Shared posts

04 Dec 22:39

Twitter Favorites: [Sean_YYZ] The new passage to Hudson’s Bay from the Eaton Centre over Queen Street is great. https://t.co/Og4D0loJsw

Sean Marshall @Sean_YYZ
The new passage to Hudson’s Bay from the Eaton Centre over Queen Street is great. pic.twitter.com/Og4D0loJsw
04 Dec 22:39

Huawei Mate 10 Pro :: An awesome walkthrough

by Volker Weber

I have used the Mate 10 Pro for few weeks and still learned quite a few features from this awesome walkthrough. This is quite a remarkable phone as you will see.

04 Dec 22:39

Guest Post: Todd Litman’s VTPI News

by Stephen Rees

There has not been very much recently on this blog other than photo challenges and the like. That is because I had the feeling that much of what I was now writing was simply repeating what I had already written. It is bad enough boring yourself, but you should never bore your audience. Todd makes his living writing and talking about transportation policy – and he is never boring. He produces a regular email newsletter and in that states “please pass this newsletter on to others who may find it useful.” So this is what I am doing.

Everything below the line is simply cut and pasted from his email except for his snail mail address and telephone numbers.


 

 

———–

                 VTPI NEWS

———–

              Victoria Transport Policy Institute

“Efficiency – Equity – Clarity”

————————————-

Fall 2017    Vol. 17, No. 4

———————————–

The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transportation problems. The VTPI website (www.vtpi.org ) has many resources addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues. VTPI also provides consulting services.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

NEW VTPI REPORTS

===================

Evaluating Public Transit Criticism: Systematic Analysis of Political Attacks on High Quality Transit and How Transportation Professionals Can Effectively Respond” (http://www.vtpi.org/railcrit.pdf ). High quality public transit, such as urban rail and Bus Rapid Transit, and Transit Oriented Development (TOD), can provide many benefits, including direct benefits to users and indirect benefits to other members of society. There is evidence of growing consumer demand for these options. As a result, many communities are investing significant resources to improve transit services and encourage TOD. A small but vocal group of critics attack these efforts. Critics argue that transit service improvements attract few riders, provide few benefits, are not cost effective, and are unfair to low-income residents and motorists. This report systematically evaluates these claims. Many of the critics’ arguments are based on inaccurate, incomplete or biased information. This report describes appropriate responses to inaccurate criticisms. This should be of interest to transportation professionals, public transit advocates, and anybody interested in determining optimal investments in transit service improvements and TOD.

 

A New Traffic Safety Paradigm” (http://www.vtpi.org/ntsp.pdf ). Despite decades of effort to increase traffic safety, motor vehicle accidents continue to impose high costs, particularly in the U.S. New strategies are needed to achieve ambitious traffic safety targets such as Vision Zero. Recent research improves our understanding of how transportation and land use factors affect traffic risks, and therefore how transport and development policy decisions can help increase safety. Applying this knowledge requires a paradigm shift: The current paradigm favors targeted safety programs that reduce special risks such as youth, senior and impaired driving, a new paradigm recognizes that all vehicle travel imposes risks, and so supports vehicle travel reduction strategies such as more multi-modal planning, efficient transport pricing, Smart Growth development policies, and other TDM strategies.

 

Greenhouse Gas Reductions and Implementation Possibilities for Pay-to-save Transportation Price-shifting Strategies” (www.vtpi.org/G&E_GHG.pdf and www.vtpi.org/Greenberg&Evans_GHG_Policies.pdf ), by Allen Greenberg and John (Jay) Evans. This report and presentation estimate the GHG emissions reductions that could be achieved by a bundle of price-shifting policies (no net increase in consumer costs), including pay-as-you-drive-and-you-save (PAYDAYS) car insurance, parking cash-out, and the conversion of new vehicle sales taxes to mileage taxes designed to raise equivalent revenue. These policies could be implemented by federal or state legislation or regulation. The analysis indicates that this package could reduce over two-thirds of the emission reductions provided by the EPA’s current Clean Power Plan Rule, and far more than the emissions reductions by a $50 per ton CO2e surcharge on transportation fuels.

 

Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance in BC – Backgrounder” (http://vtpi.org/PAYD%20in%20BC%20Backgrounder.pdf ). ‘Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) insurance is the best transportation policy reform you’ve probably never heard of.’ This short report describes why and how to implement PAYD insurance pricing for affordability, safety and emission reduction’s sake. This is a timely issue. The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has applied for a 6.4% vehicle insurance rate increase (http://bit.ly/2BGVH4L ). As an intervener status, Todd Litman can request information and provide testimony concerning how vehicle travel affects crash rates, and therefore the actuarial justification for PAYD pricing.

 

Reforming Municipal Parking Policies to Align With Strategic Community Goals” (http://www.vtpi.org/vpr.pdf ). The City of Victoria is currently engaged in a parking policy review which proposes reducing some off-street parking requirements. These changes are good, but modest. This short report identifies much bolder reforms that would better align parking policies with other community goals. Although written for Victoria, the analysis and recommendations are appropriate for most municipalities.

*    *    *    *    *

 

PUBLISHED & PRESENTED ELSEWHERE

================================

Public Transportation’s Impact on Rural and Small Towns: A Vital Mobility Link” (www.trb.org/main/blurbs/176733.aspx). This report by Todd Litman for the American Public Transportation Association describes the important roles that public transit plays in small towns and rural communities, current trends that are increasing these demands, examples of rural community public transport programs, and responses to common rural transit myths. Public transportation helps rural communities become more efficient and equitable by ensuring that all residents, including non-drivers, enjoy independent mobility and receive a fair share of public spending on transportation facilities and services. Although public transit serves only a minor portion of total rural travel, many of those trips are crucial, including access to healthcare, basic shopping, employment and education. Current demographic and economic trends are increasing demands for affordable mobility options in rural communities, including ageing population, high poverty rates and a large portion of military veterans. Serving these demands can provide multiple benefits, but many of these benefits tend to be overlooked or undervalued in formal transportation planning.

 

Grounding Urban Walking and Cycling Research in a Political Economy Framework,‘ by

Meleckidzedeck Khayesi, Todd Litman, Eduardo Vasconcellos and Winnie Mitullah, published in “Non-Motorized Transport Integration into Urban Transport Planning in Africa” (http://bit.ly/2jdFEDP ). This book chapter examines the political economy that affects urban walking and cycling policy.

 

Transportation for Everyone: A New Accessibility Rating System” (http://bit.ly/2AMVqPY ). This Center for Sustainable Infrastructure Blog by Todd Litman describes how to determine whether a transportation system is multimodal and so can serve diverse users, including people who cannot, should not or prefer not to drive.

 

Determining Optimal Urban Expansion, Population and Vehicle Density, and Housing Types for Rapidly Growing Cities” (www.vtpi.org/WCTR_OC.pdf ), published in ‘Transportation Research Procedia.‘ This study by Todd Litman examines the economic, social and environmental impacts of various urban development factors including urban expansion, population and vehicle density, housing type, roadway design and management, and recreation facility availability. The results are used to create guidelines for urban development that optimizes for various planning objectives including openspace (farmland and habitat) preservation, efficient public infrastructure and services, public health and safety, efficient transportation, affordability, economic productivity and opportunity, and urban livability (local environmental quality). This analysis indicates that to be efficient and equitable, cities should provide diverse housing and transport options which respond to consumer demands, particularly affordable housing in accessible, multimodal neighborhoods, and affordable travel modes, with pricing or roadway management that favor resource-efficient modes, plus convenient access to parks and recreational facilities.

