Thursday, November 1, 2012

Techy Sandy Stories

A kind of quick grab-bag of some interesting tech-related Sandy stories I noticed:

  • Hurricane Sandy’s Lesser-Known Victims: Lab Rats
    The collection of carefully bred rodents was considered one of the largest and most valuable of its kind in the country. The animals lived in colonies in the cellar of the Smilow Research Center, on 1st Avenue near 30th Street.

    New York University medical and research staff worked furiously to protect their human patients — and others threatened by the storm — in all three of its facilities in Kips Bay. Though most of the animals at the center were unharmed, the center staff could not rescue the animals in one of the facilities, despite hours of work amid the flooding that started at the institute on Monday night.

  • Here’s How Army Engineers Are ‘Unwatering’ NYC’s Tunnels
    The Corps is “looking at bringing in” two types of pumps, a “high-head submersible” and a centrifugal one, Pogue says. The high-head pump goes below the surface, extracting water down from the top, while the pump itself may be submerged as far down as 100 feet. The centrifugal pump is more familiar, using a hose “similar to a straw,” as Pogue put it, to suck the water out. The plan is to pump the water back out to sea.
  • Why Salt Water in the Subway Is So Extremely Dangerous
    This type of rail system is safe to use in nearly any type of environment except being submerged in salt water. When two different types of metal (or metal with two different components) are placed in water, they become a battery: the metal that is more reactive corrodes first, losing electrons and forming positive ions, which then go into water, while the less reactive metal becomes a cathode, absorbing those ions. This process happens much more vigorously when the water is electrically conductive, and salt water contains enough sodium and chloride ions to be 40 times more conductive than fresh water.
  • We Are Deploying Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot and Recharging Stations in Lower Manhattan
    To help New Yorkers in hard-hit areas like Lower Manhattan and Staten Island who are without power, we are deploying multiple vehicles with mobile charging stations and free WiFi access points. Local residents are welcome to charge their consumer devices such as smartphones and laptops and access a 4G WiFi connection.
  • This Is What A Starbucks In Manhattan Looks Like Right Now
    Because huge parts of the subway system are still down and much of lower Manhattan is without power, lots of people in my neighborhood are "working from home" today.

    For many of them, that actually means working from Starbucks, which has power, wi-fi, and an abundance of caffeine on tap.

  • Even a superstorm is no excuse for journalists not to check Twitter trolling
    Here's the thing: while what Tripathi did was stupid, inappropriate, ill-timed and loathsome, the reaction to it was entirely out of scale to the actual offense. The truth is, Tripathi had a relatively small niche on Twitter. His influence would have been limited had not journalists on Twitter been desperate for information to share, regardless of provenance.

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