Baby I Can Drive Your Car

Lyft Is Launching in Queens and Brooklyn This Friday

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Starting this Friday evening, Lyft users will be able to request rides in Brooklyn and Queens, with further expansion to other New York boroughs in the potential mix.

“Now, residents and visitors looking to travel in between boroughs, get a ride to the closest subway station, or head out for a night on the town can easily request a safe and friendly ride,” Lyft said in a release. Read More

stand clear of the closing doors

Google Maps Eliminating Phantom Subway Stop

The mysterious and non-existent "N Street Cut."

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. Read More

Insurgents

Tech Insurgents 2012: Marleen Vogelaar

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The Manufacturing Maven

When 3D-printing startup Shapeways held a ribbon-cutting for its new “factory of the future” last month, more pols were in attendance than at a Hurricane Sandy press conference: Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Empire State Development Corporation President Ken Adams all made the trip to the cavernous building that will house 50 3D printers, churning out as many as 5 million products every year. Read More

Teach Me How to Startup

Beyond Silicon Alley: NYC Partners with Mashable, Tumblr to Get Neighborhood Businesses Online

Mayor Bloomberg.

Bright and early this morning, we hopped aboard an F train and ventured not into Midtown, home of Betabeat, but rather deeper into Queens. Our destination: The Queens Business Solutions Center, an unassuming government building located on Jamaica Avenue and surrounded by bargain stores. Waiting, freshly printed, on every single seat: An updated copy of the city’s digital roadmap, dated August 2012.

Mayor Bloomberg had shlepped out to discuss his plan to bring small businesses into the Internet Age. The means: the Small Business Toolkit, a program incorporating both in-person classes at business solutions centers across the five boroughs, and a new online library of how-to guides developed in cooperation with local tech companies Mashable, Tumblr, Google and Weebly to help neighborhood entrepreneurs figure out this whole Internet thing.

While startups in the Union Square vicinity focus on disruption, few have been addressing the many neighborhood business that aren’t even online, and don’t know how to get there. Perhaps the administration got the memo about that bodega tech gap? Read More

Moral Minority

That Massive ‘Jews Against the Internet’ Rally This Weekend Is Not Very Press-Friendly

Shhhh.

Update: Contrary to a previous source, there’s at least one man behind this rally with an email address. The man in charge of the not quite non-existent but ever-elusive press-passes, Eytan Kobre, told Betabeat in an email thatto my knowledge, all available press passes are spoken for.” If only it hadn’t taken three weeks, six phone numbers and a call to another newspaper to find him. Mr. Kobre said he would “check further and try to get back” to us but that’s the line we’ve been getting all along. Ichud HaKehillos may be online but organized, they are not.

Update: It turns out that the Five Towns Jewish Times will be at Citi Field on May 20th, at least. Now on our sixth phone number (“the mailbox is full. Goodbye”) Betabeat’s attendance looks more promising, if not yet a sure thing.

After three weeks of getting the run-around (“Uh, I don’t know, call this number”) it seems that the rally of “Jews against the Internet” at Citi Field on May 20 is looking to exclude reporters as well as women. We asked, not The Times? The Post? The Daily News? Nope.

In retrospect, we should have purchased tickets. The rally is organized by Ichud HaKehillos, an Orthodox Jewish organization aimed at educating the masses regarding responsible use of technology, and we realized gaining access would probably be a unique experience after the moratorium on vaginas.

But after taking our information down on three separate occasions and promising to get back to us, one of the organizers gave us a flat-out no. The last number we tried led us straight to a voicemail explaining that there are no more tickets available for buses to the event.

When we called asking for an email address, the man who answered said they didn’t have one because “we don’t have the Internet.” Read More

Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis Raise $1.5 M. for Massive ‘Jews Against the Internet’ Rally At Citi Field

Citi_Field_2011

Update: No women are permitted to attend the rally, so it looks like Ladybeat will be invading the bleachers in drag. 

By definition, the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community cleaves to the old ways over modern societal norms. Thus it finds itself even more at odds with the technological wave of apps and gadgets transforming American culture.

And the time has come, apparently, to make that opposition known.

The Jewish Press reports that a massive rally is being planned for Sunday, May 20th at Citi Field in Queens “to combat the evils of the Internet and the damages caused by advanced electronic devices.” Read More

Skynet Alert

The Baccarat Tables at the New Queens Casino Will Be Run By Robots

Hmm, robots must be in hiding.

 

There a few things that set Resorts World Casino, which opens its doors at 1 p.m. today, apart from its Las Vegas brethren. First of all: it’s in Queens, which means its New York City’s first casino. Secondly, it might technically be a “racino” since its connected to the Aqueduct racetrack in South Ozone Park. But what really distinguishes the joint–which features 5,000 gambling terminals, 6,500 parking spaces, Chinese dim sum, and the Asian dice game sic bo–is the robots. Read More

Modern Justice

To Catch an iPhone Thief on Camera, You May Have to Jailbreak Your Phone

iThief via The Daily News

Here’s a bit of freudenschade to distract distraught Apple acolytes. A tech-savvy Queens woman caught the man who stole her iPhone on camera by installing an app called iGotYa.

Unlike Apple’s free Find My iPhone software, which shows the approximate location of the device, iGotYa will take take a photo of whenever someone’s unsuccessfully trying to unlock your iPhone and email it to the owner. So, if you throw back a few too many, chances are you’ll wake to a self-portrait in your inbox. Read More