 

How to Do Efficient Congestion Pricing (Or Thoughts on William Vickrey)” (http://bit.ly/2ASLp4d ). This ‘Market Urbanism Website’ posting is based on a summary by Todd Litman (http://www.vtpi.org/vickrey.htm ) of Nobel Prizewinning economist William Vickrey’s recommendations for efficient road pricing. Without efficient pricing and suitable alternatives, such as high quality public transit traffic congestion is virtually unavoidable. When motorists say “no” to efficient road pricing they are saying “yes” to congestion.

 

The Million-Dollar Neighborhood: Walkable Mixed-Use Neighborhoods Can Help Families Build Wealth” (https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2017/08/07/million-dollar-neighborhood ). This article in the Congress of New Urbanism’s ‘Public Square’ magazine summarizes VTPI research on the direct economic benefits to households from living in Smart Growth communities. Since real estate appreciates and vehicles depreciate in value, households can significantly increase their long-term wealth by purchasing a home in a walkable urban neighborhood where they spend less on transportation and investment more in real estate. A typical household can gain a million dollars in additional equity over their working life. It is based on the VTPI report, “Selling Smart Growth” (www.vtpi.org/ssg ).

 

Transportation and the Challenge of Future-Proofing Our Cities” (http://bit.ly/2w6v5JX ). This ‘Governing Magazine’ article mentions the VTPI report, “Autonomous Vehicle Implementation Projections” (www.vtpi.org/avip ).

 

Recent Planetizen Blogs (www.planetizen.com/blog/2394 ):

 

The Many Problems With Autonomous Vehicles” (https://www.planetizen.com/blogs/95445 ). Optimists predict that autonomous vehicles will be a transportation panacea, but there are good reasons to be skeptical. They may create as many problems as they solve.

 

The Future of Mobility in Cities: Multimodal and Integrated” (https://www.planetizen.com/news/2017/10/95204 ). Ten principles developed by international non-governmental organizations are designed to guide urban decision-makers toward the best outcomes for the transition to new mobility options.

 

Responding to Public Transit Criticism” (https://www.planetizen.com/node/94729 ). Critics often use fallacious arguments and inaccurate evidence to attack public transit and Transit Oriented Development. Here are suggestions for responding to their false claims.

 

Let’s be friends. Todd Litman regularly posts on his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/todd.litman ). Befriend him now!

*    *    *    *    *

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

=======================

 

TRB Annual Meeting (www.trb.org )

Mind the Gap: Can Inclusive Cities Bridge Social Equity Disparities?” (https://annualmeeting.mytrb.org/Workshop/Details/7790 ), Sunday, 7 January 2018, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM, Convention Center

Todd Litman will discuss qualitative and quantitative measures of transportation equity in this multifaceted workshop. This analysis is important because transport planning decisions often have significant equity impacts.

 

Rethinking Sustainability for Agencies: It Is Much More Than Green Transportation” (https://annualmeeting.mytrb.org/InteractiveProgram/Details/8227 ), Monday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM, Convention Center, 152A

NCHRP Report 750 noted that transportation agencies are challenged to build consensus around balancing short-term cost-effectiveness and long-term sustainability. Todd Litman will participate in this panel discussion of how organizations are making a transition to triple bottom-line sustainability.

 

“Selling Smart Growth” (https://www.nar.realtor ), 9 January, noon-1:00pm, National Association of Realtors Washington DC headquarters.

Households often make trade-offs between housing and transportation costs: they can purchase a cheaper house at the urban fringe where they must spend significantly more on transportation, or pay more for a home in a walkable urban neighborhood with lower transportation costs. In the short-run the costs often seem equal, but motor vehicles rapidly depreciate in value while urban real estate tends to appreciate, so shifting expenditures from transportation to housing tends to generate long-term household wealth. This presentation will discuss ways to measure and communicate the direct economic benefits to households, businesses and local communities that result when households choose Smart Growth, based on the report “Selling Smart Growth” (www.vtpi.org/ssg).

*    *    *    *    *

 

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

=======================

Why Transit Oriented Development? Benefits for Everyone!” by Todd Litman, keynote presentation at the Eighth International Symposium on Transportation Demand Management (http://2017tdm.ntu.edu.tw ).

 

What’s So Good About EcoMobility? Understanding Co-Benefits” (http://bit.ly/2xTNpYR ), presented at the 2017 EcoMobility Festival (http://www.ecomobilityfestival.org ). Also see the “Kaohsiung Strategies for the Future of Urban Mobility” (http://bit.ly/2BIW9Qa ), a twelve-step program to creating more inclusive, livable and sustainable communities.

*    *    *    *    *

 

USEFUL RESOURCES

=================

Inclusionary Housing Calculator” (http://inclusionaryhousing.org/calculator ) can help evaluate development costs and the impacts that factors such as parking regulations and inclusionary housing policies would have on the profitability of development in a particular situation. For more discussion see: http://bit.ly/2wj6IWl .

 

Urban Amenity and Livability (http://bit.ly/2iNytp9 ), by the Australian Transport and Infrastructure Council (https://atap.gov.au ). The Australian Transport Assessment and Planning (ATAP) Guidelines provide guidance for transportation project Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) and appraisal. These now include guidance on how to evaluate the extent to which community design supports quality of life, health and the general well-being of residents. The Guidance describes practical approaches and implementation of these impacts into Cost-Benefit Analysis.

 

It’s Official: Mexico City Eliminates Mandatory Parking Minimums” (http://bit.ly/2ihUmJk ). Mexico City has taken a step that many urbanists advocate: they’ve eliminated parking minimums. “The policy change applies to every land use and throughout the entire city of 8.8 million residents,” Angie Schmitt reports for Streetsblog USA. “The old rules mandated parking even though only about 30 percent of Mexico City residents own cars and the city has a well-developed subway system.” Backers say this change will encourage more development around transit and save money for those renters and home buyers who are not interested in parking.

 

Forbidden City: How Los Angeles Banned Some of its Most Popular Buildings” (http://bit.ly/2f80h2q ). L.A.’s forbidden city consists of the many buildings that we inhabit, use and care about but that are illegal to build today. Some of Los Angeles’ most iconic building types, from the bungalow courts and dingbats common in our residential neighborhoods to Broadway’s ornate theaters and office buildings, share this strange fate of being appreciated, but for all practical purposes, banned.

 

Automobile Dependency as a Barrier to Vision Zero: Evidence from the States in the USA” (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2017.07.012 ), by Hamed Ahangari, Carol Atkinson-Palombo and Norman Garrick, in ‘Accident Analysis and Prevention.’ Using sophisticated statistical analysis of U.S. crash rates this study found that the most important factors were Vehicles per Capita and Vehicle Miles Traveled, that state-level traffic fatality rates decline with urban density and walking rates, and there is little evidence that conventional traffic safety strategies, such as graduated driver’s license programs, provide significant safety benefits.

 

New Mobility Playbook” (http://bit.ly/2zLX6pr ), Seattle Department of Transportation.

This guidebook identifies integrated policies and strategies to foster new mobility options while prioritizing safety, equity, affordability, and sustainability.

 

The Not-so-Secret Trick to Cutting Solo Car Commutes: Charge for Parking by the Day” (http://bit.ly/2iLwp0R ), published in the Seattle Times. Charging for parking by the day, not by the month, is one of the most powerful tools that employers have to spur their employees not to drive alone to work.

