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Here’s where a Baltimore-DC maglev might go, but many questions remain

Jae Alan

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A private company and the Maryland MTA have been studying how to build a maglev line between DC and Baltimore. They’re now out with a scoping report and an interactive map of potential alignments. The maps are a cool opportunity to dream about a fast train from DC to Baltimore and beyond, though there are still many, many questions about whether this is feasible.

The company, called Northeast Maglev, was formed to promote the idea of a maglev (“magnetic levitation”) train from DC to New York. The federal government provided some money, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan supported, a study of a “starter line” between DC and Baltimore. The government of Japan, whose companies would seek to build the line, is supporting it as well.

A train could rocket between the two cities in 15 minutes. Since it’s moving so fast, the curves have to be very gentle. That means, in practice, mostly underground; the three alignments still under consideration follow either the Baltimore-Washington Parkway or the existing Amtrak/MARC Penn Line train tracks. All three use a long tunnel from downtown DC under New York Avenue and out to the Beltway, move above ground to about Fort Meade, then go underground again all the way to Baltimore with a stop at BWI airport.

Read more @ Greater Greater Washington

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Inside Amazon Go: The camera-filled convenience store that watches you back

Jae Alan

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The retail giant Amazon.com opened a new convenience store to the public here on Monday with none of the hurdles of a traditional supermarket: At Amazon Go, there are no cashiers, shopping carts or checkout lines to slow shoppers down.

But there’s a trade-off. In this store, the shoppers are on display too, tracked by hundreds of cameras and sensors from the first swipe of their phone to their last step out the door.

The futuristic grab-and-go market represents a test of new technology that could soon spread nationwide, as Amazon and other grocery giants seek to win business from shoppers craving selection, ease and speed.

“The number one problem for people is time poverty,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president of technology for Amazon Go, while standing in the store during its grand public opening. “People want good food fast and they want it to be convenient.”

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