Web Analytics

Good deal on this USB rechargeable screwdriver

Good deal on this USB rechargeable screwdriver

Tacklife makes good low-cost power tools. I’ve bought a lot of different tools from Tacklife and use them all the time. If you use code B797VDYT you can get this Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Cordless Screwdriver with 32-piece screw bits and USB charging cable for about half the already low price.

Read More

Brexit is hurting travel industry, low-cost carrier easyJet says

Brexit is hurting travel industry, low-cost carrier easyJet says


Associated Press

Published 11:46 a.m. ET April 1, 2019

Discount airline easyJet warned Monday that the U.K.’s pending withdrawal from the European Union is causing travelers to hold back on booking tickets amid doubts over what Britain’s future relations with the bloc will be.

EasyJet said that as a result, its earnings would be weaker in the second half of the year. Its first half loss of 275 million pounds ($360 million) was within expectations, but the outlook for the six months through September is “more cautious.”

“For the second half we are seeing softness in both the U.K. and Europe, which we believe comes from macroeconomic uncertainty and many unanswered questions surrounding Brexit which are together driving weaker customer demand,” easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said. “We are rolling out further initiatives to support our trading.”

Shares in the company fell almost 9 percent in London on the news. Shares in other airlines and travel companies also fell, with British Airways owner IAG down about 2 percent and travel group TUI down 3 percent.

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

George Salmon, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the airline is facing issues with “two main moving parts,” — namely fuel prices and customer sentiment. He said higher fuel costs are hitting profits and Britain’s pending EU divorce is making customers think twice before booking trips away.

“The group reckons demand will pick up later in the year, but a more pragmatic observer would say it’s difficult to put a timeframe on when (the U.K. government) and the EU will solve the Brexit puzzle,” he said. “This uncertainty means easyJet requires some blue sky thinking just now.”

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2019/04/01/brexit-travel-easyjet-airlines-shares-fall-british-airways/3331396002/

Read More

Easy, Low Cost Hoop House

Easy, Low Cost Hoop House

I grow a lot of kale in my garden, and the last 2 years the caterpillars have been eating more than I do. I do not use pesticides. I decided this year I would cover this area with netting to try and prevent or at least minimize the eggs getting laid on the kale. It is a small white butterfly that starts laying eggs in June, and by July the caterpillars are eating large holes in the kale. I also decided that I can cover the area with plastic until it warms up so that I will get some kale earlier. It is April 15th and there is a lot already growing. I have been keeping the area covered with plastic. The area I covered is about 12 feet by 7 feet. I went to the local home improvement store and bought 8 – 24 inch pieces of rebar, 4 pieces of PVC 1/2 inch by 10 foot, and at Walmart I found a roll of plastic for $15. It is 20′ by 25′. I also had some dollar store zip ties that I did not need to buy.

Step 1: Putting in the Rebar

When I was putting in the 1st piece of rebar I noticed that the top was getting flattened out, so I covered it with a socket to help prevent the damage. The PVC needs to fit over the rebar so it needs to stay round. The spacing I used was approximate 7 foot from side to side, and for the length about 3 feet from bar to bar. The rebar is 24 inches long, and I left about 12 inches sticking out.

Step 2: Assembling the Frame

The PVC was a little tight going over the rebar, but this will help it from coming off.

Step 3: Adding the Cover

It was very windy today, and I was by myself, so it was a challenge getting this on without it blowing away. I used 4 zip ties on each tube. This should hold it. If not I can add more. I plan to leave this on for 2 -3 weeks, and then I will remove the plastic and install the netting. The netting I have is from walmart and it’s in 10 by 14 foot sections. It was $6 a package. I bought extra because I will overlap the netting to get better coverage. When it gets cold I will reinstall the plastic so I can extend the growing season as long as possible. This took me about 2 hours to so, I would hope it will last 2-3 years. The extra vegetables I will get will be worth the low cost and ease of building this.

Step 4:

Share

    Recommendations

    Read More

    Uber expands low-cost ride subscription service to 17 more cities – CNET

    Uber expands low-cost ride subscription service to 17 more cities – CNET
    Android Portable Device Application

    Uber is expanding its subscription service.


    Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    Uber’s subscription service is coming to more US cities.

    The ride-sharing company said Tuesday that it’s expanding Ride Pass, which starts at $15 and limits the cost of fares.

    The new locations include New York City, Dallas, San Diego, Seattle, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orange County, Baltimore-Maryland, New Orleans, Nashville, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, St. Louis, Jacksonville and Memphis.

    When Ride Pass was introduced back in October, it was only available in Los Angeles, Austin, Orlando, Miami and Denver. Your subscription won’t cover fares, but ensures you won’t have to pay surge pricing at peak times or in bad weather.

    It applies to UberX and UberPool trips. The standard $15 per month cost jumps to $25 in LA, New York City (Bronx and Staten Island), Dallas, San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, San Antonio and Nashville because you also get 30 minutes a day to ride Uber’s electric bikes and scooters for free.

    “Signing up through the app is simple, and once riders get rolling they can track their savings on every ride with real-time updates,” wrote Dan Bilen, Uber’s product manager, in the post.


    Now playing:
    Watch this:

    Uber scooters kickoff in California ahead of national…



    2:08

    First published at 4:48 a.m. PT.

    Updated at 5:37 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.

    Read More

    Disposable delivery drones pass test with US Marines

    Disposable delivery drones pass test with US Marines

    Using unmanned aircraft for delivery is an idea both the military and private sector have explored for years. Traditional aircraft guzzle fuel, cost money to purchase and maintain and require a human pilot. An unmanned aerial device doesn’t require any of these things. Companies like Amazon flirted with the idea of using drones to speed up package delivery, but couldn’t overcome logistical hurdles. While far away from being suitable for civilian use, these latest delivery gliders may be a step in the right direction.

    The one caveat is that these gliders have to first be launched from a larger aircraft. The gliders can then fly, either on their own or through radio control, and then belly land or release a parachute. The gliders travel at a low altitude and don’t need an airfield-like landing zone, which as a paper on them mentions, gives them a lot of flexibility. The unmanned aircraft can fly into urban environments, small clearings, or through forest and jungle canopies.

    In an interview with Engadget, principal investigator Marti Sarigul-Klijn explained that gliders would outpace both ground-based delivery drones and be cheaper than the current system of air-dropping supplies by parachute. “Gliders dropped from a cargo aircraft could greatly outdistance any ground based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for cargo logistics since the actual cargo delivery distance is the sum of the carrier aircraft’s range plus the glider’s range,” wrote Sarigul-Klijn in an email. “A carrier aircraft such as the C-17 can easily fly 2,000 nautical miles and back. Although most airdrop systems including parachutes are reused during training, all airdrop systems are expended during combat missions because it is almost impossible to retrieve them.”

    Logistics Gliders, Inc. plans to continue testing its disposable gliders this year under its contract with the Marines. If successful, the gliders would be a low-cost way for the military to air-drop supplies across multiple sites or even transfer humanitarian aid across political borders. You can watch a video of a test of the LG-2K below:

    Read More

    The high cost of a little bit sooner

    The high cost of a little bit sooner

    As the news cycle has trained us to find out results the moment they happen (or sometimes, as polling promises, before they happen), it’s easy to lose track of a simple truth:

    There’s a sweet spot between knowing with certainty at a low price (yesterday’s weather report is free) and guessing with a bit of a head start at a huge price (insider trading information).

    When we’re anxious, we spend too much time and thus too much money trying to hurry up what we’re about to find out anyway.

    A deep breath is usually a better plan.

    Read More

    Low-cost resilient houses could help Mozambique survive future storms

    Low-cost resilient houses could help Mozambique survive future storms

    As the city of Beira, Mozambique, reels from Cyclone Idai–90% of the city may be destroyed, and rescuers are still struggling to reach the thousands of people who have been displaced–it will eventually face another challenge: What’s the best way to rebuild a city where climate change is making intense storms commonplace?