 

Kicking the Drive-alone Habit has been Key to Seattle’s Economic Boom” (http://bit.ly/2kkFVZ6 ) and “Seattle Businesses Buy into the Vision of a Transit-driven Economy,” (http://bit.ly/2iLE8Mp ). These articles by Ethan Goffman describe the economic efficiency gains provided by Seattle’s multimodal transportation planning.

 

The Relationship Between Pedestrian Connectivity and Economic Productivity in Auckland’s City Centre” (http://bit.ly/2wc0VS1 ). This study for the Auckland Council investigates the contribution that walkability makes toward urban economic productivity by facilitating face-to-face interactions that increase knowledge generation and sharing. It found statistically significant positive associations between pedestrian accessibility and labour productivity, and so concluded that city center walkability improvements support economic development.

 

Commute Mode Diversity and Public Health: A Multivariate Analysis of 148 US Cities” (https://doi.org/10.1080/15568318.2017.1321705 ) by Chad Frederick, William Riggs and John Hans Gilderbloom, published in the ‘International Journal of Sustainable Transportation.’ Analyzing transportation and health indicators in 148 mid-sized U.S. urban areas, this study found significantly better health outcomes where fewer commuters drive alone to work, and that multimodal transportation planning (improving walking, cycling and public transit) can significantly improve public health.

 

America’s Addiction to Automobiles: Why Cities Need to Kick the Habit and How” (http://publisher.abc-clio.com/9781440852817 ), by Professor Chad Frederick. This new book uses detailed quantitative analysis to measure the impacts of motor vehicle travel on urban livability, public health and economic equality, examines ways that public policies contribute to excessive automobile dependency, and describes various policy responses. The book argues that multimodal and auto-dependent cities are categorically different kinds of city, and there are fundamental conflicts between higher rates of automobile travel and healthy community planning objectives.

 

Reducing Speeds for Better Mobility and Quality of Life” (http://bit.ly/2jL75Vd ) by Carlos Felipe Pardo. This lecture discusses the impacts of excessive urban traffic speeds and how speed management can increase efficiency and livability.

 

Problems and Prospects of Curbside Parking in Lahore: Policy Implications for Effective Management” (http://bit.ly/2ns0ELN ). This article by Salman Sabir and Ghulam Abbas Anjum examines why and how to improve curbside parking regulations and public transport to reduce parking problems in Lahore, India.

 

Street Mobility Project” (www.ucl.ac.uk/street-mobility ), includes several reports and a Toolkit for measuring community severance (roads that create barriers to walking and cycling) and improving walking conditions, particularly for seniors.

 

Cruel Musical Chairs (or, why is the rent so high?)” by the Sightline Institute (http://bit.ly/2nsGAsv ). This fun Sightline Institute video explains how increasing housing supply can increase housing affordability for everyone, including people who cannot afford new homes.

 

Cycling Towards a More Sustainable Transport Future” (http://bit.ly/2vOrWLy ). This editorial by John Pucher and Ralph Buehler published in ‘Transport Reviews’ describes progress in improving cycling conditions and encouraging cycling activity in many cities around the world.

 

“Bus Stop Urban Design” (www.kjzhang.com and http://bit.ly/2AuUP33 ). This information by Kevin Jingyi Zhang aims to improve the waiting environment of bus stops and their adjacent neighbourhoods through the development and application of 9 design techniques.

 

Demystifying Compact Urban Growth: Evidence From 300 Studies From Across the World” (http://bit.ly/2w3mHZa ). This review by Gabriel Ahlfeldt and Elisabetta Pietrostefani for the Coalition for Urban Transitions found significant positive effects of economic density (the number of people living or working in an area) and land use mix and recommend policies that maximize benefits and minimize costs of urban infill, to ensure efficient and equitable access in compact cities.

 

Mapping The Effects Of Parking Minimums” (http://bit.ly/2An6tyZ ). This article by Josh McCarty uses concrete data to illustrate the economic harms caused by parking minimums.

 

Streets Wide Shut – A Principle for Urban Streets” (http://bit.ly/2Bw4c1E ). This article by Professor David Levinson proposes an urban design principle: ‘No street should carry more than four lanes of private vehicle traffic in a city. No more than two of those lanes should go in the same direction. Most streets should be three, two, or one lane wide.’

*    *    *    *    *

 

Please let us know if you have comments or questions about any information in this newsletter, or if you would like to be removed from our email list. And please pass this newsletter on to others who may find it useful.

 

Sincerely,

Todd Litman

email litman (at) vtpi.org

Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org)

 


Filed under: Transportation
04 Dec 22:39

Work Futures Daily — 4 December 2017

Polite Raccoon; What Managers Need to Know About Social Tools; Gaming the Algorithms; Bullshit; Expensify’s Secret; Innovation, Schminnovation

[Reposted from Patreon.com/workfutures. Create free account and follow there to get email notifications of these and other posts.]

The start of the second full week of the new Work Futures on Patreon. I’m starting to get my feet underneath me, and I’m enjoying the interaction with patrons. Several people have expressed a concern with having to sign up for yet-another-platform. I may have to continue pushing out the daily as a newsletter for longer than I had hoped. More to follow.

………

ON SOCIAL TOOLS

Slack’s Cal Henderson describes a practice within the company’s use of its own product: the ‘polite raccoon’ emoji which directs overly-talkative (writative?) team members to take their off-topic chattering in a Slack channel offline.

One of the downsides of working out loud is, well, it can get loud.

According to a massive 2012 research study of 4,200 companies by McKinsey, 72% reported using social tools to facilitate communication. Paul Leonardi and Tsedal Neeley were struck by those figures and wanted to look into the motivations of those signing up to use these platforms. Mostly they found a lot of me-tooism, and few decisions based on solid business cases.

They decided to run an experiment at a large financial services firm contrasting two groups, one using Jive-n, and the other relying only on conventional tools, like email.

Their results strike me as far too rosy, and sidestep a number of well-known problems with brute force adoption of both earlier generations of social tools and today’s crop, as well. But take a look, by all means, at What Managers Need to Know About Social Tools.

A small interaction with Jason Fried of Basecamp today on Twitter:

The link is to a Work Futures post on Medium (I haven’t ported it to Patreon, yet): Progressivity, not Productivity.

I noticed that Nikhil Nulkar‏ (@nikhilnulkar) also linked to that article in response to Jason’s tweet. Thanks, Nikhil!

………

ON MEDIA

Anil Dash connects the dots between seemingly innocuous choices in CMS systems from the early days of blogging and the resulting algorithmic arms race that has rejiggered the world’s media and fused it with the web.

The pea under the mattress is the choice that Google made to favor dashes over underscores in blog post urls, which led the CMS companies to adopt that convention wholesale, for better Google rankings. Anil, despite his surname, favored underscores. But in retrospect, he now sees the lineaments of today’s online world:

Google was teaching us that the way to win on the web is to game the algorithms of big companies.

