The firms responsible for designing and managing Boston’s Big Dig project reached a $458 million settlement with state and federal officials today. The settlement will allow these companies to avoid criminal charges in the 2006 fatal tunnel collapse and any civil liabilities with infrastructure problems. The settlement and terms were announced this afternoon at a press conference with U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and Attorney General Martha Coakley. Under the settlement terms, Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff will pay $407 million and 24 other companies involved in the project will pay about $51 million.
The settlement will keep Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff from facing criminal charges in the death of a 38-year-old woman who was killed in July 2006 when a portion of the I-90 Connector tunnel collapsed and crushed the car she was a passenger in. Her husband survived the accident.
State officials could seek additional money from Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff over the next 10 years if the project has a major failure in the future causing more than $50 million in damage. Its liability would be capped at $100 million.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.