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Tech We’re Using: Tech Is Changing New York, but Not How He Reports on the City

How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? J. David Goodman, a metro reporter, discussed the tech he’s using.What tech tools do you, a metro reporter covering New York, rely on to stay on top of your beat?The most important tech for me is incredibly basic: a phone that doubles as a recorder, a laptop, notebooks, pens and a portable phone charger. I pretty much spend my days toggling among messaging apps (iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal), email, Twitter and the phone.I’ve also been spending more quality time recently with publicly available data, which is a gateway to hours on Google…

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All the Crime, All the Time: How Citizen Works

Open Citizen and you will see a familiar blue location dot — that’s you! — surrounded by other, often larger dots, in red and yellow. Each represents an incident, either of the “Recent” or “Trending” variety, that has recently been reported in your proximity, and that may even be unfolding at the very moment. A Thursday afternoon sample from Midtown Manhattan:PEDESTRIAN STRUCK BY CABMAN ROBBED WOMAN OF WALLETREPORT OF FIREARM DISPLAYED IN SUBWAY STATIONIRATE M.T.A. BUS DRIVERS DISPUTINGTAXI ENGULFED IN FLAMESParticularly notable reports might have video, sometimes live, as well as a timeline of new developments, and a chat-scroll full of users discussing what they’re seeing. (“This is…

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It Started With a Jolt: How New York Became a Tech Town

Euan Robertson started his job with New York City’s economic development team at an ominous moment. It was Monday, Sept. 15, 2008, the day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and ignited the financial crisis.Mr. Robertson made his way through City Hall’s sprawling open office to a conference table, where he huddled with top advisers to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.“No one knew what was going to happen or how bad it would be,” Mr. Robertson recalled. “But everyone agreed we’d better come up with a plan.”The plan that emerged called for developing tech start-ups and tech workers in New York. The goal, Mr. Robertson said, was to “build…

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Labor’s Hard Choice in Amazon Age: Play Along or Get Tough

It’s one of the most vexing challenges facing the labor movement: how to wield influence in an era increasingly dominated by technology giants that are often resistant to unions.Are workers best served when unions take an adversarial stance toward such companies? Or should labor groups seek cooperation with employers, even if the resulting deals do little to advance labor’s broader goals?The debate has flared up around labor’s efforts to make inroads with the likes of Uber and Airbnb, businesses that allow drivers and homeowners to earn income as contractors. And it was on vivid display in the political battle over Amazon’s plan to create a new headquarters…

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This Legislation Could Force Stores to Take Your Cash

Stores and restaurants in several states would be required to do something pretty basic if certain lawmakers have their way: accept their customers’ cash.The legislation comes amid a worldwide move toward “cashless payments” using cards or mobile devices, which supporters say are safer, quicker and more convenient. But critics say an outright ban on cash discriminates against those without credit or bank accounts, and raises concerns about privacy and data security.The New Jersey Legislature and the Philadelphia City Council have passed measures this year that would ban cashless stores. New York City, Washington and Chicago are weighing similar bills.“It’s important to recognize the fact that not everyone…

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Northern Virginia Is Keeping Amazon’s 25,000 Jobs, and Wants You to Know It

WASHINGTON — When Amazon canceled its plans to build an expansive corporate campus in New York City this week, officials more than 200 miles away in Northern Virginia decided to make a statement.Their message: Their region has its act together, they have been far more prepared, and they were free of drama.The comments came from those in the area that has branded itself National Landing, an amalgamation of Arlington and Alexandria neighborhoods that was the other winner in Amazon’s sweepstakes last year to award massive new campuses.But after landing Amazon, National Landing faded from the spotlight as attention focused on New York City. In New York, lawmakers,…

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The Shift: For Once, Amazon Loses a Popularity Contest

Amazon’s surprise announcement on Thursday that it was canceling its planned expansion to a new corporate campus in New York was greeted with celebration by local activists and politicians who had opposed the deal, and frustration by local officials — and more than a few real estate agents in Queens — who had eagerly anticipated an influx of well-compensated tech workers.For some, Amazon’s decision will represent a political failure, in which officials and local labor leaders blew a once-in-a-decade chance to bring thousands of high-paying jobs to New York.For others, it reflects the hubris of one of the world’s most valuable companies, which sought billions of dollars…

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Clean, On Time and Rat-Free: 9 International Transit Systems With Lessons for New York

What smells like a “nightclub toilet,” evokes the feeling of “an underworld” and resembles a “working museum”?That would be the New York City subway, according to international readers who have experienced it.The subway runs around the clock and carries millions daily across a sprawling network. But when we asked riders of public transit around the world how their systems compare, New York’s scored worse than most on several measures. [Read New Yorkers’ stories of major subway meltdowns.]Among the enviable features they described were Moscow’s chandelier-adorned platforms, Istanbul’s plans for a 500-mile expansion and Tokyo’s friendly attendants who locate lost items. Below are some of their tales of…

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Google and Waze Must Stop Sharing Drunken-Driving Checkpoints, New York Police Demand

[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]Google’s navigation app Waze is known for providing real-time, user-submitted reports that advise drivers about potential thorns in their roadsides.But one feature has Waze in conflict with law enforcement officials across the country: how the app marks the location of police officers on the roads ahead or stationed at drunken-driving checkpoints.Over the weekend, the New York Police Department, the largest force in the nation, joined the fray, sending a letter to Google demanding that the tech giant pull that feature from Waze.In the letter, which was first reported on by Streetsblog, the…

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High-Tech Degrees and the Price of an Avocado: The Data New York Gave to Amazon

An avocado at Whole Foods costs $1.25. Columbia University handed out 724 graduate degrees in computer science over the past three years. And 10 potential land parcels in Long Island City are zoned M1-4, for light manufacturing. New York provided all of these data points, and thousands more, to Amazon as part of its successful bid to woo the tech giant to town.On Monday, New York City posted online the 253-page proposal it submitted, along with New York State, to Amazon in March. The city quickly took the file down, saying it should have checked with its partners before posting it, because the document included proprietary information.…

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