Regional News - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuide - Regional News North America) Jan 1, 2012

U.S. military could pave the way for commercial green technology The U.S. military's efforts to implement green technology could pave the way for commercial efforts, Navy officials say. "When the military does something and shows that it works ... in the most critical circumstances, it makes it much easier to commercialize something," Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said. Dec 30, 2011

China announces 5-year space-exploration plan China on Thursday unveiled a five-year space-exploration plan that further challenges America's space program. "This approach offers lessons for other advanced space powers, including the U.S., which needs to make sure it sustains its high-level investment in various aspects of space development across the board," said Andrew S. Erickson, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College. Dec 30, 2011

European Union emissions scheme may spark trade war. Opinion: European Union emissions scheme may spark trade war. The European Union's emissions-trading scheme could ignite a trade war, The Wall Street Journal says. "The anticarbon movement has already done enough harm by increasing the cost of energy and wasting money on subsidies for ethanol and other renewables that can't compete on their own," the newspaper says. "Now it may start a trade war, which may be the only language that Eurocrats understand." Dec 30, 2011

Bill would require found change to fund nonprofit instead of TSA Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has proposed legislation that would require the Transportation Security Administration to give change left in security checkpoint trays by travelers to a nonprofit organization. Under the proposal, the money would go to the USO, a nonprofit, congressionally chartered private organization with airport programs in support of the military. The TSA currently uses the funds -- which totaled nearly USD380,000 last year -- to help pay for its operations. Dec 30, 2011

Editorial: TSA should keep back-scatter scanners, do more study If the government continues to use back-scatter scanners, it should prove to travelers that the devices are safe, an Orlando Sentinel editorial says. However, the editorial writers do not believe that it is necessary to remove the scanners at this point. "Taking away the backscatter scanners will only cause other researchers to find some possible danger in more traditional scanners," the editorial says. Dec 30, 2011

Las Vegas hotels raise rates for New Year's celebration Room rates have spiked to about USD2,000 at some Las Vegas hotels for New Year's Eve, which could result in strong gains for a market that has been struggling to recover. Many hotels are also reporting full bookings for the weekend, with an estimated USD192.6 million in nongaming economic impact expected for the city should occupancy rates reach the projected 98%. Dec 30, 2011

Blog: Changing the in-flight rules on electronic devices The Federal Aviation Administration may or may not change course on having passengers shut down electronic devices during takeoff and landing. "Even if these rules were shown -- beyond a reasonable doubt -- to be of no benefit whatsoever, it would likely take years for the FAA to actually lift the ban," this blogger writes. "Until it does, though, turn your devices off and stick them in the seatback pocket in front of you." Dec 30, 2011

Key proponent of South Florida gaming tweaks legislation Florida state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff has tweaked the pro-gaming legislation that she's co-sponsored because she wants to make it more attractive to more legislators. Changes include giving racetracks and jai-alai frontons the option to become casinos. "I'm looking for something that everyone's comfortable supporting," Bogdanoff said. Dec 30, 2011

Intercity passenger rail is one of AASHTO "Top 10" issues for 2012 The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials released its Top 10 list of transportation issues for the next year. Advancing intercity passenger rail is one of them. "States will move ahead on billions of dollars worth of construction and improvement projects," the group predicts. "Work ranging from laying new track and rebuilding train stations to purchasing new Onext generationO rail cars is expected to boost employment, the nationOs manufacturing base and economic development around key stations." Dec 30, 2011

Rules and regulations to watch in 2012 Several rules and regulations that will affect a wide range of business operations are expected to take effect in 2012. Among the most significant are a new standard on fair-value measurement that goes into effect for U.S. companies in the first quarter, the Securities and Exchange Commission's expected decision on the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards, and new reporting requirements for health care plans. Dec 30, 2011

Get ready for coal-fired plant shutdowns, analysts say The Environmental Protection Agency's final version of its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards "is very strict and will result in significant coal retirements," according to Benjamin Salisbury, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets & Co. His view is shared by analysts at Robert W. Baird & Co. and Guggenheim Securities. Dec 30, 2011

