Breaking the Bubble

A lot of things went on outside the bubble of Tech in the past week. Here are a few important events taking place throughout the nation and the world.

Protests interrupt Olympic torch journey

Secrecy and last-minute changes marked this week’s only North American stop of the Olympic torch’s journey to Beijing. As thousands gathered on San Francisco’s waterfront to protest for or against the Chinese government on a number of issues, officials in San Francisco announced several last-minute changes.

According to the Associated Press, just one hour before the relay was scheduled to start officials turned the six-mile route in the opposite direction from the crowds, cutting its length in half. Officials also canceled the planned waterfront closing ceremony, saying it would be held at another undisclosed location.

The measures came in the wake of the disruptive protests that took place in Paris earlier in the week, where protesters tried to overtake the torch bearers and put out the flame.

Airline travelers stranded as American shuts down flights

American Airlines left thousands of travelers stranded this week after canceling over 1,000 flights to test and fix faulty wiring that could pose a safety hazard.

Executives at American explained the cancellations were necessary due to the risks of short-circuits, fire or explosion that problems with faulty wiring could create.

Although safety was not compromised prior to the cancellations, federal regulators urged American to come into compliance with an order the Federal Aviation Administration had made in 2006.

More than 100,000 passengers were affected by the cancellations, which comprised almost half of the entire airline’s schedule.

American’s cancellations came after similar delays as Southwest, Delta, and United also were urged by the FAA to meet federal safety standards.

Google and Yahoo! discuss possibility of sharing advertising

After talks of cooperation between the two leading search engines on advertising, Microsoft released a statement Wednesday saying any agreement between Yahoo! and Google would make the online search engine market less competitive. In the statement, Microsoft said a merger between Yahoo and Google would consolidate over 90% of the market, leaving Google in control of the industry.

The statement follows an unsolicited offer made last month by Microsoft to purchase Yahoo!, which was dismissed as being insufficient, as well as a Yahoo! announcement earlier in the week that it has agreed to carry Web search advertising from Google as part of a test.