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Kern L.,Paris West University Nanterre La Defense | Geneau A.,University of Montreal | Laforest S.,University of Montreal | Dumas A.,University of Ottawa | And 5 more authors.
Safety Science | Year: 2014

Skateboarding is considered to be a high risk activity. Although many studies have identified risk factors associated with skateboarding injuries, few have provided detailed in-depth knowledge on participants' psychological dispositions towards risk behaviors. The aim of this study was to identify individual factors associated with risk perception and risk-taking among skateboarders. Telephone interviews were conducted with 158 skateboarders (mean age = 18.1. years) recruited in 11 Montreal skateparks. Age, self-efficacy, previous injuries, fear of being injured, sensation seeking and experience level were all included in two linear regression models that were run for risk perception and risk-taking. Age, experience level, sensation seeking, and risk perception are significant explanatory variables of risk-taking. Results show that sensation seeking was the only significant factor associated with risk perception. These results allow for a better understanding of the behavior of skateboarders, they highlight the importance of impulsive sensation seeking in risk perception as well as risk-taking. This study characterizes skateboarders who take risks and provides additional information on interventions for injury prevention. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Salvo P.,Genivar Inc. | Di Fruscia T.,City of Montreal
28th International No-Dig Conference and Exhibition 2010, NO-DIG 2010 | Year: 2010

This paper will present two different types of CIPP watermain rehabilitation methods done over three projects, totalling more than 25 km of small diameter cast iron pipe, ranging from 150 mm to 350 mm. The first project began in 2008 and was completed in 2009 and consisted of the rehabilitation of approximately 10 km of watermain in 9 different boroughs of the City of Montreal. The cost of the project was approximately 6 100 000$ CAD. This first project was a traditional CIPP rehabilitation in which the pipe was cleaned, the service connections were plugged, the pipe was lined and the service connections were reinstated robotically. The second and third projects had a combined length of 15 km for a total of 17 000 000 $CAD. These two projects were unique because not only was the watermain being rehabilitated as in the first project, but the service connections were being replaced using trenchless methods where possible. A total of 650 service connections were identified for replacement because they were in lead. The project began in 2009 and will be completed in the summer of 2010. Many coordination and construction issues occurred and were overcome during the projects. These issues will be presented as well as the steps that were taken to overcome them. Source

Jutras P.,City of Montreal | Jutras P.,McGill University | Prasher S.O.,McGill University | Mehuys G.R.,McGill University
Transactions of the ASABE | Year: 2010

Municipal administrations annually allocate a large budget to preserve their urban trees. However, survival and growth rates of street trees vary drastically as they are strongly influenced by adverse environmental conditions. Consequently, arboricultural programs must be locally adapted to provide care to stressed trees. Artificial neural networks were used to identify poorly growing trees by learning from growth patterns detected by multivariate statistical analyses. Seven species that are representative of 75% of the Montreal street tree population were sampled: Acer platanoides L., Acer saccharinum L., Celtis occidentalis L., Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh., Gleditsia triancanthos L., Tilia cordata Mill., and Ulmus pumila L. Individuals were of different age, dissimilar morphological characteristics, and had variable distribution among urban ecological zones. Radial basis function networks (RBFs) were selected as the model type. To assess RBFs robustness and predictive capability on unknown data, global and specific cluster classification was used. When global classification was estimated, the lowest accurate prediction value was 83% and the highest 93%. The average value for all species taken together was 89%. Similarly, the classification success within groups per species was adequate. For most species, test files prediction accuracy ranged from 80% to almost 100%. This indicates that RBFs are well suited for classification decisions. These results have an impact on the management of street trees. Given the present findings, integrating robust predictive algorithms into data banks as a decision-support system is a conceivable avenue. Artificialintelligencebased models might probably become important elements of efficient street tree management plans. © 2010 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Source

