Getting Rid of Carpool Lanes Could Double Travel Times

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Science Magazine: Eliminating carpool lanes could almost double drivers’ traveling times, according to a new study. The findings come thanks to an unusual decision made by the government of Jakarta last year. Following allegations that drugged babies from poor households were being used as “jockeys,” or passengers for hire, Indonesian lawmakers repealed the so-called three-in-one restriction. The law had required cars driving on the business district’s main roads to carry at least three passengers during rush hours. To determine the impact on the city’s drivers, Benjamin Olken, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and colleagues queried Google Maps for real-time driving-speed data before and after the new policy went into effect. Following the policy lift, travel delays, defined as the time it takes to travel 1 kilometer, increased by 46% in the morning and almost 90% in the evening, the team reports today in Science. But the most startling result is that phasing out the three-in-one policy led to worse traffic during times of the day and on roads where there had never been restrictions in place, Olken says. One possible explanation, he says, is that the three-in-one restriction led fewer people to drive into the city. “Maybe they carpooled, took public transit, or worked from home.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Slashdot

Bill to create panel that could remove Trump from office quietly picks up Democratic support

Bill to create panel that could remove Trump from office quietly picks up Democratic supportA bill sponsored by Rep. Jamie Raskin to create a panel that could remove President Trump from office under the 25th Amendment is gaining support from Democrats, including Rep. John Conyers.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

'How Donald Trump Could Get Fired': The 25th Amendment

'How Donald Trump Could Get Fired': The 25th AmendmentThe New Yorker's Evan Osnos joins Lawrence O'Donnell to discuss his new article "How Donald Trump Could Get Fired" and the conversation happening in this country about Trump's ability to do the job of President.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Broadband Expansion Could Trigger Dangerous Surge In Space Junk

A new study from the University of Southampton warns that expanding broadband networks via launching “mega constellations” of thousands of communications satellites could increase catastrophic crashes of dangerous space junk in Earth’s orbit. “Dr Hugh Lewis, a senior lecturer in aerospace engineering at the University of Southampton, ran a 200-year simulation to assess the possible consequences of such a rise in orbital traffic,” reports The Guardian. “He found it could create a 50% increase in the number of catastrophic collisions between satellites.” From the report: Such crashes would probably lead to a further increase in the amount of space junk in orbit, he said, leading to the possibility of further collisions and potential damage to the services the satellites were intended to provide. The European Space Agency, which funded Lewis’s research, is calling for the satellites planned for orbital mega-constellations to be able to move to low altitudes once their missions are over so they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. They must also be able discharge all batteries, fuel tanks and pressure tanks to prevent explosions that would scatter debris. Lewis is presenting his research this week at the European conference on space debris at the ESA’s center in Darmsadt, Germany. Krag said he expected some of the companies planning launches to attend.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Slashdot

Genetically-Modified ‘Surrogate Hens’ Could Lay Eggs of Rare Chicken Breeds, Scientists Say

In an effort to preserve rare varieties of chicken breeds and diversify the chicken gene pool, scientists at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute have come up with a plan to breed genetically-modified chickens designed to act as surrogates that would be capable of laying eggs from any rare breed. Such rare breeds include the Nankin, Scots Dumpy and Sicilian Buttercup. The Guardian reports: The surrogacy technique, which places a new, mind-bending twist on the classic chicken or egg question, involves first genetically engineering hens to be sterile. This is done by deleting a gene, called DDX4, that is required for the development of primordial follicles (the precursors to eggs) meaning that the surrogate hens will never lay eggs that are biologically their own. The next step will be to transplant follicles from rare birds into the surrogate (this is done before the surrogate chick is hatched from its own egg), meaning it would go on to lay eggs belonging to entirely different breeds of chicken. Given that the hens would also need to be artificially inseminated with sperm from the same rare variety, the approach may appear unnecessarily convoluted. Why not just breed the rare birds the normal way? The scientists’ ultimate goal is to create a gene bank of chicken breeds preserved for posterity, and since primordial follicles can be frozen efficiently, while eggs cannot, the surrogacy technique serves an essential work-around. Mike McGrew, who is leading the project and is the first author on a paper on the work published this week in the journal Development, predicts that the surrogates will be able to lay eggs from any breed, including chicken’s wild predecessor, the red junglefowl, but he is doubtful about whether it will work efficiently across species — it is not likely that the surrogate hens will be giving birth to eagle chicks, for instance. Richard Broad, a field officer for the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, agreed that rare chickens could be a source of valuable genetic variation, potentially carrying variants that would provide resistance against new forms of avian flu. At present, the team is focused on chicken breeds, but expects the technique to work to preserve rare varieties of ducks, geese and quail.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Slashdot

Microsoft Could Be First Tech Company To Reach Trillion-Dollar Market Value: Analyst

Microsoft’s $ 26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn could help the Redmond company become the first technology giant to reach a market value of $ 1 trillion, or so thinks a notable analyst. Analyst Michael Markowski believes that Microsoft will be able to leverage LinkedIn to become a leader in social media space and the emerging crowdfunding platform. So much so that it will beat Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook in becoming the first company to hit $ 1 trillion market value. From a report on GeekWire: Here are the market caps of these big tech companies as of Monday morning: Apple: $ 622.6B, Alphabet: $ 549.7B, Microsoft: $ 489.3B, Amazon: $ 358.7B, and Facebook: $ 337.6B. “The public has an insatiable appetite for making small bets and purchasing lottery tickets, etc., that provide the chance to make a big profit,” Markowski wrote. “The millennials will be a good example. Many will want to routinely invest $ 100 or even less into high-risk ventures that could produce returns of 10X to 100X.” Microsoft, through LinkedIn, will be able to take advantage of this trend because it has a monopoly on the business social media sphere. Markowski predicts that all the big tech companies will eventually build services to facilitate crowdfunding investments.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Slashdot

A Rasputinesque Woman Could Take Down South Korea’s President

At the heart of the weird scandal surrounding South Korean president Park Geun-hye and confidante Choi Soon-sil, Koreans see their president as being under the spell of a “palm-reader” and even a quack.
Digg Top Stories

Using VPN in UAE Could Cost You $545,000

An anonymous reader writes: The President of the United Arab Emirates has issued a series of new federal laws relating to IT crimes, including a regulation that forbids anyone in the UAE from making use of virtual private networks to secure their web traffic from prying eyes. The new law states that anyone who uses a VPN or proxy server can be imprisoned and fined between $ 136,000-$ 545,000 if they are found to use VPNs fraudulently. Previously, the law was restricted to prosecuting people who used VPNs as part of an internet crime, but UK-based VPN and privacy advocate Private Internet Access says that the law has now changed to enable police in the UAE to go after anyone who uses VPNs to access blocked services, which is considered to be fraudulent use of an IP address.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Slashdot

‘Moth Eye’ Graphene Breakthrough Could Create Indoor Solar Cells

A scientific breakthrough with the “wonder material” graphene has opened up the possibility of indoor solar cells that capture energy from indirect sunlight, as well as ambient energy from household devices. Researchers from the University of Surrey in the U.K. studied the eyes of moths to create sheets of graphene that they claim is the most light-absorbent material ever created. “We realized that the moth’s eye works in a particular way that traps electromagnetic waves very efficiently,” Professor Ravi Silva, head of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey, tells Newsweek. “As a result of our studies, we’ve been able to mimic the surface of a moth’s eye and create an amazingly thin, efficient, light-absorbent material made of graphene.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Slashdot