I'm a char salesmen. I share things about; Programming, SysOps, Civil Rights, education, and things that make me happy. And robots.
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One leaked file, the location of 12 million smartphones

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A file leaked to The New York Times contained location traces of 12 million unique smartphones. Stuart A. Thompson and Charlie Warzel went digging:

The data set is large enough that it surely points to scandal and crime but our purpose wasn’t to dig up dirt. We wanted to document the risk of underregulated surveillance.

Watching dots move across a map sometimes revealed hints of faltering marriages, evidence of drug addiction, records of visits to psychological facilities.

Connecting a sanitized ping to an actual human in time and place could feel like reading someone else’s diary.

They also probably found the POTUS in the data.

Ugh.

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reconbot
3 days ago
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New York City
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Cosmic Thing

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3 days ago
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New York City
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happy 2020

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Hello world, happy new year!

Damn, did I really not write anything here in 2019?! It hasn’t always been easy to keep posting to all my social media outlets, but I assure you, Project Subway is still going! Here’s a quick recap of a few key things that happened in 2019…

Visible City

In July, I presented, along with Eddie Jabbour (Kick Design), George Kokkinidis (Design Language), and John Schettino (Penn Station Atlas) at the “Visible City” lecture at the AIA Center for Architecture. The content of my presentation was not very different from my previous presentations, but the panel discussion at the end was interesting. It’s always inspiring to see Project Subway into context with all these other transportation and graphic design related projects. If you missed it, check it out here:

Interesting perspective, taken from street level, through the double height space

Interesting perspective, taken from street level, through the double height space

New York Review of Architecture

In September, I worked with folks at the New York Review of Architecture (NYRA) on a drawing of the 9/11 memorial. It is a section cut through the memorial pool, the passage that leads you from the Oculus to Westfield mall through a bunch of shops, and the Freedom Tower, with Calatrava’s bird-like structure in the background.

The NYRA is a paper, black and white, two-sided one-pager that gets published and distributed every month by a group of young graduates who care about architecture and the urban environment. Subscribe or follow them on instagram.

nyra.png

Accessible Station Lab

Then, in September, Project Subway finally made it into an actual subway station! I worked with the MTA on the Accessible Station Lab at the Jay Street-MetroTech station in Brooklyn. It includes 3D diagrams mapping out all the accessible routes within the station, as well as alternative route diagrams at elevators, with information about what to do when an elevator is out of service. Be sure to go visit that station - there are many clever wayfinding apps and installations. And if you have any ideas, comments, or feedback, be sure to leave a note on the web form.

Overview at Accessible Station Lab

Overview at Accessible Station Lab

Accessible Pathway Diagram

Accessible Pathway Diagram

Alternative Route Diagram

Alternative Route Diagram

So these are the highlights of 2019. I have a few things in the works and I can’t wait to share. Stay tuned!

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reconbot
10 days ago
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The world’s most-beloved, money-losing business needs your help

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Dear friends,

First, and above all else: thank you. Thank you for being a part of our community. Thank you for caring about Flickr.

Two years ago, Flickr was losing tens of millions of dollars a year. Our company, SmugMug, stepped in to rescue it from being shut down and to save tens of billions of your precious photos from being erased.

Why? We’ve spent 17 years lovingly building our company into a thriving, family-owned and -operated business that cares deeply about photographers. SmugMug has always been the place for photographers to showcase their photography, and we’ve long admired how Flickr has been the community where they connect with each other. We couldn’t stand by and watch Flickr vanish.

So we took a big risk, stepped in, and saved Flickr. Together, we created the world’s largest photographer-focused community: a place where photographers can stand out and fit in.

And yet, Flickr—the world’s most-beloved, money-losing business—still needs your help.

We’ve been hard at work improving Flickr. We hired an excellent, large staff of Support Heroes who now deliver support with an average customer satisfaction rating of above 90%. We got rid of Yahoo’s login. We moved the platform and every photo to Amazon Web Services (AWS), the industry leader in cloud computing, and modernized its technology along the way. As a result, pages are already 20% faster and photos load 30% more quickly. Platform outages, including Pandas, are way down. Flickr continues to get faster and more stable, and important new features are being built once again.

