Globalization swag via Alibaba

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I would love to get a pair of Bloomberg LP branded pants to match with an NPR "Animal Spirits" t-shirt. Both represent hands-on opportunities by reporters to understand the global supply chain by commissioning their own one-off apparel items.

September 17


Link: Update: MTA Cites Lack of "Infinite Change" in Current MetroCard Default Pricing. Forgets Credit Cards Exist.

http://iquantny.tumblr.com/post/97027810529/update-mta-cites-lack-of-infinite-change-in-current

iquantny:

In my six months writing on I Quant NY, three government agencies have responded to my posts.

The first was the NYC Department of Health (DOH), which respond to a post about possible grade inflation in restaurant inspection scores. Unfortunately, that response said almost nothing and we…

For people like me who get subway rides only sporadically, the Easy Pay xpress maximizes bonuses while eliminating the odd balances.

September 9


"Reddit is a failed state"

According to The Verge. However, they forget that Reddit is owned by Condé Nast, the same people who publish more civilized titles like Vogue, GQ and The New Yorker.

September 9 | Reddit


 

First download report from my SamKnows Whitebox. It keeps tabs on my RCN cable modem in NYC. The actual box is a TP-LINK TL-WR741ND 150Mbps Wireless N Router running SamKnows’ custom firmware. So far, it does not offer actual wireless service. It’s just supposed to plug into an extra port in my incumbent router.

First download report from my SamKnows Whitebox. It keeps tabs on my RCN cable modem in NYC. The actual box is a TP-LINK TL-WR741ND 150Mbps Wireless N Router running SamKnows’ custom firmware. So far, it does not offer actual wireless service. It’s just supposed to plug into an extra port in my incumbent router.

September 8 | SamKnows Whitebox RCN NYC


Link: The U.S. Digital Services Playbook

https://playbook.cio.gov/

Good ideas for any tech project. HT to Laurent Haug.

September 7


Pay-as-you-go #E-zpass and #metrocard best for light use in NYC

Most of the time that I get around NYC it’s on foot or by bike. It’s only for longer distances that I take the subway and quarterly that I need to rent a car. For sporadic use like mine, it’s easier to use pay-as-you go passes than monthly ones.

For my MetroCard, I’m a huge fan of the EasyPayExpress. It links your card to your credit card, so when your balance drops too low, it refills automatically, instead of when you’re watching a train pull away from the stop. It also includes the usual discount that comes with a refill.

For driving out of town, I used to rent an E-Z Pass from the car company or pay cash for tolls. With some advance planning, I finally got an E-Z Pass from the MTA that’s linked to my checking account. There are no monthly fees for holding it and it also includes the special MTA rates for bridges and tunnels.

September 4 | nyc e-z pass mta


 

I don’t have a dog, but am fascinated by this Sputnik-era doggie space suit for auction.

I don’t have a dog, but am fascinated by this Sputnik-era doggie space suit for auction.

September 3


How to export Facebook email addresses

Today I decided to do a little housekeeping of my address book and update my social media contacts within Gmail. LinkedIn makes it easy to export your contacts and go. Facebook? Not so much. But it can be done.

Facebook requires a more Rube Goldberg style approach. I needed to create a Yahoo account and grant it access to my Facebook address book. Once it imported the contacts, I could only export them as a print view, not a CSV. I pasted the print view into Excel and exported it from there to CSV. Finally, I imported the CSV in Word and used it to insert a comma between the contact name and email address.

After all that, I was able to import my the actual email addresses of my Facebook contacts into gmail.

August 26


A simple turing test for auto callers

This afternoon, while sitting in my childhood house with an actual land line, I got called by some robo system operated by questionable charity. When I asked if this is a real person it kept saying yes. So I asked it what day of the week it is. That confused it. It told me that it “didn’t want to give me the wrong information.” When I insisted that it answer my question. it flatly told me “no.”

Eventually, it relented and transferred me to its “manager.” I asked the manager what day of the week it was. She replied Thursday and thus passed my Turing Test.

July 31 | robocaller


The novelty of ratings and recommendation engines

In a review of college ranking systems, the Times hints why it’s so difficult to built a novel recommendation app whether it’s for colleges, restaurants or anything else:

"The mark of a good new college rankings system — or, at least, an interesting one — is a deft combination of familiarity and surprise. Publish a list of nothing but unknown colleges and you lose credibility. Simply replicate the U.S. News hierarchy and you haven’t done anything worthy of attention. "

July 28 | ux bigdata


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