And then, the molehill begat a mountain [emphasis mine]:

In that old era of the social web, the community’s shared knowledge of how to game algorithms was mostly used for harmless things. People would try to get more readers for their personal blogs, or pull off silly stunts like “Google bombing”, which was essentially just playing with getting a certain site to rank high in Google’s results for a particular term. It’s no wonder we thought it was no big deal if we changed our apps to make content that suited Google’s arbitrary rules. None of this stuff mattered that much, right?
But by attaching monetary value to search ranking, what Google ended up catalyzing was a never-ending arms race, where they constantly updated their algorithm and each community on the web constantly tried to learn how to exploit the new mechanics. The stakes of the algorithmic arms race kept going up; instead of being about pulling off silly pranks, understanding how to appease Google became the cornerstone of multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns. Instead of being about one character in a web address, it became about publishing content that suited the algorithm, whether it was true or not. At first, the only people paying attention were nerds making content management systems, then a broader audience of people trying to optimize their search engine positioning.
Eventually, though, movements across the political spectrum came to understand that knowledge of how to appease the algorithms that govern social media had profound social and cultural power. It wasn’t just marketers who figured out the best way to promote their ideas, it was trolls and activists and harassers and people on the fringes who wouldn’t have had any way to get the word out before — both for better and for worse. At that point, the rise of fake media markets was inevitable.

Anil tries to end on a rallying cry, exhorting us to ‘hold the big platforms accountable’ and to turn the tide.

My worry is that we may have to unravel the entire fabric of the web to rework this massive concentration of power that grew from the coevolution of social platforms and the networks that grew to populate and appropriate them. If we can even get to there from here.

………

ON BULLSHIT

Andre Spicer relates a few tales of dealing with corporate bullshit, like new age off sites where nebulous abstractions and team building exercises waste an afternoon in some hotel conference room. Yawn.

Spicer offers Harry Frankfurt’s definition of bullshit:

The philosopher Harry Frankfurt at Princeton University defined bullshit as talk that has no relationship to the truth. Lying covers up the truth, while bullshit is empty, and bears no relationship to the truth.

In my experience, the worst purveyors of bullshit are senior executives, especially successful CEOs (or CEOs of successful companies, which is not quite the same thing). Spicer seems to agree:

Calling out an underling’s piffle might be tough, but calling bullshit on the boss is usually impossible. Yet we also know that organisations that encourage people to speak up tend to retain their staff, learn more, and perform better. So how can you question your superiors’ bullshit without incurring their wrath? One study by Ethan Burris of the University of Texas at Austin provides some solutions. He found that it made a big difference how an employee went about posing the questions. ‘Challenging’ questions were met with punishment, while supportive questions received a fair hearing. So instead of bounding up to your boss and saying: ‘I can’t believe your bullshit,’ it would be a better idea to point out: ‘We might want to check what the evidence says, then tweak it a little to make it better.’

Good survival skills for work rebels.

………

ON AI

Maybe I should have called this section NOT ON AI, since its really about companies that use people to augment AI-based systems, and the problems that can arise from that.

Lily Hay Newman offers a deep dive into the iffy security side effects of Expensify relying on Mechanical Turkers to review results of AI analysis of expense receipts. Jeffrey Bigham of Carnegie Mellon says,

Every product that uses AI also uses people. I wouldn’t even say it’s a backstop so much as a core part of the process. People definitely believe their technology is powered only by AI when it seems intelligent, and there’s every incentive for the companies to perpetuate that myth.

………

ON INNOVATION

Andrew Russell and Lee Vinsel take on the unimaginable: deflating the hype around innovation, and instead drawing attention to the prosaic but essential need for maintenance. Along the way they dethrone Schumpeter and Christensen, and all the droning on about innovation in corporations.

At the turn of the millennium, in the world of business and technology, innovation had transformed into an erotic fetish. Armies of young tech wizards aspired to become disrupters. The ambition to disrupt in pursuit of innovation transcended politics, enlisting liberals and conservatives alike. Conservative politicians could gut government and cut taxes in the name of spurring entrepreneurship, while liberals could create new programmes aimed at fostering research. The idea was vague enough to do nearly anything in its name without feeling the slightest conflict, just as long as you repeated the mantra: INNOVATION!! ENTREPRENEURSHIP!!

They note that innovation’s shine has faded starting in the early 2000s, and the inescapable link between the madness of endless unyielding innovation and the resulting impacts on the Earth, society, and our skewed economics.

In their final analysis, they offer this [emphasis mine]:

There is an urgent need to reckon more squarely and honestly with our machines and ourselves. Ultimately, emphasising maintenance involves moving from buzzwords to values, and from means to ends. In formal economic terms, ‘innovation’ involves the diffusion of new things and practices. The term is completely agnostic about whether these things and practices are good. Crack cocaine, for example, was a highly innovative product in the 1980s, which involved a great deal of entrepreneurship (called ‘dealing’) and generated lots of revenue. Innovation! Entrepreneurship! Perhaps this point is cynical, but it draws our attention to a perverse reality: contemporary discourse treats innovation as a positive value in itself, when it is not.
Entire societies have come to talk about innovation as if it were an inherently desirable value, like love, fraternity, courage, beauty, dignity, or responsibility. Innovation-speak worships at the altar of change, but it rarely asks who benefits, to what end? A focus on maintenance provides opportunities to ask questions about what we really want out of technologies. What do we really care about? What kind of society do we want to live in? Will this help get us there? We must shift from means, including the technologies that underpin our everyday actions, to ends, including the many kinds of social beneficence and improvement that technology can offer. Our increasingly unequal and fearful world would be grateful.

Yes, absolutely.

04 Dec 22:39

day 1 snowmaggedon 2016, december 5, 2016 added as a favorite.

by karen_2020
karen_2020 added this as a favorite.

day 1 snowmaggedon 2016, december 5, 2016

04 Dec 22:39

Chinese phones are taking over Southeast Asia while domestic market shrinks: report

by Eva Yoo
Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi came in the top 5, after Samsung and Apple, in the Southeast Asia region during Q3 2017, according to data from research firm Gartner. Among them, Xiaomi’s phone shipments grew nearly 80%, and the market share increased from 4% last year to 7% (in Chinese). Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are the […]
04 Dec 22:39

High-detail landscape using lidar data

by Nathan Yau

Lidar, which is like radar but with lasers instead of radio waves, can provide high-detail surveys of the land. The state of Washington is using the tool for beautiful results.

In 2015, the Washington State Legislature mandated that the Department of Natural Resources, Washington Geological Survey collect, analyze, and publicly distribute detailed information about our state’s geology using the best available technology – lidar. The main focus of this new push for lidar collection is to map landslides, but there are innumerable additional benefits and applications of this data both inside and outside of the field of geology.

[via National Geographic]

Tags: Lidar, surveying

04 Dec 21:22

Twitter Favorites: [cbcian] Is she staring at me? Looking away? My co-host, always present, even on the way to work. https://t.co/TKjO23LPNY

Ian Hanomansing @cbcian
Is she staring at me? Looking away? My co-host, always present, even on the way to work. pic.twitter.com/TKjO23LPNY
04 Dec 21:22

Psychological Safety in Operation Teams

Psychological Safety in Operation Teams:

Think of a team you work with closely. How strongly do you agree with these five statements?

  1. If I take a chance and screw up, it will be held against me.
  2. Our team has a strong sense of culture that can be hard for new people to join.
  3. My team is slow to offer help to people who are struggling.
  4. Using my unique skills and talents comes second to the objectives of the team.
  5. It’s uncomfortable to have open, honest conversations about our team’s sensitive issues.

Teams that score high on questions like these can be deemed to be “unsafe.”

04 Dec 21:22

Drawing with noise

by Nathan Yau

This looks like a fun Processing tutorial by Etienne Jacob. Use noise to draw organic-ish loopy GIFs. I bet the logic could be ported to R.

