In the last few months, a host of startups have emerged that connect commuters to shuttle buses in the same way that “taxi aggregators” like Uber hook people up with independent drivers — and they are starting to show results. Using a business model developed in India, companies like Shuttl, Ola, Cityflo , Zipgo, and others are rapidly building networks of commuters in Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai, where they offer private shuttle bus operators the promise of less downtime and riders a comfortable trip to work for a nominal price.
“People do not take public transport right now because the service is really bad,” says Harish Tiwari, co-founder of one of the startups, Tranzo, which operates in Bangalore. “If an app-based aggregator can provide better service than what is there now, people are ready to use it.”
After initially showing little interest in the new app-driven bus service, the New Delhi government announced last week that it was backing the concept and called on companies with fleets of 50 buses or more to apply for an operating license. While the new shuttle bus services often just take passengers on two- to three-mile rides to subway stops, the government wants the services to start operating longer routes and carrying more passengers.
Microgrids are hardly a new idea. When Thomas Edison first set the country on a course to light every house with tungsten filaments, he conceptualized a patchwork of small, independent utility providers tapping generation sources close to home. When alternating current won out as the standard in electrical power transmission, however, it immediately became feasible to transport it over long distances. And so began the centralization of U.S. electricity distribution.
More than a century later a series of environmental, technological and economic pressures are finally nudging us toward decentralized distribution. The price of renewables has dropped dramatically, meaning that it makes economic sense for someone like Cameron to install a photovoltaic array on her roof. In 2015 solar developers added some 7.3 gigawatts of generating capacity to the U.S.—up from less than a single gigawatt in 2010—with about a quarter now coming from rooftop installations, according to Greentech Media Research, a Boston-based renewable energy research firm. Meanwhile the nation’s utility grid continues to age and expose its vulnerabilities, compelling some states to give communities with high rates of locally generated electricity more control over its distribution.
Other common examples include university campuses - often with CHP (combined heat and power - essentially use the waste heat to make hot water) to boost efficiency and make the expensive worthwhile.
You don't need to be a mathematician to follow Wolfram's blog - probably somewhere between the movie and the real thing, although closer to the movie in level:)
I’m no historian of math, so I can’t judge, but it seems excellent. Of course Wolfram can’t resist plugging Mathematica a bit, but that’s probably reasonable here. It is a great tool for ‘experimental’ math.