Arizona: Tech Hub Central?

Mar 29, 17 Arizona:  Tech Hub Central?

Posted by in Technology

There are many locations across America where technology start-ups and centers have been thriving. Locations that come to mind include San Francisco, Los Angeles, DC and Boston. One that doesn’t readily come to mind…but might soon…is Arizona. When ZocDoc executives wanted to find another location in America due to employee growth, it made sense to scout out a location on the West Coast to operate during local hours. Entrepreneur Cyrus Massoumi once said in an interview about ZocDoc operations that when they were looking to expand out West from their early New York offices, they “did an assessment of all the various markets that [they] could expand into that were Mountain and Pacific time zones and the Phoenix-Scottsdale area came out head-over-heels above everything else.” Since Massoumi had already spent time in Arizona and was impressed with its “vibrant and high-tech talent pool,” the move made sense.  He explained that “Arizona has a lot of great universities, it’s got great weather, and a lot of people want to be there. The people were happy and I could see that it was a growing community.” That was three years ago. Today, ZocDoc is thriving in Scottsdale. Others have seen the benefits of Arizona as well. The following observation was made in an article written by Conor Cawley in Tech Co. “Phoenix, Arizona is not messing around when it comes to their tech ecosystem. The numbers are undeniable and the weather isn’t too bad either. If you’re wondering why this desert city is able to compete with the big dogs when it comes to tech, it should be fairly obvious.” Chris Camacho, CEO and President of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council to Tech.Co., echoed this sentiment when he said “The Greater Phoenix market is not only attracting leading tech companies from the bay area, but is home to a new generation of tech with Arizona-based companies. There is a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region, and companies are able to access in-demand talent, thanks to the numerous area community colleges and universities.” This buzz around Arizona as a tech...

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NYC Subway Wired Two Years Ahead of Schedule

Jan 09, 17 NYC Subway Wired Two Years Ahead of Schedule

Posted by in All, Internet, Technology

Twenty-seventeen will be the year New Yorkers will remember as the year the NYC subway system got wired. As of January 9, practically all underground stations will have cell phone and Wi-Fi service. The mammoth project was rushed along by Governor Andrew Cuomo in early 2016, inspiring Transit Wireless and the MTA to really get things rolling. “By bringing Wi-Fi and cell service underground ahead of schedule, we are re-imagining our subway stations to meet the needs of the next generation,” Cuomo said in a press release. “This will better connect New Yorkers who are on-the-go and build on our vision to re imagine the country’s busiest transportation network for the future.” In order to shave two years off the projected time-line for the project, Transit Wireless spent “well over” $300 million to install the system and bring in cell coverage from all four carriers; AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Transit Wireless connected the first six underground stations in 2011 in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Now almost every single of the city’s 279 stations are connected, with the Clark Street station on the 2,3 line the last to connect. There are four stations under renovation which are not yet hooked up, but will come on-line immediately upon the completion of the renovations. Connecting underground was far from child’s play. During the installation, Transit Wireless installed: 120 miles of fiber optic cables to transport signals between stations and base station hotel data centers; 4,000 antenna connection points; and 5,000 Wi-Fi access...

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LinkNYC Hooking Up with Brooklyn

Nov 21, 16 LinkNYC Hooking Up with Brooklyn

Posted by in All, Technology

New York City has been transitioning to a city of free-WiFi, but somehow Brooklyn has been left behind. But not anymore. Brooklyn joined the world of superfast communication when two hot-spots were switched on. Both of them are in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, on Fulton Street, but do not fret; that is just the very beginning. Brooklynites should not fear that to get their free Wi-Fi they will have to travel to points far flung. The near future is poised to bring free Wi-Fi to nine more areas in the weeks ahead. Expect to see free internet access near LIU-Brooklyn and in Prospect Park. Staten Island is not being left behind, either. It already has its first kiosk, with many more on the horizon. All this connecting is made possible by LinkNYC, which offers more than just free internet access for phone calls. In addition to  free domestic phone calls there will be easy connections to 311 and 911. Plus, if your phone’s battery is running low (again!), just plug into the USB ports also available at the kiosks. Tablets will allow users to look up services in the city, and the kiosk itself will have on display public service announcements. LinkNYC does not allow free web browsing, which it did in its early days. But it does allow travelers and the homeless, and others without guaranteed internet phone service to stay connected in the greatest city on...

