Ford, MIT use Bostonians’ cellphone location data for traffic planning

By collecting the anonymous cellphone location data from nearly two million Bostonians, MIT and Ford were able to produce near-instant urban mobility patterns that typically cost millions of dollars and take years to build.

The big data experiment holds the promise of more accurate and timely data about urban mobility patterns that can be used to quickly determine whether particular attempts to address local transportation needs are working.

In making decisions about infrastructure development and resource allocation, city planners rely on models of how people move through their cities — on foot, in cars and by public transportation. Those models are largely based on socio-demographic information from costly, time-consuming manual surveys, which are in small sample sizes and infrequently updated. Cities might go more than a decade between surveys.

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Computerworld

How tequila and weed could make Ford cars sustainable

Tequila, weed, cash, and a Ford car could be the elements for a hell of a road trip, but they’re also part of the automaker’s efforts to be more sustainable. At a Ford-sponsored panel discussion August 16 in San Francisco, senior technical leader Debbie Mielewski showed how the company was working with famed tequila maker José Cuervo to use less plastic in its car parts.

José Cuervo had tons of strong, durable agave fiber left over from tequila production. The company was using some of it for compost, as well as paper and local crafts, but much of it was going to waste. Because its operations happened to be near Ford’s automotive plants in Mexico, Mielewski and her team had a perfect opportunity to try the fiber as a reinforcing material for plastic.

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PCWorld News

Cisco to shed 5,500 staff in refocus on IoT, security, and cloud

Cisco Systems plans to lay off about 7 percent of its global workforce in a restructuring that will see it further focus on hot IT areas such as the internet of things, security, collaboration, next-generation data centers, and the cloud.

The move will cost the company around $ 700 million in redundancy payments to the roughly 5,500 staff who will be out of jobs in the coming months. The layoffs will hit some of Cisco’s smaller and more mature business areas where long-term growth prospects are low, the company said.

“We expect to reinvest substantially all of the cost savings from these actions back into these businesses and will continue to aggressively invest to focus on our areas of future growth,” Cisco said in a statement.

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PCWorld News

Guccifer 2.0 takes credit for hacking another Democratic committee

The hacker who claims to have breached the Democratic National Committee’s computers is now taking credit for hacking confidential files from a related campaign group.

Guccifer 2.0 alleged on Friday that he also attacked the servers of the Democractic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). He posted some of the purported files on his blog, and is promising journalists “exclusive materials” if they contact him directly.

Although Guccifer 2.0 claims to be a lone hacktivist, some security experts believe he’s actually a persona created by Russian government hackers who want to influence the U.S. presidential election.

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PCWorld News