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Google’s Waze-like app for public transit hits five more cities



The crowdsourced Pigeon local transport app developed for the experimental projects in the Google 120 Zone lab is now being used in five new US cities except New York, including Boston, Chicago, USA.

Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, DC Unlike traditional transit applications, which are based on timetables and updates provided by a local transit company, Pigeon pursues a similar approach to Waze, where commuters commute help each other by causing delays Report crowds and other issues.

The result is a transit application that better informs users of unexpected incidents and crowds in real time and better correlate delays. The app also sends alerts to users about power outages or major service changes, as well as personalized alerts sent before commuters leave their home or office so they can schedule delays, detours or delays. weather related incidents.

While the goal of the app is to provide users with better information about public transport, it also strives to build a community within Pigeon.

Similar to Waze, where users create profiles and communicate with friends, Pigeon offers a social component. Users can post comments and pictures not only about delays but also about other transit events. These reports are then shared on the way of a cyclist in a flow of activities.

For example, users may post articles about dirty or dangerous conditions, crowds, or indexing errors, and then share a photo with that information. But some of the messages may be more positive – such as applauding a local artist or attending to a cute dog.

Instead, Pigeon could promote more of this type of social media because, unlike Waze, his users are not at the wheel and can only push a button quickly to share a relationship with the crowd.

Even users who do not want to contribute directly can benefit from application push notifications about delays and unplanned incidents.

The application was developed internally at Google via the internal Area 120 incubator and launched in September 2018 for New York users. (TechCrunch put them online in May 2018, but Google did not share much information at the time.)

Since then, Pigeon has helped its first users cross hundreds of thousands of public transports every month, the company said. In addition, a report is published by NYC Subway Insights detailing some of these findings – such as which lines have the most rush hours or delays, which station was reported as the hottest in the summer, and much more.

The Google app is not the only one looking at public transport from a new angle. Startups like Transit, Moovit, Citymapper, and others are also involved in this area, sometimes with their own crowdsourced components.

Today, Pigeon is live on iOS in these half-dozen US cities, providing transit information for subways, buses, trains, ferries and gondolas.

Android users can sign up for the waiting list to be notified of the availability of Pigeon.

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The Justice Department will reportedly investigate Google’s Fitbit acquisition



Reportedly, the US Department of Justice will review Google’s acquisition of wearable device company Fitbit in November and investigate possible concerns about detailed user data that Fitbit would provide to Google.

The New York Post reports that both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, both of whom could investigate the merger, were worried about the merger. However, the Ministry of Justice has already launched an important antitrust investigation against Google and requested documents from the company in September. The agency also announced a comprehensive survey of major technology companies focused on research, social media and some retail services. The FTC was given the power to investigate Facebook and Amazon.

Reuters also confirmed that the Ministry of Justice will take the lead in an investigation.

Numerous privacy and consumer rights groups have asked the government to stop Google’s acquisition of Fitbit. The deal could help Google compete with Apple in the portable computer market. Unlike Apple, however, Google’s core business includes targeted advertising, data mining and services that manage much of our digital life. Purchasing a popular fitness tracking device will expand the data store.

And the antitrust director of the Justice Department Makan Delrahim suggested that data protection concerns could play a role in any investigation. “It would be a serious mistake to believe that privacy issues can never play a role in the cartel analysis,” Delrahim said at a November conference shortly after the acquisition. “Without competition, a dominant company can more easily reduce quality, for example by reducing privacy without losing a significant number of users.”

Google has been authorized to purchase many other companies over the past two decades, although some restrictions have been added. As public criticisms of technological monopolies have increased, the result of this Fitbit review may indicate how seriously the Justice Department actually limits the power of large technology companies – and unlike a larger review, you don’t have to worry about undoing the mergers I already have closed. You may want to delete your Fitbit data just in case.

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Apple’s most expensive Pro Display XDR requires a special, Apple-made cloth to clean it



The latest top-of-the-range Apple display, the XDR Pro Display, is now available. And it’s not cheap, starting at $ 4,999 with an opaque “nano-texture” update for just $ 1,000. However, if you buy this nano-texture update and you never have a spot of dust on it, you shouldn’t think about cleaning it with a little water and a microfibre cloth. Instead, an Apple support document states that it is necessary to clean this nano-texture glass only with a special “dry polishing cloth” supplied with the display and nothing else (via MacRumors).

Apple has not yet explained why the owners of an XDR Pro Display with nanotexture should use a special cloth for another screen cleaner (we asked for it), but it is probably because of how the display is made. “Nano-texture” glass is Apple’s term for its non-reflective matte texture option. According to Apple, the nanoscale nanostructure is etched onto the glass to maintain the contrast on the display despite the matte finish. For some reason, the nanotess is so delicate that it should only be cleaned with a special cloth.

If you lose this polishing cloth, you can’t go directly to Amazon or go to an Apple store and buy a new one – you’ll need to contact the Apple Support Department for a replacement. We asked Apple how much an exchange could cost.

And if you’re worried, Apple has also given specific instructions on how to clean the polishing cloth: hand wash it with dishwashing liquid and water, rinse it and leave it to “air dry” for at least 24 hours. I am sincerely surprised that any detergent will work for the cloth.

The special apple cleaning cloth can be annoying, but at least an apple cleaning cloth is included. You’ll need other essential accessories like a stand (Apple costs $ 999, or you can choose the VESA adapter for $ 199) or a webcam (like the Logitech 4K magnetic webcam for $ 199.99 specially designed for the monitor) pays 4,999 extra dollars included in the basic display.

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Google is under federal investigation for labor practices



Google is currently under investigation by the US National Labor Relations Board, CNBC reported Monday.

The investigation follows the recent layoffs of four former Google employees named Laurence Berland, Paul Duke, Rebecca Rivers and Sophie Waldman. The four former employees were involved in internal activism during their stay at Google and encouraged their colleagues to protest issues such as the company’s plan to create a censored version of its search engine in China, or submit bids for contracts with the Ministry of Defense. If it is determined that Google has fired these employees because of their activism, this could be a violation of federal labor law.

The four employees filed an indictment with the NLRB on December 5 for unfair labor practices. Google has already been investigated by the NLRB, including a recent survey that ended just two months ago. In this September comparison with the agency, Google promised that, among other things, it would give its employees the opportunity to form unions and talk to the press. The December announcement blames Google for violating the terms of this settlement.

According to CNBC, the NLRB’s investigation will focus on whether Google has violated labor laws by firing these activists and whether it has prevented its employees from forming a union. When employees file an indictment with the NLRB, the Agency must initiate an investigation to determine whether to take formal action and file its own complaint. Oakland agency staff will lead the investigation, which is expected to last 90 days.

At The Verge’s request to comment, Google responded with the same statement it has used since the layoffs:

We fired four people who deliberately and repeatedly violated our long-standing privacy policy, including the systematic access and distribution of documents and the work of other employees. No one was fired for expressing concerns or discussing the company’s activities.

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