Summary of “How Manhattan’s Streets Would Look as Valued Public Space”

In a “Tragedy of the commons,” as we find more ways to exploit the space on our streets for vehicles, the urban environment becomes degraded for everyone.
Our reimagining of the grid starts from the premise that how we use public rights of way no longer meets the city’s needs, so we should transform the streets radically, dedicating them to pedestrians.
We grouped blocks into larger neighborhoods and organized streets into two types: thoroughfares and local streets.
Major cross streets, beginning at 14th Street and continuing north, would be converted to thoroughfares, with additional conversions at 18th, 29th, 38th, 47th, and 52nd Streets.
These local streets could be treated quite differently than at present: Traffic lights within each neighborhood could be eliminated altogether, save for the outer edges bordering the thoroughfares.
When streets are valued as public space, the storage of large vehicles is not the best use of a limited resource.
On wider streets, the bike lanes would be 10 feet wide, providing space for two-directional traffic; on narrower streets, lanes would be 5 feet wide, designed for one-way traffic.
Reclaimed street space could also host charging stations, deliveries, or taxi and ride-share pick-ups and drop-offs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Electric scooters: why Bird, Lime, Skip, and Spin are taking over cities”

What are scooters, and where did they come from? The electric scooters we’re talking about here are pretty simple.
The key innovation with the latest batch of scooters is the rental business model: Download the app on your smartphone for a scooter company – Bird, Lime, Skip, or Spin – and use the map to find a nearby scooter.
Bird scooters return to their “Nest.” Lime scooters are charged by “Juicers.”
Charging one nets a juicer between $9 and $12, depending on how low the battery is, so a juicer’s take is a function of how many scooters she picks up and how much power those scooters need.
Given how new scooters are, there’s no consistent etiquette for riding an electric scooter, and so pedestrians, drivers, and cyclist can’t necessarily anticipate what a scooter will do in an intersection, which can lead to conflicts.
What’s the best place to ride a scooter: sidewalk, bike lane, or street? Most city ordinances say that electric scooters shouldn’t be ridden on sidewalks.
While cities are working to limit the number of scooters permitted, few have even thought about capping the number of cars.
Roadways, law enforcement, pollution, and lost lives all add up to a huge social cost from driving, one that completely dwarfs anything electric scooters can muster.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of “jaywalking””

A hundred years ago, if you were a pedestrian, crossing the street was simple: You walked across it.
It’s actually the result of an aggressive, forgotten 1920s campaign led by auto groups and manufacturers that redefined who owned the city streets.
“Pedestrians were walking in the streets anywhere they wanted, whenever they wanted, usually without looking,” Norton says.
During the 1910s there were few crosswalks painted on the street, and they were generally ignored by pedestrians.
In response, automakers, dealers, and enthusiast groups worked to legally redefine the street – so that pedestrians, rather than cars, would be restricted.
Due to their influence, the product of those meetings – the 1928 Model Municipal Traffic Ordinance – was largely based off traffic law in Los Angeles, which had enacted strict pedestrian controls in 1925.
In getting pedestrians to follow traffic laws, “The ridicule of their fellow citizens is far more effective than any other means which might be adopted,” said E.B. Lefferts, the head of the Automobile Club of Southern California in the 1920s.
Ultimately, both the word jaywalking and the concept that pedestrians shouldn’t walk freely on streets became so deeply entrenched that few people know this history.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A day in the life of a Waymo self-driving taxi”

For over a year, Waymo has been offering trips to the 400-plus members of its Early Rider program who use Waymo’s ride-hailing app to summon the minivans for free trips to school, the mall, the gym, or elsewhere within its suburban Phoenix service area.
At the outset, the company plans on offering fully autonomous rides with a Waymo employee in the car only as a chaperone.
A day in the life of one of Waymo’s self-driving minivans typically starts around 5AM. That’s when the first “Pre-flight check” begins.
If the vehicle encounters a complex driving scenario that it struggles to interpret, it automatically calls in the problem to the response team to weigh in with a solution, which is then shared with the rest of the fleet so Waymo’s vehicles can avoid the area if necessary.
As the cars racked up the miles – Waymo says its vehicles have traveled 8 million miles on public roads – Gaffney said they became more sure of themselves.
Waymo hasn’t dramatically altered Gaffney’s life.
Krafcik has said that Waymo is also in discussions with “More than 50 percent” of the global auto industry, and the introduction of self-driving cars for personal use will trail its ride-hailing service by “a couple years.”
How can Waymo create a service that’s as convenient, or more so, than Uber or Lyft? Flooding the zone with cars is one solution, but that may draw the ire from those residents who think more cars – human- and robot-powered alike – are no solution at all.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bill Gates Noticed a Economy Trend No One Is Paying Attention To”

