Location Is Everywhere
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Pastmapper.com Is Google Maps For Time Travelers - Huffington Post

Pastmapper.com Is Google Maps For Time Travelers - Huffington Post | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The Next Web (blog)Pastmapper.com Is Google Maps For Time TravelersHuffington PostGoogle Maps is great, but it has one glaring problem: it only provides information for the present day. For the avid time traveler, it's essentially useless.
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Location Is Everywhere
Location is Everywhere, How is it Changing our Lives? It affects everything in our daily lives. How do we manage it to live, work and play smarter?
Curated by Luigi Cappel
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Trio of suspected thieves arrested after construction site burglaries

Trio of suspected thieves arrested after construction site burglaries | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Visalia police arrested three people suspected of burglarizing homes under construction.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This flies in the face of my argument that tracking devices will deter thieves as well as catch them. I guess I was half right. The sign says all appliances were secured with tracking devices, The three intelligentsia  ignored the sign and took heaters, stoves and microwaves. 

I was half right, The crooks stole the appliances, they did have tracking devices and they got caught. They are likely to pay consequences at many times the value of the items they stole and perhaps win tickets to the annual Darwin Awards Ball. I note Police did still have to obtain a search warrant to enter to seize the goods. This is important because people who rush in to a private property to recover their own goods, risk being charged themselves if they seek to recover their own goods illegally. Always go to the Police first.

At least it saves on investigation costs when crooks guide Police directly to them and patiently wait for them to arrive.  Maybe their mums should remind them while they said it was important for them to learn to read. 
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Towns cracking down on GPS app shortcuts - UPI.com

Towns cracking down on GPS app shortcuts - UPI.com | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Cities around the world are trying to find ways to limit how navigational apps route drivers through their communities.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I've blogged about Leonia NJ here before, where they are now levying $200 fines on people who rat run through their local streets to avoid traffic congestion.

As I wrote then, the challenge is big because when Google or other navigation services with real time traffic provide alternate routes for drivers who would otherwise be stationary, those that are not true car navigation systems don't have the data to understand road class.

When the true car navigation systems (versus routing) with quality maps look at a city, they understand the road class and when they create routes (unless the user has designated shortest distance, no main roads) they will start by seeking routes by road class, starting with freeways, then high volume arterial routes and the smaller residential streets would come last.

Google, certainly where I commute, just sees roads and if it sees one road congested and another, that might cut a km or more of traffic jam out of the trip, it will guide people onto it. I see it most days of the week. You can tell the people who are using Google or similar software as they suddenly dart off the arterial onto residential streets, only to cause more congestion when they need to return to the arterial in a queue longer than the number of vehicles that reside in those side streets. That's not the fault of Google, it's doing what it's designed to do, it just lacks the data to perhaps do the best job and doesn't allow for the behaviour of the indignant drivers when others jump the queue.

Often the consequence of that is the people that were patient and spent 20 minutes getting to where the rat runner got in 5 minutes don't want to let them back in. This means instead of a nice clean merge you get a testosterone filled dance of cars trying to merge and others closing the gap, a bit like trying to force up a broken zip that is out of alignment. Sometimes you fluke it, sometimes your trousers or jacket gets bunched up, sometimes the zip breaks.  

This then causes additional delays for both the people who sped through the shortcut and then face the Wrath of Car (That would be a good chapter title for my new book) from those who didn't. The adrenaline starts to surge through both sets of drivers, both frustrated and indignant, the risk of road rage ensues and at the very least has people arriving at work in exactly the wrong frame of mind. 

Instead of flowing like water, the traffic guided by these routing systems flows more like rubbish being sorted at the council recycle plant.

Of course once people have been educated by these apps to use these rat runs, they can't unlearn them, so as the year goes on and the population increases they don't unlearn them and the chain gets stronger.

In one of the chapters of my book Buying a House Using Real Estate Apps, Maps and Location Based Services https://www.amazon.com/Buying-House-Estate-Location-Services-ebook/dp/B00FMIB6LW I recommend that if you are serious about ahouse, go and check it out during the morning rush hour peak and again at night. Best is to pick a wet day or one of the busier days of the week, like a Tuesday. 

That will give you an idea of whether it is easy to get in and out of the driveway at both times. You should also explore how long it would take to drive, how frequent and accessible the public transport is, as well as any changes to growth of the area. Do not go by weekend traffic when you visit the property with an agent. If it's really bad and you still want it, you could visit the property with the agent and perhaps use that problem to reduce the price.

Four years ago I used to leave home at 07:30 and get to work around 08:00, a distance of about 12 km. Now if I leave at that time I would be very lucky to get there by 08:30 (theoretically my start time), that's an average of 12 km an hour and very expensive on gas because it is all stop, start.. 

