Tour New York's invisible, networked surveillance infrastructure with Ingrid Burrington's new book

Writer/artist Ingrid Burrington has published a book called Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure, which sketches the physical extrusions of the internet into New York City's streets and buildings, and makes especial note of how much of that infrastructure has been built as part of the post 9/11 surveillance network that NYC has erected over the past 15 years. Read the rest

1916 ad chides Congress for not investing in pneumatic tubes for first class mail delivery

Scott Edelman writes, "An ad in the December 1916 issue of The Scoop, a magazine 'written by newspaper men for newspaper men,' decries the fact Congress appropriated funds for continued mail delivery by pneumatic tubes in New York City, but failed to do the same for Chicago, and insists the loss of that technology 'would be calamitous.' At the time, 10 miles of two-way, eight-inch tubes running under Chicago delivered 8,000,000 pieces of mail daily. To the suggestion that mail should instead be delivered by trucks rather than pneumatic tubes, the question is asked, 'If we are going backward, why not get a wheelbarrow?'" Read the rest

NYC considers a pneumatic subway for trash

TomAqMar sez, "'If you were garbage, you'd be home by now,' says Forbes contributor Michael Kanellos in this report about a Swedish co. that's already installed on part of Roosevelt Island a pneumatic system to whisk trash to the incinerator."

Envac installed one of its vacuum systems in an area on Roosevelt Island, a thin strip of land in the shadow of Manhattan, in the 1970s. (Envac installed one at Disney World at the same time. Now, plans are under consideration to extend the network to technology campuses being erected on the island by Cornell University and the Technion.

Envac is also studying the possibility of putting networks of trash tubes under the Coney Island boardwalk, in a new development being created by a major property company, and near the Chelsea district in Manhattan. The vacuum tubes would leverage some of the infrastructure of the High Line, an urban development created from an old elevated train platform. Yes, if it goes through, pedestrians will walk underneath trash-filled tubes.

“We can retrofit in dense urban areas so we don’t have to rip up the street,” said Rosina Abramson, who runs Envac’s U.S. operations.

I sent a character crawling through the Walt Disney World ENVAC at the end of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

Will New York City Get A Subway For Garbage?

(Thanks, TomAqMar!) Read the rest