That battery technology—for the bug sized ones that fly around on their own forever—is ten years away, according to this Nat Geo piece. The bigger stuff? Here, now. This dude knows what’s up: “How does one begin to work out how a world like this will function, when every operational assumption about security and privacy risk management (and thus the intellectual foundation for all our human rights) collapses almost overnight?”
If you have an iphone and use Siri and speak in a way that she can understand you, you can now tell her to buy you movie tickets, and she will do that. MAGIC.
“The 21-year-old and his partner, 33-year-old former venture capitalist Deven Soni, recently kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise $15,000 for Sprayable Energy, which plans to sell topical caffeine spray. Yup—topical caffeine spray. Meaning you spray it not in your mouth but on your skin (ideally your neck, Yu says) as if it were perfume.”
So this is going to be a thing now.
There’s a strange, wonderful short story by Donald Barthelme about a balloon that appears one day on Fourteenth Street and grows, like a low-hanging blimp, until it covers a good deal of Manhattan. It becomes an object of widespread puzzlement and fascination. Children leap across its surface. Art critics analyze its colors. City officers conduct secret nighttime tests to better understand it.
For the past couple of weeks, Fort Greene has been living out its own strange version of “The Balloon.” On a handful of corners, seemingly overnight, bike racks have appeared. And not just any bike racks, but city bike racks. Or is it citibike racks? These, in any event, are the bike racks that we’ve been hearing about for months, the harbingers of New York’s new bike-sharing system—apparently called Citi Bike℠— that will, depending on your perspective, transform the city into either an Elysium of convenience and health or a corporate-sponsored hell-scape.
The bikes themselves, though, won’t arrive until late May. Which means that for a while here, we’re living with a kind of accidental urban art installation. There the racks sit—sometimes on sidewalks, sometimes in what were, just hours before, parking spaces—like rows of water fountains designed by Donald Judd. They have no present function except to irritate, to excite, to bewilder.
My neighbors and I stand peering at them, arms defensively crossed, asking each other, “Who’s going to ride all these things?” “How much will it cost?” “What about helmets?” “What about parking?” I have, in the weeks since the racks appeared, heard more public conversation about gentrification and urbanism than in all the years that I’ve lived in New York. Barthelme’s city-dwellers decorate their balloon with paper lanterns and obscene fliers; we adorn ours with anxiety and indignation.
An Equifax partner company called The Work Number has been compiling paystub-by-paystub salary histories, furnished by employers, for one-third of U.S. adults. Sometimes they sell that information to debt collectors. Sometimes they disclose it to landlords. Sometimes they give it to your new employer to confirm what you actually made at your previous employer. Sometimes they ask your permission first, which they are supposed to, but sometimes they don’t.