Now I am leaving at 07:00 and getting to work around 07:30. There are thousands of new homes being developed in my area. There is no work in my area. What do you think that will do to my commute over the next few years? I might have to move. 


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GPS got tourists lost and stranded in N.S. highlands | CTV News

GPS got tourists lost and stranded in N.S. highlands | CTV News | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Police in Nova Scotia say two stranded tourists are safe after their GPS led them astray in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This sounds very similar to a story that happened to a couple of tourists in the South Island of New Zealand about 10 years ago. Their navigation was set to 'Shortest Route' and 'No Main Roads'.

That's not a good idea in many countries and they ended up on a mountainous road in winter that is only usually open in the middle of summer and is basically only suitable for people experienced on those sorts of roads who are well prepared with a 4 wheel drive and chains. 

The debate centered on the customer denying that they had changed the settings on the GPS unit which should have been fastest route, main roads only. Of course that doesn't sound very adventurous.I never found out why the gate was open to a road that should have been locked shut. I heard that the tourists may have opened it themselves.

The outcome was that Avis, the rental car company preset all their GPS navigation units to Default Factory Settings before each rental and explained to the customers not to change those settings or Avis would not be responsible for the consequences. That was a lesson well learned. Like Nova Scotia, many tourists don't understand the nature of some of the land in New Zealand. They don't understand the scale, the terrain, the dirt roads and when there is ice and snow, they don't know what is underneath it.

Imagine telling your nav you wanted to drive from Sydney to Perth in Australia by the shortest route and no main roads. You might be discovered in a year or two, with no petrol, no food and no water.

As to the nav. Don't mess with the settings. Leave it to Main Roads only and Fastest Route and you should always get to your destination safely as long as you focus on what you see through the windscreen and not on the little one except to confirm information that isn't clear, like turn right in 250m when there are several roads on the right.

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So Wired, How About Your Paywall? and How Taxing Uber and Lyft Could Fix City Traffic

So Wired, How About Your Paywall? and How Taxing Uber and Lyft Could Fix City Traffic | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
WIRED columnist Felix Salmon on how a traffic tax on ride-sharing services would be more effective than congestion pricing.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
As you know I curate a lot of stories as well as writing my own creative. A lot of people click on my stories and find great content when they want to go beyond my summation or point of view. A lot of publications like Wired still use a subscription model and paywall. 

I'm not sure whether this story is satire or serious and I've had my five free articles so I'm not going to be able to find out.I search the depth of media for my stories and I guess during that search this is the 6th time I've landed on Wired and perhaps the last because once I hit the paywall, even the 'Contact us' hyperlink didn't work. I guess that also means this is the last time I will be sending people to this excellent publication as an influencer.

If you haven't read 5 articles on Wired maybe you can share with me what the premise of the story is. Do roaming rideshare vehicles use more road than the 30% of cars looking for a park, or the people making one trip to and from work? I doubt it, but maybe I have missed something.

In fact in my little experience with Uber, the drivers have lived near to where they picked me up, they weren't hovering looking for business at all. They didn't have to. 

Do you still subscribe to publications? I use free applications for newspapers and they use smart advertising apps to try to feed me ads that are of direct interest to me, such that I will click on them and they will generate more money from advertising. I wonder if the brands who pay for advertising behind paywalls have noticed a reduction in paid traffic?

What do you think?
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Scooter Service Bird Raises $15 Million Amid Legal Spat With Santa Monica

Scooter Service Bird Raises $15 Million Amid Legal Spat With Santa Monica | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Former Uber and Lyft executive Travis VanderZanden intends to take his "last-mile" transportation service nationwide while trying to resolve a lawsuit filed by Bird's hometown in December over its popular electric scooters.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
A few days ago I parked my Corvette just down from a teenager who was busking. As I gave him the spare coins I carry in my car, I blew him away telling him that I used to busk when I was a teenager. He was genuinely blown away saying "No way! There's hope for me yet."

What I didn't tell him was that Police kicked me off Cathedral Square saying it was illegal to busk without a license and that I had to show up at the Police station within 24 hours with a license to avoid being charged.

So I went to the Council office and requested a Busker's License. They said there was no such thing, but they could sell me a Hawker's License which lets you sell shoelaces. I said yeah, but nah, I don't want to sell shoelaces. The clerk kindly wrote me a note on letterhead saying a license was not required for busking and back I went. I actually had a job and was just playing because I enjoyed it and people liked my music. I soon upgraded to a new band, but it was a fun story that was part of the legacy of Cathedral Square in Christchurch.

What's that got to do with Santa Monica and electric scooters? It seems like a similar game is being played. Apparently Bird, the company providing the 15 cents a mile electric scooters were told they needed to get a mobile vending license (allows you to sell taco's). Anyway it appears it was also a misunderstanding and whilst the locals don't like it, some of them must because so far 250,000 rids have been taken on Bird's 1,000 scooters.