Tags: GIF, noise, Processing

04 Dec 21:21

Michael Flynn reveals the template for apologies without remorse

by Josh Bernoff

Former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has pled guilty to lying to the FBI. He has also issued a self-praising statement minimizing what he did. It’s an interesting strategy. Should everyone else who apologizes do the same? Flynn’s proud, patriotic apology Flynn spoke to the Russian Ambassador about foreign policy during the transition, when … Continued

The post Michael Flynn reveals the template for apologies without remorse appeared first on without bullshit.

04 Dec 21:20

5G & IoT? We need to talk about latency

by Dean Bubley


Much of the discussion around the rationale for 5G – and especially the so-called “ultra-reliable” high QoS versions – centres on minimising network latency. Edge-computing architectures like MEC also focus on this. The worthy goal of 1 millisecond roundtrip time is often mentioned, usually in the context of applications like autonomous vehicles with snappy responses, AR/VR headsets without nausea, the “tactile Internet” and remote drone/robot control.

Usually, that is accompanied by some mention of 20 or 50 billion connected devices by [date X], and perhaps trillions of dollars of IoT-enabled value.

In many ways, this is irrelevant at best, and duplicitous and misleading at worst.

IoT devices and applications will likely span 10 or more orders of magnitude for latency, not just the two between 1-10ms and 10-100ms. Often, the main value of IoT comes from changes over long periods, not realtime control or telemetry.

Think about timescales a bit more deeply:

  • Sensors on an elevator doors may send sporadic data, to predict slowly-worsening mechanical problems – so an engineer might be sent a month before the normal maintenance visit.
  • A car might download new engine-management software once a week, and upload traffic observations and engine-performance data once a day (maybe waiting to do it over WiFi, in the owner’s garage, as it's not time-critical).
  • A large oil storage tank, or a water well, might have a depth-gauge giving readings once an hour.
  • A temperature sensor and thermostat in an elderly person’s home, to manage health and welfare, might track readings and respond with control messages every 10 minutes. Room temperatures change only slowly.
  • A shared bicycle might report its position every minute – and unlock in under 10 seconds when the user buys access with their smartphone app
  • A payment or security-access tag should check identity and open a door, or confirm a transaction, in a second or two.
  • A networked video-surveillance system may need to send a facial image, and get a response in a tenth of a second, before they move out of camera-shot.
  • A doctor’s endoscope or microsurgery tool might need to respond to controls (and send haptic feedback) 100 times a second – ie every 10ms
  • A rapidly-moving drone may need to react in a millisecond to a control signal, or a locally-recognised risk.
  • A sensitive industrial process-control system may need to be able to respond in 10s or 100s of microseconds to avoid damage to finely-calibrated machinery
  • Image sensors and various network sync mechanisms may require response times measured in nanoseconds
I have not seen any analysis that tries to divide the billions of devices, or trillions of dollars, into these very-different cohorts of time-sensitivity. Given the assumptions underpinning a lot of 5G business cases, I’d suggest that this type of work is crucial. Some of these use-cases are slow enough that sending data by 2G is fine (or by mail, in some cases!). Others are so fast they’ll need fibre – or compute capability located locally on-device, or even on-chip, rather than in the cloud, even if it’s an “edge” node.

I suspect (this is a wild guess, I'll admit) that the proportion of IoT devices, for which there’s a real difference between 1ms and 10ms and 100ms, will be less than 10%, and possibly less than 1% of the total. 

(Separately, the network access performance might be swamped by extra latency added by security functions, or edge-computing nodes being bypassed by VPN tunnels)

The proportion of accrued value may be similarly low. A lot of the IoT examples I hear about are either long time-series collections of sensor data (for asset performance-management and predictive maintenance), or have fairly loose timing constraints. A farm’s moisture sensors and irrigation pumps don’t need millisecond response times. Conversely, a chemical plant may need to alter measure and alter pressures or flows in microseconds.

Are we focusing 5G too much on the occasional Goldilocks of not-too-fast and not-too-slow?
04 Dec 21:20

me@onenote.com

by Volker Weber

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As most of you know, I am writing a weekly column that talks about what is going to happen in the coming week. This is kind of difficult, because my crystal ball is often clouded. It would be much easier to write a summary about what happened last week.

One of the things that puzzled me was how I could take notes for things happening in the future. I solved this with a OneNote notebook specifically for this task. And there is a convenient way to fill it with invitation emails. I just forward them to me@onenote.com. You have to specify the from address you are taking these notes from and you tell OneNote where to put them.

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More >

04 Dec 21:20

Hund und Mensch

by Volker Weber

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Foto Max Bäumle

Als Hundebesitzer muss man mehrmals am Tag raus und spazieren gehen. Das tut Hund und Mensch gut. Dabei trifft man viele Leute. Manche haben Angst vor dem Tier, die meisten freuen sich. Von einer Begegnung will ich erzählen:

Freitags ist ein kleiner Bauernmarkt in Bessungen. Dort gehe ich regelmäßig hin. Frau Brandlinger darf mit, aber sie nervt manchmal, weil es soviel zu entdecken gibt. Deshalb halte ich sie meistens an der kurzen Leine. Vor ein paar Monaten fiel mir eine ältere Dame auf, die den Hund immer anhimmelte. Ich ging zu ihr hin, damit sie ihm begegnen kann. Sie hatte Tränen in den Augen und erzählte mir, dass ihr Tier eingeschläfert wurde. Für die Nicht-Hundebesitzer: Man sieht das von außen nicht, aber Hunde sind Familienmitglieder und manchmal das einzige Familienmitglied, das bleibt. Ich sprach der Frau deshalb gut zu, sich ein neues Tier zu suchen. Dann erzählte sie mir, dass sie ihren Hund abgeben musste, weil sie ins Heim kam. Ich war erschüttert. Woanders schafft man Therapiehunde an, um alte Menschen aus ihrer Depression zu lösen.

Daran musste ich gerade denken, als ich las, dass die Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt die Hundesteuer von zunächst 66 auf 92 und nun auf 120 € für das erste Tier erhöht hat. Das soll 120.000 € zusätzlich in den Stadtsäckel bringen und trifft ganz sicher oft die Falschen. Viele alte Menschen sparen sich alles für das Tier vom Mund ab.

04 Dec 21:20

Big Decisions

by Ken Ohrn

It was 50 years ago that people made a big decision — no freeways in Vancouver.  It fundamentally altered the city, I say for the better. It changed the city’s look, feel, population and shaped its future.

HERE’s a review of the event by Maryse Zeidler at CBC News.

With a quote from PT’s own Gordon Price:

Gordon Price, a fellow at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, says freeways were seen as modern and economically attractive — linking cities to trucking routes, trade and the ever-expanding suburbs.

“Freeways have a very bad rep these days but, man, in that period in the 60s when they were newly built, they were astonishing,” Price said.

“Every city wanted a connection with the continental freeway system …  I mean, why wouldn’t you?”

When I am roaming the city, I think of other big decisions, and imagine the battles and back room maneuvering that went on:  Stanley Park, the seawalls, West End’s traffic calming.  Not to mention those little-bitty bike lanes.  All so much accepted now that their reversal or removal would be unthinkable.

Which brings me to upcoming big decisions:  well, how about mobility pricing?

