May 31, 2015 |
Scene: Tyler State Park in Newtown. A placid late-spring morning. Geese call. Birds trill in the understory. Toads grunt out throaty, muddy love calls. And Paul Bencivengo straps on Trevor the robot. Trevor is 48 pounds of cameras, hard drives, batteries, straps, and pads. Bencivengo hitches, gets comfy - and prepares to walk nine to 10 miles. Trevor, meantime, will be taking thousands of photos, 360 degrees, direct to hard disk. Those will go to Google, which, stitching the images into a GPS digital grid, will create a visual map of the park from the hiker's viewpoint.
May 15, 2015
THE PHILADELPHIA Parking Authority is a fountain of new ways to be obdurate. This is about three T's - technology, testimony and ticking off a PPA parking enforcement officer. The technology and testimony I can prove. Incurring the wrath of an officer is supposition, but let's go for a ride. Brian Carroll, 38, carpools daily to his job in Newark, Del., where he is an engineer for an electric company. In February he got a ticket in the mail for making a "prohibited stop" on Jan. 30 at 5:24 p.m. in the 300 block of Catharine Street in Queen Village.
November 16, 2014 |
October 17, 2014 |
ON THE BLOCK near 17th Street where the image of the fiery and flamboyant civil-rights lawyer Cecil B. Moore once looked down onto the avenue that bears his name, a new building has risen. Near where the colorful mural of Moore once spread across the wall of the now-demolished Adelaide's Variety Store, large banners now proclaim: "Luxury Student Apartments. " On this block near Temple University, each new boxy apartment building has six or more stark, gray electric meters facing the street at eye level.
September 27, 2014 |
Amid complaints from some community leaders and residents, Google has decided to stop using the name "Temple Town" on Google Maps to describe the North Philadelphia area around Temple University. In a statement issued late last week, a spokesman for Google Inc. said the company could not say how the name came to be on its Web application or how long it had been there, but added that it was "working on updating the map so that Temple Town no longer appears. " Community members had complained that the name "Temple Town" shifted the focus of the neighborhood to the university.
August 21, 2014 |
THE IMAGE OF a guy in baggy jeans appearing to buy drugs near a gated driveway in Camden is stuck in time forever, or until Goggle remaps Carman Street, with no way to know who the blurry-faced buyer was or where he went after getting high. But T.J., a former heroin addict who once copped dope at that fence almost daily, said he can see himself in that nameless stranger and knows that heroin likely drove the guy down a hard road to death, jail or, like himself, recovery. The 28-year-old Cherry Hill native, who now lives in Pennsylvania and works as a counselor's assistant at a treatment facility, said he was on Google Maps looking for directions and found that his route would take him through Camden.
June 15, 2014 |
In four years, the Internet will start to disappear. (Actually, it is already well on its way.) Cisco's authoritative annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) - the company's forecast of who's going to buy what for their networking needs in the future - says that by 2018, about half of everyone on the Internet will connect via laptops and desktops (they still make those?), while the other half will connect via mobile devices, tablets, wearable technology, and other "Internet of things" stuff, like dog collars, thermostats, TVs, and cars.
February 3, 2014 |
Could T-Mobile, the nation's fourth-largest wireless carrier, prove to be the most effective consumer advocate ever for America's cellphone users? That may have seemed like hype a year ago, when T-Mobile's colorful CEO, John Legere, first promised to ease customers' "pain points. " But true to his word, T-Mobile went on to target a set of chronic and costly irritants faced by wireless users - irritants its rivals had let fester, probably because customer pain equaled carrier gain.
December 30, 2013 |
REDONDO BEACH, Calif. - For me, 2013 was the year of travel: Florida, Alaska, Washington state, Illinois, and Nevada were a few of my stops, capped this past week by spending the holidays in Redondo Beach. I try to run when I travel because it's a great way to multitask: get in the miles while training for a race and seeing a new place at a slow enough speed that I can really look around. Here's how to run easier in a new-to-you place, safely. Map your run. If you know where you want to run - to, say, the Willis Tower and back while in Chicago - you can determine the distance in advance through the Google pedometer at mappedometer.com.
May 22, 2013 |
I WIPED OUT on a wet bridge, and I am seeing a galaxy of stars as I slide across the ground on my helmet. And still, as a sharp pain shoots down my hip, I decide this second attempt at biking to work is actually going much smoother than the first. A couple of weeks ago, in an ongoing effort to get to know Philly and to celebrate National Bike Month, I dusted off my mountain bike and hit the road. According to Google Maps, my estimated 11-mile commute from Chestnut Hill was supposed to take about an hour.