Dan Cohen AUTHOR San Antonio officials believe the $5 million grant the region was awarded Thursday by the state to connect the area’s military installations to a backup water source will go a long way toward ensuring the viability of the area’s military installations over the coming decades.The Texas Military Preparedness Commission (TMPC) awarded the grant as part of $15 million in funding it plans to disburse this year under the state’s Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant program to help communities support local installations.Bob Murdock, director of San Antonio’s Office of Military Affairs, said the award is critical for the future growth of Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), which is made up of Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base and Randolph AFB.“It addresses Joint Base San Antonio’s top priority and I believe having access to an alternative water source makes JBSA significantly more competitive to garner additional missions when there is a future BRAC,” Murdock said.JBSA is currently under a drought warning, said Tim Trevino, senior director of strategic planning and communications for the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG), which applied to the state commission for the money on behalf of the region.The situation is most critical at Camp Bullis — a training reservation attached to Fort Sam Houston — which relies on an aquifer that is susceptible to drought.San Antonio’s grant will go toward an $11 million-plus project to construct four miles of pipeline to provide an alternative water source for Fort Sam Houston; Camp Bullis; Lackland; and two individual sites at Lackland, the Medina Annex and Security Hill. Randolph already has a backup water source.The project calls for the San Antonio Water System to extend water mains and other equipment to the fence lines at each of those five sites, said Trevino. The project also will cover work inside the fence line at Camp Bullis, he said, requiring the Air Force to formally accept a gift from the local government. The Army, however, would be responsible for the labor at Bullis.The project is scheduled to be completed by August 2017, Trevino told 360.In a written statement commenting on Thursday’s award, Diane Rath, AACOG’s executive director, thanked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), the commission and local stakeholders.“This is truly a community and statewide effort, including the governor and the TMPC commissioners, and I could not think of a more exciting mission than to help secure our bases’ military missions. This couldn’t have been done without our state and local community partners, and this is truly a regional project that will be beneficial for communities throughout our surrounding counties,” Rath said.See Monday’s 360 for details about the other communities that received awards from the Texas Military Preparedness Commission.
Preview • 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance: The future, quicker Enlarge ImageIt’s unclear if Tesla’s OTA update following the investigation was pushed to global Model S and Model X vehicles, or if it was limited to Chinese cars alone. Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow In April, video surfaced of a Tesla Model S catching fire while parked in Shanghai, China. At the time, Tesla told Reuters it sent a team to investigate the conflagration and determine a cause. Now, a couple months later, Tesla put out a statement — and an update — to close the case of the mysterious blaze.Tesla on Friday posted a statement to its Chinese-language Weibo social media page. According to a translation, Tesla sent an investigative team comprising both Chinese and American technical experts to determine a cause and work with local government departments. The investigation determined that the fire was caused by a single battery module failure at the front of the vehicle. The statement points out that the battery system worked as intended, attempting to contain the fire to its initial location while expelling heat to protect the remainder of the battery pack. Tesla said anyone who had been in the vehicle when the fire started would have had time to leave the vehicle.Tesla said that it also pushed an over-the-air update to Model S and Model X vehicles in order to “protect the vehicle battery and improve battery life,” through updates to the charging and thermal management systems. It’s unclear exactly what has changed, and if this OTA update is limited to Chinese-market vehicles. Tesla did not immediately return a request for clarification on these fronts.All vehicles, electric or otherwise, are more than capable of catching fire. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has, in no veiled terms, been quite adamant that his vehicles are significantly safer from fire than your average gas-powered vehicle. It’s important to note, though, that there are major chemical differences between the two, which is why it wasn’t necessarily the scariest thing when the NTSB reported a Tesla battery catching fire twice after it was involved in a crash. Tesla explicitly recommends monitoring a post-crash battery with a thermal imaging camera to ensure that untouched stocks of lithium aren’t at risk of reigniting a subdued battery fire. Tags Now playing: Watch this: 2019 Tesla Model S Long Range review: Familiar, yet oh so much better Tesla Arcade just made in-car gaming way more fun Comments 2:16 Tesla Model 3: The one you’ve been waiting for Electric Cars Car Industry 2019 Toyota RAV4 review: A lovable SUV, but rough around the edges Tesla 45 Photos Share your voice Tesla Model S Long Range takes us back to the future 4 More about 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance Review • Tesla Model 3 Review: Performance trim Tesla More From Roadshow
Vodafone India will offer its subscribers free access to the micro-blogging site Twitter for three months.The telecom operator has teamed up with Twitter to penetrate mobile Internet user base in India.Both post-paid and pre-paid subscribers can enjoy tweeting without any 2G data charges for three months. However, Blackberry smartphone users cannot access the Twitter scheme.The scheme in turn is speculated to attract data charges as the user is expected to get hooked on to Twitter or the Android app.”Vodafone India has always been at the forefront of providing innovative and user-friendly mobile internet experience for its customers in India. Our partnership with Twitter and this offering is yet another step in our ongoing endeavour to make mobile internet more fun, smart, engaging and easy,” Vodafone India chief commercial officer Vivek Mathur told Afaqs!All Vodafone subscribers need to set the APN to ‘www’ in their data setting section of the phone to get free access.It has been months since telecom operators, including Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance, have launched a price war in their data services. Airtel slashed 2G prices by 90 percent and Vodafone cut down on its 2G data prices by 80 percent. Idea and Reliance followed with similar schemes to gain subscribers.The social networking site has not partnered with a telecom company for the first time. In fact, Reliance beat Vodafone in the three month initiative. In March, RCom came out with the ‘Reliance Twitter Access Pack’, where it offered free Twitter access to GSM customers.However, Vodafone India is the first to bring out ‘Twitter for Android app’ to the market.