In a preview of the local mobility pricing work now underway, consider the story of Stockholm. Their scheme prevailed over fierce initial hostility, got bad reviews early on (36% public acceptance) but, oh my, now gets support from more than 2/3 of the population and all political parties  HERE‘s a 42-page PDF:  a primer and tutorial on the scheme, its design, the decision, the process, its politics, and its results from Jonas Eliasson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

The Stockholm charges went from “the most expensive way ever devised to commit political suicide” (to quote the then‐secret feelings expressed by the Head of the Congestion Charging Office) to something that the initially hostile media eventually declared to be a “success story” (e.g. Dagens Nyheter, June 22, 2006).

No doubt Metro Vancouver can expect similar battles, but a positive outcome on this big decision could change the metro region for the better, in my opinion, for many decades to come.  We can watch and work over the next months as this big decision moves along.

Mobility pricing may not be as big a decision, but just might be as positive as the big decision, 50 years ago, on freeways.


04 Dec 21:20

Twitter Favorites: [BaseballHer] I am still mad online (and offline) about the King Street Pilot project.

DowagHer Countess @BaseballHer
I am still mad online (and offline) about the King Street Pilot project.
04 Dec 21:20

City Streetcars — Keeping Options Open

by Ken Ohrn

The City of Vancouver is planning ahead to ensure that the option of a streetcar line remains open.   The city has issued THIS RFP for a consultant to “. . . future proof the planning of streets and development within Vancouver so that a modern streetcar system can be constructed in the future.”

Just as the city has done great work to make choosing a bike a safe and effective option, the idea is to make sure that nothing eliminates building streetcar lines into an effective choice.

A proposed alignment of the streetcar has previously been established, as mentioned above. Previous plans and thinking envisage the streetcar travelling through the following neighborhoods/areas:

 

  • Arbutus Greenway
  • South False Creek
  • South East False Creek
  • International Village and Science World
  • False Creek Flats (at 1st Avenue)
  • North East False Creek
  • Yaletown, along Pacific Boulevard
  • Chinatown
  • Gastown
  • Coal Harbour.

 

 

Thanks to Frances Bula in the Globe and Mail for the heads-up.

 

 

 


04 Dec 21:20

Is Vancouver a “Sponge City?”

by Sandy James Planner

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Internationally water management is the purview of the Dutch, who consulted in the rebuilding of New Orleans after the horrific hurricane and also worked with China on the concept of Sponge Cities to improve drainage and provide flooding mitigation. This is achieved by innovative sewage and waste water techniques, and combining spatial planning and water management, an interdisciplinary approach to flood proofing cities.

Similar work has been successful in the Dutch city of Nijmegen where flooding capacity of a river was enlarged by creating an extra stream channel, which  as part of that City’s policy also enhanced economic development and place making.  In Rotterdam plazas have been created that hold rainwater in extreme weather events replacing infrastructure basins. There have also been pioneering work on the use of dry river bed “wadis” incorporated  in new residential housing developments to mitigate flooding.

As reported to the World Economic Forum  China is utilizing the spongy city design concept in 30 cities including Shanghai, Wuhan and Xiamen. With an investment of 12 billion US dollars the project hopes to have 80 per cent of urban areas in China reusing almost 3/4 of their rainwater in the next three years.

Vancouver is riddled with underground streams, many lost in development~and there is a treasure trove of materials available at the University of British Columbia. There are great stream stories-by mistake the Mount Pleasant stream that used to move logs and power wood mills was excavated during work near Main Street and Broadway decades ago. There is also a large aquifer and flowing stream below the Oakridge Mall. City Engineers have calculated that the Oakridge aquifer can supply 120 US gallons a minute or approximately 7.5 litres of water per second. Indeed the water is used by the mall as a coolant, and has been used that way since the 1970’s.

New York City’s urban ecologist Eric Sanderson has created a “digital elevation” of New York  pre-development and is discussing how these ancient watersheds and streams can be reincorporated into city landscapes for resiliency and public amenity. It is this interdisciplinary approach to flooding, flora and fauna that will bring streams back to New York City and provide a new amenity in the concrete signature of the city. As outlined in this piece from Mountain View’s Vancouver Street Stories, everything old is new again~and streams and old river beds have a renewed purpose in weatherproofing  and providing new recreational spaces in  spongy cities.

sponge1

 


04 Dec 21:20

I wrote a story and you can read it

I've mentioned here before that I'm part of a writing group called Upsideclown. We take it in turns to write short fiction, and I'm up today!

It's a gentle tale of extraterrestrial visitations, and of rekindling old friendships. Here's a taster:

Petr held the Scotch egg still between thumb and forefinger, and cut it carefully in two. They sat in the library cafe. He placed the symmetrical halves side by side on the plate, two halves of egg in two half balls of sausage, centred on yellow yolks.

'The Dogon people, in Mali,' said Bruno, eying Petr's lunch, 'were visited by aliens from the Sirius star system.'

'And you find somewhere scenic for the presenter to stand while they say this,' said Petr, 'so nobody notices how absurd it is.'

Read: The search for another intelligence, by me, at Upsideclown.

#

I'm rusty at writing fiction so I'm loving being part of this rebooted writing group. But I'm also particularly pleased at how this story came out for a couple of reasons:

  • I'm using characters and dialogue -- it's been a personal challenge to make full use of both, and I think I'm beginning to get the hang of it
  • I'm beginning to write deliberately. For fiction I've always written intuitively before: hold an idea in my head and then just bang it out. Which is great but is very mood-dependent. This time I had a process: I sketched out a summary, turned it into an bigger summary, and then wrote out the story over a few sessions, finally making revisions. This process is not a breakthrough to anyone except me! But what it means is I can now handle stories longer than 1,200 words, and I can also work on them incrementally such as on the tube and in the evenings

So yeah. Learning the craft. It's not my best story by any means, but right now it's the one I'm pleased with most.

04 Dec 21:20

Twitter Favorites: [pfrazee] Working on a blog post titled "The Web is your database." 🕸️💾🕸️ @dat_project, JSON files, and a secondary indexer go a long way.

Paul Frazee✌️ @pfrazee
Working on a blog post titled "The Web is your database." 🕸️💾🕸️ @dat_project, JSON files, and a secondary indexer go a long way.
04 Dec 21:20

Firefox 58 Beta 10 Testday, December 8th

by Petruta Rasa

Greetings Mozillians!

We are happy to let you know that Friday, December 8th, we are organizing Firefox 58 Beta 10 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on Media Recorder Refactor and Tabbed Browser.

Check out the detailed instructions via this etherpad.

No previous testing experience is required, so feel free to join us on #qa IRC channel where our moderators will offer you guidance and answer your questions.

Join us and help us make Firefox better!

See you on Friday!

04 Dec 21:20

Polyvalent and Piolet Pre-Sales are Live

by noreply@blogger.com (VeloOrange)

The pre-sales for the Polyvalent and Piolet are up! While the retail price of both framesets is $725, the pre-sale price is $675.


Here is the fine print for the offer:
  • Frame and fork in Deep Emerald Green for Polyvalent and Poppin' Purple for Piolet
  • Pre-sale cannot be combined with any additional promotions or discounts
  • Early April 2018 arrival
  • Pre-sale concludes January 15th, 2018
  • Shipping fees for orders outside the contiguous 48 states will be quoted and billed separately at time of shipping.

In order to keep pre-sales nice and tidy, one thing we'd request is if you're placing an order for other items now, please place one order for the frameset, and another for everything else. All other products will be shipped immediately.


