Esta semana se está celebrando laSXSW, la conferencia anual de tecnología que acaba de empezar en Austin. Con motivo del gran evento, 13 personas sin techo deambulan alrededor del centro de conferencias con camisetas blancas que dicen “yo soy _____, un punto de acceso 4G”. Cada uno lleva un dispositivo de conexión inalámbrica a internet y, por una donación de PayPal, proporcionará a los asistentes acceso a internet durante el tiempo que necesiten, según informaBuzzfeed.com.
Los diez hombres son parte de una campaña de publicidad que recibe el nombre de “Homeless Hotspots”, elaborada por la empresa de marketing BBH. Las críticas a la iniciativa no se han hecho esperar pero desde BBH, defienden su campaña y niegan que vean a las personas sin hogar como mero hardware… Seguir leyendo “De indigente a “punto” Wi-Fi: la publicidad lo hace todo posible”
There’s nothing worse for a bicyclist than finding yourself a mile in to a two-mile stretch of shoulder-less, busy, highway-speed traffic with no alternative route. Before today, this was a common occurrence if you went to trusty Google Maps to get bicycling directions, but starting today, that has all changed.
Before now, the only option to cyclists to get even remotely appropriate directions, was to use the walking option, but this would still ignore bike trails. Google has heard the pleas of cyclists and, from first look, we have to say that the feature is well implemented.
We gave it a test to see if it would put us on some of Austin‘s more bike unfriendly streets, but it managed to chose some good alternative routes and stick to the bike trails when it could. The directions got a little wonky when we threw it a few curve balls, but we expect this to happen with any mapping service, especially one still in beta. But, as we’ve learned, you can’t just go mindlessly follow directions, lest you end up in a lake.
The new feature also includes a “Bicycling Layer”, which shows bike paths and bike-friendly streets with or without lanes. Three different lanes appear in the layer.
- Dark green indicates a dedicated bike-only trail;
- Light green indicates a dedicated bike lane along a road;
- Dashed green indicates roads that are designated as preferred for bicycling, but without dedicated lanes
According to Google, it has also taken steps to avoid uphill and long downhill routes, busy roads and even busy intersections. Google says that it even takes hills and other factors into account when calculating your trip time. “Assuming typical values for mass and for wind resistance, we compute the effort you’ll require and the speed you’ll achieve while going uphill,” Google says in its Lat Long Blog.
Google worked with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to bring more than 12,000 miles of biking trails to its map, along with bike lanes and recommended streets for 150 cities across the country. Google makes sure to point out that the feature is still in beta, so feel free to tell Google the next time you find yourself on a crowded, shoulder-less highway because of Google Maps.
And for those of you headed to fair Austin this week, make sure to take a look at the new feature, because it includes all of Austin’s numerous bike trails and bike lanes. If you’ve never been to Austin for SXSW before, bicycling is the way to get around town and now you’ll know how to get there.
Thousands upon thousands of people will be in Austin, Texas next month for the South By Southwest Interactive festival – and several different services will be competing to show you where you can find your friends at the big event. Only one app, though, is focused on displaying your location down to the level of where you are sitting!
SitBy.Us is a web and mobile web application that lets you peruse the SXSW panel, keynote and party schedules, check in to rooms and locations, identify where in the big crowded rooms and parties you are sitting. Then it lets you see which of your friends from Twitter are there too and where. The service is a little unstable right now, but it looks like the kind of thing that’s going to get slammed in Austin.