Tech and the City

Touchscreen Guides Are Coming to 250 More Phone Booths Across NYC

(Photo: City 24x7)

A few months ago, City 24×7 teamed up with the city of New York to create touchscreen neighborhood directories in phone booths across the city. Today, in partnership with Cisco, the company announced that it’s rolling out the high tech public communications systems to 250 more phone booths across the New York area.

Each phone booth is outfitted with a 32-inch touchscreen device that offers directory information, city news and alerts, transportation schedules, restaurants and maps. City 24×7 has partnered with a host of companies to bring up-to-the minute info to each booth.

“You can get your real time train alerts, best New York restaurants through Zagat, green market information through Grow NYC, theater tickets through Theater Mania,” said Tom Touchet, City 24×7’s CEO. City 24×7 has also partnered with CityMaps for hyperlocal maps for each booth, and will provide services for those who are disabled and have difficulty using a standard pay phone. Read More


Today, Let’s Remember Everything Hurricane Sandy Just Taught Us About Social Media Misinformation


Parts of New York and New Jersey are still without power from the last major news event and yet here we are, in the throes of election day. And with cleanup efforts still ongoing, there’s really no excuse for anyone who forgets one of the lessons we just learned about the rapid speed at which misinformation courses through social media in general and Twitter in particular.

For the love of God, as you go about your day for the next several hours, please take almost everything you read on Twitter with a grain of salt. No, a barrel. Maybe an entire salt lick. Read More

Silicon Alley

Houston Not Threatened By New York’s Tech Growth, Nuh-Uh, No Way

Glamorous Houston. (Photo:

Apparently Boston wasn’t the only town a little put off by the AP’s flattering article about New York’s burgeoning tech scene. Take this response, which appeared earlier this week in the Houston Business Journal. Upon hearing about our fair city’s recent investments, the reporter couldn’t help wonder: “Does this mean Houston has more competition in terms of trying to be the next Silicon Valley?”

The Journal spoke to Brad Burke, the managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, who promptly attempted to set the minds of Houston’s techie citizens at rest: Read More

Yahoo for Yahoos

Everything We Need to Know About Marissa Mayer We Learned From Diaper Cake

Like so. (Photo:

Marissa Mayer has long been a familiar name in the tech world. But with her ascendence to the role of Yahoo CEO, she’s become one of the most visible people in business, period. That means it’s time for a flurry of profiles digging into every facet of her personality, from her geek bona fides to her there-is-no-such-thing-as-burnout work ethic.

Stepping up to the plate this week:  New York, with a long, thorough look  at whether Ms. Mayer–who’s long stayed a little aloof from the “women-in-tech” fray–can quote-unquote “have it all.” (Tl;dr answer: We’ll see!) Read More

silicon subway

Eternally Disaffected New Yorkers Unimpressed with Subway’s New ‘High-Tech’ Intercom System


Any self-respecting New Yorker can effortlessly call to mind a host of complaints about the subway system, that dingy portal between work and home that we grudgingly wade into day in and day out. While the train certainly gets you from points A to B faster and cheaper than a cab, rat-infested stations, painfully long wait times and people who decide to pee and then take a shower in the middle of the car can add up to a pretty unpleasant riding experience. Not to mention all those fare hikes.

Still, the MTA–an institution as beloved as ConEd or even Time Warner–is doing its best to make hurdling through that century-old series of tubes worth your $2.25. And for its next act, the MTA has begun to install “high-tech Help Point intercoms” in stations around the city. Read More


Booting Up: Be Smartphone Smart Edition

Serial numbers, plz. (Photo:

Apple is reportedly attempting to poach members of the Google Maps team. You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, steal ‘em. [TechCrunch]

The latest boat lifted by the rising tide of the New York tech boom: accounting firms. [Crain’s New York]

Apparently NYPD officers were stationed outside Apple’s Fifth Avenue flagship, asking new iPhone 5 owners to register their serial numbers in case of theft. [Yahoo]

Meanwhile, in New Zealand: A court has ordered an investigation into whether Kim Dotcom was the victim of “unlawful spying.” [BBC News]

Taxi Tech

Taxi TVs Will Soon Let You Know if Your Cab Driver is Scamming You

(Photo: Yellow Cab NYC)

Ever hop and a cab to get from A to B and feel like it ended up costing way more than it actually should have? Perhaps your driver is surreptitiously tacking on unfair charges to your bill, hoping you’re too stupid to notice. Luckily, that’s where the new taxi tvs come in.

Aside from running rah-rah programming about how many tech companies are hiring and that annoying On the Stoop show, some taxi TVs can now alert you to fare changes and additional charges your cabbie has added on. Read More

Internet Wants to Be Free

Wall Street Journal Blanketing Most of Manhattan with Free Wifi

(Photo: Shutterstock)

These days, newspapers will seemingly stop at nothing to boost their bottom line. Those Weekender ads are notoriously obnoxious, and we’re getting awfully tired of deleting the identification key at the end of a New York Times URL to get around the paywall. But the Wall Street Journal has finally devised a marketing scheme that we can get behind: instituting free wifi throughout our fine city (oh, and in San Francisco). Read More