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Category Archives: Transportation

How to blur your house on Google Street View

Mashable – (and why you should) – “Google Street View offers up a window to the world in all its bizarre, intimate, and often raw glory. That window just so happens to peek into your home, as well. What that peek reveals may be more than you’ve bargained for — think views into bedroom windows, potential fodder for stalkers, and more.  Thankfully, there is something you can do about it. Specifically, you can ask Google to permanently blur your house out — leaving only a smeared suggestion of a building in its place. The entire process is surprisingly easy. Google has never exactly been a steward of anyones’ privacy. In 2010, the company admitted that its Street View vehicles — the ones endlessly circling neighborhoods around the world — had secretly been collecting information from unencrypted WiFi networks they drove past for years.  So maybe you’re worried about an online stalker, maybe you don’t want strangers peering in your windows, or maybe you value privacy for its own sake and simply don’t think Google should have indexed and digitized photos of your home available for all to see. Whatever the reason, it’s relatively easy to request Google blur out the image of your home or apartment on Google Street View. Here’s what you do…” [Note – requests to Bing maps/street views do not result in any action after a three week wait.]

Sites for Real-Time COVID Travel Restrictions

Lifehacker: “Let’s first acknowledge that if you don’t have to travel right now, you should definitely stay home. But if you absolutely must travel, it’s important to have up-to-date information about what’s going on with COVID-19 at your planned destination. This can be confusing, as the pandemic situation and related travel restrictions seem to change… Continue Reading

Navigate safely with new COVID data in Google Maps

Google Blog: “More than one billion people turn to Google Maps for essential information about how to get from place to place–especially during the pandemic when safety concerns are top of mind. Features like popular times and live busyness, COVID-19 alerts in transit, and COVID checkpoints in driving navigation were all designed to help you… Continue Reading

Finland to deploy coronavirus-sniffing dogs at Helsinki Airport

Washington Post – Very good dogs are being deployed to use their keen and accurate sensory acuity to identify illness and disease in humans. “…The voluntary canine tests will deliver results within 10 seconds and require less than a minute of travelers’ time, said Anna Hielm-Björkman, a researcher at the University of Helsinki who is… Continue Reading

Americans’ Views of Government: Low Trust, but Some Positive Performance Ratings

“For years, public trust in the federal government has hovered at near-record lows. That remains the case today, as the United States struggles with a pandemic and economic recession. Just 20% of U.S. adults say they trust the government in Washington to “do the right thing” just about always or most of the time. Yet… Continue Reading

The interactive fall foliage map is back to help you plan your autumn road trip

Mashable: “Even though California is setting record high temperatures this Labor Day weekend, autumn is mere weeks away. It might not feel like fall yet, but the changing foliage is definitely coming. And we have a digital map to prove it. The 2020 Fall Foliage Prediction Map from SmokyMountains.com is finally live, which means you… Continue Reading

It’s not just cars that make pollution. It’s the roads they drive on, too

Science: “…The researchers estimated the annual emissions from new paving and roofing in parts of Southern California. They calculate that molecules released from asphalt could lead to between 1000 and 2500 tons of particulate air pollution—compared with just 900 to 1400 tons from gasoline and diesel vehicles. (Both sources pale in comparison to volatile chemical… Continue Reading

CBP does not make it clear Americans can opt out of airport face scanning

Tech Crunch: “A government watchdog has criticized U.S. border authorities for failing to properly disclose the agency’s use of facial recognition at airports, which included instructions on how Americans can opt out. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), tasked with protecting the border and screening immigrants, has deployed its face-scanning technology in 27 U.S. airports… Continue Reading

How to Guide to Consumer Complaints by Product Type

USA.gov: Learn how to submit a complaint about problems with specific products and services. Banks and Lender Complaints – Learn how to complain about a problem with a bank or a lending company, such as a mortgage provider. Car Complaints – Find out what to do when you want to complain about a defective car.… Continue Reading

The Broken Algorithm That Poisoned American Transportation

Vice: “…Although there are many reasons the Ohio River Bridges Project was a total urban planning debacle, one that has not gotten much attention is the role travel demand models played in putting lipstick on the $2.5 billion pig. One potential reason for that is because those who work in the field have come to… Continue Reading

License plate tracking for police set to go nationwide

cnet – “…On Tuesday, Flock Safety, which makes a license plate reader, announced the “Total Analytics Law Officers Network,” or TALON. The network looks to connect the 400 law enforcement agencies using its cameras, allowing agencies that opt in to view camera data from other regions.  You may unsubscribe at any time. The company said… Continue Reading