669/?utm_source=SFFB From The Atlantic CityLab Officials Keep Trying, and Failing, to Outlaw Distracted Walking A proposed bill in Hawaii is the latest in a doomed line of legislative attempts to deal with pedestrians on their cell phones. EILLIE ANZILOTTI @eillieanzi Feb 15, 2016 4 Comments Image Lori Foxworth/Flickr Lori Foxworth/Flickr You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’d say that texting and walking mix well. New York’s (sadly fictitious) Department of Pedestrian Etiquette listed “walking with your face in a map or mobile device,” among its violations. Beyond the annoyance factor, it’s a health risk: 2010 data show that at least 1,500 people a year wound up in the emergency room after taking to the streets on their phones. The Pew Research Center has found that 53 percent of adult cell phone users have bumped into something as a result of distracted walking. And if you still don’t see the hazard, consider the La Crescenta, California, man who nearly texted himself straight into a bear. Yet people keep doing it. And when common sense fails, the law steps in. Or, at least, tries to. A bill introduced in the Hawaii House of Representatives at the end of January would ban pedestrians from crossing a street, road, or highway while using a mobile electronic device. The House Committee on Transportation deferred the bill on Wednesday, bringing to mind a similar ban proposed by the Honolulu City Council in 2011, which never reached approval. Legislative attempts to curtail pedestrian cellphone use do not have very successful track record. Carl Kruger, a former state senator from New York, introduced a proposal in 2007 that would have barred the use of electronics in intersections at the risk of a $100 fine. “Government has an obligation to protect its citizenry,” he said. The bill failed. Similarly, a 2011 Arkansas proposal to outlaw wearing headphones in both ears while walking went nowhere. (Studies have shown that, relative to texting, music isn’t even that great of a distraction.) Jimmy Jeffres, the senator behind the bill, knew it wouldn’t pass but introduced it anyway to raise awareness of the issue. "You might not get the full effect of the Boston Symphony Orchestra with one ear,” he told the Associated Press, “but you at least will be aware of your surroundings." Those lackluster outcomes didn’t stop the Utah Transit Authority from trying to slap a $50 fee on pedestrians using their phones, headphones, and other devices while crossing Salt Lake City’s light rail tracks in 2012. But the ordinance never became statewide law. Craig Frank, a Republican representative who opposed the bill, said at the time: “I never thought the government needed to cite me for using my cellphone in a reasonable manner.” (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Distracted driving laws have had a considerably easier time making it through the legislature; 46 states ban texting and 14 ban hand-held phone use entirely. But attempts to monitor how people conduct themselves while walking (or, for that matter, riding a bike) frustrate safety advocates who view pedestrians and cyclists as the most vulnerable city street users. Numerous states have proposed public awareness campaigns to direct pedestrian attention away from their phone screens and back toward their livelihoods; California’s 2014 campaign implores: “Stay Alert. Stay Alive.” Some researchers have become doubtful that such campaigns can work. Corey Basch of William Patterson University, co-author of a recent report on pedestrian distractedness at five Manhattan intersection, found that “Don’t Walk” signs failed to affect those distracted by their devices; nearly half of observed walkers who crossed against the light were looking at their phones, putting them at a greater risk, she said, than those who were paying attention to their surroundings. Consequently, she’s not sure pedestrians would heed—let alone notice—additional signage encouraging them to watch out for themselves. “The urgency to always be in touch and the fear of missing out on something has grown so strong I'm not even sure they're aware of how dangerous it is," Basch told NJ.com. sent via Tapatalk