Cap on NYC Uber, iPod Touch, Nourish, & MBTA Commuter Rail Improvements

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 Top Story: Cap on NYC Uber

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The debate on Uber’s impact in New York City is far from over, despite settlement reached.

Bill De Blasio and Uber have officially struck a deal, following the New York City mayor’s decision to withdraw his threats to cap the company’s growth. Both sides formed the agreement as an opportunity to work in unison, with Uber sharing more data about its operation so the city can find solutions to issues such as traffic congestion, treatment of drivers and accessibility for disabled passengers.

 

Wait, peace between New York and Uber? Sound too good to be true? Well, De Blasio is intent on forcing Uber to contribute funds to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the regional public transportation agency in the future as well. Uber has previously estimated that its busiest New York City drivers earn $29.60 an hour, which means the company’s reported 20% take per ride is about $7.40; adding MTA contributions could cut revenues in the US’s largest taxi market by more than 7%. But coaxing funds out of Uber may not be easy, because such a deal would require approval from the state government as well.

 

Just recently, New York governor Andrew Cuomo backed Uber in the fight, and criticized De Blasio’s cap plan.Traffic models designed by public transit advocates make a compelling case that the increase of new for-hire vehicles on digital platforms has played a large role in slowing down traffic in the city’s central business district, but is not the sole factor. The models also support the fact that implementing an Uber cap will not solve the traffic issue.
 
The city’s study of Uber’s effect on traffic is expected to be completed in about four months. For now the seas are calm, but we can expect that the city will be coming back to Uber, if not to cap its growth, then to require it to contribute funds to the public coffers.

 Under the Radar: iPod Touch

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Bet you thought you’d seen the last of the iPod. Especially after the rise of the iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5s, and then the 6 (you get the picture). But after almost three years, Apple has officially updated the iPod Touch.

This 6th generation version comes complete with a faster processor, better camera, vibrant color options and the fairly affordable price of $199. I’m sure the only thing stopping you from running to the Apple Store and buying one right now is the looming question: “Wait. Why would I need this?”

Well for starters, the device comes with a dual-core A8 processor, clocked at 1GHz.. It scored a 1376 single-core and 2436 multi-core on GeekBench 3. Compare that to a 1609 and a 2848 respectively for the iPhone 6.

For those who didn’t understand a word in the paragraph above, it simply means this is Apple’s fastest iPod, although it technically remains slower than the iPhone 6.

Another great feature of the new device is its impressive 8 megapixels camera; very similar to what you see with the iPhone 6. The camera has advanced features such as burst mode, slow-motion video and HD recording; perfect for you selfie snappers.

As far as battery life goes, Apple claims the battery life is terrific. Just two hours of charging will boost the battery up to 80%.

While it is undeniable this is Apple’s most advanced iPod yet, most people have these features and more with their Apple phones. Why buy the iPod Touch?

Well for those of you rocking an older version of the iPhone, this is a cheaper alternative to upgrading your phone. For people who want music at the gym without work emails and buzzing phone calls, this device cuts the disturbances out of your workout and its smaller size makes it easier to run with.

The iPod Touch may also be a good option for people who own Androids, who are really in need/want of some Apple apps.

Overall, if you’re an Andriod using long distance runner with small hands who is looking for an 8 megapixel camera, the new device might be perfect for you. Otherwise, stick with your (better performing) iPhone 6.

 Tool of the Week: Nourish

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We’ve got apps that measure our steps, log how many hours of sleep we’re getting, and even tell us how many push ups we have to do to burn off that donut we had for breakfast. These apps are helpful in achieving your fitness goals, but what about your nutritional ambitions? Ever heard the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen?” Well, the founders of the Boston-based start up FitNatic have and that’s why they’ve created a first-of-its-kind personalized nutrition system.

 

The new tabletop device Nourish essentially works like an at-home personal nutritionist by analyzing data such as movement, heart rate and hours of sleep and using that information to create a personalized blend of nutrition for your body.To do this, it dispenses a blend of powdered nutrients, vitamins, herbs, and minerals to fuel your body’s needs. The WiFi-enabled appliance is compatible with a variety of fitness trackers, including the Apple Watch, Jawbone and Fitbit. The “seeds” used by the device, which hold approximately one-month supply of either a nutrient, mineral, vitamin or herb, are RFID-enabled and will automatically be refilled when you run out.

This kind of at-home supplementation has, until now, only been available to pro athletes and other select individuals who could afford it. The Nourish’s starting price is $399, and significantly more affordable than other services like it.For now, FitNatic will be focusing on perfecting the product and expanding its distribution network. Even though Nourish is a top priority for the moment, the startup revealed it has many other products on the road map to come.

Around the Hub: MBTA Commuter Rail Improvements

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Keolis Comuter Services, the company that presides over the MBTA’s commuter rail, has paid $7.5 million in fines, which will be used to enhance the commuter service for riders

 

The fines came as a result of late trains and other operational issues during the company’s first year running the commuter rails. The historic snowfall this past winter also contributed to the frequent delays, disabled trains and service cancellations.

 

After being under fire for its sub-par performance this winter, the T is taking steps to redeem itself. The review of Keolis was presented Tuesday during the first meeting for the new five-member fiscal control board appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to help stabilize oversight of the MBTA.

 

The T says it will use the money, in partly, to hire more agents to collect service fares.

 

Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said Tuesday’s meeting marks a major first step in the state’s efforts “to set the MBTA on a course of sustainability in its management, operations and finances.” Hopefully this means they’ll be doing something about the phantom wi-fi on the trains too.

451 Labs

451 Labs conducts experiments in creative design, advertising, public relations, digital marketing, media buying, experiential events, and content marketing to give you the inside scoop on the latest in digital marketing.

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