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September 2008

Notes after New York

By Kathleen Mosier  ·  September 30, 2008  · 

Just got back from the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society conference in New York City. The conference hotel was in Times Square, and it was hopping! New York is an amazing place. I think most of the tourists were from other countries – taking advantage of the de-valued dollar as it tanks even more after the current financial fiasco…
I was very surprised to hear Dave say that any area of the US has better public transit than the UK. Usually we are worse than anyone else in that respect. The SF Bay Area (including San Jose) is...

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Train not plane

By Dave Snowden  ·  September 29, 2008  ·  News

Credit where credit is due, but this proposal (if it is real) to focus on a TGV network rather than a third runway is the sort of new thinking we need in the UK. Mind you, I notice that Wales, the West Country and Scotland are not included in the proposal. This could be good or bad; either a further example of neglect or possibly an early sign of a decision to ensure a permanent Tory majority in England by giving Wales and Scotland independence?

Back to public transport; I and others argued many years ago that the M25 (The London ring...

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One wonders why?

By Dave Snowden  ·  September 29, 2008  ·  Surreal

I have always wondered why academics involved in counter-terrorism publish papers describing how (to take one example) they calculate interconnectivity in terrorist networks. Its not too hard to see that someone might study said papers and then adjust behaviour to game the algorithms. Equally if you think of some new means of killing many people, why publish it to show how clever you are? Ever heard of putting ideas in to people's heads? This example (hat tip to Sonja) illustrates my point.

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Who slept here?

By Dave Snowden  ·  September 28, 2008  ·  Musings

I arrived home early afternoon today to unpack and prepare to fly out tomorrow midday to Derry for a couple of days. The flight is on Ryan Air from Bristol (fight for a seat) which will be a bit of a contrast with my upgraded flight from LAX to LHR last night! I was last in Derry as an idealistic 14 year old on a civil rights march back in 1968 so its going to be a real education to see how much it has changed. My hotel also claims that Bill Clinton slept here along with several other stars of stage and screen. The hotel web site...

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Trust again

By Dave Snowden  ·  September 27, 2008  ·  Polemic

A week in San Jose gave a contrasting picture with recent changes on Great Western Railways in the UK. I arrive late Saturday picked up the free shuttle to the Light Rail. $1.75 took me to the hotel in San Jose. A trip out to Palo Alto for a fascinating meal organised by Dave Pollard (more of that in another blog) cost under $10 for the return by Cal Train. Now I bought tickets for all those journeys but at no stage did anyone check them. Public Transport that work this well and is this cheap is part of dealing with Climate Change.

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