I see a lot of people commuting on both manual and electric scooters. It makes good sense and the electric ones take up less space becasue you are not stepping.

The safety record is another story and that does need looking at. 


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Autonomous swarming electric pods: halfway between train and car?

Autonomous swarming electric pods: halfway between train and car? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
There are cars and trucks, and then there are trains and buses. While multi-seat vans and wagons can serve the purpose of buses carrying multiple unrelated people, a California company has come up with an entirely new concept. The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority announced yesterday it would test what maker Next Future Corporation calls the world'
Luigi Cappel's insight:
These are very cool, well I hope they are cool, if they are in Dubai. They will run for around 3 hours, but it doesn't say if that includes with air conditioning running.

The design is very cool and the platooning is a great way of maximising space and minimising energy use.

So many designers are staying with the same form factor as conventional cars, but given much of conventional design is built around redundant driving controls, engines and gearboxes that thinking is redundant.
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Vehicle of the future starts up

Vehicle of the future starts up | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Top car company takes intriguing leap into the future
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is what I was blogging about during CES. The concept of a blank canvas for the inside of a fully autonomous car so that it can become whatever anyone wants it to be. It could be a people mover, a delivery vehicle, a mobile pop-up shop or a MaaS mobile.

I  envisage a vehicle with many locked containers delivering parcels, where you can open the container destined for you with your mobile or even facial recognition. 

This smart philosophy by Toyota future proofs the concept car so that it can meet needs potentially not even considered yet.
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HOW TO 3 Tips to Help You Drive Safer with Waze

HOW TO 3 Tips to Help You Drive Safer with Waze | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Because it sources a majority of its vital data from actual drivers on the road, Waze is easily one of the best navigation apps to use if you prioritize safety. Benefits such as crowd-sourced traffic data, police trap locations, and road work avoidance, when combined, help you anticipate traffic conditions with unprecedented accuracy and make adjustments accordingly. It doesn't end there, either, as there are little things you can do while using Waze on your iPhone or Android to ensure that you and your loved ones get where to you're going in one piece. Because of this, we put together a
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Some great tips here on how to use Waze and minimise distraction. You can add one waypoint on the way to your destination, maybe a gas station or a coffee and rest stop. 

Just like OK Google, you can now go OK Waze and talk to the app.

You can also link Waze and Spotify if you don't mind the volume of your music going down when you get instructions.

As the article says, you can now download your route so that you won't use mobile data while getting navigation, but you then miss out on information about road closures, crashes and traffic jams which is sort of the point of using Waze right?
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Lisa Sicard's curator insight, February 11, 7:46 AM
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Opioids with GPS send robber brothers to prison

Opioids with GPS send robber brothers to prison | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
News, Local, Provincial, Canada, World, Sports, High School Sports, Local Hockey, Hockey, Basketball, Baseball, Football, Soccer, Lacrosse, Curling, Other Sports, Entertainment, Local, Movies, Music, Television, Celebrities, Life, Health, Food, Travel, Money, Opinion, Editorial, Letters, Column, Your Newspaper, Social medias, Events, UR, News, Sports, Life, Entertainment, Money, Opinion, Marketplace, Photos, Videos, Contests, Polls, Weather, Sitemap, Event Submission
Luigi Cappel's insight:
These recidivist criminals, one with 87 prior convictions, won't be seeing the streets again for a long time. They didn't even complete their getaway thanks to a GPS tracker hidden with the Fentanyl they robbed from a pharmacy.

As per my previous blog today, people are getting caught more quickly but the justice department still lacks the resources to quickly deal with the process. It took 12 months before they were able to be sentenced but only a few hours to catch them with sufficient evidence to take them off the streets. 

The good news is that they were caught red handed and quickly before they could do any further damage. I wonder what criminals will turn to if they find it impossible to get away with crimes like these. With so many priors, it doesn't seem that getting caught changes their behaviour when they get their freedom back.
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Our digital devices may be revealing more about us than we realize

Our digital devices may be revealing more about us than we realize | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Social media and digital devices, such as fitness trackers, that publicly share location data may be open people up to security and privacy risks.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
It's not just the good guys who know how to use location based data. In the UK they surveyed 50 burglars and 40 of them said that they used Facebook to identify when people they were watching were not at home so they could burgle their properties. 

Some years ago I blogged about how people were sharing not only when they weren't at home, but also showing off assets like jet skis, speed boats and other toys that they owned in public posts. There were stories that criminals were being directed by gang leaders in prison to steal items to order, with the security of knowing that the houses or properties were probably empty.

