Many commuters loathe riding on public transportation because of the rude and rowdy behavior of other passengers who treat the confined spaces as their own private living rooms. Blaring music too loudly through headphones, talking loudly on cell phones, eating smelly foods, and falling asleep on the shoulders of strangers have become common occurrences on every train, bus, and subway in the United States.
Timbuk2, maker of messenger bags, backpacks, Kindle Paperwhite dinner jackets, and laptops sleeves, now hopes to attract even more attention from the tech set with two new bags that can recharge your devices. And if you've ever wondered how the company's famous bags get made, we scored a tour of the San Francisco factory floor to show you how that gets done, too. … Read more
For many urban dwellers who live close to work, commuting by bike is like eating vegetables. You know you should, but sometimes you just want the burger and fries.
Industrial designer Adam Taylor, who is working toward a master's degree in future design in England, has devised a system that he thinks will help motivate commuters to pedal to the office. The two key features are the system's self-powered smart card and the bike itself, which is a beauty.
On the blog Bicycle Design, Taylor says he envisions the bike, which he calls "Tim," and the system, which he calls "Go Fara," to be bought in bulk by major corporations that institute a "green employee of the week" rewards program. Using the smart card, the employer has access to mileage and time stats to reward the highest achievers.… Read more
As far as mobile mapping goes, Google Maps for Android offers one of the best experiences you can get. More than a simple piece of mapping software, this feature-fest offers turn-by-turn navigation, voice search, indoor mapping (select locations), public transportation information, Street View, and so much more.
When viewing a location, Google Maps lets you activate a variety of add-on layers offering information like traffic, terrain, transit lines, and more. There's even a Wikipedia layer that plots out entries related to your location. And if that's not enough, you can zoom all the way into Street View for … Read more
I sympathize with the hordes of urban dwellers who begrudgingly subject themselves to the purgatory of daily public transportation -- the screeching teenagers, sticky floors, and potpourri of smells are part of the reason I ride a bicycle. That said, there are things you can do to ease the pain of your commute.
First, don't look at anyone -- gawkers are universally creepy, so pick a spot on the ground and stare. Next, source a pair of headphones using the following criteria as your buying guide: durable, compact, noise-isolating, and "closed-back," meaning they won't betray your privacy and leak your music to fellow commuters.
This list includes both circumaural (over-ear) and in-ear, bud-style headphones. Both styles are suitable for noise isolation, though you may prefer active noise-canceling headphones if your ride is extra-annoying. If not, earbuds with well-fitted tips (silicone or foam) can be just as effective at muting the world around you.… Read more
We've mentioned earlier that BMW would have a role in updating the Bay Area Rapid Transit (or BART, as it's known locally), the commuter rail system that serves the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, we have a preview video that gives us an idea of what that refresh will look like.
On the outside, the trains don't look radically different from what you'd expect to see from a commuter train. They're all basically metal boxes that hold people. New external LCDs show the train's destination and the doors get yellow illuminated trim that serves … Read more
If you've ever used public transportation, you know that buses and trains don't always run according to schedule. Things happen, and transit schedules can't always account for station delays, detours, or construction, leaving you more or less guessing what time you'll eventually arrive at your destination.
Well, starting today, Google Maps for mobile and desktop provides live transit updates in select cities, taking some of the annoying guesswork out of your commute. Instead of seeing what time your bus is supposed to arrive, you'll see what time your bus will actually arrive, meaning you'll … Read more
Mobile-savvy commuters can now access the popular Zipcar car-sharing service right from their Android mobile devices. Just released this past week, the new Zipcar app for Android is as useful as its iOS counterpart, as it enables Zipcar members to map out, reserve, unlock, and even honk the horn of their Zipcar of choice. Non-members can still download and browse nearby inventory, but can't reserve, lock, or, sadly, honk any of the vehicles.
While the app appears to be fully functioning, it's important to note that it is still officially in beta, which means users may run into … Read more
From its humble beginnings as a small company that made tough, protective cases for your iPhone, Otterbox is branching out into all kinds of devices, including e-readers.
Alas, no case yet for the Nook Color, but hopefully something is coming. Except for the Kindle DX version ($64.95), each cover costs $49.95.
Our opinion of the Nokia N8 has been hotly debated, but we've always maintained that the hardware is brilliant. Now, a new short film has been released on YouTube that showcases the phone's impressive 12-megapixel camera.
"The Commuter" was shot entirely on the Nokia N8 utilizing the phone's 720p HD video-recording capability. It's actually a very entertaining little action movie, starring Dev Patel from "Slumdog Millionaire." The film tells the story of Patel's character, a commuter who is forced to make a perilous journey to work after a traffic warden, played … Read more