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Monthly Archives: December 2012

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority just released a new app, MTA Subway Time, which provides accurate real-time information on subway arrivals for six of the numbered lines, including No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, plus the 42nd Street shuttle, covering 156 different stations in the city. Subway Time will allow commuters to plan trips down to the minute.

The app works with the countdown clocks that are linked to centralized computers, which have been installed in just seven of the city’s 24 lines.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the system’s age and the cost of upgrading has prevented it from being easily updated, though real-time coverage will roll out to other lines in the future. The first update will come in six to 12 months, when the L line is added.

The new app covers only about a third of the subway system, and agency officials acknowledged that it will likely take years of work and hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment before conveniences increasingly common elsewhere are standard in the Big Apple.

The rest, encompassing two-thirds of its total stations and roughly 60% of its daily ridership, continues to rely on signal technology dating to the middle of the 20th century or earlier. It will be years before those lines have signal systems that can generate the digital information that drives countdown clocks on platforms and apps on cellphones with live updates.

Other cities have been quicker to incorporate current technology into existing transit systems. California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit System, or BART, for example, has developed a web-based mobile app and in 2007, the city released open format transit data that third party developers were able to incorporate into their own apps.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the Chicago Transit Authority also provide information for third party developers.

New York Transit officials are hoping to inspire app developers to create third party apps as well, and a free live stream of arrival time data will be given to app developers.

Transit apps have become especially important with the release of iOS 6, because Apple Maps does not provide innate transit directions. Instead, the Maps program redirects users to download relevant routing apps like New York’s new Subway Time.

MTA Subway Time can currently be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

ThinkGeek has discounted the iCade Jr. Mini Arcade Cabinet for iPhone to only $9.99. That represents 80% off its normal price of $49.99.

The iCade Jr. was originally launched in January 2012 at CES. It represents a smaller iPhone/iPod Touch sized version of the original iPad-sized iCade. Like its big brother, the iCade Jr. connects to your iPhone or iPod Touch using Bluetooth. This model was originally designed to fit the iPhone 4/4S and 4th Generation iPod touch form factors, but is said to work with the iPhone 5 “if you leave the top lid hinged back”.

The controller has an arcade stick, four front and rear buttons and works with existing iCade-compatible games.

Bower SFD290 Digital Automatic Zoom Bounce Flash for Olympus E-5, E-30, E-3, Evolt E-420, E-620, Pen E-PL2 Digital SLR Cameras

  • Guide Number of 30m / 99ft
  • Full automatic operation with variable f/stop setting and full burst manual mode
  • Zoom, Bounce and Swivel Head
  • Economically powered by four AA-size batteries
  • Compatible with Olympus SLR cameras

The Bower SFD290 Digital Automatic Zoom Flash is an innovatively designed flash unit for both digital and traditional SLR cameras with a wide array of high-end features at an affordable price. This model — compatible with Olympus SLR cameras — features fully automatic operation and helps photographers fill shadows, add depth, avoid red-eye and improve image resolution.

New Motorola Holster For Motorola I710, I730 Swivel Clip Comfort Ergonomically Friendly Thumb Latch

Motorola iDEN (Nextel) Holsters are form-fitted to your phone. Holsters carry the phone in comfort, protects them from damage, and conveniently release for quick access. Nextel NNTN4682 Carry Holster with Swivel Clip.Phone Compatibility: i710, i730, i733, i736

Wall family portrait (museum of london)

Last week, the Museum of London announced that it discovered “the earliest known home recording to have been made on Christmas Day.” The phonograph recordings, from a “middle-class” family in North London, date back to 1902 and were found in wax cylinders belonging to their descendants. As museum Curator of Social and Working History Julia Hoffbrand notes, “it is extremely unusual for wax phonograph cylinders, containing retrievable recordings of this age, to survive.” The museum received the cylinders in 2008 as a donation, and recently digitized them. The recordings are said to be the oldest ever found of Christmas celebrations, and the museum has provided them for public listening on its website.

“A sense of warmth and life radiates…

mars desert project

Astronomer and science fiction writer Diane Turnshek is spending Christmas with a crew simulating a Martian environment in the desert north of Hanksville, Utah, as part of a Mars Society project. The crew members have been blogging about gathering rock specimens, monitoring the sky, and living in isolation. Today, Turnshek offers a Christmas dispatch via a friend, writer John Scalzi. “We’ll celebrate good tidings with beef stew, homemade bread, potato pancakes and a brownie dessert,” she writes. “And the day after, back to the grind of pedestrian [extra-vehicular explorations] on Mars.”

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