Have you ever thought that when you are looking at flights or accommodation that when you went back for a second look, the prices had gone up? Not that unlikely according to this article, in fact it quotes research that says the price for online purchased articles might be more expensive based on where you are browsing from.
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Man charged with Elmwood Park bank robbery after GPS tracker foils getaway

Man charged with Elmwood Park bank robbery after GPS tracker foils getaway | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Jeremiah Lewis walked into the U.S. Bank branch at 7312 W. Grand Ave. and handed a business card to a teller demanding money, the FBI said.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I love these stories. Hand me your money and a GPS tracker. Pretty hard to deny when he was on camera, they GPS tracked him and found the money on him. If more banks and retailers got smart with the use of GPS trackers it will become more difficult to robber and burglars to commit these crimes. Of course the question is, if more crimes are solved and convictions obtained, what do we do with the perpetrators, given prison populations are growing. 
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What Happened When We Tracked Porch Pirates Using GPS in Packages

What Happened When We Tracked Porch Pirates Using GPS in Packages | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
It's a frustrating crime that's happening more often than ever as packages are being snatched off porches, and most of the culprits are getting away scot-free.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This video is worth watching if you have ever had something stolen from your property. GPS trackers are planted in 3 packages containing small Fender guitar amplifiers and left on porches in New Jersey. 2 of the 3 are stolen, tracked and recovered.

Any working musician will likely have had instruments or gear stolen and will relate to this and of course this is a real problem for buyers and vendors of online goods, a massive growth market.

The challenge however as per one of my previous blogs is the rights of the Police to search and enter. In some countries like mine, it may be that law's need to be modified, because we have had situations where the GPS on a stolen phone has led people to the location, but is insufficient evidence for Police to request entry to the property allowing criminals to get away with it.

In the video, Police were part of a sting operation. I'm not sure if that gives them extra rights, or that Federal Law allows them to approach the location. I note that in the two cases shows on video, the occupants allowed Police to enter. The goods were recovered.

In many cases in the US where they have set up these stings they have recovered treasure troves of stolen goods as well as illegal drugs and firearms. 
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Mixed-use possibilities emerging for future CVs

Mixed-use possibilities emerging for future CVs | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Emerging concepts like "mobility as a service" ride-sharing-type transport and innovative last-mile logistics could complement each other, a new report finds.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I've just had a classic deja vu moment reading this article about mixed use of rideshare in Mobility as a Service (MaaS). I have vague memories when I was very young, of the bus dropping off groceries and other items to people's homes during the day when they weren't full of passengers.

People weren't in so much of a hurry back then, or if they were, tough, for example it was considered OK for the bus to go to the depot in the middle of a run to pick something up, drop it off, or fill up with diesel.

The last mile is definitely an opportunity and one which would encourage many more people to catch public transport, especially on wet and windy days and it would particularly target reduction of use of the vehicle we least want on the road, the one with only the driver in it. 

When it comes to low end freight, particularly small parcels from domestic properties, our postal service has upped its game in using Paxters, 4 wheeled motorised bikes that can carry a much bigger payload ( they don't deliver every day any more), I wonder at how it can be economic or profitable for people to continue to do this work when the freight cost is often more than the value of the goods they carry.

Doubling up the concept of a courier with a vehicle that can carry say up to 4 passengers and combine it with other items, so long as the journey and the wait is optimised could be a good way to maximise the resource. 

It does make me wonder what the vehicle of the future will look like, that does all these things without a driver. You then need to consider things like accessibility, not everyone can take a heavy item to or from a vehicle. Security (even from accidentally removing the wrong item) to ensure that if there are multiple deliveries for different locations,mobile apps and lock boxes or similar, will require authentication to access your delivery. 

A passenger vehicle without a driver will be able to take on many different guises, as would mixed mode and vehicles that do not carry passengers at all. As Richard Branson said "Business opportunities are like buses, there's always another one coming."
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Vodafone looks to make the skies safer from drones

Vodafone looks to make the skies safer from drones | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Vodafone is conducting a series of trials for air traffic control drone tracking, using 4G Internet of Things (IoT) technology to protect aircraft from catastrophic accidents or nefarious characters from flying waywardly.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is the sort of innovation that used to come from New Zealand when the telecommunications industry had Centres of Excellence in New Zealand. 

Clearly drones are growing in popularity as their capabilities capture the imagination of young and old, of kids and of businesses looking for cost effective solutions to everything from aerial photography to delivery of small parcels carrying everything from your latest purchase from Amazon to tonight's hot cooked meal as take out is replaced by drone. Drone will become an verb, like Google.

Now that our consumer electronics stores are upselling people to $1,500 drones, adding a SIM Card, a tiny GPS chip and antenna will mean that the aircraft can be almost as sophisticated (maybe stretching it a little) as military drones in foreign countries, controlled by (ex?)gamers in the US. 

Using a combination of Digital Topographic Maps and IoT transmitters it would be possibly to create geofences or exclusion zones to protect them from each other and from the many places where manned aircraft are flying.

