You may recall how Twitter claimed the reason its Boston-area "trending topics" haven't changed since the NBA Finals because we're just not tweeting enough for their system to notice what we're talking about.
Bostinnovation.com and HubSpot have published data suggesting Twitter doesn't know what it's talking about. Using location data from tweets, they looked at data from early afternoon on July 13 and found Bostonians tweeting more often than the slackards in Baltimore, where Twitter's trending topics actually seem to work (Baltimore only beat us when they widened their distance to 100 km outside downtown Charm City, which isn't really fair, since that includes Washington - a Boston-sized city in its own right).
Don Martelli reads up on this and proposes a new Twitter hashtag:
Ed. true confession: We need a new refrigerator. We "bought" one on Thursday to avoid the rush today; salesman said they would hold our "proposal" until this morning, then ring it in.
Really? Really. The Boston Business Journal reports one Waterfront landlord had to turn to an expensive wireless service for its high-tech tenants. Verizon refused to wire the area, which is what you'd expect, given its never-ending feud with Innovation District backer Tom Menino. Comcast says it will get around to it one of these days.
Xconomy reports the CIA's venture-capital arm (yes, of course it has one), has put some money into Seventh Sense Biosystems, which is working on a bandage-like thing to suck blood out of your arm for testing without the need for needles - along with add-on gizmos that could then monitor that blood for various substances:
TAP penetrates the uppermost layers of skin and uses a microfluidic extraction process to transfer blood to a collection reservoir for analysis.
they've apparently fixed it. I started getting alerts again today, including a cascade of Haverhill line notices about "freight train interference" that affected trains early this morning.
I suspect the "Customer Comment Form" I submitted yesterday morning once I learned (through repiles to my earlier UHub post) had something to do with.
Twitter introduced location-specific Trending Topics to give you an idea on what the recent zeitgeist in your area was based on common terms that show up in the stream of all tweets from your area. These topics often cycle in a matter of hours as new news and discussion take over for older topics.
Unfortunately, Boston's Trending Topics have been seemingly stuck on a handful of terms from the early June NBA Finals (with a shout-out to the Tony Awards too) for quite a few weeks now. For those wondering why it's not functioning right for Boston (but fine everywhere else), Twitter posted this on their Help Center:
Because I haven't gotten any alerts from them in the past few days. Anybody else out there notice the same thing?
I'm set up to get alerts for the Green Line, the Orange Line, and Reading/Haverhill commuter rail. I find it hard to believe that all three lines have been running so well all week that there hasn't been a need to send out any alerts at all.
(and please - no snarky comments about me not turning my phone on or not paying my bill)
Saul Blumenthal reports NextBus, the service the T is using to provide arrival data, just dramatically expanded the number of routes with information available to riders.
It also works in reverse: One guy who owns a BMX bike wants to trade for a BlackBerry - seems an unfortunate accident has made him too scared to ever get back on it. Another guy would trade eight BMW tires for one.
Thanks to Matthew for the tip.
Earlier this week, they announced that free wi-fi was now available on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. So, today (right now, actually) I made a visit to see how it is working out.
I sat down on a bench midway down the Greenway in the "shadow" of the Aquarium Garage. I booted up my Mac laptop. It found the "greenway" wi-fi network right away. I couldn't get it to connect immediately but after turning my wireless off and on it connected and I was presented with the RKG home page.
Within minutes, however, I lost the connection. I thought maybe the city had disabled access on this block of the Greenway to annoy Don Chiofaro (kidding!) so I moved up a block. I couldn't connect. Up one block more, however, and I was quickly online. (Unfortunately, this is the block that has the chain-link fence around it, so not much to look at ...)
Then it started to rain and it ruined everything. (And then five people went by on Segways and it really ruined everything ...)
I give it an A-!
The Globe reports the Greenway Conservancy spent $100,000 for a network of 15 access points that gets turned on tomorrow.
Xconomy charges us up with some news about XL Hybrids, a startup (by an MIT professor, natch) that is stealthily developing a system to retrofit existing fleet vehicles with hybrid technology.
