Summary of “The real reason New York City can’t make the trains run on time”

The subway opened in 1904, offering much higher speed: 15 mph on the local trains, 24 mph on the express trains.
Subways and regional trains around the world accelerate at 2.5 mph per second or even faster, but in New York acceleration is restricted to about 1 mph per second.
At the same time, Paris fully automated Metro Line 1, of about the same length as New York’s 7 train, for €100 million, or about $125 million, and is doing the same for Metro Line 4, about 7.5 miles long, for €150 million.
Unlike nearly every other subway system in the world, New York runs trains 24/7. Most systems perform maintenance at night, when the trains aren’t running.
Since New York’s trains are always running, they do maintenance during the day, shutting down one track at a time and imposing special slow orders on trains running adjacent to work zones.
The MTA has two metrics for punctuality: on-time performance at the end of each train run and wait assessment, measuring the gap between two successive trains.
Since subway riders do not look at schedules, even headways between trains matter more than the schedule, leading to a growing emphasis on WA. This measures adherence to the schedule, relative to the headway, even when the schedule does not have even headways, but the dispatchers still sometimes hold trains to smooth out delays.
Zak Accuardi, a senior analyst at the national think tank TransitCenter, proposed doing away with WA entirely and replacing it with a metric combining excess wait time and excess train travel time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “New Managers Should Focus on Helping Their Teams, Not Pleasing Their Bosses”

When I first became a manager – an unexpected promotion soon after taking a new job – I found myself feeling awkward about the fact that I had been elevated above my peers.
The irony for most newly appointed managers is that the skills and qualities that earned them the promotion are very different from those that will serve them well as a leader, and they’re often left to figure it out on their own, like I was – and not always successfully.
You can’t help but wonder how many of the managers at rapidly growing companies, such as Uber, had any management experience and training before they assumed positions of power.
Harvard Business School professor Francis Frei, who was recently recruited by Uber to help with the company’s leadership and sexual harassment scandals, points out that the instant conclusion might be that the transportation company has bad managers.
She told Marketplace, those managers haven’t been given the guidance they need.
“It turns out we have not been giving leadership training to our managers,” she observed.”So the managers haven’t been set up for success.
When I finally focused on being a real leader, instead of a nervous new manager, I started asking my colleagues how we could best get the work done rather than simply figuring it out by myself.
“You’ll probably be feeling pretty overwhelmed as a new manager,” Hill says.”You’ll need to make sure you take care of yourself emotionally too, so you can be available for other people.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Facebook is getting ready to test paid subscriptions with publications”

These options would seem to accommodate metered publications including Facebook skeptic The New York Times; and The Wall Street Journal and The Economist, which make a certain selection of articles free and put the rest behind a paywall.
One publisher said Facebook is leaning toward letting them be handled through the mobile web, which would eliminate a layer of complexity and the app stores’ cut and would let publishers have more control over pricing and data.
In the end, the question for publishers like the Times and Journal that have been cool on Instant Articles is whether there’s an advantage to Facebook’s proposal of letting them sell subs through Instant Articles instead of posting to Facebook the old-fashioned away and letting people subscribe by traveling to the publisher’s own site.
Facebook aims to test them with a small group of publishers at the end of the year and expand them to others in 2018.
The movement on subscription sales comes as Facebook has been trying harder to win over publishers that are getting increasingly frustrated over their lack of ability to monetize their content on the platform and are also getting in some cases what they feel is better treatment from other platform giants, Google and Apple News.
As part of its charm offensive, Facebook in January launched the Facebook Journalism Project, which has involved working with publishers to understand what they want to get from the app.
Publishers have been seeking ways to sell subscriptions since Facebook rolled out Instant Articles in 2015 and have been been clamoring for more ability to monetize their content on the platform through advertising as Google and Facebook have swallowed up more and more of the digital ad pie.
“We are in early talks with several news publishers about how we might better support subscription business models on Facebook,” Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships, said via a Facebook spokesperson.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Google is funding a new software project that will automate writing local news”

Google is awarding the Press Association, a large British news agency, $805,000 to build software to automate the writing of 30,000 local stories a month.
The Press Assocation received the funding in partnership with Urbs Media, an automation software startup specializing in combing through large open datasets.
Together, the Press Assocation and Urbs Media will work on a software project dubbed Radar, which stands for Reporters And Data And Robots.
Radar aims to automate local reporting with large public databases from government agencies or local law enforcement – basically roboticizing the work of reporters.
The Associated Press, a major U.S. news agency, started using automation software to generate stories about corporate financial quarterly earnings in 2014.
The Radar project, on the other hand, plans to cover issues of local importance, digging into government datasets to find stories that matter.
That kind of news judgement takes a deep understanding of social, political and local contexts, which humans are better suited to determine than software.
Still, Clifton says that this type of automated reporting can go a long way at a time of extreme financial pressures on media outlets, helping to cover important local stories – albeit with fewer people involved in the process.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Only Time You Are Actually Growing is When You’re Uncomfortable”

Breaking a habit, trying something new, taking a risk, making new connections, or putting yourself in a totally new situation won’t be easy, but it’s worth it.
Getting out of your comfort zone from time to time challenges your mental skills.
” Continuing to learn new things builds and maintains these connections.
Be open to new experiences that cause you to see the world and do things differently.
You can beat procrastination, start a new habit, learn a new language, make it through challenges and physically gruelling events, explore new things, speak on a stage, and even embrace the minimalist lifestyle.
The good news is, whatever you are feeling discomfort about, there is someone else out there, feeling exactly the same thing.
Your personal growth significantly depends on new challenges and activities.
Subscribe and get a free copy of my new eBook, “The Power of One Percent Better: Small Gains, Maximum Results”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to See What the Internet Knows About You”