Federal judge orders Calif. to halt low-carbon rules for fuel imports California will be barred from enforcing its carbon-reduction policies for crude oil and ethanol imports after a federal judge ruled in favor of energy producers. Judge Lawrence O'Neill ruled that the state's low-carbon regulations unlawfully tried to regulate commercial activity outside California. "If fully implemented, the standards would have hurt consumers by discriminating against their use of renewable fuels from the Midwest and crude oil from our neighbor and ally Canada," said National Petrochemical and Refiners Association President Charles Drevna. Dec 30, 2011

AAR reports gains in weekly rail traffic The Association of American Railroads on Thursday reported gains in weekly rail traffic, with U.S. railroads originating 287,137 carloads for the week ending Dec. 24, up 11.9% compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 217,952 trailers and containers, up 22.9% compared with the same week last year. Dec 30, 2011

Warmer weather reduces sales of remote auto starters This holiday shopping season saw lower demand for remote starters of automobiles because of warmer-than-usual weather in December, retailers report. On balance, however, overall December sales ranged from flat to an increase of 7% compared with last year, they say. Dec 30, 2011

A forecast of tech innovations for next year Expect a wave of dual-core handheld computing products, speedier wireless capabilities for mobile devices and innovation around using mobile devices for purchases in 2012, Megan Geuss writes. Dec 30, 2011

Turning BYOD from a perk to a productivity booster As bring-your-own-device policies evolve, enterprises are beginning to see the trend as a means to cut costs and increase productivity. Employees are more willing to pick up part of the tab for devices they own, Galen Gruman writes. However, BYOD is of little benefit without the proper suite of management tools in place, Gruman writes. A good way to vet a potential mobile-device management vendor is to observe the extent that they employ BYOD, and avoid those that don't walk the walk. Dec 30, 2011

Researchers: Flirting robots mark a milestone in AI Engineers at TheCorpora say they're working to teach a robot how to flirt in the name of artificial-intelligence research. In a video of the experiment, a robot named Daniel 123 first flashes his nose light to confirm he is not seeing a reflection of himself, then tries out his best pickup line on his "female" counterpart, Jane 234. Dec 30, 2011

Students get schooled by college sustainability drives Many U.S. colleges are launching green-campus initiatives aimed at persuading students to behave in a more eco-friendly fashion. The projects give young people valuable experience with behavior-changing strategies, writes Katie Grote, and could indirectly impact marketing practices in coming years. "[T]he most exciting outcome of these college challenges could be a new generation of leaders who already know how to market and implement sustainable behavior changes," Grote writes. Dec 30, 2011

European Union emissions-trading scheme will start Sunday. The European Union emissions-trading scheme is scheduled to take effect Sunday despite protests by U.S. and Chinese airlines. "Airlines must understand that the price of CO2 will probably increase, but they are free to decide when they will buy permits," said Isaac Valero Ladron, spokesman for climate-change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard. Dec 29, 2011

Lithium batteries are safe for aircraft, group says The Rechargeable Battery Association says that using lithium batteries on aircraft is safe, despite a recent report from the Federal Aviation Administration. The association said "no facts are presented that indicate any involvement of batteries in the incidents" cited by the FAA. Dec 29, 2011

AAR: Manufacturing and housing drive growth of rail traffic Shipments related to manufacturing and housing boosted railroads' cargo volume in the week that ended Dec. 17, rising 2.5% compared with the previous week, according to the Association of American Railroads. Compared with the same week in 2010, shipment of metallic ores gained the most: 57.1%. Intermodal activity increased 5.1% in the first 50 weeks of 2011 compared with the same period last year. Dec 29, 2011

Wi-Fi Protected Setup is said to have security flaw The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team is warning that the Wi-Fi Protected Setup protocol used in wireless home routers may be exploited by hackers, citing security researcher Stefan Viehbock. The security flaw is in a program found on most commercially available routers. Dec 29, 2011

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