Forty years ago, Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft and kick-started a new era where software and the internet overpower machines.
Thanks to the exponential growth of Microsoft, Gates was the wealthiest man on Earth for two decades.
Now, four years into a retirement life painstakingly dedicated to reading and philanthropy, Gates has come to a realization-economists need to rewrite theory to explain the world that he helped create.
In a blog post published on Tuesday, Gates posted a graph showing the basic relationship between supply and demand that he first encountered in an introductory economics course in college.
“Imagine Ford releasing a new model of car. The first car costs a bit more to create, because you have to spend money designing and testing it. But each vehicle after that requires a certain amount of materials and labor. The tenth car you build costs the same to make as the 1000th car. The same is true for the other things that dominated the world’s economy for most of the 20th century, including agricultural products and property.”
“Microsoft might spend a lot of money to develop the first unit of a new program, but every unit after that is virtually free to produce. Unlike the goods that powered our economy in the past, software is an intangible asset. And software isn’t the only example: data, insurance, e-books, even movies work in similar ways,” Gates wrote.
Described by Gates as “a textbook without a lot of commentary,” the book explains the important differences between a society dominated by tangible assets and one governed by intangible businesses.
“None of these traits are inherently good or bad. They’re just different from the way manufactured goods work,” Gates concluded.

The orginal article.

Summary of “From Tuskegee Airman to Racing Godfather, Jim Barbour Is the Living Legend You Don’t Know About”

To a man like Jim Barbour who’s dedicated so much of his life to cars and racing and the community surrounding those things, it is an important question.
Jim says, “I had no problems at all. I just did what everybody else did.” Given the era, and that the racing world was just predominantly white, I tell him that, honestly, I’m surprised.
Even in his time as a high-school kid, drag racing with his buddies in Dayton, Jim was interested in doing more than merely participating in races.
“They interviewed me for quite a while. And then I went out of the room, and they had a big talk I guess, and they decided I was the right guy. So I became the chief steward for the Ferrari Challenge.” Jim explains, referring to the now-global series of racing events sponsored by Pirelli, in which dealers and private owners race identical models of Ferraris.
He and his first wife Gloria moved to Rome, NY. Jim was still working as a civilian employee of the government, finding much success evaluating computers and awarding military contracts to companies such as UNIVAC and IBM. On the drag strip, Jim knew success, too, especially with his hot-rodded six-cylinder 1952 Chevy that he had customized with Cadillac fins and even a Cadillac emblem.
They arrived at the hospital where Jim was still wearing his brand-new Nomex racing suit.
After the doctor remarked about Jim appearing physically fit, Jim cracked a few jokes about how kept in shape lifting cigarettes to his lips.
Still, Jim takes his designation as a Documented Original Tuskegee Airman very seriously.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The man who invented the self-driving car – POLITICO”

Tesla and Uber got into the self-driving car business, a team of German engineers led by a scientist named Ernst Dickmanns had developed a car that could navigate French commuter traffic on its own.
Before becoming the man “Who actually invented self-driving cars”, as Berkeley computer scientist Jitendra Malik put it, Dickmanns spent the first decade of his professional life analyzing the trajectories space ships take when they reenter the Earth’s atmosphere.
An engineer remained in the front seat of each car – with his hands on the steering wheel in case something went wrong – but the cars were doing the driving.
A year later, Dickmanns’ team took a re-engineered car on an even longer trip, traveling for more than 1,700 kilometers on the autobahn from Bavaria to Denmark, reaching speeds of more than 175 kilometers per hour.
Dickmanns’ work on autonomous driving began during the first winter and ended after a second one hit the field.
To drive autonomously, a car needs to react to its surroundings, and to do that, Dickmanns calculated that computers would need to analyze at least 10 images per second.
Dickmanns thought, a car should focus only on what’s relevant for driving, such as road markings.
Driving on a highway, it turns out, is one of the easier tasks a self-driving car can perform.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the Car Keeps Americans Apart”

