Who still uses pay phones anyway? New York City has announced a new plan to transform public pay phones into giant 311 touchscreens. The new iPad-like screens will provide information, emergency alerts, and local business deals, including coupons that can be downloaded to smartphones. In the event of a Hurricane Sandy–like disaster, the screens become distress devices that will allow citizens to call for help. Some of the screens are already active, and the city plans “a couple of installs per day” with the eventual goal of 250 screens throughout the five boroughs. And to deter potential vandals, a spokesman for the project said that the screens were “over-engineered for a reason” and that they can be easily sprayed clean.
Well that answers that.
In Lower Manhattan, even now, a lot of buildings on and around Wall Street have huge gasoline trucks parked out front, supplying fuel to generators, because the power hasn’t come back on. Many 30-floor residential buildings are still completely dark, and, while it seems like some of them opened on Monday, some of the local businesses still can’t re-open. November 2012
Perhaps you think that Twitter today is a really cool and powerful company. Well, it is. But that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have been much, much more. I believe an API-centric Twitter could have enabled an ecosystem far more powerful than what Facebook is today. Perhaps you think that the API-centric model would have never worked, and that if the ad guys wouldn’t have won, Twitter would not be alive today. Maybe. But is the service we think of as Twitter today really the Twitter from a few years ago living up to its full potential? Did all of the man-hours of brilliant engineers, product people and designers, and hundreds of millions of VC dollars really turn into, well, this?