Location matters. Black Swan-author Nassim Nicholas Taleb finds "living in big cities invaluable because you increase the odds of serendipitous encounters – you gain exposure to the envelope of serendipity." That's particularly true for romance. People move to big cities not to advance their careers, party, escape, disappear, be a star, and so on. The chick-flick fan that I am, I remember very well that candid line from Sex and the City (the movie): "I came to New York City to fall in love." Exactly. "Anyone who's predicting the decline of big cities has … Read more
Three MIT students who were sued by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority over their research into subway card vulnerabilities are now working with the transit authority to improve the fare collection system.
The lawsuit against the students was dismissed after a judge lifted a gag order in August that prevented the students from discussing their work. The students had planned to present their research at the Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas on August 10, but canceled their presentation after a judge granted the MBTA's request for an injunction the day before.
"This is a great opportunity for … Read more
DIGITAL CITY RUNDOWN EPISODE 4
L Subway Line To Show Trains' Locations For the past year and a half, riders on the L train have had the unique advantage of knowing how long till the next train arrives. And in a few weeks, some of those riders will even know the exact location of every train along the line, thanks to … Read more
Much has been made of Beijing's decision to keep a lighter version of its Olympics traffic restrictions, not least because whatever the city did to clean the air seemed to have worked in August. But the renewed measures are weaker and the probable effect is unclear.
Alex Pasternack at Treehugger points out that the sustained restrictions, which took effect October 1, will be weaker than during the Games. Only one fifth of cars will be pulled from the road on weekdays, versus half under the Olympics rules.
According to The Beijinger (also via Alex), the city's other restrictions … Read more
After 12 solid hours in a coma-like sleep, Wilson has been miraculously cured of consumption. It's a good thing, too, as we discuss Bill Gates' Apple ad counterattack and Michael Moore's insatiable appetite for junk food and justice, all while dodging giant cheeseburger-eating mantises!
Dan the Mantern here. At a caller's suggestion, the guys led the show off with a discussion of the new Microsoft ad featuring Bill Gates, Jerry Seinfeld and a strip mall. Apparently the 'soft spent $250 million on this ad, $249 million of which went to Seinfeld for one day of shooting. If … Read more
Wilson can't make it to the show again because of his ongoing illness, so everyone send us a voice mail wishing our buddy well wishes and a speedy return back to The 404! Dan the Mantern takes time out of his busy schedule of doughnut runs and paper stapling to fill in and give us some laughs on this overcast Monday. We recap our weekend adventures, talk about the dangers of kidnapping a virtual lion, send our condolences to the hungry worker bees at Google, protect ourselves from exploding iPods, and perform reveal the first ever sushi DNA test!… Read more
This post was updated at 1:45 p.m. PDT with comment from MBTA General Manager Daniel Grabauskas.
BOSTON--The three Massachusetts Institute of Technology students who have been barred by a court order from discussing subway card vulnerabilities are now free to say what they want.
In a ruling certain to be cheered by computer researchers, a federal judge here Tuesday let the 10-day-old gag order expire. U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. refused to grant a preliminary injunction requested by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority that would have blocked the students from talking about their findings until … Read more
Still stunned by the tale of a man who called 911 to complain that Subway had left the sauce off his sandwich, I discover another telephony cacophony.
It surrounds robocalling.
Which, apparently, involves some clever and remarkably cost-effective technology that allows millions of calls, many featuring the (scripted, naturally) voices of the famous, to be made simultaneously on behalf of political candidates.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, activists are fighting to regulate political calls in a way similar to the Do Not Call Registry that came into effect five years ago to regulate America's (or, sometimes, Canada's) … Read more
On the show today: Wilson and Justin do karaoke, box office and various weekend exploits, unhappy subway customers get irate, convicted pedophile sues American Express, and men's tights are the new metrosexual trend!
Hope you guys had a great weekend! Wilson, Linda, A-Rod, and a few other friends got our karaoke on at a place in KoreaTown on Friday! We had a blast singing all the hits; Wilson's going to kill me for telling you guys this, but that fool totally sang "Two Become One!" Trust me, you haven't lived a complete life until you'… Read more
Preshow report: Jeff challenges my manhood, so I do what any Manchild would do and drop trou to prove my point (literally). Shortly after, I blacked out for a bit and it's unclear what happened next. Did Ustream see my Super Soaker and kill the stream? Did Wilson secretly stop the broadcast out of respect for our underage viewers? No one is 100 percent sure at this point-all we know is that the camera cut out for awhile. Thankfully, we resolved the technical issues and started the show on time plus 15 minutes.
Since I'm the only one … Read more