    Cyclones aren’t new on the coast of Mozambique. But climate change raises the risk of catastrophic floods there, just as it does in Miami or Houston. “A warmer ocean evaporates more moisture into the atmosphere. That means tropical storms pack a bigger punch in terms of how much moisture they contain and how much rainfall they can produce,” says Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University. “The warmer ocean also provides more energy to intensify tropical storms. That means bigger storm surges, further boosted by sea level rise.” In Mozambique, a long recent drought also left the soil hard and less able to absorb the rain dumped by Idai.

    Beira, a city of a half million people, was hit by 100-mile-an-hour winds and more than seven inches of rain (other areas saw more than two feet of rain, or almost as much as the region would normally get in a year). After centuries of colonial rule followed by years of war, Mozambique is also one of the poorest countries in the world, and more than half of residents live below the poverty line, with few resources to prepare for storms. People typically build their own homes from the cheapest materials available. “They will use whatever means they have to build their house,” says Casimiro António, cofounder of the Arman Group, a Mozambique-based sustainable development consultancy, who previously worked with the development agency USAID.

    [Photo: courtesy USAID Coastal City Adaptation Project]

    For the last five years, USAID, along with the international development organization Chemonics, worked in three other coastal cities in Mozambique to help citizens begin to adapt to climate change. As one part of the project, they built 22 model homes to help demonstrate low-cost ways that homes could be designed to have a better chance of surviving storms, and taught builders and homeowners how to use those techniques.

    Right now, a typical home can be easily damaged even in a relatively minor storm. But simple techniques can help. A foundation, which many homes lack, can be raised with compacted soil, stone, and cement to reduce the risk of flooding. Walls, built with local materials like coconut wood or bamboo, can be reinforced with diagonal poles. Roofs can be attached in ways that make them less likely to fly off in strong winds; they can also be redesigned to collect rainwater.

    “It’s a combination of techniques that improve housing resilience,” says António. The techniques can make a house cost 25% more, but homeowners can save money over time by avoiding the need to rebuild; current homes are so flimsy that they need very frequent repairs. “If you build your house without following those resilient techniques, it means that every year you actually [might have to] rebuild your house,” he says.

    [Photo: courtesyUSAID Coastal City Adaptation Project]

    As more people move to cities like Beira, they’re forced to live wherever land is available, even if it’s particularly vulnerable to flooding or landslides. Some parts of Beira are already below sea level. “There are areas that are normally flooded,” he says. “People build in those areas because the city’s population continues to grow and they need to have houses.”

    Before rebuilding happens, the city should map out the areas at highest risk and make it clear where it isn’t safe to build, he says. Beira and other coastal cities at high risk could also pursue other projects piloted in the USAID program, such as redesigning sanitation so latrines don’t pollute water when it floods, and strengthening communication systems to reach people during a disaster. And new homes need to be built to a higher standard.

    “Now, with this crisis, it is creating an opportunity to avoid re-creating the risks,” António says.  Houses that are designed to be more resilient aren’t guaranteed to survive the most intense storms, but they make it much more likely–and if homes can withstand storms, that means that people are more likely to avoid disruptions like losing a job and deepening the cycle of poverty. More resilient homes could also save lives. “The event that just happened is a clear example that there is a need for houses to be built using resilient techniques,” he says.

    There’s an argument to be made that the countries most responsible for climate change should be doing more to help cities like Beira adapt. “If we can bring carbon emissions down dramatically, we might be able to reduce the threat to our coastal cities,” says Mann. “But even from the warming that is already baked in, we are likely to see substantial additional sea-level rise, strengthening of storms, and more intense rainfall events. That means that we have to invest in greater resilience, and assist those in the developing world with the least resources and the greatest vulnerability.”

    Read More

    Hong Kong reveals plan to build one of the world’s largest artificial islands

    Hong Kong reveals plan to build one of the world’s largest artificial islands

    Hong Kong (CNN)Hong Kong plans to build one of the world’s largest artificial islands, at a cost of around $80 billion.