Can't wait to see how you all build them up!
04 Dec 21:19

We have 10 days to save net neutrality

by Dries
Cable squeeze

Last month, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, released a draft order that would soften net neutrality regulations. He wants to overturn the restrictions that make paid prioritization, blocking or throttling of traffic unlawful. If approved, this order could drastically alter the way that people experience and access the web. Without net neutrality, Internet Service Providers could determine what sites you can or cannot see.

The proposed draft order is disheartening. Millions of Americans are trying to save net neutrality; the FCC has received over 5 million emails, 750,000 phone calls, and 2 million comments. Unfortunately this public outpouring has not altered the FCC's commitment to dismantling net neutrality.

The commission will vote on the order on December 14th. We have 10 days to save net neutrality.

Although I have written about net neutrality before, I want to explain the consequences and urgency of the FCC's upcoming vote.

What does Pai's draft order say?

Chairman Pai has long been an advocate for "light touch" net neutrality regulations, and claims that repealing net neutrality will allow "the federal government to stop micromanaging the Internet".

Specifically, Pai aims to scrap the protection that classifies ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Radio and phone services are also protected under Title II, which prevents companies from charging unreasonable rates or restricting access to services that are critical to society. Pai wants to treat the internet differently, and proposes that the FCC should simply require ISPs "to be transparent about their practices". The responsibility of policing ISPs would also be transferred to the Federal Trade Commission. Instead of maintaining the FCC's clear-cut and rule-based approach, the FTC would practice case-by-case regulation. This shift could be problematic as a case-by-case approach could make the FTC a weak consumer watchdog.

The consequences of softening net neutrality regulations

At the end of the day, frail net neutrality regulations mean that ISPs are free to determine how users access websites, applications and other digital content.

It is clear that depending on ISPs to be "transparent" will not protect against implementing fast and slow lanes. Rolling back net neutrality regulations means that ISPs could charge website owners to make their website faster than others. This threatens the very idea of the open web, which guarantees an unfettered and decentralized platform to share and access information. Gravitating away from the open web could create inequity in how communities share and express ideas online, which would ultimately intensify the digital divide. This could also hurt startups as they now have to raise money to pay for ISP fees or fear being relegated to the "slow lane".

The way I see it, implementing "fast lanes" could alter the technological, economic and societal impact of the internet we know today. Unfortunately it seems that the chairman is prioritizing the interests of ISPs over the needs of consumers.

What can you can do today

Chairman Pai's draft order could dictate the future of the internet for years to come. In the end, net neutrality affects how people, including you and me, experience the web. I've dedicated both my spare time and my professional career to the open web because I believe the web has the power to change lives, educate people, create new economies, disrupt business models and make the world smaller in the best of ways. Keeping the web open means that these opportunities can be available to everyone.

If you're concerned about the future of net neutrality, please take action. Share your comments with the U.S. Congress and contact your representatives. Speak up about your concerns with your friends and colleagues. Organizations like The Battle for the Net help you contact your representatives — it only takes a minute!

Now is the time to stand up for net neutrality: we have 10 days and need everyone's help.

04 Dec 21:19

Secure communication in 140 chars or less

by Volker Weber
04 Dec 21:19

John Anderson, Who Ran Against Reagan and Carter in 1980, Is Dead at 95

by ADAM CLYMER
Drawing support from moderate to liberal Republicans and liberal Democrats, Mr. Anderson held the spotlight for a while before voters turned to candidates who they believed could actually win.
04 Dec 21:17

Samsung to reportedly launch Galaxy S9 in blue, gold, black and purple

by Dean Daley
Samsung Galaxy S8 on a fence

As the New Year draws closer, we’ve shifted our attention from recently released phones like the OnePlus 5T, the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 XL, to Samsung’s inevitable next flagship, the Galaxy S9.

The latest leaks from the constantly churning rumour mill, reveals the various colours the flagship is reportedly set to be available in. According to a report from SamMobile, the S9 will come in blue, black, gold and surprisingly, purple. While blue, gold and black are common hues for Samsung devices, the South Korean tech giant seems to be aiming to shake things up with a new purple colour. It’s worth noting that the LG V30 Plus is also available in violet.

It’s unknown exactly what shade of purple the handset will be, though I’m hoping it resembles the same colour as the LG Lotus.

SamMobile also doesn’t mention specific names for the colours — such as ‘Orchid Grey,’ or ‘Midnight Black,’ — but it’s likely that apart from purple, the names will be similar to the colours of past devices.

Moreover, it’s unknown exactly what markets will launch with a purple S9, with Canada often only getting two or three of the various available colours.

Alongside the four aforementioned colours, it’s possible that ‘Orchid Grey’ and ‘Arctic Silver’ will also be included in the colour lineup.

The Samsung Galaxy S9, which is rumoured to be unveiled at CES 2018, is expected to feature Qualcomm’s still unannounced Snapdragon 845, standard 3.5mm headphone jack, 90 percent screen-to-body ratio and a fingerprint sensor placed underneath the rear-facing camera setup.

Source: SamMobile

The post Samsung to reportedly launch Galaxy S9 in blue, gold, black and purple appeared first on MobileSyrup.

04 Dec 21:17

Ontario unable to meet 2020 electric vehicle target, analysts say

by Bradly Shankar
Tesla Model 3 red and grey

In 2016, electric vehicles made up less than one percent of all passenger vehicle sales in Ontario. By 2020, the government is looking to increase that number to five percent.

However, analysts say that the province won’t be able to meet this goal in this time.

“The chances of meeting it aren’t low, they’re zero,” auto industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers told The Canadian Press. “In the auto sector all roads lead to electric, it just happens to be that the road to serious acceptance of them is probably at least 2030 and more likely 2040, 2050.”

This is in spite of the ways in which the government has been encouraging electric vehicle sales, such as through the provision of $75 million in rebates to vehicle owners and the spending $1 million CAD to open an electric vehicle education centre in North York in May.

The government has also put an additional $20 million into the construction of a network of 500 public charging stations along highways and at public places across the province.

Analysts, industry and government alike have cited fears that electric vehicles’ range are what is holding back greater adoption. There are concerns that electric vehicles will run out a charge before arriving to charging stations, leading many to prefer gasoline-based vehicles instead.

Telematics company FleetCarma found that sales of electric vehicles rose 96 per cent year-over-year for the first nine months of 2017. Meanwhile, in the second quarter, the firm reported that electric vehicle sales accounted for about 0.7 percent of the market.

Pointing to the upwards trajectory, the president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association said he believes there is a good chance of hitting the government’s five percent electric vehicle target in 2020.

Via: The Record 

The post Ontario unable to meet 2020 electric vehicle target, analysts say appeared first on MobileSyrup.

04 Dec 21:16

Requiem for a great magazine

by Doc Searls

Linux Journal is folding.

Carlie Fairchild, who has run the magazine almost since it started in 1994, posted Linux Journal Ceases Publication today on the website. So far all of the comments have been positive, which they should be. Throughout its life, Linux Journal has been about as valuable as a trade pub can be, and it’s a damn shame to see it go. I just hope a way can be found to keep the site and the archives alive for the duration, as a living legacy.

I suppose a rescue might still be possible. But, as Carlie wrote in her post, “While we see a future like publishing’s past—a time when advertisers sponsor a publication because they value its brand and readers—the advertising world we have today would rather chase eyeballs, preferably by planting tracking beacons in readers’ browsers and zapping them with ads anywhere those readers show up. But that future isn’t here, and the past is long gone.”

