Afternoon Coffee: Blackouts on the Rise, DHL’s New Hong Kong HQ, The Onion Takes on The Cloud

HP "On That Cloud Thing That Everyone Else Is Talking About"

HP "On That Cloud Thing That Everyone Else Is Talking About"

Get your flashlights and candles.
Electric Forecast Calls for Increasing Blackouts -- It's not just a feeling: Power outages have become normal in the United States. Last month's heat and derecho storms that left more than 300,000 people in the Mid-Atlantic states without power (some for as long as a week) are part of a larger trend. In 2008, according to the Eaton Blackout Tracker, there were 2,169 power outages in the U.S. affecting 25 million people. In 2011, there were more than 3,000 outages affecting 41.8 million people. According to Eaton, the majority of power outages in the U.S. are caused by weather, in particular storms blowing trees on the lines, and heat waves that overwhelm the carrying capacity of the system. (We can blame animals, too. In 2011, 130 outages were caused by squirrels, eight by snakes, two by beavers, and one by deer. That deer was actually a fawn--a bald eagle dropped it into a substation in East Missoula, Montana, on March 25.)

DHL Supply Chain unveils new Hong Kong headquarters -- Representing a total investment of HK$630 million (€63 million), and offering nearly 900,000 square feet of warehouse space, DHL Supply Chain MegaHub Hong Kong is a significant milestone in the company's expansion of its regional infrastructure. To date, this DHL division has invested a total of €224 million in facilities in their North Asian sub-region over the past three years, and projects to spend another €300 million from now to 2015. Recent investments in the region include new warehouse facilities in China targeting the consumer sector, a multi customer site in South Korea and an expansion of their retail footprint in Japan. Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL, said, "Asia continues to be one of the most active and dynamic regions in the world economy, with its rapid growth demanding an ever-developing network to keep pace with its needs. Both international and local customers require effective and efficient solutions to establish their supply chains in the region, and we are proud to open DHL Supply Chain MegaHub Hong Kong to better serve the market."

Way to be, Chicago.
City watchdog uncovers minority-contracting fraud, other abuses -- A minority- and woman-owned company that allegedly acted as a "pass-through" on $3.4 million in set-aside contracts in collusion with the prime contractor. An employee of the now-defunct Office of Compliance who allegedly accepted more than $3,500 worth of free meals and tickets to sporting events from three city vendors over whom that employee had contracting authority. A Health Department nurse and a communicable disease specialist who allegedly falsified their time sheets to conceal the fact that they were staying home, running errands or shopping when they were supposed to be monitoring the health of infants born after high-risk pregnancies and dispensing medication to home-bound tuberculosis patients.

- Sheena Moore

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