Now social media editors can finally afford to leave their desks and shower. The MTA is announcing later today that it’s rolling out cell and Wifi service to 30 additional subway stops, including Times Square, Columbus Circle, and Rockefeller Center. Prior to today, the only stations that offered the free service included the C & E platform at 23rd Street, two stops on the L line, and several platforms at the 14th Street station.
Crime and Punishment
Yesterday a video of a 56-year-old woman being brutally mugged in the F train station in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood went viral. The video shows a woman descending the stairs into the station before she is pushed up against a door and hit and kicked. The assailant then empties her purse, grabs some items and chases after her through the station. Though the crime occurred on March 9th, the NYPD released the video with the hopes that viewers would be able to help them ID the perp.
Good to know the MTA is putting the increased cost of our metro cards to good use: Fast Company reports that several stations are getting a high-tech new amenity. The agency has hired a design firm, Control Group, to design and install 90 touchscreen map kiosks across the subway system, starting later this year.
Just like with the subway pole, however, it’s a bring-your-own-Purel situation.
A billboard in the Union Square station is kind of like the Inception of Internet references, collecting every advertiser’s notion of what is cool/hip on the web and slapping it onto one delightful subway ad.
There have been several sightings of Googlers donning Project Glass in the wild, but it’s pretty rare to catch a glimpse of Google cofounder Sergey Brin just doing normal New York things. (Cofounders: they’re just like us!) Wearable computing enthusiast and hardware researcher Noah Zerkin had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mr. Brin on the downtown 3 train, and snapped a pic–perhaps so all his friends would believe him.
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.
Think of the Children
Ronald McDonald probably isn’t the first person who comes to mind when parents think “internet dangers,” but you probably don’t want your kids getting unsolicited emails about the glories of french fries, either.
Well, bad news: The New York Times reports that several advocacy organizations have filed a complaint with the FTC, alleging that Micky D’s and four other companies–Viacom, General Mills, Subway and Turner–are exploiting a legal loophole in their online marketing to kids.
In true corporate fashion, however, these companies aren’t doing anything so straightforward as simply asking for 9-year-olds’ email addresses. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in fact requires sites to get parents’ “verifiable consent” before they can collect the personal info of kids younger than 13.
A Brooklyn filmmaker named Dean Peterson noticed something curious about his subway station at 36th St. in Sunset Park. One of the steps near the top of the staircase appeared to be just slightly taller than the other stairs, but the difference is so miniscule that it’s not noticeably visible. In fact, Mr. Peterson only noticed it when he realized that everyone trips on the step. And of course, being a cinephile, he decided to film it.
The Vimeo video, entitled “New York City Subway Stairs,” hit the front page of Reddit this afternoon, and as of this writing had accrued over 2,000 upvotes.
The dog days of summer are upon us, but there’s a bright spot gleaming like Gatsby’s green light from the West side of Manhattan. Google Offers, which apparently still exists, has teamed up with Boingo to provide free Wifi in six subway stations this summer. Can you imagine the awesomeness of being able to check your email while waiting on a sticky, rat-ridden platform for the ever-elusive M train?
MEET. Ten dollars gets you into the NY Tech Meetup at NYU this evening. The meetup will take place at the Skirball Center For The Performing Arts at 566 LaGuardia Place where NYC startups will demo all the cool things they’re doing.
BestVendor, CartoDB, Everything Butt Art,Lenddo, MVF, MyMatchmaker, Scroll Kit, Paperlex and Umami will all be showing off their startup skills.
GIRL POWER. DailyWorth, an online resource for women in business with backing from the likes of Joanne Wilson is launching a new financial newsletter devoted to female entrepreneurs: CreateWorth. Lady entrepreneurs who sign up will recieve a “bi-weekly forum” detailing personal experiences from DailyWorth founder Amanda Steinberg, and encouragement and tips to “master business-building fundamentals.”
TECH RUSH. Reuters TV hits up ZocDoc, HiiDef and LivePerson in a new video for their tech show, Tech Tonic.