It’s a literal road to nowhere. Stretching out from a roundabout outside the Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster, a small village in Northern England, it’s a wholly unremarkable stretch of slowly cracking pavement, bushes, and weeds, an idle strip of asphalt near long-term parking and a bland business park. For 35-year-old runner Simon Wheatcroft, however, this stretch of unused roadway may as well be his gym, training center, and proving grounds, his own private version of the 72 stone steps that make up a Rocky montage. Wheatcroft knows every inch of this one-third-mile strip of asphalt — from the contours of the roadway to the feeling of its double yellow lines of paint under his sneakers. Despite the mind-numbing bore of jogging such a short length in endless loops, Wheatcroft had to memorize it. He’s blind. Imagine getting up from your desk or couch, closing your eyes, and walking to the other end of the room, or perhaps crossing the street in midday traffic. … [Read more...] about How technology helped a blind athlete run free at the New York Marathon
The Tide Pod saga seems like it will never end. Now, the dangers of the oddly edible-looking single-use laundry detergent pods have reached lawmakers. Yesterday, New York assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and state Sen. Brad Hoylman proposed a bill calling for manufacturers to make the laundry pods look less edible. The pair announced the news at a press conference earlier today, with Hoylman noting, “We’re asking for all laundry detergent pods to be uniform in color. We don’t need them to look like Gummy Bears in order for consumers to use them.” They are also requesting that the pods should be made harder to bite though as well as packed in individual plastic wrappers with warnings on them. The two also sent a letter to Tide owner Procter & Gamble, requesting that “You and other manufacturers must use a stronger bittering agent to prevent ingestion of pods, reduce their pleasant smell, and make them feel more firm,” in order to make the pods … [Read more...] about New York bill tries to get Tide Pods to look less edible
Following an extensive report published yesterday by The New York Times about the industry that provides fake followers to social media users, New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced that he has opened an investigation into the company featured in the article, Devumi. The use of automated bots and accounts on sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been thrust into the public consciousness in recent months as major social media sites have confirmed that such tools were deployed during the 2016 Presidential election, and after bots were used for online public commenting periods, and other events. Last November, Schneiderman revealed that his office was investigating comments left by fake accounts on the FCC’s website that impersonated real people during the Net Neutrality open comments process. Impersonation and deception are illegal under New York law. We’re opening an investigation into Devumi and its apparent sale of bots using stolen identities. … [Read more...] about New York’s attorney general is investigating a company that sells fake followers on social media
What’s the going price for a one-bedroom nestled into an elbow in the struts of the Manhattan Bridge? We’ll never know, and that’s probably for the best, but a new exhibit at the Queens Museum in Flushing, New York will at least give you a rough sketch of what that lifestyle might have been like. Never Built New York, curated by Sam Lubell and Greg Coldin and designed by Christian Wassmann, opens today, and features over 150 years-worth of drawings and models of New York City’s boldest, weirdest, long-forgotten building projects. That includes things as well-known Frank Lloyd Wright’s zany sci-fi vision for Ellis Island (his last major drawing before his death in 1959) and alternate mock-ups for the Freedom Tower, as well as lesser-known daydreams that never got anywhere close to off the ground, like William Zeckendorf’s 1946 plan for a $3 billion airport stretching over 40 blocks of the Hudson River and into Midtown Manhattan. Or, even weirder, … [Read more...] about Never Built New York is a fascinating look at the wild ideas on the city’s cutting room floor
New York City is in the middle of a transportation nervous breakdown. Never before have city dwellers had so many options for getting around — subway, bus, bike, ferry, taxi, and every sharing app under the sun — and never have commutes been so hellacious. In the midst of all this chaos comes the Ford Motor Company, tossing one more transit option onto the pile in the hopes that it will help make the simple act of getting from Point A to Point B a little less suicide-inducing. Starting soon, Ford is launching its on-demand shuttle bus service Chariot in New York City. The self-described microtransit service will start out in preplanned service areas in Manhattan and Brooklyn, eventually adding routes in additional neighborhoods based on customer crowdsourcing. It’s not a new idea — Via, an app-based communal bus service, has been operating in the city since 2015 — but Chariot has high hopes that its approach to ride-sharing will catch on. Chariot first … [Read more...] about Can Ford fix New York City’s transportation crisis with a crowdsourced shuttle bus?