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Pokémon GO Is Apparently a Multimillion-Dollar Traffic Hazard, but That’s Not Gonna Stop People

Researchers from Purdue University recently found that there was a "disproportionate increase in vehicular crashes and associated vehicular damage, personal injuries, and fatalities" in the areas where Pokémon GO introduced PokéStops.

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Things We Saw Today: Where You Lead, I Will Follow This “Fixed” Gilmore Girls Intro

YouTube user rose tyler (nice name) shares a "fixed" version of the Gilmore Girls title sequence.

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Tumblr Web Traffic Reportedly Just Hit a Real Steep Decline

We told you removing porn from searches was a bad idea.

More bad news from the blogging platform that everybody loves to hate to love: according to measurements taken by Quantcast, traffic to Tumblr's desktop and mobile websites appear to be going downhill fast this year. Seriously, it's like 2011 low. Remember what Tumblr was like in 2011? Exactly.

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NoPhoto License Plate Frame Protects You From Traffic Cams

Hidden traffic cameras take all the fun out of driving. Even if it seems like there's nobody around for miles, you never know when there's going to be a camera on a traffic light or telephone pole that's going to snap a shot of you driving just a little too fast. There's nothing worse than getting a ticket in the mail that you didn't realize you got nicked for at the time. Jonathan Dandrow knows your pain, and he wants to help: He created the NoPhoto, a license plate frame that detects traffic cameras, and blocks your plate number when big brother tries to catch you red-handed.

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Reddit Had 200,000 Concurrent Visitors During President Obama’s AMA

You might have heard that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, made an appearance over on reddit for an AMA (ask me anything) thread. For half an hour yesterday, between 4:30PM and 5:00PM Eastern time, President Obama answered questions asked of him in a generally responsive and gracious manner. In addition to responding, he also managed to draw 200,000 concurrent users to the site -- massively overwhelming it at times.

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Estimated Travel Time From Traffic Info Triumphantly Returns to Google Maps

Back in the day, Google Maps could give you a rough estimate of how long your journey from point A to point B would take depending on the traffic in the area. Last summer, that capability disappeared because of dissatisfaction with the methodology it used. However, the feature has now returned, and it's partly thanks to crowd-sourced data from Android users.

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The Chaotic, Mesmerizing Traffic in Vietnam

At first, you might not be inclined to watch a time-lapse movie about the traffic in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Friend, I once thought as you did. What I didn't realize, however, is that said traffic in said city is completely insane. To illustrate: Take a look at the image above, and count how many vehicles there are, and then count how many different directions vehicles are traveling in. Now imagine that, but moving seamlessly and apparently with complete ease. It's astounding.

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Smartphone Driving Networks Could Help You Hit All the Lights All the Time

We're getting to the point where smartphones can do everything PCs do and more. They play and store media, let us read emails, surf the web, take pictures, so why not give them another challenge and let them help us drive our cars? A new technology, SignalGuru, is aiming to do just that and the results are looking promising, according to researchers from MIT and Princeton.

The main thing SignalGuru tries to do is help you pace yourself so that you can time traffic lights perfectly, just like you do out of sheer luck every now and again. SignalGuru, through the use of a smartphone's camera, GPS and traffic signal data, might be able to make this an everyday occurrence by anticipating when a dumb (fixed interval) light will change with a margin of error around two-thirds of a second and when a smart (varies based on traffic flow) light will change with a margin of one to two seconds.

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Laser Guided Bike Lane Could Save Lives

Bike lanes, while useful, also carry their fair share of danger when motorists simply aren't aware that a cyclist is in their vicinity. But, a new laser-based signaling system to alert motorists to the presence of cyclists may solve the problem by projecting a bright green bike symbol onto the pavement ahead of a cyclist. BLAZE is a small, battery operated device that can be attached to the handlebars of bicycles, motorcycles or scooters. It projects a bright green laser image onto the road ahead to alert other motorists that there is someone in the bike lane. The image can be made to flash to increase visibility and can even be used in sunny daylight conditions. The device was created by Emily Brooke, a final-year design student at the University of Brighton in England. Brooke worked  to develop the system with road safety experts, the Brighton & Hove City Council, the Brighton & Hove Bus Company and driving psychologists.