I’m working hard at making that future happen (see the list below), and it bums me deeply that we didn’t succeeded in time to save Linux Journal. But here we are.

My own history with Linux Journal began when Phil Hughes pulled me into an email discussion of his plan to start a free software magazine. That was in 1993: twenty-four years ago. Phil ended that discussion when he announced, to everyone else’s surprise, that he had found this kid who had written a new version of UNIX that would likely take over the world. The kid was Linus Torvalds and his operating system was called Linux. I thought, what? But, as he was about so many things, Phil was right. Our first issue came out in April 1994, when Linux hit version 1.0. Linux Journal’s editor for that issue Bob Young, who left shortly after that to start Red Hat and much else. (I once asked Bob—by then a billionaire but no less a great guy—if Phil actually taught Bob how to spell Linux. Bob said yes.)

I first appeared on the masthead in 1996, and I haven’t left it since 1998. For many years I wrote the “Linux for Suits” column, and for many after that “EOF,” which ran inside the back cover. I also wrote a newsletter called “Suitwatch” and a spin-off blog called IT Garage (which you can still find at that link in the Internet Archive). I was the least technical of all Linux Journal‘s editors, but readers mostly seemed to appreciate my elevated but devoted perspective on Linux’s role in the world.

There were heady times in that history. Linux Journal succeeded fast, got fat during the dot-com craze in the late ’90s, and managed to survive the crash when many other rags went down. Remember Upside? Red Herring? The original FastCompany? (Tip your hat to Brewster Kahle and friends for the fossils of those you’ll still find in the Internet Archive.)

We can thank resourceful management and devoted subscribers for our persistence. And, of course, Linux itself. Today all 500 of the world’s top supercomputers run Linux. Since Android is built on Linux, most of the world’s smartphones run on Linux. Name a giant tech company (e.g. Google, Amazon, Akamai) and chances are the services it deploys run on Linux too. Month after month, Netcraft‘s Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites lists are either all-Linux or close enough. Linux is also embedded in countless devices, from clocks to wi-fi routers to flat-screen TVs.

In its own small but significant way, Linux Journal helped make that happen. Wish it could keep doing that, but alas.

So a hearty thanks to everyone who helped us through all those years. It’s been great, and will remain so.

Now, in hope that other publications might be saved, here are some of the posts and essays I’ve written toward that goal—and toward saving the advertising business from itself as well:

  1. Without aligning incentives, we can’t kill fake news or save journalism (15 September 2017 in Medium)
  2. An easy fix for a broken advertising system (12 October 2017 in Medium and in my blog)
  3. Let’s get some things straight about publishing and advertising (9 September 2017 and the same day in Medium)
  4. Good news for publishers and advertisers fearing the GDPR (3 September in ProjectVRM and 7 October in Medium).
  5. Publishers’ and advertisers’ rights end at a browser’s front door (17 June 2017 in Medium). It updates one of the 2015 blog posts below.
  6. How to plug the publishing revenue drain (9 June 2017 in Medium). It expands on the opening (#publishing) section of my Daily Tab for that date.
  7. Customertech Will Turn the Online Marketplace Into a Marvel-Like Universe in Which All of Us are Enhanced (29 May 2017 at ProjectVRM and in Medium)
  8. What if businesses agreed to customers’ terms and conditions? (28 April 2017)
  9. How are ad blockers affecting journalism? (My answer to a Quora question on 27 April 2017)
  10. The only way customers come first (26 April 2017 in Customer Commons)
  11. Brands need to fire adtech (23 March, and 25 March in Medium)
  12. The Problem with Content (1 March 2017 in Linux Journal)
  13. The Next Revolution in Advertising Will Be One Customers Lead (7 February 2017 in Medium)
  14. How True Advertising Can Save Journalism From Drowning in a Sea of Content (22 January 2017 in Medium and 26 January 2017 in my blog.)
  15. The problem for people isn’t advertising, and the problem for advertising isn’t blocking. The problem for both is tracking.(21 October 2016 and same date in Medium).
  16. It’s People vs. Advertising, not Publishers vs. Adblockers (26 August 2016 in ProjectVRM and 27 August 2016 in Medium)
  17. The cash model of customer experience (17 August 2016 and 18 August 2016 in Medium).
  18. If it weren’t for retargeting, we might not have adblocking (13 August 2016 in ProjectVRM and 15 August 2016 in Medium)
  19. The Castle Doctrine (19 June 2016 in ProjectVRM, and in Medium)
  20. Why #NoStalking is a good deal for publishers (11 May 2016, and in Medium)
  21. An invitation to settle matters with @Forbes, @Wired and other publishers (15 April 2016 and in Medium)
  22. TV Viewers to Madison Avenue: Please quit driving drunk on digital (14 Aprl 2016, and in Medium)
  23. The End of Internet Advertising as We’ve Known It(11 December 2015 in MIT Technology Review)
  24. Ad Blockers and the Next Chapter of the Internet (5 November in Harvard Business Review)
  25. How the Big Data Craze Will Play Out (1 November 2015 in Linux Journal)
  26. How #adblocking matures from #NoAds to #SafeAds (22 October 2015)
  27. Helping publishers and advertisers move past the ad blockade (11 October on the ProjectVRM blog)
  28. Dealing with Boundary Issues (1 October 2015 in Linux Journal)
  29. Beyond ad blocking — the biggest boycott in human history (28 Septemper 2015)
  30. A way to peace in the adblock war (21 September 2015, on the ProjectVRM blog)
  31. How adtech, not ad blocking, breaks the social contract (23 September 2015)
  32. Debugging adtext assumptions (18 September 2015)
  33. Separating advertising’s wheat and chaff (12 August 2015, and on 2 July 2016 in an updated version in Medium)
  34. On taking personalized ads personally (27 March 2015)
  35. Thoughts on tracking based advertising (18 February 2015)
  36. On marketing’s terminal addiction to data fracking and bad guesswork (10 January 2015)
  37. Privacy is personal (2 July 2014 in Linux Journal)
  38. What the ad biz needs is to exorcize direct marketing (6 October 2013)
04 Dec 21:16

Fido Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL to receive Wi-Fi calling support [Update]

by Sameer Chhabra
The Fido store front

Fido customers with a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL are now able to upgrade their devices to utilize Wi-Fi calling.

Wi-Fi calling comes alongside the December 2017 Android security update, as well as an update to Android 8.1 Oreo.

The 2017 Pixel twins join the the LG G4, G5 and G6, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S7, S7 Edge, S8 and S8+ as the only Android devices that can currently access Wi-Fi calling on Fido’s network.

Once activated — and assuming your device remains connected to a stable Wi-Fi connection — the Pixel twins should default to Wi-Fi calling.

Update: While Rogers Upgrade site states this feature is ‘coming soon,’ we are receiving tips that customers are able to enable Wi-Fi calling support.

Source: Fido

The post Fido Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL to receive Wi-Fi calling support [Update] appeared first on MobileSyrup.

04 Dec 21:16

A Legacy Of Spies

Peter Guillam, no longer young, is summoned from retirement to the new offices of the old Circus. British intelligence, is seems, is being sued by the heirs of agents and officers, long dead, and soon we are back with Alex Leamas, Toby Esterhase, the young Connie Sachs, and George Smiley. This might have been merely a pleasant final bow, but it’s not: a thoughtful and sensitive re-evaluation of a war that, suddenly, seems very distant.