It's not going to be long before they set limits on flight paths for commercial drones and in fact any drone over a certain size and range. The difference is that there is no pilot in an aircraft who risks his career and life (and of passengers) if things go wrong. Therefore the imperative to comply is not as compelling.

This technology from Vodafone make a lot of sense. It would add minimal cost to devices, especially if they are manufactured with the little black box as part of the design and build.

I worry about the invasion of hundreds of commercial mosquitoes flying over my home (the buzz of biting insects and flies is bad enough). I worry about the invasion of privacy (many have cameras).

I worry about their use by criminals as it is an easy way to sit in a van and scope the neighbourhood looking for places to rob, perhaps homes where windows are open but no cars are in sight.

I worry about drones running out of power and dropping out of the sky (especially where they are controlled from a long distance, at the very least out of line of sight of the pilot. I worry about them crashing into each other. I worry about the sort of people who might think it is funny to have them fly alongside aircraft or perhaps cars or trucks, showing off their skills, just as boy racers do, crashing on our roads.

The sooner we agree on and set some ground rules (that's a royal we, sooner or later this is going to affect all of us) the better. Drones aren't going anywhere. They are going everywhere!
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GPS tracker sings, leads Kennewick cops to stolen violin | Tri-City Herald

GPS tracker sings, leads Kennewick cops to stolen violin | Tri-City Herald | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Goodwill reports violin stolen from Kennewick store. Kennewick cops jump on the case.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Musos, you have nothing to lose but your precious instrument. I have written several blogs about technologies like GPS trackers, Tile and other products that can locate missing precious items. 

One of the things with instruments like guitars and violins is they become better instruments with age and good ones are very expensive. You become attached to certain instruments that you have played in. That means they can't just be replaced with a cheque from the insurance company.

Add to that some pretty high risk of theft. Every working musician has a story about a stolen instrument, often interesting ones about how they saw them again. I had a guitar stolen from my home during a party once. I had a suspicion about who stole it but I couldn't prove anything and he didn't have it. When I finally found someone playing it, I asked how they got it and the person I suspected had stolen it, had given it to the new owner within days of taking it from me. It still even had a couple of machine heads facing the wrong way which was a trademark of mine for a while.

When bands are packing up after a gig, it's not uncommon for opportunists or career criminals like at least one of the people in this story to grab an instrument or two or sometimes even the whole van.

Pawnshops are used to giving musos down on their luck a loan on their instruments so aren't necessarily suspicious. Online auction websites have hundreds of musical instruments for sale every day and it's all but impossible to tell with a used instrument if you were buying from the rightful owner.

So if you don't want to lose your precious instrument get yourself a tracker of some sort. GPS, Tile or something else. Do your homework though. They all have pro's and con's. 


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ZeroTraffic Uses Gamification to Reduce Recurrent Traffic Congestion –

ZeroTraffic Uses Gamification to Reduce Recurrent Traffic Congestion – | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
ZeroTraffic is a mobile traffic application to reduce recurrent traffic congestion by using gamification enforced by smart phones to get commuters to travel off peak. Investigations have shown that i
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I was thinking that there must be a carrot way to gamify motorists' behavior to encourage people to travel at different times or by different modes, rather than focusing on sticks like congestion taxes.

After all, gamification is working wonders in large fleets that monitor driver behavior through fleet management software,, where operators vie for the honor of being the best driver, which means things like reduced overspeeding, harsh braking, harsh cornering and so on.

In both cases the benefits are equally for the driver and vehicle owner as they are for the other road users. Less traffic at peak times provides a better, less stressful journey for people who can't modify their plans. For the fleet owners it means less accidents, reduced fuel and maintenance costs and less vehicles off the road for maintenance. 

For the community as a whole this produces an environment where people enjoy changing their behavior and will influence their peers to do the same. 
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Real-Time Data: The Importance of Immediacy in Today’s Digital Economy

Real-Time Data: The Importance of Immediacy in Today’s Digital Economy | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Today, we’re creating more data than the word has ever seen before. In fact, 90 percent of the world’s data has been created in the past two years. But more data doesn’t always mean more insight, which is why companies today need to analyze the data they’re collecting in order to draw value from it. At the same time,
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Real Time Data, in the case of my interest, travel information becomes incredibly important with the future advent of autonomous cars. 

In his excellent book 'Thinking, Fast and Slow', Daniel Kahneman describes how a human has a 3D spatial awareness second to none. We know, with next to know conscious thought, exactly what is around us. The shape of a room or space, the obstacles, the things, people, pets are all imprinted in our short term memory including those that are likely to move. We have a strong understanding of them. We discard things as we move and accept new data. 

The same applies if we are driving and paying attention to the road. We see the kids getting off a school bus, a woman walking her dog, a rubbish bin on its side that has been blown over by the wind during the night, as well as some branches on the road that were blown out of their trees. 