Our work is never done, but we’ve made tremendous progress.

Now Flickr needs your help. It’s still losing money. Hundreds of thousands of you stepped up and joined Flickr Pro, for which we are eternally grateful. As a result, it’s losing a lot less money than it was. But it’s not yet making enough.

We need more Flickr Pro members if we want to keep the Flickr dream alive.

We didn’t buy Flickr because we thought it was a cash cow. Unlike platforms like Facebook, we also didn’t buy it to invade your privacy and sell your data. We bought it because we love photographers, we love photography, and we believe Flickr deserves not only to live on but thrive. We think the world agrees; and we think the Flickr community does, too. But we cannot continue to operate it at a loss as we’ve been doing.

Flickr is the world’s largest photographer-focused community. It’s the world’s best way to find great photography and connect with amazing photographers. Flickr hosts some of the world’s most iconic, most priceless photos, freely available to the entire world. This community is home to more than 100 million accounts and tens of billions of photos. It serves billions of photos every single day. It’s huge. It’s a priceless treasure for the whole world. And it costs money to operate. Lots of money.

Flickr is not a charity, and we’re not asking you for a donation. Flickr is the best value in photo sharing anywhere in the world. Flickr Pro members get ad-free browsing for themselves and their visitors, advanced stats, unlimited full-quality storage for all their photos, plus premium features and access to the world’s largest photographer-focused community for less than $5 per month.

You likely pay services such as Netflix and Spotify at least $9 per month. I love services like these, and I’m a happy paying customer, but they don’t keep your priceless photos safe and let you share them with the most important people in your world. Flickr does, and a Flickr Pro membership costs less than $1 per week.

Please, help us make Flickr thrive. Help us ensure it has a bright future. Every Flickr Pro subscription goes directly to keeping Flickr alive and creating great new experiences for photographers like you. We are building lots of great things for the Flickr community, but we need your help. We can do this together.

We’re launching our end-of-year Pro subscription campaign on Thursday, December 26. If you haven’t already joined Pro, I want to invite you to do so today for the same 25% discount. If you are already a Pro, I want to give you a coupon code to share with friends, family, or anyone who shares your love of photography and community so they can enjoy the same 25% discount before the campaign starts.

We’ve gone to great lengths to optimize Flickr for cost savings wherever possible, but the increasing cost of operating this enormous community and continuing to invest in its future will require a small price increase early in the new year, so this is truly the very best time for everyone to upgrade to a Pro membership.

If you value Flickr finally being independent, built for photographers and by photographers, we ask you to join us, and to share this offer with those who share your love of photography and community.

With gratitude,

Don MacAskill

Co-Founder, CEO & Chief Geek

SmugMug + FlickrUse and share coupon code 25in2019 to get 25% off Flickr Pro now.

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reconbot
14 days ago
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I don't know how I feel about this.
New York City
digdoug
26 days ago
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I subscribed, but out of obligation. They really need to sell people on making it seemless, and *better* than just your free cloud hosting from Apple and/or Google
Louisville, KY
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1 public comment
jepler
25 days ago
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I want something that lets me present albums with titles and descriptions better than google photos. I tried flickr for 20 minutes, but .. it's not the right choice for me. Still, you should give it a whirl if you're looking for the right photosharing service.
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm

Don’t Need

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reconbot
45 days ago
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I feel seen
New York City
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Versus Bracket

3 Comments and 8 Shares
Some works didn't make the cut; in "Ecks vs. Sever" vs. the passage of time, the latter seems to have won pretty decisively.
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reconbot
65 days ago
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In Predator vs Godzilla I'd put my money on Predator
New York City
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2 public comments
Fidtz
64 days ago
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"The Volcano" vs "The World" or "The Justice League" or "Marvel", depending on your view of various super powers.
alt_text_bot
65 days ago
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Some works didn't make the cut; in "Ecks vs. Sever" vs. the passage of time, the latter seems to have won pretty decisively.
silberbaer
65 days ago
Final four: Larry Flynt, Predator, Marvel, and Batman?
reconbot
65 days ago
Superman would realistically beat batman. I ended up with Predator vs Volcano vs Marvel vs Superman
lahosken
64 days ago
You might also like: https://twitter.com/xkcdbracket
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