Lyft or Uber?

Cool kids like Lyft better. But Uber is far more available in far more places.

While both services look identical, there are major differences. Uber is richer in features and available in more cities. Yet Lyft is more transparent in its receipts about the details of a trip …

In terms of ride-summoning features, Uber wins hands down.

The verdict: Lyft wins, in part for greater transparency.

The verdict: Frequent riders will benefit more from Uber’s rewards program, which is more comprehensive and compelling.

What about reputation?

The verdict: Though neither company is innocent, Lyft wins by a long shot.

Where Uber and Lyft are available

Uber has an advantage because of its broad availability worldwide. The company, which has operations in 63 countries, is a behemoth compared with Lyft, which is available in just the United States and Canada.

Uber vs. Lyft: Which Ride-Hailing App Is Better?

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Where are LIBRARIES headed?

I spend a lot of time in libraries. They are good. But could be much better.

Eric Klinenberg spent a year researching libraries for his book Palaces for the People.

How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life

Social infrastructure is the glue that binds communities together, and it is just as real as the infrastructure for water, power, or communications, although it’s often harder to see.

But Eric Klinenberg says that when we invest in social infrastructures such as libraries, parks, or schools, we reap all kinds of benefits. We become more likely to interact with people around us, and connected to the broader public. If we neglect social infrastructure, we tend to grow more isolated, which can have serious consequences.

Calgary Public Library

I heard Klinenberg interviewed on the 99% Invisible podcast. His argument was compelling.

I’d love to see libraries expand their programs. Increase the hours they are open.

Libraries are unofficial sanctuaries for street people, at least during daylight. That should be formalized.

Libraries could be much, much better.

Pod room in a hostel

I’ve stayed in a couple of airport pod hotel rooms. An excellent idea. You can rent for 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours or more depending on the amount of time you have between flights.

But in Púcon, Chile I stayed for the first time in a pod room in a hostel.

$15 / night. No breakfast. Shared washrooms and excellent kitchen. You keep your stuff in a locker outside the room.

But here’s the view just outside my door.

This is the French Andes hostel.

Hilton is getting into hostels

I’ve stayed in many hundreds of different hostels around the world. I like them much better than hotels. 

Cost in 2018 runs about $15 / night for a bunkbed. $35 / night for a private room. 

Most of the best I can recall were in New Zealand. The worst in North America.

One of the new upscale chains is called Clink. I recently tried to book at Clink London but it was booked out for weeks.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Happily we are soon to have more and better hostels. Companies like the Hilton chain are getting into the low end market.

… Private rooms are much more common than they once were and some of the properties are starting to mirror the design-led approach of boutique hotels. …

There’s even a debate about using the word hostel itself with many of those making the most noise preferring to use terms such as “hybrid,”  “open house” or poshtel instead. …

Hostels or youth hostels aren’t a new phenomenon. The movement goes back to Richard Schirrmann, a German teacher who founded the first one in 1912. …

“We see a massive demand in America and there is no supply, actually… and this is why we also, absolutely, think it’s the right time to step into the U.S. market,” Spanring said. …

The Big-Money Reinvention of the Humble Hostel

 

Best of the best for me are bunk beds … but bunk beds that are privacy pods.

Maps.me v Google maps offline?

How did I travel without this awesome technology?

It was no problem to find my way through the narrow labyrinths of souks (bazaars) in the Medina of Marrakesh.

Google maps offline is better, but only provides directions for automobile travel. It’s ideal if you are in a rent-a-car.

Maps.me is better if you are on public transit, bike or on foot.

For any new area I’m traveling I download both while connected to wifi. Then compare results offline.

Maps.me gets the data from community-based OpenStreetMap. It’s not as up-to-date or complete. But it does give you voice turn-by-turn navigation like Google.

I love them both.

The process of downloading an offline map is more complicated in Google. It’s one click on Maps.me.

Click PLAY or watch Maps.me on YouTube.

World Sustainable Development Goals

Thinking BIG PICTURE.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were the eight international development goals for the year 2015 that had been established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

All 191 United Nations member states at that time, and at least 22 international organizations, committed …

As of 2013, progress towards the goals was uneven. …

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replaced the MDGs in 2016.

related – Kofi Annan, former UN secretary general, dies

White cops question black man

St. Louis MO April 19, 2018.

Rule of law is critical to society. I like the police. But I like them better when video is rolling.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The only other person on the scene when police called over a gentleman, I propped up my camera.

This gentleman did exactly what I would have done. Came directly to the first officer. Sat down immediately as requested.

Police were not aggressive in body language or any other way. Eventually they noticed my camera. Did not seem to care. I suspect most encounters go exactly like this. But are not reported