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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.
Today: Molly Osberg and New York's new Link5G surveillance towers
• NYC’s New 5G Monolith Is ‘Bridging the Digital Divide’ With Free Wi-Fi For Exactly One Bronx Block (by Molly Osberg in Hell Gate, July 27, 2022)
• Tired of Waiting for Their Dream Workplace, These Writers Made Their Own (by Ashley Wong in NYT, July 20, 2022): "After years of being put through the wringer of New York City media, five journalists created Hell Gate, the blog-style news site run on their terms."
• Hell Gate
• Subscribe to Hell Gate
• Press conference video (July 10, 2022): Video of Mayor Eric Adams and CTO Matthew Fraser at Link5G launch event. Two other speakers were from LinkNYC.
• Profile of Matthew Fraser (Gotham Gazette, Jan 24, 2022)
• Failing Up: First Link5G ‘Smart Pole’ Stands Quietly in Queens (The City, March 20, 2022): “‘There’s a cost of free things,’ said Sean Khorsandi, executive director of the Manhattan-based neighborhood preservation group Landmarks West!, which opposed LinkNYC and now opposes Link5G for the kiosks’ size, look and tendency to attract loiterers. . . . ‘There’s ways of integrating this type of equipment on existing infrastructure,’ said Khorsandi, who teaches design and architecture at the New York Institute of Technology. ‘You don’t need to build these lollipops in the middle of the street.’”
• Big Tech Pays to Supersize LinkNYC and Revive Broken Promise to Bridge Digital Divide (The City, Apr 27, 2022): “In 2015, Google (now called Alphabet), acquired Titan and Control Group through its newly formed subsidiary Sidewalk Labs, merging the two companies to form Intersection. At the time, this new venture was branded as a civic tech enterprise; currently, Intersection markets itself primarily as an out-of-home advertising company. (Intersection shares its Hudson Yards offices with Sidewalk Labs, well-known for its unsuccessful ‘smart city’ ambitions along Toronto’s waterfront.)”
“NYC Mesh, one of the vendors providing service for public housing residents, operates its own low-cost fixed wireless network that has penetrated into neighborhoods with fewer choices in service providers, particularly in central Brooklyn. Last year, the nonprofit, volunteer-run group applied to establish dozens of additional hubs on the city’s public buildings, a potentially significant step toward grassroots, universal Wi-Fi access in the city.”
• Control Group is becoming Intersection (LinkedIn announcement, June 23, 2015): “Control Group and Titan are merging and being acquired by a group of investors led by Sidewalk Labs, the recently launched venture by Dan Doctoroff and Google.” See also press release.
• Intersection Wikipedia page
• The consortium behind New York City’s LinkNYC kiosks is ‘delinquent’ and owes the city millions (The Verge, March 5, 2020): “The CityBridge consortium includes Intersection, of which Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs is an investor (and yes that’s Alphabet as in Google’s parent company).” ... “according to New York City commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Jessica Tisch... the company is ‘delinquent’ in its payments to the city... ‘CityBridge owes the City tens of millions of dollars, going back to [fiscal year] 19,’ Tisch said. ‘All of this is against the backdrop of millions of dollars in advertising revenue that CityBridge has reported they received over the same time period.’”
• A Dad Took Photos of His Naked Toddler for the Doctor. Google Flagged Him as a Criminal. (by Kashmir Hill, NYT, Aug 21, 2022)
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|Artist||Track||Album||Label||Images||Approx. start time|
|Molly Osberg and New York's new surveillance towers|
|Tomaš Dvořák||Game Boy Tune||Machinarium Soundtrack||n/a|
|Interview with Molly Osberg||0:09:55 (MP3 | Pop-up)|
|Mark's comments||0:35:40 (MP3 | Pop-up)|
|The Special Pillow||Access Denied||Mind Wipe||The Special Pillow||0:54:30 (MP3 | Pop-up)|