GeekNights Monday - Why aren't there good Monday shows?

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider the reason why we have such trouble coming up with good Monday show ideas. We almost do a show about printers and printing along the way.

In the news, Rym runs fast enough to stave off the inexorable advance of age another year, Carnegie Hall doesn't have modern ticketing technology, chip-enabled credit cards in the US are about as effective as the goggles, often compromised from simple POS malware, a foldable phone appears, bikes are faster than cars, and we'll be live at PAX Unplugged!

If you want to join Rym and Scott Enforcing at PAX East, applications are open!

Things of the Day

Episode Links

For those of us less vigilant news readers, I would be 100% satisfied with a fortnightly tech news roundup.

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I think long before self driving cars are the new big thing in technology, personal electric powered transportation options are going to revolutionise city transit.

I’m talking those scooter ride-sharing services, but also electric skateboards, electric bikes, electric mopeds, non-exploding hoverboards, segways, golf caft-sized buggies, and all that kind of thing.

If cities give over some space to these things on the streets, so it isn’t just “walking or riving or GTFO”, then the technology and business models are already good to go.

Submitted as a Monday topic idea.


I want that phone, or one like it. Not for $1800 but when it gets good I’ll be able to fulfill my dream of a 7-8" tablet in my pocket as a main phone. Also I saw that burner pen thing advertised as a regular product on a break room TV and it’s terrifying as a regular product, I can’t imagine the horrors of a crappy Chinese bootleg.

Re: no drones in NYC is just another thing to add to the list of reasons I’d rather suck start a pistol than live in NYC.

It’s interesting seeing early examples of this in New York. Basically all local deliveries are via ebikes. But, they’re technically illegal in almost every case due to ancient New York laws.

However, they effectively function the same as regular bicycles, except that everyone is reasonably fast instead of just a few fit people.

As for all the other non-bike configurations… They’re mostly a plague. In the bike lanes, they’re way too slow and/or wide, and are creating dangerous situations. On the street, they’re similarly a disaster. On the sidewalk, they’re illegal and keep hitting people. It’s starting to be a big problem.

No dense city should allow drones. Do you not see how dangerous they are in that kind of environment? There are a lot of people. If even a tiny fraction were flying drones regularly the skies would be full of them.

The trick to drone flying in NYC is to get a boat and do it in the middle of water.

Monday Topic Ideas:

-Tech Tutorials (Accessibility now vs. then)
-Raspberry Pi projects (best, worst, most ridiculous, etc.)
-Game Engines (now vs. then)
-IOT Devices
-Machine Learning (What it’s used for)
-Automated Phone Systems (“Press 1 for new topic”)

The water would be under skies blackened by drones.

Right. This is my point. The technology is there. The business models exist. There just needs to be revolution in street architecture. One lane for cars and for heavy/fast personal vehicles (as in, if you hit a pedestrian with them, the pedestrian comes off worse). Another lane for human speed/weight bikes. Another lane for skateboards and mini-scooters and segways and electric wheelchairs. And one lane for walking pedestrians.

So far there are two options: walking speed or car speed. Bikes sometimes have a lane of their own, but often just have to mix it with the death machines (trucks).

Things aren’t separated by weight/speed/momentum, but they should be.

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The thing is, if you get cars and other motorized vehicles out of the picture, you won’t really need lanes or even traffic controls except in very busy areas. There will be so much open space, and so much less speed, that people can safely self organize.

I think that express lanes for fast moving vehicles would be handy. I don’t think anyone wants less speed if the vehicle can provide it.

I’m reminded of visiting Ho Chi Min City in Vietnam a few years ago. It was 99% mopeds. But the average speed was hardly more than cycling speed, mainly because of the “self organising” nature of the traffic. I think having some streets mostly set aside for express lanes of high speed long distance traffic would be a helpful guide for sorting the vehicles.

Yeah, they are called highways. We have a lot of them. Let’s get the cars off of those as well!

Well, no. Get the bikes their own levels, above the pedestrians:

And at a different level to the cars:

Sure, but why have the part with the cars? Just get rid of the cars and give the bikes the former car space. Now no need to build extra snake bridges and shit.

The snake bridge is to separate the bikes from pedestrians. Cars are not involved in that situation. It was built to move bike traffic across a heavy pedestrian foot traffic area. Turns out that “self-sorting” can’t work in a restricted space, even with no cars present.

Not having cars doesn’t mean that there will be no traffic that moves at high speed and/or with a lot of weight. In Berlin I ride electric motorcycles that go at 50 kmph. This is NOT appropriate for bike paths, and certainly not for pedestrian footpaths. Stop thinking “cars” and think “vehicles that can move above 50 kmph and will kill someone on a bike in an accident”.

Ban anything with a motor from the roads. If you need to go fast, bike to a train, plane, or boat.

Oops, I thought I was having a serious conversation here. Silly me.

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Yeah, fuck ambulances, fire trucks, deliveries, disabled transportation, busses, construction, etc… Fuck them all.

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The funniest thing to me is that New York has massively invested in bike infrastructure in the last decade, and it’s paying off. There are separated two-lane bike lanes everywhere. Cars are physically barred from encroaching in many cases.

We still have a last-mile problem in a sense that you have to bike on regular roads some short distance at the end of these journies, but often the car traffic is dense enough that even a mediocre cyclist can keep up with traffic and function like a car. It’s working OK.

The problem now is pedestrians. They walk in these high speed bike lanes despite there being a wide sidewalk literally next to them. I’ve seen multiple pedestrians get struck seriously in the last few years, and I almost hit a baby in a stroller myself twice.

I’ve had more incidents involving pedestrians than cars by far. Even physical barriers don’t stop them: they climb over just to walk in the bike lane.