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How Tech Companies Are Responding To Hurricane Matthew (vice.com) 38

South Carolina was hit by Hurricane Matthew at 11 a.m. EST, after the hurricane killed at least 300 people in Haiti (with Reuters estimating Haiti's death toll over 800). But as the U.S. declares a state of emergency for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, and with the power out for more than a million people, an anonymous Slashdot reader looks at the role tech companies are playing in responding to the storm system: AirBNB "has been advertising free rooms in parts of Florida and South Carolina" reports Motherboard. AirBNB's Disaster Reponse Tool connects people needing shelter with volunteers who are offering their residences for free. Meanwhile, Uber promised to cap its "surge pricing" for the area, while Lyft promised its fares would rise no more than two times their normal rate.

But many escaped the path of the hurricane thanks to Shofur, a startup that books chartered buses and matches riders to low-cost tickets, according to the Daily Dot. "Through Thursday night and into the early morning hours of Friday, Shofur evacuated an estimated 10,000 Floridians and Georgians to areas such as Atlanta, Florida's west coast, and the panhandle."

NASA is also flying a huge 15,000-pound drone over the area to collect real-time weather data, while Verizon is testing a 17-foot drone which may one day provide LTE mobile connectivity to first responders. In addition, a Verizon spokesperson says drone-enabled connectivity has "set the stage" for connecting drones to their IoT platform next year.
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How Tech Companies Are Responding To Hurricane Matthew

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  • A Verizon spokesperson says drone-enabled connectivity has "set the stage" for connecting drones to their IoT platform next year.

    Sounds cool. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with that.

    • A Verizon spokesperson says drone-enabled connectivity has "set the stage" for connecting drones to their IoT platform next year.

      Sounds cool. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with that.

      For sure. That sentence contains several words that should make your ass twitch: drones, drone-enabled, IoT, Verizon.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    South Carolina's governor is also warning people about an email scam targeting hurricane victims. It tells them to click on a link for an update on their electrical power service...but it's actually just malware [abccolumbia.com].
  • by ewhenn ( 647989 ) on Saturday October 08, 2016 @02:16PM (#53038047)
    If you RTFA AirBNB isn't providing free rooms for people displaced by the hurricance, the hosts that rent out through them are providing the free rooms. AirBNB is not paying them and then letting the displaced stay there, the hosts are offing the usage of their properties for free.

    AirBNB is "waiving the service fee for those free hosts" (how nice of them /sarcasm) and seemingly taking all the credit for places for these people to stay when it's actually the goodwill of those hosts helping out...
  • They're doing a completely unrelated *test* of a drone in New Jersey, which has absolutely zero to do with the hurricane and isn't going to be helping anyone in the actual disaster area.

    • by ShaunC ( 203807 )

      I bet they're itching to get some of these drones deployed next time. I've had The Weather Channel streaming as background noise for the past couple of days, and the reporters have been frequently mentioning that Verizon service is down, calling out Verizon specifically instead of just saying "cell service is down." Outages are to be completely expected during this type of event, but it's still not great advertising for vzw.

  • I remember .... nevermind. Just get off my lawn.
  • ...suggested to bomb the hurricane with a C130 loaded with fully charged Samsung Notes 7.
  • Is that 15,000 British Pound Stirling, or a mass of about 6.3 tonne?

    It is about time the the USA started using standard units, and gave up on the old Imperial System!!!

  • It might be good for others to know that I was in the storm. Comcast cable has content delivered by satellite and also has controls for program delivery that use phone lines. During almost every storm cable TV becomes unavailable or the power lines are intolerant to storm conditions and your TV is useless even if the power stays on. But my Roku box avoids that telephone component completely and I was able to watch Netflix on Roku all night without interruption. Those who live in areas that do have hur

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