Whilst we see all those things, we are reacting and we may also be using navigation tools that include real time traffic information. I do. I remember when we launched the first in-car navigation systems at the motor show at Mystery Creek in Hamilton. The first Siemens VDO system cost around $6,000 by the time the car manufacturers has added their markups to the cost. 

People said to me "I don't need car navigation. I know where I'm going. I've been driving for years." Then I'd ask them if they ever drove in Auckland. The response was quite different. "I don't drive in Auckland, it's intimidating, they drive aggressively and close the gap if you're in the wrong lane and next thing you know you're miles away from where you want to be. I'll go for weddings and funerals, that's it...... Why a couple of week's ago...."

So think for a moment about Deep Learning. How can an autonomous car figure out that its windy. That the bin that's on its side has wheels and that it could well get picked up by a gust of wind and blown onto the road in front of the car. 

How will it recognise that the bus is a school bus and be prepared for a child to run out from in front of the bus. What if the dog got off it's lead? A human under one year of age typically knows what dogs and cats are and can recognise the difference. A computer needs to see thousands of pictures of dogs. The come in all shapes and sizes. Our family has three of them, one looks like a little sheep, another looks like a tiny pony. Their heads are totally different to each other. That's complex information for a computer.

Oh and then there's a pothole, a nasty one that has been made worse by a succession of earthmoving and earthmoving equipment trucks. It's full of water. The human understands but the car cameras can't detect the possibility that it could be deep or maybe even in ambient light, that it is not just a little surface water.. 

Deep Learning and other technologies are critical to the success of autonomous cars and they need to learn, just as humans did. It's interesting to hear about the power that tomorrows computers will have and they will be amazing. I have a watch more powerful than my first IBM PC, much more powerful. 

Possibly the missing link to me in this article is communications. The majority of obstacles that a human driver (who isn't on the phone, turning back to grab something, or in a complex conversation) would see and avoid, would be complex for car computers and sensors. If they can share with their databases that there are dangerous potholes, both for future reference for that vehicle and to share with others, via V2V or V2I communications (that is talking to each other or taking to the roading authority), that could make other vehicles' journeys safer.

But what if one vehicle only speaks Ford and another only speaks Volvo? And what if your car is a Toyota and only speaks Denso?

Where should the processing happen? It has to happen in the car because communications can fail. What if the data in the car is out of date? What if you have battery problems like I did in my car last week. A two year old, sealed battery was leaking and the acid was growing hairs on the earth cables to my 3 main car computers and all of a sudden all sorts of scary errors came up. Everything looked fine and the one error message that my car doesn't seem to produce is an HR earth error. The car became so confused that it thought its computers were faulty. 

Unlike the silly graphic in this story of a man reading a book behind the steering wheel, the autonomous car may not have a steering wheel or a backup system. The backup system when things start to go wrong is to slow down and park on the side of the road. 

I'm not being a Luddite. I've been in a Tesla with hands free and I loved it. I've been on a driverless train many times at Narita airport. I am looking forward to going for a 'drive' (is that an oxymoron?) in a fully autonomous car. I'm looking for the car computers to have exponentially more dendrites and almost unlimited synapse connections like my brain has and all of them communicating in the same language. 

I want the car to be able to tell a cat from a possum from a child on a winter's night in the pouring rain as I approach a roadworks sign saying there is a slip ahead which the real time traffic service should have warned it about with the exact GPS coordinates. I'm sure it's coming. I'm just not sure how soon.
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Getting around traffic bottlenecks to avoid idling

Getting around traffic bottlenecks to avoid idling | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
When trucks are in congested conditions or reach a bottleneck their efficiency decreases and their fuel consumption increases.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
In a not too distant past, one of my roles included account management and selling highly accurate map data to Fleet Management and car navigation companies. In addition to a highly accurate road centreline with accurate road class, speed restrictions, camber, inclinometer (great for getting the greatest range out of electric vehicles for both the climb and the regenerative braking) and we provided real time travel information. 

I frequently spoke with the FM companies about creating algorithms based on the Traveling Salesman Problem concept (which creates an optimised route for a sales, service or delivery vehicle making multiple stop) but incorporating real time traffic information and I still regret having been unable to convince any of my clients to implement this.

You see the typical route that such an algorithm creates, is often something of a circle (but perhaps with exceptions, such as, this particular job has to be done at 10AM). That is great when there is no traffic.

However when traffic is congested and many areas now have a midday 'interpeak' between the morning and evening commute (dare I call it rush hour any more?) this is likely to be entirely the wrong sequence of stops and I now hear stories from drivers that they can no longer do the same number of jobs in a day. 

One driver said that they used to commit to orders that were placed in the morning being delivered on the same afternoon. That option no longer exists. It's now the day following receipt of the order. 

The overheads don't reduce much, so this is profit straight off the top that is gone as well as a reduced level of service for the customer.