News Article | January 6, 2005
Site: arstechnica.com

Thomas Slattery of California has sued Apple Computer for engaging in monopolistic practices. Slattery was apparently displeased when he learned that music purchases from the iTunes Music Store could only be played back using iTunes and Apple's portable iPod line of players. The suit was filed this past Monday in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, and alleges that "Apple has turned an open and interactive standard into an artifice that prevents consumers from using the portable hard drive digital music player of their choice, even where players exist that would otherwise be able to play these music files absent Apple's actions." Technically, that specific claim is false. There is nothing stopping a user from converting protected AAC audio files from iTMS to MP3s, which can then be played in almost any music device of late. The problem is that converting a compressed, lossy music file to another compressed, lossy music format will result in a further loss of quality. One might argue that a consumer has a right to make perfect copies of digital materials for Fair Use, but the courts as of yet have not supported that idea, and Judge Newman ruling in Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Corley explicitly wrote that "Fair use has never been held to be a guarantee of access to copyrighted material in order to copy it by the fair user's preferred technique or in the format of the original." In short, the "I paid for it, so I have the right to make a 100% perfect copy of it" argument doesn't play so well in the courts, at least yet. The monopoly argument isn't likely to play well, either. The suit charges that "Apple has unlawfully bundled, tied, and/or leveraged its monopoly in the market for the sale of legal online digital music recordings to thwart competition in the separate market for portable hard drive digital music players, and vice-versa." Yet, for there to be a monopoly, there has to be a market, and quite clearly iTunes, the iPod, and the iTMS do not constitute a market. Rather, the market is the entirety of the online music business, which has three major players in terms of digital rights management (Apple, Microsoft, and Real), and a host online music stores. The argument that might have a chance appears to be one that's not being made. The only thing preventing Slattery of using his iTunes music files the way he wants to is the DMCA. Apple's FairPlay DRM technology is an access control that cannot be legally bypassed for any reason whatsoever, including for Fair Use (thanks, DMCA!). Nevertheless, important DMCA cases have ruled in some cases that it is the act of purchasing a product that should determine the quality of access, not an access control (Lexmark International v. Static Control Components, with regards to Lexmark's printers).  It would be a stretch to try and relate a copyrighted printing engine to a music file, but certainly no more a stretch than the claim being made. The fact of the matter is that this situation has come about for one reason and one reason only: the DMCA. Its anti-circumvention clause makes it illegal to do what would otherwise be completely legal, and it creates the opportunities for these kinds of lock in. This is precisely why legislation such as that proposed by Rick Boucher (D-VA) deserves more attention in the press and in Congress. Spearheading the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA; H.R. 107), Boucher is seeking, among other things, to amend the anti-circumvention provisions to include the clarification that ?it is not a violation of this section to circumvent a technological measure in connection with access to, or the use of, a work if such circumvention does not result in an infringement of the copyright in the work',? Additionally, the DMCRA would stipulate that ?[i]t shall not be a violation of this title to manufacture, distribute, or make noninfringing use of a hardware or software product capable of enabling significant noninfringing use of a copyrighted work.? I'd rather see Slattery argue the access issue and not the monopoly issue. The latter will go nowhere. The former at least has a chance (and two semi-parallel successes in the courts).

« City of Montreal signs a framework agreement for the purchase of Nissan LEAF EVs for municipal fleet | Main | Tesla unveils Model 3; delivery by end of 2017; already 115,000 reservations placed » A 20-kilowatt wireless charging system demonstrated at Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has achieved 90 percent efficiency and at three times the rate of the plug-in systems commonly used for electric vehicles today. ORNL’s power electronics team achieved this world’s first 20 kW wireless charging system for passenger cars by developing a unique architecture that included an ORNL-built inverter, isolation transformer, vehicle-side electronics and coupling technologies—all in less than three years. For the demonstration, researchers integrated the single-converter system into an electric Toyota RAV4 equipped with an additional 10 kWh battery. Convenience and simplicity are at the heart of the ORNL system, which places a strong emphasis on radio communications in the power regulation feedback channel augmented by software control algorithms. The result is minimization of vehicle on-board complexity as ORNL and partners pursue the long-range goal of connected vehicles, wireless communications and in-motion charging. While the team’s initial focus has been static, or motionless, wireless charging, the researchers also evaluated and demonstrated the system’s dynamic charging capabilities. This ability can help accelerate the adoption and convenience of electric vehicles. Industry partners from Toyota, Cisco Systems, Evatran, and Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research contributed to the technology development demonstrated today at ORNL. The researchers are already looking ahead to their next target of 50-kilowatt wireless charging, which would match the power levels of commercially available plug-in quick chargers. Providing the same speed with the convenience of wireless charging could increase consumer acceptance of electric vehicles and is considered a key enabler for hands-free, autonomous vehicles. Higher power levels are also essential for powering larger vehicles such as trucks and buses. As the researchers advance their system to higher power levels, one of their chief considerations is safety. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office provided funding for this competitively-selected project as part of a broad portfolio in support of DOE’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, which aims to make plug-in electric vehicles as affordable to own and operate as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022. Toyota provided several vehicles for the research, including RAV4s, a Scion and a Plug-in Prius. Other members of the ORNL project team are current staff members Steven Campbell, Paul Chambon, Omer Onar, Burak Ozpineci, Larry Seiber, Lixin Tang, Cliff White and Randy Wiles as well as retired staff members Curt Ayers, Chester Coomer and John Miller. The research and demonstration took place at ORNL’s National Transportation Research Center, a DOE User Facility.

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