The City of New York is reportedly planning to revive 250 old phone booths with the introduction of 32-inch Internet-ready “smart screens” throughout the five boroughs, The New York Post reported on Monday. The touch-screens will display local neighborhood information in multiple languages, including lists of nearby restaurants, stores in the area, traffic updates, landmark information and safety alerts. If the pilot program is successful, the futuristic screens could replace all of the city’s 12,800 outdoor pay phones. “The goal is to pilot it and see what the response is,” said Nicholas Sbordone, a spokesman for the city’s department of Information Technology & Telecommunications. “It will help inform the city’s ongoing reassessment, with public input, of what we want or what we think the future of public pay phones will entail.” Read on for more. More →
Remember those rumors about Apple holding a mid-to-late January event in NYC? Well, invites just went out to media, and focus is on education as some had rumored. We’d imagine one of the event focal points to be on reinventing and transforming the textbook industry.
Apple officially announced Wednesday that it will open its brand new Apple Store in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 9th. It is the fifth Apple Store location in Manhattan. Apple has 315 employees working at the store, there will be two Genius Bars, and the company will use Grand Central’s balcony coves for personal training and personal setup rooms. The Apple Store Grand Central is open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Apple’s full press release follows after the break. More →
On Wednesday we had our very first BGR reader event, and it was a blast. Hundreds of people were lined up around the block, even in the rain, and we were finally able to connect with a lot of people who have been fans of the site for years. Thanks again to everyone that came out, and special thanks to Samsung as well. This is surely only the start of a bigger endeavor, so stay tuned! In the meantime, make sure to check out the photo gallery below, in addition to a video from the event after the break.
We’ve been hearing reports that Apple would open the world’s largest Apple Store on one of New York City’s Grand Central terminal balconies since February of this year. Despite a report in May that the plan had been nixed, the dream of a 15,000 square foot store could finally become a reality. According to The New York Times, The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) board is expected to approve Apple’s bid later this week during a monthly board meeting. Apple really knew how to woo the MTA, too: buried deep in the article was a discussion about how the iPhone maker submitted its bid for the spot in “linen-lined boxes, as if it were a wedding present to transit officials.” We expect to hear more on Apple’s plans in the coming weeks. More →
Sprint, Clearwire and Time Warner Cable announced on Tuesday that the current 4G WiMAX footprint in New York City has been expanded by 21%. The network now covers an additional 91,363 people across the New York metropolitan area in Alpine, Bayonne, Elizabeth, Fair Lawn, Newark, Paramus, Secaucus and Union, New Jersey; and Hartsdale, New Rochelle, New York, Rockville Centre and Yonkers, New York. Clearwire’s 4G network currently covers more than 130 million U.S. residents, including a total of 11,927,000 people in the New York City area. Read on for the full press release. More →
New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Thursday that the city will soon offer free Wi-Fi in 20 of its parks. AT&T will power the service, which will be available in popular spots such as Prospect Park, Battery Park, and Central Park, later this summer, but New Yorkers can already surf for free in Battery Bosque Park, the Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx, and Thomas Jefferson Park, among others. The public will have ad-free access to the free networks for at least the next five years. No word on whether you’ll actually be able to use an AT&T phone for voice calling in the parks, however.
Samsung has just confirmed that it is postponing a press event that was originally scheduled for May 24th in New York City. It’s unclear what Samsung was scheduled to announce, although we suspect it could have been a Galaxy S II U.S. announcement, or an announcement detailing carrier partners for its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. Samsung says the event has been “postponed until a later date.”
There isn’t too much to go off of the invite we have just received, but there is no doubt AT&T and Samsung will be out in full force for this announcement. Are we looking at a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for AT&T? Maybe something out of left field? You’ll just have to tune in to see our live coverage on Thursday.
Verizon Wireless’ speedy 4G LTE network hit another milestone on Tuesday night: its first major outage. BGR has confirmed what dozens of tipsters have been telling us all night via email — Verizon’s LTE services are currently unavailable across the country, and they have been unavailable for several hours now. We’ve confirmed the outage here in New York City with our Samsung DROID Charge and have noticed that Verizon’s 3G network also appears to be unavailable. There’s no official word from Verizon Wireless on the outage, so it’s unclear how long it will last.
UPDATE: Verizon posted the following to its official Twitter account: “We’re aware of an issue with the 4G LTE connections and our network engineers are working to resolve quickly. Investigating 4G LTE network issue; ThunderBolts making voice calls, may get slower 1xRTT data.”
Multiple cities have signed on to celebrate “Foursquare Day” on April 16th, but none as prominently as New York City. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has declared April 16th “Foursquare Day” in New York City to celebrate the company and its success — but also to attract new startups to the area. “There is no better place than New York City to start a business,” Bloomberg’s office said. “We are the most exciting and most dynamic place on the market, an international capital of the arts, fashion, and finance. With Foursquare leading the way, we look forward to this generation’s innovators and entrepreneurs making their mark on our City in the years to come.” Foursquare was founded in New York City in 2007 by co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, and the company currently keeps its headquarters there. The social network says it has over 8 million users worldwide and adds roughly 35,000 users each day. If you haven’t tried it yet yet, you’re not too late. The latest version launched early last month and added a ton of useful features, including better specials. Oh, and if you’re wondering why Bloomberg chose the 16th specifically, it’s because four squared is 16 (and April is the fourth month). More →
T-Mobile on Tuesday announced that its 4G HSPA+ network is now available in 10 new markets including Ames, Iowa; Anderson, Indiana; Battle Creek, Benton Harbor and Jackson, Michigan; Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado; Lawrence and Manhattan, Kansas; Springfield, Illinois and Wichita Falls, Texas. T-Mobile also reaffirmed that it will soon double the speed of its 4G network from 21Mbps to a theoretical download speed of 42Mbps in Las Vegas, New York and Orlando. Chicago, Long Island, N.Y. and Northern New Jersey are scheduled to get the speed boost shortly after, and the carrier says it hopes to deliver those speeds to more than 140 million Americans in 25 markets by mid-year. T-Mobile’s 4G network now covers 167 U.S. markets and more than 200 million people nationwide. Hit the jump for the full release. More →