Car dependence encompasses both liberals and conservatives: 73 percent of independents, 86 percent of Republicans, and more than three-quarters of Democrats say that they depend on their cars to get to work.
The key is not individuals’ car use, but the way we sort into communities based on our reliance on cars.
America’s geography of car dependence also reflects differences in the kinds of work we do.
Car dependence is a feature of working-class metros, while metros with higher concentrations of knowledge workers and the creative class have much higher shares of people who use transit or walk or bike to work.
Car dependence is negatively associated with the size and density of metros.
Nall’s work shows how road infrastructure that has promoted car use-and in particular America’s massive investment in the federal interstate highway system-played a profound role.
Nall has written that “Democrats and Republicans have adopted increasingly different positions on spatial policy issues such as transit and highways. Transportation infrastructure has been a necessary condition of large-scale suburban growth and partisan change, facilitating migration into rural areas that were previously unoccupied and inaccessible to metropolitan commuters and workers.” In other words, the car and the infrastructure that enables it had a huge influence on the disparities that vex us today.
According to detailed research by political scientist Zack Taylor, commuting to work by car and living in the suburbs were among the strongest factors in electoral support for Rob Ford.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Story Behind Why Soccer Players Sit In Race Car Seats”

While watching the FIFA World Cup a few weeks ago, my boss noticed players sitting in race car seats, and ordered me to figure out why.
So I reached out to one of the biggest race car seat manufacturers, Recaro.
While I’m not sure who makes the exact seats coddling the butts of soccer players at this year’s World Cup, I did learn about how heavily-bolstered sports car seats wound up on the sidelines of a football pitch in the first place.
“The story about the car seats at the sidelines goes back to the 1990s,” Tilman Schaefer, a company representative told me via email.
He went on, saying the owner of Recaro at the time, Ulrich Putsch, was on the board of the German soccer team F.C. Kaiserslautern, and apparently gave the team’s manager Kalli Feldkamp a sports car seat because “The guy had back problems.”
It wasn’t long before, in 1994 according to the company’s website, the rest of the team wound up sitting on a “Custom-tailored players bench,” with Schaefer saying: “They put the seat right next to the bench. Because the players thought the seat to be just gorgeous Ulrich had a complete bench produced for the home team” as a part of a sponsorship deal.
Today, according to Recaro, over 70 top soccer teams-including Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Debreceni Vasutas SC and Ferencváros Budapest-sit on Recaro bucket seats.
As for the reasons why, Recaro’s spokesperson put it simply: “[The] seats are very comfortable and often supplied with a seat heating for the winter.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Cybertheft protection: Wrap your car key fob in foil”

To protect a car from theft during the day, wrap the fob in aluminum foil.
Thing is, the car is always waiting for the fob signal.
“You know it works if you can’t unlock a car door when the fob is inside,” said Moshe Shlisel, CEO of GuardKnox Cyber Technologies and a veteran of the Israeli Air Force who helped develop cyber protection for fighter jets and missile defense systems.
Moshe Shlisel, CEO of GuardKnox Cyber Technologies, shows how he wraps his car fob in foil.
Canned key fobHe held up his fob and said, “This should be something we don’t need to wrap with foil. It’s 2018. Car companies need to find a way so no one can replicate the messages and the communication between the key and the vehicle.”
At home, Shlisel puts his key fob in a can with foil around it to add another layer.
“You go up to a house with a car parked in front of it, detect a fob 10 feet away in a bedroom and it allows the car to be unlocked. As these devices become more available, this scenario becomes more and more likely.”
Jay Beckerman doesn’t want to wrap his key fob in aluminum foil before leaving home, but he says he is learning that maybe it’s a good idea.

The orginal article.