A California doctor with a Newton lawyer yesterday sued Apple and AT&T in Boston for [pinky up] FIVE MILLION DOLLARS because of the alleged fraud they committed by shipping iPhones that, in certain circumstances, depending on how one holds them, can lead to reduced reception.
In his class-action lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Boston, Dr. Thomas Gionis says he is an emergency-room physician and that the problem is so bad he is now forced to carry two phones to make sure nobody dies because he is unreachable. Gionis acknowledges that when he called an Apple store, he was told a rubber bumper would fix the problem, but that that's not enough to assuage the problems he has; that he and other iPhone 4 users have been "injured and damaged," and that he, for one, would never have bought an iPhone 4 if he knew what a piece of crap it is.
Gionis says he bought his phone June 24 at the South Coast Plaza Apple Store in Costa Mesa, CA. He says he filed suit on behalf of all iPhone 4 users.
Ooh, so she posed for a Polaroid to help shill for what's left of the company and MIT's giant collection of Polaroidiana. Whup.
Has she ever urged her listeners to shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture?
Didn't think so.
BostInnovation reports on a city-sponsored session today that focused on how to build housing in the city's "Innovation District" on the South Boston waterfront that would attract researchers and scientists to live where they work:
... [I]t seems likely that the Innovation District will eventually include buildings designed with very small apartments created in innovative, non-traditional layouts. More than one architect suggested so-called "barbell" style apartments - fat at both ends, with skinny hallways in the middle. These could comfortably house adult roommates, and be laid out as tenants see fit. Many of the developers in the room seemed to like the idea of smaller apartments - provided housing regulations in the city could be relaxed - because densely populated apartment complexes can offset the high costs of developing new buildings.
Other suggestions for residential space layouts focused on shared communal spaces - though many of the designers in the room seemed to feel that shared bathrooms would be a bad idea. ...
The Register reports Woburn's Terafugia has cleared another hurdle in its march toward fulfilling the future we were promised decades ago: The FAA has given it a waiver to make its flying cars heavier than normal for "light sport" aircraft, which don't have as onerous requirements for a license as bigger planes. The company claims it will be selling the things by the third quarter of next year.
Now about our jetpacks ...
Starting late next month, the T will start to supplement those sometimes annoying parking boxes (you know the ones with the little pusher thingees) with automated systems that will let commuters pay for spaces:
Beginning July 23rd, customers parking in MBTA-owned and operated lots with existing cash honor boxes will be able to pay for parking online or via phone while in their cars or once they board a train, bus, or commuter boat.
As part of a new partnership with Parkmobile USA, customers can visit www.parkmobile.com and enroll in the new program for free, and have access to their on-line accounts 24 hours a day/7 days a week. T riders can also download a mobile app.
Once registered, customers can use the mobile app, the internet, a text message or a phone call to pay for parking.
Dan Kennedy reports:
... I paid up online. I got an e-mail confirming that I paid. Yet now I have to call the Registry just to make really, really sure. ...
BostInnovation reports Verizon has finished up Boston technical tests of its 4G wireless, which promises download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps, and will now begin looking for users to test it out - with actual service to be offered by the end of this year. No word on cost.
WBUR's won a $250,000 Knight Foundation grant to work with Quincy District Court to set up a way for bloggers and reporters to report on court cases as they happen - and to develop standards for other courts to use. Laura McGann interviewed 'BUR's John Davidow on the Order in the Court 2.0 project.
The Enterprise 2.0 Conference is still going on. The numbers jumped significantly from Monday to Tuesday and it's - in my opinion - pretty well attended now. That said, I did a quick eval of the conference through the Wednesday morning sessions.
What events have you been to lately in town? Anything great coming up? Share in the comments.
Still at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference at the Westin Waterfront Hotel and I'm now in a Communilytics session. What are Communilytics? Well, it's actually the measurement of community numbers. So, how people in a community-based group, like Twitter or Facebook or even blogs or Expedia or other online areas-respond and react to each other and the platform itself.
Essentially, measuring communilytics is like finding out what people are doing on your sites and understanding how people are connected to other people and who the influencers are.
I may have mangled the description, so here is the slide deck from the presentation (this one was given 6 mo. ago at another conference, but the info hasn't changed).