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3-Way Street Highlights Perils of NYC Traffic [Video]

New York City traffic is tough to navigate, no matter what your mode of transportation. For his Master's thesis project at the School of Visual Arts (SVA,) Ron Gabriel made 3-Way Street a video highlighting the dangers New York City intersections pose for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

The video shows pedestrians, cyclists, and cars and trucks engaged in a delicate exchange in which people get cut off, right of way matters naught, and cars inevitably get hit. Yellow circles surround cyclists, black boxes enclose pedestrians, and white boxes showcase vehicles. When a collision seems imminent the boxes all glow red, highlighting the many close calls that can occur at just a single intersection.

According to Gabriel, the project was inspired by the expansion of bike lanes in the summer of 2010 and the subsequent onslaught of close calls stemming from bad habits like jaywalking, cyclists running red lights, and cars that plow through crosswalks. Gabriel believes ingrained habits like these make attempts to use the city streets in different ways (like widening the bike lanes) difficult to implement due to the existing disfunction at intersections.

(Kottke.org via Ron Con Cola Cola)

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Man Simultaneously Drives Two Bumper Cars Around China [Video]

For reasons unknown, the so-called "Mr. Zhang" decided that since he had nothing better to do that day, he would drive around China in two bumper cars. At the same time. He can be seen here, straddling the two fair-ground roadsters, and tooling around amiably without a care in the world. Eventually, he was stopped by police, which Metro reports resulted in little punishment for Mr. Zhang.

Officer Xiao said: 'Traffic regulations say that bumper cars are not engine vehicles, so they can't drive onto street.' However, because the law doesn't stipulate what punishment a bumper car driver should receive Zhang just got a warning.
So let's recap on the subject of China, shall we? You can't freely search the internet, you can't have time-travel plots in TV shows, but driving two bumper cars through busy traffic is no big deal. (via Autoblog)

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Avoiding Traffic Snarls With Google Maps Navigation

If you're already using the Google Maps Navigation app on your Android device, you'll have a sweet surprise coming to you: The app can now avoid bad traffic. Interestingly, this will not rely solely on up-to-the-minute data. From the Google Mobile blog:
Starting today, our routing algorithms will also apply our knowledge of current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates. That means that Navigation will automatically guide you along the best route given the current traffic conditions.
The feature is, however, limited to areas in Europe and North America where real-time traffic conditions are available. Traffic avoidance is being introduced as an automatic feature -- meaning that the app will be taking traffic data into account as soon as you fire it up. This might be jarring for some users, especially those who only use navigation for a portion of their trip (I am completely guilty of ignoring my GPS as it re-calculates while I drive to the edge of my geographical knowledge). Google does point out, though, that using the app may make driving better for everyone by keeping users out of sprawling traffic jams. This kind of traffic avoidance technology has been available on dedicated GPS devices for some time, though almost always as a paid feature. Bringing this capability to the masses will certainly make companies like Garmin nervous, and hopefully get people to their destinations faster. (Google via Engadget)

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Harry Potter Causing Indian Owl Crisis?

Jairam Ramesh, Indian Environment Minister, feels the degrading wild owl population in India is because of Harry Potter fans who attempt to capture the birds as pets in order to be more like the wizardly hero. Yep.

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New Universal Traffic Light Would Use Shapes to Inform the Colorblind

The era of traffic-light exclusion is at an end. The original traffic light was fine, but it didn't allow those unable to distinguish the colors from knowing what they were supposed to do, and the non-conformity of color-location internationally with stop-lights meant that traveling color-blind individuals could get into some very confusing situations. But along comes the UNISignal, the universal traffic light:

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