Science Rules

Here’s Why Salt Water Is Delaying Your Subway Commute

(Photo: flickr.com/mtaphotos)

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it became clear that the MTA’s worst fears were realized: not only were many of the subway tunnels flooded, but they’d become inundated with salt and brackish water scooped up in the storm surge and funneled into the subway system.

The MTA has gotten parts of the system in Manhattan and Queens up and running, but pumping water out of stations dotted around Brooklyn along the East River will take some time. Seven subway tunnels beneath the East River have flooded, leaving switches and signals “likely damaged.” MTA chairman Joseph J. Lhota said in an earlier press conference that the subway system “has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night.” Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (NYU Entrepreneurs Festival, Fintech Startup Weekend, Mashable Media Summit, Foursquare Hackathon, NYC Uncubed)

sponsor_garys_red_tie

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

Hola folks,

Batten down the hatches. Stock up on the liquor (and food). Bring out the candles and flashlights. Because Hurricane Sandy (a.k.a. #frankenstorm) is almost upon us. And now, at almost a thousand miles wide, it definitely has our attention. Hopefully by this time y’all are safely at home (and not still slumming in Zone A) with eyes glued to the twenty-four-hour news coverage, watching weathermen expound on “cones” and “surges.”

As you know, the MTA has shut down all subway and buses, and pretty much every event on Monday has been cancelled or postponed including AllThingsD’s Dive Into Mobile conference, Google’s Android event, Facebook’s engineering open house and our own Big Apple Smackdown Silicon Alley ping-pong tournament (which will be re-scheduled).

At this time, the Tuesday events (and the rest of the week) seem uncertain too. They’re still listed below, but I’d highly recommend you confirm first with the event organizers. In the mean time, stay safe, keep your fingers crossed that the storm turns out to be a mild one and don’t forget to check Miguel Bloombito’s Twitter feed for the latest updates! Read More

Hurricane Sandy

Watch the Weather from the Comfort of Your Bed with Livestream’s #SandyCam

Screen Shot 2012-10-28 at 9.38.09 PM

The wind is already whipping and New Yorkers, having bought up all the bottled water and discount Halloween candy they could find, are ready to hole up in their apartment for the next two days. It’s not like you can hop on the ACE and go check out the scene at the waterfront, since the subway is shut down and all.

Luckily for anyone seeking a little vicarious storm-chasing, there’s Livestream. The startup has installed a camera on the roof of its Chelsea HQ and will be broadcasting the storm’s transit across downtown on what they’ve dubbed #SandyCam.

“We just decided to scramble everybody, and they’ll be working and locking in with food and maybe even sleeping in the office Monday and Tuesday,” Livestream CEO Max Haot told Betabeat. Now that’s dedication. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: All Hurricane Prep All the Time

Eerie. (Photo:  Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Aaron Donovan)

Better charge your electronics: Thousands are already without electricity. [Boston Globe]

The MTA took to its Flickr account to chronicle the slow process of shutting down and locking up every last station in the public transportation system. [Flickr]

Our own colleagues are liveblogging the storm here. [New York Observer]

In an example tailor-made to remind us all how much easier we’ve got it in the age of livestreams and weather apps and early warning systems, the 17-person crew of a replica HMS Bounty was forced to abandon ship last night off the coast of North Carolina. [NBC News]

Frankenstorm

NYC Startups Batten Down the Hatches for Sandy

Scary sky

With mass transit closed and dangerous storm surges set to wallop the city, New York startups aren’t messing around when it comes to hurricane prep. Most, like Usablenet, Kickstarter, HowAboutWe and SideTour, are urging employees to work from home due to the closure of the MTA system.

“We have a simple rule of thumb that if the subways are shut down, the office is closed and people can work from home,” Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste told Betabeat over email. “A few of us are actually crashing here over the weekend – myself and a few engineers. We built the place to be like a home, so it’s a great place to be stuck for a few days :).”

“For those that are staying here, we have ample food, beverage, and entertainment. More iPads than flashlights,” he added.

Hey, we’re sure there’s a flashlight app. Read More