The Indian civil aviation industry has finally found some tailwind.While SpiceJet on Wednesday received necessary approvals from the civil aviation ministry to continue operating under the new management led by Ajay Singh, Air India has decided to sell some of its real-estate to reduce debt. Air IndiaThe state-run carrier has decided to sell real-estate assets to bring down its outstanding debt, estimated at ₹40,000 crore. Representational ImageReutersInterest payments on loans taken for buying aircraft stood at ₹3,800 crore. Losses suffered for the previous year amount to ₹36,000 crore.Ever since the 2007 merger with Indian Airlines, Air India has never turned a profit. AI flies a combined fleet of both Boeing and Airbus planes, considered neither efficient nor an industry practice.Filing for major orders in 2005 and 2006 has seen its debt grow disproportionate to its scale of operations, and today it has one of the most-skewed staff-to-aircraft ratio.Currently, AI’s fleet stands at 108 planes, comprising Boeing and Airbus planes, with about 23,500 employees on the rolls.In 2012, the airline received a ₹30,000 crore bailout from the government, which mandated the airline to meet stiff targets on cost, revenue and traffic, if it wants to continuing receiving funds every year, till 2020.To cut costs, AI has resorted to large-scale fuel hedging, taking advantage of the fall in crude prices. Besides, it plans to rationalise manpower ratio to 100 per aircraft, currently at 218, read LiveMint.Sources say that AI could lease turbo-prop airlines manufactured by Avions de Transport Regional GIE for regional routes, given the cost of flying a turbo-prop is significantly less than one powered by a jet engine.SpiceJetSpiceJet shares jumped 6.6% on Thursday, a day after the civil aviation ministry granted initial approval to the revival plan submitted by Ajay Singh, on condition that no foreign airline money is involved.The new owners may acquire 58% stake in the airline, though no word has been forthcoming on the open offer exemption.The ministry asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to lift the curbs imposed on the SpiceJet. This frees up the airline to take advance bookings for as late as 24 October 2015. The clause allows the airline to generate significant working capital, which could support the ₹1,500 crore to be infused in three instalments by the new management, spread over three months.Previously, SpiceJet had been limited to take bookings only up to 31 March. SpiceJet plans to re-induct staff it had laid-off; currently the airline describes them as being on ‘furlough.’Aircraft lessors have clamoured for planes to be returned for non-payment of dues. However, the new management wants to boost its fleet of 19 Boeing aircraft to 26, on taking full control and has started discussion with the concerned lessors, read Moneycontrol.On Thursday, SpiceJet share closed at ₹22.10, up ₹1.00, or 4.74% from its previous close.
Drawing things that need to be remembered may help you more than when you write them, finds an interesting study. Drawing pictures of information that needs to be remembered is a strong and reliable strategy to enhance memory. The study showed that drawing helps to create a more cohesive memory trace that better integrates visual, motor and semantic information.“We pitted drawing against a number of other known encoding strategies, but drawing always came out on top,” said the lead author, Jeffrey Wammes, doctoral student at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. The findings showed a significant recall advantage for words that were drawn as compared to those that were written. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Also, the participants often recalled more than twice as many drawn than written words.“We labelled this benefit ‘the drawing effect,’ which refers to this distinct advantage of drawing words relative to writing them out,” Wammes explained. Memory for drawn words was superior to all other alternatives. Drawing led to better later memory performance than listing physical characteristics, creating mental images, and viewing pictures of the objects depicted by the words. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn addition, the quality of the drawings people made did not seem to matter, suggesting that everyone could benefit from this memory strategy, regardless of their artistic talent.“In line with this, we showed that people still gained a huge advantage in later memory, even when they had just four seconds to draw their picture,” Wammes noted.However, in variations of the experiment in which students drew the words repeatedly, or added visual details to the written letters, such as shading or other doodles, the results remained unchanged. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, presented student participants with a list of simple, easily drawn words, such as “apple”. The students were given 40 seconds to either draw the word or write it out repeatedly. They were then given a filler task of classifying musical tones to facilitate the retention process. Finally, the researchers asked students to freely recall as many words as possible from the initial list in just 60 seconds.The researchers are currently trying to determine why this memory benefit is so potent, and how widely it can be applied to other types of information.