New York City Wants to Ban FedEx Robots

· Andrew Orr · Link

FedEx robots called Roxo appeared in New York City for a preview party of the company’s Small Business Saturday event. Despite not being there for testing, New York City’s mayor tweeted that they weren’t welcome, and criticized FedEx for taking jobs away from humans.

FedEx told TechCrunch that the bots were there for a preview party for its Small Business Saturday event and are not testing in New York. Even this promotional event was too much for city officials concerned with congestion and bots taking jobs from humans.

After reports of the bot sightings, the mayor tweeted that FedEx didn’t receive permission to deploy the robots; he also criticized the company for using a bot to perform a task that a New Yorker could do. The New York Department of Transportation has sent FedEx a cease-and-desist order to stop operations the bots,  which TechCrunch has viewed.

New York City Partners With Cellebrite to Hack iPhones

· Andrew Orr · Link

Documents reveal that New York City law enforcement has a partnership with Cellebrite to hack iPhones.

Previously, if law enforcement wanted to get into newer devices, they had to send the phones to one of Cellebrite’s digital forensics labs, located in New Jersey and Virginia. But Cellebrite’s new UFED Premium program gave law enforcement the ability to “unlock and extract data from all iOS and high-end Android devices” on their own, using software installed on computers in their offices.

I’ve always wondered if eventually Apple will remove the Lightning port from the iPhone once wireless charging becomes the norm. Side effects may include better waterproofing and worsened hacking.

Rebuilt Apple Maps Rolls Out for New York City

· Andrew Orr · Product News

Apple Maps logo

Apple is rebuilding Apple Maps for the United States to add more details and accuracy, and it just rolled out for users in New York City.

First T-Mobile 5G Test Reaches 493 Mbps in New York

· Andrew Orr · Link

During the first T-Mobile 5G test in New York City, the service scored 493 Mbps using a Verizon phone.

T-Mobile’s feat becomes greater when you understand that the carrier is using much less spectrum than Verizon is. Allnet Insights says T-Mobile is using 80MHz of spectrum in New York, which would make its theoretical maximum speed 500Mbps, but I’ve also heard that T-Mobile is using 100MHz, which would make the theoretical maximum 625Mbps.

Can You Speak Tree Language? New York City Does

· Andrew Orr · Link

Created by artist Kate Holten, the New York City Tree Alphabet lets anyone send hidden messages in tree language. You can also download it as a font.

A tentative version of Holten’s new Tree Alphabet was shared across the Parks Department for months, as groups across the system chimed in on which trees should stand for which letters–a more complicated idea than one might think, given that the Parks Department is particular about the species it wants planted.

*cries in Ogham*

Apple Fifth Avenue Store to Reopen This Year

· Andrew Orr · Link

The Apple Fifth Avenue store in New York City is set to reopen in the first half of 2019, says management of the company that owns the property.

Apple shuttered the Manhattan store in 2017 in order to renovate and increase the size of the store, but it has been unclear exactly when to expect it will reopen to the public. According to John Powers, CEO of Boston Properties, the re-opening is not far off.

The cube store is iconic so it will be good to see it up and running again.