To Encourage Biking, Cities Forget about Helmets

NYTimes.com:
In the United States the notion that bike helmets promote health and safety by preventing head injuries is taken as pretty near God’s truth. Un-helmeted cyclists are regarded as irresponsible, like people who smoke. Cities are aggressive in helmet promotion.

But many European health experts have taken a very different view: Yes, there are studies that show that if you fall off a bicycle at a certain speed and hit your head, a helmet can reduce your risk of serious head injury. But such falls off bikes are rare — exceedingly so in mature urban cycling systems.

On the other hand, many researchers say, if you force or pressure people to wear helmets, you discourage them from riding bicycles.

Really interesting article about bike riding. I think the key difference is the one of perception but maybe not as the article describes. I think it’s the perception that riding bike is insanely dangerous – in North America.

Anyone who has ridden a bicycle or motorcycle in any North American city “knows” how dangerous it. People in cars simply often don’t look for or see people on two wheels.

But in Europe, bike, scooter and motorcycle riding is completely “normal” – drivers and riders co-exist and look for and maybe even out for each other.

Mayor attempts to live on $29 per Week

Think Progress:
When local activist groups challenged Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton to live on a food stamp budget for a week to mark Hunger Awareness Month, he took them up on the offer and found out just how hard it was.

Stanton kept a diary on the challenge, which allotted him roughly $29 a week, the same amount 1.1 million Arizonans receive from the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) each week.

By day four, Stanton noted that he was “tired” and “it’s hard to focus”.

Welcome to my childhood and most of my adult life, Mr Mayor. Can we make all politicians do this at least once per term?

Do you consider yourself a "good friend"? You're not as good as this guy

TIME:
A man convicted of smuggling in Sweden outwitted his jailers by sneaking in a friend to serve most of his yearlong sentence, prison officials said Friday.

The identity of the false convict was discovered only when he’d been released on probation after serving about two-thirds of his friend’s sentence.

I love my friends but HELL NO…

Now is the Perfect Time for…(Pundits to STFU)

Cult of Android managed to “sneak” an article into the RSS feed of Cult of Mac, forcing me to read it. Bastards. But I’m glad I did – I hadn’t fulfilled my Recommended Daily Allowance of The Stupid and this article pushed me over the top.

Right from the start, the writer shows he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. The title of the article, “Now Is The Perfect Time For Google To Submit Its Maps App For iOS” shows a fundamental lack of understanding of what is going on. Absent everything else, does anyone believe that, if Google Maps was “ready” for iOS 6, Google would withhold it?

Don’t get me wrong – I think Google should hold it back for “competitive advantages”. But the author seems to think Google has it all ready to go and it’s just a matter of submitting it.

He says:

I believe now to be the perfect time to turn the other cheek.

What does he think this is – Church Camp? Companies don’t “turn the other cheek” – they compete to try and win mind and market share from their competitors. If Google thought they could do either, they would release an app. They won’t do it out of the goodness of their hearts.

Google has been in no rush to submit its Google Maps app to Apple

This ignores the reports from real journalists who have been saying that Apple and Google were working on the next version of Google Maps but there were various sticking points.

there are also millions of users who absolutely love there iPhone

Hire a copy editor. I’m just saying.

Now is the perfect time for Google to rescue iOS users from Apple’s emotions and rise up to become a hero of services.

You play D&D too much.

(Tim Cook) has inadvertently broken the facade that anything Apple is better.

That “facade” is only there for MacMacs and Android Fanboys. In the real world, we recognize that while Apple has done more remarkable things than any other company in the past decade, they are not omnipotent – they make mistakes.

It’s now clear to all that Google Maps is a much better service.

That may be true for Android users but, without feature parity, it’s not true for iOS users. On iOS there’s no doubt that Google Maps was the redheaded stepchild. Apple recognized they needed a better app and, if Google didn’t want to provide it (under terms suitable to Apple) then they would have to make their own.

Should Google submit its Maps app (with turn-by-turn navigation)

Are you not paying attention? This was exactly one of the issues where Apple and Google couldn’t agree.

Google will solidify itself as the top dog for maps services — something that will not soon be forgotten, no matter how much work Apple does to its own Maps.

No – it will be forgotten the instant Apple solves whatever problems, real or imagined, people have with Maps.

A Disconnect from Tim Cook on Maps

Time Cook posted an apology to iOS 6 customers for the sorry state of the Maps application. Fair enough. But he said something that struck me as being a little…off…

He said:

The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get…

Fair enough. But the next sentence was:

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store…

Well, which is it, Mr Cook? Do you want us to bite the bullet and use/correct Maps in order to help you make it better or do you want us to abandon Maps in favor of a solution that actually works?

I’m in favor of the latter…I’m not a fan of being an unacknowledged beta tester for Apple or any other company.

Prepare Yourself – Steve Jobs died One Year ago next Friday

October 5, 2011 is the day Steve Jobs died. On or about October 5th, 2012, we will be inundated by stupid, pointless, poorly thought out, poorly written articles about Jobs, his death, the anniversary and Apple. Here are some of the headlines I bet we’ll see. Add your own in the comments:

“One Year Later: How has Apple changed?”

“Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs”

Apple is better off without Jobs”

Apple is worse off without Jobs”

“Before and After – a Critical Look at Apple”

“Jobs’ Death – What Apple doesn’t want you to know”

“Would Jobs be alive if he had taken this Miracle Pill?”

(OK, I’m stretching on that last one…)