    However, the Lantau Tomorrow Vision project has come under fire from a number of quarters over environmental concerns and the massive cost to the city’s coffers.
    Revealing the proposed budget Tuesday — an amount roughly half the city’s current fiscal reserves — Secretary for Development Michael Wong said the project was necessary due to Hong Kong’s “serious shortage of land supply.”
    To this end, Wong said, around 1,000 hectares of land would be reclaimed near Lantau, the largest island in Hong Kong and home to the city’s airport. This could be used to build up to 260,000 residential units, of which 70% would be reserved for public housing.
    By comparison, Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah island, also created by land reclamation, measures around 560 hectares.
    Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places on earth, and housing prices have long surpassed affordability for most of the city’s residents. Large amounts of land held in reserve by property developers, demand for housing by mainland Chinese investors, and relatively low amounts of public housing versus private rental accommodation has exacerbated the issue.
    In a statement, Greenpeace Hong Kong criticized the government’s Lantau plan for overlooking what it said were cheaper and less environmentally detrimental solutions to land shortage, including the development of brownfield sites, land formerly used for industrial sites.
    “Compared with reclamation, (development of) brownfield sites has high public support and the cost is cheaper,” said Greenpeace campaigner Andy Chu.
    According to the World Wildlife Fund, there is currently 1,200 hectares of brownfield site that could be developed for public housing, greater than the amount of land to be created by the Lantau project.
    Save Lantau, a pressure group, has accused the government, led by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, of ignoring public opinion on this issue and pressing ahead with reclamation at the expense of alternative solutions.
    Pointing to associated costs such as transport and other infrastructure development, the group estimated the total cost could run upwards of double the government’s proposed budget.
    “(This) will be the most expensive, complex and riskiest infrastructure project in Hong Kong’s history,” the group said in a statement on a previously announced draft of the plan, urging Lam to “immediately withdraw” the plan.
    According to Wong, the development secretary, the costs of the Lantau project will be recouped by revenue the government will receive from selling the reclaimed land to developers.
    While part of the plan will involve a $127 million conservation fund, environmental groups have raised serious concerns over the potential effects of the huge reclamation project on local species, particularly the endangered pink dolphin.
    Previous projects — such as the development of Hong Kong International Airport and a colossal bridge linking Hong Kong to Macau and mainland China — have included the creation of protected areas for the dolphins.
    However, these have come in for criticism on timing and practicality. One sanctuary created for the airport project was not officially designated until reclamation was well underway, and depended on the dolphins finding their way past that and initial work on the bridge to an area outside of their usual habitat.
    There are also concerns over the future proofing of reclamation projects as global sea levels are rising due to climate change. According to the South China Morning Post, Wong said the new island would sit at least six meters (19 feet) above current sea levels, the same as the city’s airport, and would be designed to withstand the type of super typhoons experts say the city will face more off as temperatures and sea level rises.

    Read More

    Portal automatically opens doors for wheelchair users, no button pressing required

    Portal automatically opens doors for wheelchair users, no button pressing required

    Buttons or plates (like the one above) that automatically open doors can do a lot to make a building more accessible, but they aren’t always a perfect solution. For wheelchair users with limited upper body movement, the buttons can be tough to hit. Other times, the button is installed poorly — too high, too low, or just too far from the door to be useful, with the door closing too fast.

    Portal Entryways is a startup trying to make these existing buttons more useful. They’ve built a device that piggybacks on top of existing access buttons, allowing these doors to be opened automatically (and, importantly, kept open) when a wheelchair user approaches. The button, meanwhile, continues to work just as it did before.

    Portal’s product has two components: a piece of Bluetooth Low Energy-enabled hardware that hooks into the existing door opening system, and a companion app running on the wheelchair user’s smartphone. The app searches for these Bluetooth Low Energy devices. When it finds one within range, it sends a command to open the door, keeping it open until the user has passed through the doorway. Portal-enabled doorways are marked with a sticker, helping users to know which ones will open as they approach.

    Portal is a part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2019 class, but it began its life as a student project in an innovation program at BYU which tasked students with solving a real-world problem. Co-founder Sam Lew tells me they initially started out working on an entirely unrelated concept (shipping logistics). After they met someone on their school campus who had arranged a schedule of friends to open doors or press accessibility buttons that had been installed out of reach, they shifted focus.