Facebook, which probably knows you better than you know yourself, built its business around figuring you out.
Your general internet browsing? They are watching you.
Here’s How to Prepare: As mosquitoes begin to fill the air this summer, don’t be afraid.
Here are some tips for how to avoid the nagging insects – and what to do if one bites you.
How to Protect Yourself From Ransomware Attacks: Some tips from computer security experts.
How to Photograph Fireworks Like a Pro: Photographers whose work has appeared regularly in The New York Times offer some advice on how to nail the perfect shot.
How to Buy a Home: Buying a house can seem like a daunting process, but with careful research and determination, the keys to that dream home can be yours.
How to Conquer the Challenge of Long-Term Travel: From your budget to health insurance, here is advice before heading out on a long trip.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Naomi Klein: how power profits from disaster”

One of those moments arrived in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, as I watched hordes of private military contractors descend on the flooded city to find ways to profit from the disaster, even as thousands of the city’s residents, abandoned by their government, were treated like dangerous criminals just for trying to survive.
What’s new is the number of generals with lucrative ties to military contractors whom Trump has appointed to cabinet posts with the power to allocate funds – including those stemming from his plan to increase spending on the military, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security by more than $80bn in just one year.
New firms with tinted windows sprouted up like malevolent mushrooms around suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, and existing ones, such as Booz Allen Hamilton, expanded into brand new territories.
Before we delve into Pence’s role, what’s important to remember about Hurricane Katrina is that, though it is usually described as a “Natural disaster”, there was nothing natural about the way it affected the city of New Orleans.
On 13 September 2005 – just 15 days after the levees were breached, and with parts of New Orleans still under water – the RSC convened a fateful meeting at the offices of the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC. Under Pence’s leadership, the group came up with a list of “Pro-Free-Market Ideas for Responding to Hurricane Katrina and High Gas Prices” – 32 pseudo-relief policies in all, each one straight out of the disaster capitalism playbook.
Hurricane Katrina turned into a catastrophe in New Orleans because of a combination of extremely heavy weather – possibly linked to climate change – and weak and neglected public infrastructure.
New Orleans is the disaster capitalism blueprint – designed by the current vice-president and by the Heritage Foundation, the hard-right think tank to which Trump has outsourced much of his administration’s budgeting.
This is an edited extract from No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics by Naomi Klein, published by Allen Lane at £12.99.

The orginal article.

Summary of “There’s A Fight Brewing Between The NYPD And Silicon Valley’s Palantir”

A showdown over law enforcement information – and who controls it – is taking place between the New York Police Department and Palantir Technologies, the $20 billion Silicon Valley startup that for years has analyzed data for New York City’s cops, BuzzFeed News has learned.
Palantir has insisted to the NYPD that it is cooperating with the police department’s requests, while the NYPD maintains that it has still not received the information that it is owed, two people familiar with the matter said.
The Palantir spokesperson also sent BuzzFeed News a statement from David Cohen, a former NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence who currently receives a stipend from Palantir – and who left the NYPD at the end of 2013, before the department changed the way it purchases and manages technology contracts.
The statement said, “Palantir remains an instrumental system for NYPD and has played a key role in enabling NYPD to identify and prevent terrorist attacks.”
The NYPD has been a Palantir customer since at least 2012, and Palantir has touted the relationship to help it drum up other business.
The NYPD was paying Palantir $3.5 million a year as of 2015, according to an internal Palantir email that describes a contract to be signed in late 2014.
The NYPD then asked Palantir for the information in a translated format – asking Palantir to do the translation itself – according to the people.
Boyce saw Palantir as “a cool tool, but that’s about it,” a Palantir staffer told colleagues in 2015.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to consume news”

News makes people feel that something they had no idea about till 5 minutes ago is responsible for every single problem in the history of human affairs.
Let me help you consume news in a responsible fashion.
Waking up to the news is 100% guaranteed to put you in a bad mood.
Don’t confuse news with reactions to the news.
Amitabh Bachchan’s reaction to this news is not news.
There is almost no value in consuming the reactions that random people have to news.
The Reserve Bank of India governor’s reaction to inflation is news.
If you consume the news as a conscientious action of some social value, then I am afraid the vast majority of news you consume does not help towards that cause.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Andrew Cuomo broke the New York subway”

The New York City subway system, by far the largest and best public transit system in the United States, has reached a crisis level of dysfunction over the past few months, with serious congestion, delays, and a recent derailment in Harlem that injured 34 passengers.
In a delayed response, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a “State of emergency” on Thursday and ordered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to produce a reorganization plan to fix the problem.
As this New York Times analysis details, subway ridership has nearly doubled since 1990, as the city has begun to grow again – with much of that growth consisting of young people specifically seeking out the urban car-free lifestyle.
One recently completed minor subway expansion up New York’s Second Avenue was something like two to 20 times more expensive than similar European projects.
What the New York metropolitan area desperately needed was leadership with just a bit of vision back in about 2010 or so.
The bedrock reality of New York City is that it could not possibly exist without the immense person-hauling throughput of the subway – just witness the cataclysmic citywide traffic jam following Hurricane Sandy.
New York City itself only gets five seats – and even then they have to be confirmed by the New York Senate, where the governor holds the balance of power.
That’s just the kind of politician Cuomo is – an ultra-cynical lying snake who does things like help Republicans keep control of the state Senate, or lie about why Port Authority tolls are being raised, or get in a pissing match with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio out of pure spite.

The orginal article.