Time

As Daylight Savings Time bids a fond farewell (good riddance to such a ridiculous concept) for another year, some articles on time appear. From the Minnesota Daily:
University employs 300 GPS clocks. This is cool, it may actually synchronize the university if enough clocks are actually reading the same value. I have long had the idea that a time stamp should be sent down the electrical signal (small enough to not effect current, large enough to be read), but this is not to be. GPS seems a next best (if somewhat pricey) solution.
Second, there is an effort to restart the stopped clocks on Britain (via Boing-Boing):Stopped Clocks – Re-started. This includes promotional concerts.
It is nice to have public clocks, we might even think of consistent standardized time as a public good (my consumption does not affect yours, it is not really excludable), which has positive externalities, the minimization of wasted time, improved coordination.

Speeding and the monopoly of force

Two articles on speeding, one from Techdirt about how GPS can dis-prove a speeding allegation:
GPS Tracking: Drivers’ New Best Friend?
The second from the New York Times about police over-enforcement and beating (stemming from alleged traffic violations) leading to a drivers’ rebellion in Russia.
Weary of Highway Bribery, Russians Take on Police.
They are both rebellions against extortion, one extortion has a slightly greater veneer of legitimacy (it is the state seeking the payoff rather than the individual officers), but in the end it is the state’s monopoly on the use of force as Max Weber put it, that enables this practice.
(Yes of course, speeding is wrong, but wrongful enforcement is also wrong).

More on DARPA Urban Challenge

From Tom’s Hardware: DARPA Urban Challenge Coverage
“Victorville (CA) – In about 24 hours, robotic cars will be zooming around the former George Air Force Base in Victorville for the DARPA Urban Challenge and TG Daily will be covering the exciting event in force. For the next six days, 36 teams from across the country – and several from Germany – will compete for 20 spots in the actual race to be held on November 3rd.”

Surface Navigation Help for Subway Riders

From the NYT: Surface Navigation Help for Subway Riders . This is a brilliant aid to the urban interface, put a decal (or a more permanent marker) on the sidewalk so subway riders emerging from the subterranean depths of Gotham can quickly ascertain where they are. Frankly, we should use the sidewalks for this kind of information more often, especially mid-block. It particularly helps those looking down to avoid making eye-contact.
How can you tell an extroverted engineer? He is the one looking at the other person’s shoes

a blog about Networks and Places

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