There should be a German word for that feeling when you desperately need to be somewhere on time, and the traffic lights seem like they’re conspiring against you. When the greens feel especially short, the reds especially long, and both appear as if they’re in cahoots to keep you idling.
It’s not a conspiracy, but it is something called fixed time control. Most intersections, if they don’t have embedded sensors under the road, abide by traffic light timing determined by observed data from years or months past. Fixed time control based on historical data is usually pretty accurate for specific intersections, but what if entire cities coordinated their traffic lights to cut down on mass commute times and fuel use?
The thermometer showed a 103.5-degree fever, and her 10-year-old’s asthma was flaring up. Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 Chrysler van would not start.
The cause was not a mechanical problem — it was her lender.
Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March.
“Magazine still do come in handy tho when your battery of your tech is low. And sometimes the resolution on paper magazines is just better on the eyes as is the reading. Giving oneself a rest from tech is rather good.”
Originally posted on Gigaom:
The announcement came one day in 1992, when I was eight, and was momentous enough in my household that I actually answered the phone with “Tina Brown became editor of the New Yorker!”
This is seared in my mind now as one of the most cringe-worthy things I did in childhood. Yet I’m telling you about it to provide evidence that I grew up surrounded by print magazines and a belief in their importance; so that now, when I talk about my increasingly sad relationship with magazines, you’ll believe that I’m not simply dismissing them out of hand, Millennial-style.
Magazines have been an important part of my reading and regular life, but they aren’t like books, where I actually can’t imagine what both my life and the entire course of human history would look like without them. For all of the debates about publishers and Amazon and so on, I don’t…
View original 1,212 more words
Fifty years ago, historians advised politicians and policy-makers. They helped chart the future of nations, by helping leaders learn from past mistakes in history. But then something changed, and we began making decisions based on economic principles rather than historical ones. The results were catastrophic.
Photograph of dust bowl survivors, by Dorothea Lange
According to historians David Armitage and Jo Guldi, authors of a new book called The History Manifesto, historians ceded authority to economists by losing their long view. They stopped studying broad stretches of time, refused to analyze long-term trends over centuries or even millennia. Instead, according to Armitage and Guldi, they gave in to “short-termism,” focusing on obscure moments in history that weren’t relevant to the public sphere.
Perhaps most significant, the influenza outbreak coincided with the final year of what was then called “The Great War” WWI. The war had already exacted a massive psychological toll on the globe, but frequent international combat probably also had a hand in spreading the virus. In fact, the virus killed more people than World War I. But to a world already weary of death and governed by seemingly endless tragedy, the obituaries of the 1918 influenza pandemic were the latest in a list it had been reading for four years.
This gallery contains 5 photos.
Originally posted on TechCrunch:
Designing a good-looking website has never been easy and while many services promise to let you build a site without ever having to touch any code, you quickly reach their limits if you want to have a more advanced site. The Grid, which is launching its crowdfunding campaign today, promises to…