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  • In an age of sophisticated computer modeling, Boeing engineers relied on the same test used for tiny cellphone batteries to gather data about the safety of the heftier lithium-ion battery on its new 787 jets: they drove a nail into it to see what happened.

    New York Times
  • With few options available for financing his clean-energy ambitions, President Obama on Friday will propose diverting $2 billion in revenue from federal oil and gas leases over the next decade to pay for research on advanced vehicles, White House officials said....Mr. Obama has given up on moving comprehensive climate change legislation through Congress and has ruled out a carbon tax as a way to finance the development of alternative energy sources, so he is pursuing smaller-scale projects that do not require new sources of revenue.

    New York Times
  • It’s every cyclist’s nightmare: You approach the spot where you carefully locked your bike and all that’s left is the mangled remains of a lock...In addition to a tiny GPS chipset, BikeSpike features an accelerometer and GSM cellular chip so you can pinpoint your bike’s location and monitor it via the web, iOS, or Android device. Once you’ve physically and digitally locked your bike, you’ll be notified if moves beyond its geofenced location. You can even adjust the accelerometer settings to know if it’s been bumped or fallen over.

  •  Gov. Jerry Brown's $23 billion plan to build two massive, 35-mile-long tunnels that would make it easier to move water from Northern california to farms and cities in the south and other parts of the state took a step forward Thursday with the release of the first details of the plan...The two-tunnel plan was first championed seven years ago...Critics say the plan ...will hasten the delta's demise...

    Oakland Tribune
  • Oil industry lobbyists returned to the White House this week to argue against a rule that would slash the amount of sulfur in gasoline, prompting supporters to fear more delays to the long-awaited standards. Representatives of the American Petroleum Institute yesterday met with White House Office of Management and Budget officials to discuss U.S. EPA's so-called Tier 3 gasoline standards. And on Monday, the refining industry group American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers met with OMB to discuss the rule.

  • zzbrt.jpg

    ...The costs savings are startling and worth restating: it was 99.8 percent cheaper to roll out BRT in Curitiba than build a subway. Since then, BRT has been enthusiastically deployed in 147 cities spread over six continents. But as developing countries in Africa and Asia have pumped millions of dollars into new buses, reengineered streets, and stylish loading stations, the results have been disappointing in cities like Cape Town, New Delhi, and Bangkok.

    Atlantic Cities
  • zzmaps.png

    ...Academics refer to this kind of collaborative mapmaking as "volunteered geographic information," and OpenStreetMap is one of the most successful examples of it out there. Research into the system suggests that these amateur maps are impressively accurate in communities dense with contributors (like Germany: Germans love OpenStreetMap). But until now, it's been much easier to assess how good these maps are than to ask how they got that way.

    Atlantic Cities
  • Nearly 70 percent of American adult drivers talk on the phone while driving, at least occasionally. This according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released today. It shows that Americans are far more likely to talk on the phone while driving than some of their European counterparts. The CDC relied on data from 2011 EuroPNStyles and HealthStyles online surveys.

    Atlantic Cities
  • Now that the surface transportation bill fight is over — at least for the moment — transportation reformers are eying the expiration date of another key piece of legislation later this year. The reauthorization of thePassenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) could be a chance to make some needed changes to jump-start progress in the passenger rail system. Or it could be the next partisan battleground, making it a process as unnavigable as the lead-up to the passage of MAP-21.

  • More changes are coming to the local stretch of Interstate 80, among them the day that ramp metering lights are turned on....The question is when these lights will get turned on. California Department of Transportation policy calls for the agency to first reach agreements with local cities on how to operate the lights. Agreements can address such issues as under what traffic conditions the lights are used.

    Fairfield Daily Republic