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Fluctuations in Air Travel

Sep 27, 16 Fluctuations in Air Travel

Posted by in All, Technology

Over the last ten years or so, airplane travel has changed significantly.  There are many reasons for this and the result of these changes has been both positive and negative for the passengers and airport industry workers. Given the events of 9/11, airport security has transformed in a way that makes it possibly unrecognizable from what it was pre-2001.  While that is good for air passengers’ peace of mind it leads to a few primary issues:  an increase in airfare price due to added government-run airport security (but with that a jump in employment opportunities); a potential escalation in delay for flights and more aggravated passengers. According to Elio Moti Sonnenfeld, today the air travel experience is much more relaxed than it was back in the 1960s when people would for example, actually dress up for getting on a plane.  “Now if anything, they dress down, wanting to be as comfortable as possible,” Sonnenfeld remarked. But at the same time, it is much easier to get a lower-priced, ‘no frills’ flight than it was 10 years ago.  When plane fares dropped initially it was just for local flights but now it seems airlines are popping up and are able to offer cheaper flights internationally (without the frills) as well. One such example is Spirit Airlines. A lot of travelers find the air experience much more comfortable than they did a few decades ago. Elio Moti Sonnenfeld also pointed out the benefits of the relatively new non-smoking rules, noting out “Some years ago, people were allowed to smoke on a plane, causing discomfort to the non-smokers.” In addition, the amount of passengers choosing air travel has increased substantially over the last few decades.  According to Marcelo Risi of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), while in 1950 there were 25 million traveled abroad, this figure shot up to 1.1billion in 2014. Consolidations and corporation mergers have led to an improvement in air travel according to Elio Moti Sonnenfeld. With the 2013 creation of the...

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DIVAS Developing App to Help Girls Cope with Life’s Intimate Questions

Feb 24, 14 DIVAS Developing App to Help Girls Cope with Life’s Intimate Questions

Posted by in All, Technology

The Digital Interactive Visual Arts and Sciences (DIVAS) for Social Justice organization works hard to teach youth in under-served neighborhoods how to use today’s technologies to promote social change. Their latest undertaking, under the DIVAS “Imaging Ourselves” program, is to create a mobile app which will answer the most personal and intimate questions girls have about themselves, their relationships, and the complex world around them. The app will be called “My Sister’s Keeper” and will allow users to ask many questions which girls would otherwise have no one to ask due to their intimate and soul-searching nature. Under development in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn by documentary photographer and multimedia developer Murray Cox, “My Sister’s Keeper” will feature videos of different girls asking questions, and then cutting to women giving videotaped answers. Under development since October, 2013, DIVAS held a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo to finance the app and hopes to release it to the general public in March to coincide with Womens’ History Month.   Youth members of DIVAS have been poring over questions that girls might ask themselves to choose the most critical ones for the app. They have been filming girls asking the questions and also the women who are giving loving, thoughtful answers to those questions which girls often ask themselves about body image, hair, and relationships. The following description of “My Sister’s Keeper” comes from the Indiegogo site where donations to help create the app can be sent: “The My Sister’s Keeper App will provide a platform for a global community of women and girls to receive loving affirmations about the questions young girls ask themselves growing up. Not everyone has a positive maternal confident to help answer their questions and DIVAS wants to help fill that void by creating a free mobile app where a young girl can ask a question about body image, relationships or just know someone loves them. The youth of the organization have been surveying their friends and providing the questions that all girls ask...

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Free Apple iPad Usage For Airport Patrons at LaGuardia and Beyond

Jul 18, 12 Free Apple iPad Usage For Airport Patrons at LaGuardia and Beyond

Posted by in Technology

After a one and a half year trial run, project planners have declared that the free use of Apple iPads for travelers at airports is a good idea. OTG Management, a company that manages restaurants and newsstands at a large number of key airports introduced free iPad use at LaGuardia Airport last winter, and now that they see that their idea is a good one, they are revving up to bring about 7,000 of these internet enabled devices into three additional major airports: JFK in New York; Minneapolis-St.Paul in Minnesota; and Pearson airport in Toronto. “People are very anxious about where they’re going, is their flight on time, where’s their flight leaving from, did the gate change,” says Albert Lee of OTG Management. “We’re putting all the tools in front of them so that they can reduce their gate anxiety. So from the iPad, you can order anything that’s available in the airport and have it delivered directly to your seat. You can have magazines delivered to you. You can have top-notch food delivered directly to your seat.” OTG even won a FAB Award (Best Food and Beverage related innovaton) for 2012 for this idea. Having the iPad right next to your gate makes purchasing so easy and convenient, there is no longer any excuse not to buy something while waiting for your flight. Travelers can check to see if their flight is ready to leave or they can check their email, play games, watch videos, or just about anything else that can be done on an iPad that is loaded with the right apps. OTG says they will constantly be adding new apps as they make deals for them. Travelers that are worried about leaving important account information and passwords behind when they run for their flight need not be concerned. As soon as the iPad is sent back to home, all personal information is wiped clean. “All you have to do is hit the home button, run for your flight and we’ve...

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