New York City finally figured out what to do with all its old phone booths.

New York City's phone booths are about to be replaced.

By what? You may ask.

By these:


A LinkNYC Wi-Fi hotspot outside of Jay Zs home. Photo from YouTube

That, my friends, is a public Wi-Fi hotspot. And it's free.

They may look like the monolith from "2001: A Space Odyssey," but instead of providing light-speed, mind-expanding information access to a species of primates, the Wi-Fi hotspots will ... actually, they'll sort of do exactly the same thing! (Humans are primates for those of you who slept through biology class.)

Starting this summer, Wi-Fi terminals from a project called "LinkNYC" will start appearing all over New York City.

Since at least 2012, New York has been trying to figure out what to do with all the old pay phones. They launched a nationwide competition looking for solutions, and the idea to turn them into Wi-Fi hotspots was the winner.

The project is run by CityBridge and funded in part by three tech companies: Qualcomm Technologies Inc., a smartphone chip maker; CIVIQ Smartscapes, a networking company; and Intersection, which has backing from Google's parent company Alphabet.

CityBridge plans to install 500 of these hotspots in July 2016, with the eventual goal of 7,500 appearing throughout the city.

Cities have tried in the past to provide free public Wi-Fi, and CityBridge plans to leave those efforts in the digital dust. LinkNYC terminals will provide a whopping 1,000 megabits/second (mbps) Internet speed with no ads. That's a lot faster than a typical wireless carrier offers. (One of Verizon's more expensive wireless plans is only 50 mbps.)

That's great news for New York City's many cafe writers, Instagrammers, and public porn-viewers.

Lots of New Yorkers go to coffee shops to use free Wi-Fi and pretend they're working. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

This is also great news for the wireless market in general.

New York City offering such blazing fast Internet for free will force all Internet carriers in that market to step up their game.

“This is creating all kinds of competition,” Colin O’Donnell, CityBridge’s chief technology officer told the Wall Street Journal. “This is going to set a new standard for speed, drive pricing competition, and set new expectations for data caps."

Since New York City is one of the countries largest Internet markets, competition is beneficial to all. Among the chief providers of Internet service in New York is Time Warner Cable, which has been rated as the most unpopular company in America.


They were even voted worse than Skynet, a fictional company that literally ended humanity. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Three hand clap emojis for New York City setting yet another major precedent.

After all, this is the same city that successfully banned trans fats and invented salt warnings for the sake of public health, recently gave working parents and caretakers legal job protection, and even planted 1 million trees to improve the environment.

Now, NYC is setting a high bar for information access in the age of the smartphone.

In 2011, the UN declared Internet access a human right, calling "upon all states to ensure that Internet access is maintained at all times, including during times of political unrest."

Starting summer 2016, all of New York City's residents can enjoy that human right free of charge and free of hassle. Perhaps it could set an example for other cities to do the same.

Frankly, it'll just be nice to have something in the city without Donald Trump's name on it.

The only question left is: Where is Superman supposed to change now?

Sorry, buddy. DISCLAIMER: May not actually be Superman. Photo by Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Lainey and baby goat Annie. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse
True

Oftentimes, the journey to our true calling is winding and unexpected. Take Lainey Morse, who went from office manager to creator of the viral trend, Goat Yoga, thanks to her natural affinity for goats and throwing parties.

Back in 2015, Lainey bought a farm in Oregon and got her first goats who she named Ansel and Adams. "Once I got them, I was obsessed," says Lainey. "It was hard to get me off the farm to go do anything else."

Right away, she noticed what a calming presence they had. "Even the way they chew their cud is relaxing to be around because it's very methodical," she says. Lainey was going through a divorce and dealing with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at the time, but even when things got particularly hard, the goats provided relief.

"I found it impossible to be stressed or depressed when I was with them."

She started inviting friends up to the farm for what she called "Goat Happy Hour." Soon, the word spread about Lainey's delightful, stress-relieving furry friends. At one point, she auctioned off a child's birthday party at her farm, and the mom asked if they could do yoga with the goats. And lo, the idea for goat yoga was born.

A baby goat on a yoga student. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Goat yoga went viral so much so that by fall of 2016, Lainey was able to quit her office manager job at a remodeling company to manage her burgeoning goat yoga business full-time. Now she has 10 locations nationwide.

Lainey handles the backend management for all of her locations, and loves that side of the business too, even though it's less goat-related. "I still have my own personal Goat Happy Hour every single day so I still get to spend a lot of time with my goats," says Lainey. "I get the best of both worlds."

Lainey with her goat Fabio. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Since COVID-19 hit, her locations have had to close temporarily. She hopes her yoga locations will be able to resume classes in the spring when the vaccine is more widely available. "I think people will need goat yoga more than ever before, because everyone has been through so much stress in 2020," says Lainey.

Major life changes like Lainey's can come around for any number of reasons. Even if they seem out of left field to some, it doesn't mean they're not the right moves for you. The new FOX series "Call Me Kat", which premieres Sunday, January 3rd after NFL and will continue on Thursday nights beginning January 7th, exemplifies that. The show is centered around Kat, a 39-year old single woman played by Mayim Bialik, who quit her math professor job and spent her life's savings to pursue her dreams to open a Cat Café in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jeff Harry started making similar moves when he was just 10-years-old, and kept making them throughout his life. After seeing the movie "Big,"Jeff knew he wanted to play with toys for a living, so he started writing toy companies asking for next steps. He finally got a response when he was a sophomore in high school — the company told him he needed to become a mechanical engineer first.

Keep Reading Show less

Katie Schieffer is a mom of a 9-year-old who was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes after spending some time in the ICU. Diabetes is a nuisance of a disease on its own, requiring blood sugar checks and injections of insulin several times a day. It can also be expensive to maintain—especially as the cost of insulin (which is actually quite inexpensive to make) has risen exponentially.

Schieffer shared an emotional video on TikTok after she'd gone to the pharmacy to pick up her son's insulin and was smacked with a bill for $1000. "I couldn't pay for it," she says through tears in the video. "I now have to go in and tell my 9-year-old son I couldn't pay for it."

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

For some people, "no" is the hardest word they'll ever say. It's understandable, telling someone no can create a tense social situation and we all want to be seen as a nice person.

The problem is that never saying "no" to things we don't want to do can lead to a terrible build-up of resentment for our friends, family, or coworkers. It can also lead to feelings of low self-esteem because you can't manage to stand up for yourself.

Left unchecked, this problem can lead to a sense of despair because your life no longer feels like it's yours.

Keep Reading Show less

Nearly a year into the deadliest pandemic in a century, the U.S. is still battling not only the virus, but Americans living in denial of reality as well.

Take this video of a group of anti-maskers who stood in front of a Trader Joe's entrance and tried to argue that they had every right to shop there without masks. The woman narrating the video states that they have "a right to commerce" (they don't—there's literally no such right), that Trader Joe's doesn't have the right to require masks (they do—it's their store), that the mandate to wear masks in public places can't be enforced because it's not a real law (it can—), and that they were not there to demonstrate, but just to buy groceries (umm, right).

The manager, to his credit, did what he could to calmly talk with these people while also making it clear that they were not going to enter the store without a mask.

"The point you're trying to make isn't going to be made with us," he said. "It can be made with your government...I am not here to debate policy. I totally respect for you to think anything you want to think...my job, as manager of the store is to enforce the mandate, whether you believe in it or not."


Keep Reading Show less