My insurance broker who visits his clients in person used to easily do 6 visits in a day. Now he can only commit to four. That's a huge reduction in service, but also means he has risks a significant drop in new business. 

Real Time Traffic is great for drivers who use it and have alternate routes they can take or choices as to when they travel. The information is available, although being real time, fleet managers or drivers would need cloud based or at least near real time algorithms that constantly look at each location for the day and generate a new sequence of visits, as the driver arrives at the next port of call.

It seems that the industry (there are exceptions) has absorbed the cost and the reduction in service, customer satisfaction and profit, despite the data actually being there. I know it is being used for line haul, but not so much in the cities there is a much more fatalistic approach and a different set of problems. I wonder if it is because the fleet owners and drivers don't know it's possible. 
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Programming drones to fly in the face of uncertainty

Programming drones to fly in the face of uncertainty | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
MIT CSAIL's NanoMap system enables drones to avoid obstacles at 20 mph by more deeply integrating sensing and control.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Did you see the drone display in the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics? https://www.wired.com/story/olympics-opening-ceremony-drone-show/ ? That should give you some confidence as to the capability of drones to coexist and operate in a complex environment. There were over 1,200 drones in that display.

Of course you wouldn't want hundreds of drones flying over your home and if they had to be sensing and intelligent, they would be very expensive for now, but that's all relative right. Computers less powerful than an entry level Android Smartphone used to cost tens of thousands of dollars.

I could be wrong, but I thought I saw one drone spiral out of the sky, but that was super impressive. 

If any organisation can make it happen, it's DARPA. Many initiatives of course come from the military and from space exploration.The military have controlled drones manually where the controller isn't in the same country as the drone itself.

It's complex though. The human brain's autonomous systems are incredibly complex. Just stop for a moment, make your vision go sof and think about where you are in space, what's around you in the room or area you are in. You have a phenomenally complex 3D spatial view of your surroundings without even thinking about it. That's what an autonomous drone would need to be able to compute including identifying living, inert and moving items whilst it travels at speed faster than a human can propel themselves. That's a big ask.
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You are being tracked. Deal with it.

You are being tracked. Deal with it. | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Your phone and computer have been doing it for years. Now Smart TVs too.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Your Smart TV knows what you are doing on it, not just the programs you are watching, but even what websites you are going to on your browser. I don't think anyone told us that before. Makes you wonder if you have a TV with a camera and Skype built into it.

Why do I say that? Within 24 hours of logging on to Google from my Smart TV my Google account got hacked. Using a tool like this https://www.iplocation.net/ I was able to locate the person or computer that had hacked my details to a small town in China. I was able to convince Google that I had not left New Zealand and got my account back. They say to get two-step verification, but my TV doesn't offer that.

I can't think of any other way they found my details besides hacking the firmware used in my Smart TV. It would probably have been a Trojan that automatically sends the information to hackers when the TV is first connected to the Internet.

As the article says, if you buy Smart devices like Home, Echo and the myriad other smart home devices, have a look at your privacy settings. I was looking at the Herald news on my iPhone yesterday and got a warning about local motorway closures in a pop up advertisement. They were specifically on my route home from work. Fantastic that they can do that and target it accurately. Very helpful, that's the good side of location based services.

In today's world more than ever we sacrifice privacy for convenience. I don't mind that as long as it is used to my benefit. Where I worry is about the security of the services, such that they can't be used by hackers or criminals. 

I am hearing more frequent stories about hacking of technology such as IP baby cameras and other devices used in the home. Imagine a gang of burglars being able to see AND HEAR what is happening in your home through your camera. At the very least this is a good argument for going with a reputable brand, but then my TV is a Panasonic. I no longer use those features on my TV. 


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21 Hospitals Adopt Prey Software for Mobile Device Fleets - Campus Safety

21 Hospitals Adopt Prey Software for Mobile Device Fleets - Campus Safety | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Twenty-one new hospital and healthcare customers have licensed Prey Anti-Theft software to track and secure their mobile devices.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Many years ago I was working with hospitals looking at security and the stories I heard about things going missing and the consequences would blow your mind. 

For example people would pinch power multi boxes out of operating theatres and surgeries would have to be postponed while they were replaced.

A big one for me was patient records. They were all in manilla folders and frequently misplaced as they traveled from clinic to clinic and ward to ward. 

My goal was to have them all accessible and managed on wireless computers. It was logical and possible to me when we launched Windows CE, but it took awhile for the industry to catch on. Somewhere in the archives you will find blogs from me with statistics on medical misadventure which was frequently the consequence of files being misplaced. Many people died.