    It’s still early days, but they’re aiming to grow quickly. They’re approaching 250 devices installed, with a goal of having contracts signed for around 1,250 devices by the end of the month.

    Right now, the company’s founders are doing the installations themselves. Different doors use different buttons and motors. Some mechanisms are connected by wire, while others are all wireless. Getting things all connected — at least right now — requires a bit of specialized knowledge. But co-founder Josh Horne tells me that it’s compatible with most of the popular existing mechanisms. “As long as it’s not ancient,” he says, “it should work.”

    The company’s main focus right now is on locations with many publicly-accessible doors, like universities or malls. They’re still working out exactly what it’ll cost in the future, but they estimate around $100-200 per door per year.

    Read More

    Budget airline Wow Air collapses and cancels all flights, stranding passengers

    Budget airline Wow Air collapses and cancels all flights, stranding passengers

    Icelandic low-cost airline Wow Air today announced that it has ceased operations and all flights have been canceled. In a travel alert, the airline is advising that passengers who have a scheduled flight with the airline seek “rescue fares” from other airlines, or request a refund through their credit card companies or travel insurance, if it was purchased.

    “We’re just kind of like cockroaches or garbage in their eyes,” stranded passenger Bjorn Kjartansson at Boston Logan airport told a local CBS News affiliate. Kjartansson said he was booked on a Wow Air flight home to Iceland when he received multiple delay notifications before the flight (and airline) was canceled. Passengers at other airports were simply told to leave and come back later.

    Barrai Omuireagain says he and his family were supposed to fly from Detroit to Dublin when the airline also delayed their flight multiple times before canceling altogether. At the airport, he says, the airline offered pizzas and a free hotel stay to the impacted travelers, but did not tell them news about the airline’s shutdown until they all received the travel alert from Wow Air in their emails.

    Omuireagain also tweeted at fellow budget airline Aer Lingus for help, but the airline said it was unable to accommodate.

    @wow_air cancels flight to Dublin from Detroit at the last minute, looks like the company has gone bust. Any chance you can accommodate a family of four on @AerLingus out of Chicago or Tornado tomorrow the 28th. You would make this little girl Maeve very happy to see her cousins pic.twitter.com/jMnmWSh6zI

    — Barrai Omuireagain (@BOmuireagain) March 28, 2019

    Icelandair, a larger airline also based in the country, is currently offering reduced fares for those who were affected by the shutdown. According to local news site Iceland Review, an estimated 2,700 to 4,000 passengers have been stranded, and Icelandair is working with those who are stuck in Iceland to bring them home. Another estimated 1,100 Wow Air employees lost their jobs after the announcement, reports Iceland Review.

    Customers who aren’t traveling are also impacted, noting that their Wow Air vouchers have been rendered useless. Anna Becerra said she booked her flight nine months ago, but Wow Air canceled the flight in January and credited her a voucher. Most credit card companies may refund or charge back purchases, but the case is generally limited to transactions made within the past 120 days.

    Wow Air’s collapse follows a series of other sudden budget airline shutdowns in recent months. This past October, Denmark-based Primera Air abruptly ceased operations and announced plans to file for bankruptcy after experiencing delays in plane deliveries. Last month, British airline Flybmi also shut down without notice, citing inflated fuel costs and uncertainty over how it would operate in the aftermath of Brexit.

    Icelandair had previously expressed interest in acquiring Wow Air last fall, but scrapped plans after failing to make agreements at their shareholder meetings. Many budget airlines have been looking for potential acquisitions to help them out of their financial slumps. After Primera closed down last year, some have speculated that Norwegian Air may be next. In January, Norwegian released a poor earnings report for 2018, which noted that it operated at a loss of 3.8 billion krona (approximately $438 million USD) and needed to raise $350 million. It also began selling planes to make up for the losses.

    If Norwegian Air goes down, it would heavily impact passengers worldwide. Last year, it carried a record 37 million passengers; 1.6 million of those were on transatlantic routes which made Norwegian the most popular non-US airline for travels between Europe and the Americas, beating out British Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa, and Air France.

    Update March 28th, 2019 1:39 PM ET: This article has been updated to include passenger reactions to the shutdown.

    Read More