The Internet Makes You Creepy
We can’t tell if these are better or worse than those godforsaken Vibram toe shoes.
Indian startup Ducere Technologies is about to bestow a new form of high-tech footwear unto the world, the Wall Street Journal reports. Called Lechal shoes, the Bluetooth-enabled smart footwear will sync up with an app on the user’s phone, which is connected to Google Maps. Once a user inputs their destination, the app will command the left and right shoes to vibrate, telling the user which way to turn to reach their destination.
We know the thoughts running through your head upon the first mansion sighting when you arrive in the Hamptons for a weekend retreat: How many square feet is that place? How did the owner get that rich? Would I be able to see the pool via aerial image?
An eerie new site makes stalking the rich a lot easier. MansionMaps plots exquisite estates on a map alongside all kinds of handy information about the properties and their owners, CNet reports.
When a Google representative was walking Betabeat through its new features for Maps yesterday, they briefly mentioned a small feature that sifts through public transit schedules to find the last possible route to your destination.
“Wait,” we interrupted, “are you saying you added a ‘drunk train’ feature to Google Maps?”
stand clear of the closing doors
As if the temptation to give up on the subway and splurge on an Uber cab weren’t great enough already, Google Maps is now connected to the on-demand rideshare app.
An update of Google Maps released yesterday includes the Uber integration, as well as a few more enhancements. Now, when you look up directions on your device and select the walking or public transportation options, a prompt reading “Get an Uber” is at the bottom of the list of possible routes. The app also highlights the Uber travel time in a bright color, just to reinforce how much time you’d save by taking a car.
Google will eliminate a phantom subway stop that found its way onto the company’s ubiquitous mapping site, after a Politicker inquiry on the subject.
The current version of the map claims the N train makes a stop just after crossing the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City. According to the map, the “11th Street Cut” is the N train’s first stop in Queens after crossing over from the east side of Manhattan. Its iconic blue “M” puts it several blocks west of the Queensboro Plaza 7/N/Q stop and a block south of the Queensbridge F stop, not far from the neighborhood’s waterfront.
It looks like no one’s safe from the trendy, skinny jeans-wearing wrath of gentrification in New York City—not even Google.
This morning, The Village Voice picked up on a jaw-dropping Google Maps glitch that perfectly illustrates the effects of gentrification.
Hulu’s suitors are down to three: DirecTV wants all of it, AT&T is partnering with Chernin Entertainment for a bid, and Time Warner has offered to purchase a minority stake. A finalized sale is expected within the next few weeks. [AllThingsD]
Foxconn is reportedly staffing up its factories for the next-gen iPhone if you’re still looking for a summer job. [CNET]
“Apple App Store marks 5 years of app-ortunity” is a real headline today. [USA Today]
Google Maps for Android gets completely revamped today with a new user interface, infused with Zagat reviews and real-time traffic reports. [TechCrunch]
A Russian rocket only lasted 34 seconds until it exploded in the air because somebody installed some of its parts “upside down” so your Ikea furniture sounds pretty sturdy right now. [Ars Technica]
Google made no attempt to top last year’s I/O keynote, featuring skydivers. Instead, viewers were treated to a long, rambling meditation on progress from Google CEO Larry Page, who seemed none too keen on talking about Google Glass.
“Technology should do the hard work,” Mr. Page informed us all, “so that people can get on with doing the things that make them happiest in life.” He also suggested that, “being negative is not how we make progress.” Somehow we doubt that outlook inspires Mr. Page to let his underlings off lightly when they screw something up.
The closest thing to a skydiver was when Robert Scoble popped up at the front of the line for Q&A, announcing himself as “one of the first glassholes.” “Robert, I didn’t appreciate the shower picture,” Mr. Page replied.
But there were a few big announcements.
It’s the first day of spring, and the first day New York has truly seen the sun in what feels like weeks. And guess what? It’s also Macaron Day.
Hard on the heels of Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s jaunt to North Korea, the World’s Most Isolated Country™ is letting a bit of Internet breeze in. The AP reports that foreigners in the country will soon have access to 3G connections, meaning they’ll now be able to fact-check anything their government-assigned tour guides tell them. Be warned, however, that your surroundings are probably bugged six ways to Sunday.