Some open datasets are great because they provide a new level of access to government. Others are worthy simply because of the richness and utility of the data. This week’s open dataset of the week comes from Hong Kong, which has released data that doesn’t make the government more transparent, but does greatly assist citizens. Hong Kong publishes a dataset showing traffic speed across the city.
The Malaysia Airlines website has been attacked and the Lizard Squad, one of the groups that claimed responsibility on Monday, threatened to soon “dump some loot” found on the airline’s servers. The airline said in a statement on its Facebook page that its Domain Name System (DNS) was compromised and as a result users trying to access the URL http://www.malaysiaairlines.com were being redirected to a hacker website.
Facebook awarded Air China for its strategic use of the social networking site, despite it being blocked in mainland China. The state-owned carrier had been aggressively using Facebook as a tool for marketing. It uses the networking site to link its booking engine, promote giveaways, and even to share recipes. Facebook praised the airline for its innovative use of the social media platform, amid China’s ban on the site since 2009.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been selected by Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), one of the UK’s leading airlines, to provide fully managed services to transform and optimise its IT processes, applications and infrastructure. Announcing this today, the IT services company said it will set up a private cloud for Virgin Atlantic and provide services including Infrastructure-as-a-Service, End User Services and Application Support Services across the whole of Virgin Atlantic’s technology landscape.
Trains in most cities are operated by large monopolies or state-owned companies, so how do governments make sure that the trains run on time? FutureGov explains what Singapore and other cities in the region do to get trains to be punctual. Cities have high standards in place for operators to follow. Singapore has just tightened requirements for its two train operators this month, promising to reduce waiting time by 25 per cent during the morning rush hour.
The Japanese Government is to spend US$385 subsidising hydrogen-powered cars and fuelling stations in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, newswires are reporting. Tokyo will get 35 hydrogen stations to fuel a new fleet environmentally friendly cars, which will also be subsidised to reduce the cost for consumers. The government will fund up to 80 per cent of the cost of a filling station to ensure that 6,000 hydrogen fuel cell cars are on the city’s roads by the start of the next decade.
Riders of trains in China, rejoice! China’s state-run 12306 train ticket sales site, which has a total monopoly on online ticket sales despite being buggy and inefficient, has finally consented to team up with a competent ecommerce company (Alibaba). This is something I’ve been begging them to do for years, and now that it’s finally happened, all I can think is this:
Jakarta has announced plans to expand its rail network to satellite cities. The news comes as the city cancels a contract to build a new monorail network within the city. Indonesia’s capital city wants to expand its Light Rail Transport (LRT) network to ease traffic congestion, Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said. Many people who work in Jakarta commute everyday to satellite cities where housing is more affordable.
It appears that Seoul’s government doesn’t have a bone to pick with all ride booking apps, after all. While Uber – whose CEO, Travis Kalanick, was charged by Korean officials last month for not having a license to operate – is banned in the country, today authorities in South Korea approved a new taxi app that will launch soon. Daum Kakao’s taxi hailing app, named Kakao Taxi, seems to be in the clear as it will use only registered city cabs.
NEW DELHI: Google has finally introduced flight search in India. Users can search directly for flights on Google or access google.co.in/flights to find, compare and book flights. The service works on mobile devices, tablets and PCs. The flight search gives users options to search for round trip, one way and multi-city flights. When users click on the departure date field, the service also offers a calendar with the lowest fares for the route highlighted for each day.
For our previous open datasets of the week, FutureGov has selected data released on national government portals. But we don’t want to ignore the wealth of data available from state and city governments. This week’s open dataset comes from Melbourne in Australia. The city has released data from its parking sensors across the central business district dating back to 2009. It is comprehensive, accurate and enormously useful.
Singapore will trial a new type of network that offers uninterrupted access to high-speed internet early this year. The heterogeneous network (HetNet) allows users to switch between different types of networks as they move from place to another, while maintaining good connections. Users will receive data at up to 1 gigabytes per second. The network will be trialled at train stations.
China’s government-run online train ticket sales site 12306 has been causing problems since pretty much the moment it was launched. It broke during its first Spring Festival rush back in 2011, and since then has been the source of a litany of complaints: not processing refunds, cheating customers, promising an app that didn’t materialize for years and then sucked when it finally showed up, breaking again, listing nonsensical departure/arrival times, being associated with corruption, facilitating ticket scalping, shutting down third-party services that fix its bugs, and more.
There are 904 airplanes in Chinese airspace right now. One plane just flew near my apartment as its journey from Chengdu to Shanghai nears the end. I know that because I’m playing around with a new plane tracking app – which includes some augmented reality trickery – that came out today, made by Chinese search engine giant Baidu.
The Queensland government today squeezed in before a self-imposed deadline to offer real-time tracking to bus travellers across the Sunshine Coast, announcing the GPS technology would be available from today. The cash-strapped state in October signed a deal with Cubic Transportation Systems to expand a limited two-year trial of real-time arrival data. The government had previously opted against a wider rollout over cost issues.
Public Transport Victoria is set to release long-awaited real-time arrival APIs for the state’s buses and trams by March 2015, meaning Victorian commuters should soon be able to rely on GPS-based arrival information rather than a static timetable. The transport authority is planning to hand over the information to developers via a series of ‘hackathon’ events in Melbourne promoting the data release. It has set itself a target of fostering at least three new or “significantly improved” digital products before 31 May.
About 12,000 buses in Beijing have completed their Wi-Fi network card upgrades and opened services to all travelers in the nation’s capital. Wireless network bandwidth on the buses can reach 50M per second and the Wi-Fi network on a single bus can be used by at least 40 people at the same time. By accessing the hot spot named “16WiFi”, passengers will be redirected to a website to download a Wi-Fi client.
The next time travelers board an airline in China, they may expect more than just the Chinese government and airline companies to have access to private information as a recently discovered exploit may give flyers more indigestion than an inflight meal. Wooyun.org, a Chinese loophole reporting platform for security manufacturers and researchers, published a loophole in the system of China Eastern Airlines which may cause leaks of customer data to hackers and thieves. According to the platform’s information desk, the hazard rating was high for this exploit.
SoftBank Internet and Media, Inc. (“SIMI”) and GrabTaxi Holdings Pte Ltd (“GrabTaxi”) today announced a definitive agreement under which SoftBank Corp. will invest US$250 million in GrabTaxi, making it the largest investor in GrabTaxi. Launched in 2012, GrabTaxi has grown to become the largest and most widely used mobile taxi booking application provider in Southeast Asia.
Nearly five months after the initial tie-up in Singapore, today WeChat and EasyTaxi announced that its partnership is rolling out to Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Starting today, WeChat users in those three countries can flag a taxi inside the messaging app. People can do this by adding EasyTaxi’s official WeChat account inside the chat app (Malaysia: easytaximy; Thailand: EasyTaxiThailand; the Philippines: EasyTaxi_PH).