It's great to know its happening now, just a shame it took so long as so many innovations do.
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Cops now Using Facial Recognition Glasses in China to Spot Criminals

Cops now Using Facial Recognition Glasses in China to Spot Criminals | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Chinese railway police are now using facial recognition glasses to catch suspected criminals at train stations in Zhengzhou. The eyewear, which noticeably resembles the original Google Glass, was unveiled last month and has already helped cops identify a number of suspected criminals.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This isn't Minority Report, it is Zhengzhou 2018. I did note in a previous blog that facial recognition seemed to be better at recognising white men than dark skinned women in NY. Perhaps in China they have improved on this. 

I expect that in countries like China they will speed up adoption of 3D cameras to be used when taking photos for their national database that are more capable of collecting facial imagery in the same way as the 3D imagery that becomes Digital Topographic Maps. Because they can.

The outcome of that will be the ability to identify people via low resolution cameras, or and high tech headsets that immediately focus on the key geometric parts of the face that help identify unique characteristics.

I feel fortunate to live in a democratic relatively benevolent and honest country, but I would be concerned for people who live in countries where you can be incarcerated for your beliefs or your ancestry. 

When it comes to genuine criminals, I suspect if cities like London and New York adopt these technologies, the rate of apprehension of criminals on the lam, people who have breached their parole or probation conditions and others will increase exponentially at a time when it appears that prisons are already bursting at the seams. 

The courts, the justice departments and corrections departments may not be able to cope at any point in the value chain. Whilst Science Fiction becomes fact we don't yet have penal colonies in space to send convicted felons. I'm curious as to whether these countries have considered the implications of the ability to exponentially solve more crimes, especially with the Internet of Things, which would allow them to also access retail and banking security cameras adding them into the sort of grid we are used to seeing on TV series that we considered to be unrealistic.. 
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Elephants get tracking devices in Gabon

Elephants get tracking devices in Gabon | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
In its bid to stop elephant poaching and ivory trafficking, Gabon has begun to use tracking devices on elephants.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Gabon has lost a quarter of its 60,000 elephants to poachers. I hope that soon we will be reading that they have caught poachers using these GPS trackers. A team of 5-7 men can only tag 1-2 elephants a day, so its a pretty big mission to be able to protect so many elephants, but so important that they do.
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North Korean athletes can’t take Olympic-edition Samsung phones home with them

North Korean athletes can’t take Olympic-edition Samsung phones home with them | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Winter Olympics attendees from North Korea and Iran won’t be getting Samsung Galaxy Note 8 phones due to United Nations sanctions, the event’s organizers said today, as reported by AFP.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
It seems like a harmless thing and a shame for the athletes that can't take away a souvenir gift, but sanctions are sanctions and I guess we have to be happy that on the Olympic stadium sports people can at least compete with each other despite the battles raging around them.

I always liked the concept of foes being able to lay down their weapons and compete at the Olympics in ancient Greece and then go back to war. It reminds me of the ANZAC's and Turks playing football with each other in Gallipoli and then going back to fighting. Of course I'd rather not have the wars in the first place. Sport is a much more civilised way IMHO to let off steam. 
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Brisbane commuters willing to jump on a bike to avoid congestion, survey finds

Brisbane commuters willing to jump on a bike to avoid congestion, survey finds | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A survey found Brisbanites were more likely than residents of other capital cities to jump on a bike to get to work.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Mapping company HERE Technologies, provider of free mobile GPS Nav as well as OEM car navigation systems found in many of our modern cars commissioned, this research to look at the impact of increased traffic congestion in Brisbane, a city growing in population by the hour. They are predicting an influx of another million people every 1-2 years!

There are some very interesting stats in this article and it appears, as humans do when faced with intolerable situations, the Brisbanites are trying everything. Walking, cycling, Public Transport, Uber and taxis. Mark Whitmore, Asia Pacific Head of Here says that Brisbanites love their cars and most will not be getting out of them soon. In fact they seem prepared to pay congestion tolls and increased parking costs for the convenience of the car. 

They drive the freeways, they clog the arterials, flowing, or perhaps glugging if that's a word, by whichever mode and route has space for another body. This is a story that is playing out in cities all over the world, with many much larger ones like Los Angeles and New York, pulling as Grace Jones sings, on the bumper.

The part that really caught my eye, other than the two thirds of people who have shifted their travel time or the mode, was the twenty percent who had asked for flexible working hours. The challenge is in areas like the South East where the morning spreads out for up to 4 hours. This and telecommuting are options that will develop as the pressure cooker build up heat, but it is something we really need to develop with some intensity. 

Recent evidential research I quoted in another blog suggested that people who have the quiet space and the technology to work from home, average 7% more productivity than those in the office, while some skeptics, (I always wonder if they are people who don't trust themselves) think they will be at home watching soap operas all day. 

As I have said many times before, with Unified Computing which has been around since 2009, staff, their teams and managers can be engaged anywhere, anytime, on pretty much any device. I like to call that A³. 

What if 20% of the workforce who have employment where they can work from home even just one day a week were given that opportunity? What problems could that solve? 
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