Tag Archives: Thoughts

Lyft Line

I tried Lyft Line the other day, and I am less than impressed.

Lyft Line is the ride-sharing car-pooling version of Lyft where you share the car with other people.

The problem that I have is that they give an estimate on your arrival time, based on not picking up any more people. But as soon as more people get added on it jumps 10-15 minutes, and continues to do that as the time grows.

Now I understand that this will happen as they bring more people into your ride, but I feel the estimated time should be more precise.
For example, if it’s going to take 20 minutes to get to my destination, tell me it’ll take 30-40 to take into account any pickups you may add. No one will complain if you get there too early.
Instead they tell you 18-23 minutes, and then it just starts jumping until you get there 40 minutes after the original estimate.

In New York City their algorithm clearly needs to be replaced. Whereas in other cities they may add in people within a 1/2 mile of your current route, in NYC that is equivalent to a 10-20 ride difference.
New York needs to be handled as a time difference. If it’s within 7-15 minutes of your route they add it in.
This would allow them to give a more accurate estimate of arrival before your trip.

While this method may not be good for their bottom line, neither are unsatisfied customers who can’t work on the assumption that “my 20-minute estimate is now an hour once you’ve driven me one mile in the wrong direction (which is 25 minutes in NYC)…”

Dear Editors on Daily Mail

Dear Editors on Daily Mail,

Just kidding. There are no editors on Daily Mail.
From the headlines to the blurbs on the front page, and the stories to the gossip pages, the site is riddled with misspellings and errors.

Factual errors, simple spelling mistakes, and a lot of things that are easily fixable if someone just read things over once before they posted (or just ran something like AutoCorrect or Grammerly before posting).

ABC7-NY recently added a “Report A Typo” button on the end of every story. Clicking it will open your email with the subject “Report a typo” and fills out the text with the story headline and link.
While it may seem a bit lazy, it is an extra (hundred) set of eyes to keep an eye on things and make sure everything going out is correct.

So Daily Mail, maybe hire an editor or two….or just turn your site into a wiki and let the readers correct the mistakes.

Mental Health Awareness Panel

On Wednesday night the Orthodox Union/JLIC at the Tanger Hillel of Brooklyn College had a panel discussion entitled “Depression and Anxiety: Let’s Talk”, with the intent of breaking the stigma and getting the community talking.

Very often mental illness is a disease of separation where people feel different, isolated, and alone…and you really don’t have to be.
– Dr. Perlstein, Clinical Psychologist, DBT CBT Specialist

It featured a panel of six people including a Child Psychiatrist, a Clinical Psychologist, Social Workers, Organization leaders and a religious leader.

Mental illness is real. It’s something that needs to be addressed and something that we cannot shy away from anymore. Confront it. Deal with it. Get proper help.
– Zvi Gluck, Executive Director and Founder of Amudim

They spoke on a range of topics, from depression and anxiety to addictions and signs to look out for, as well as what we can do to help ourselves and those around us.

People aren’t crazy. Human behavior, every behavior that someone does, there’s a reason behind it. Let’s try to understand why before we judge it.
– Alexander Rand, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

At the end of the event, they had a resource expo handing out pamphlets and information for a lot of local organizations. They also handed out a booklet of information that people can take home and use as a guide if they ever needed a place to turn.

It’s time for us to be open with each other. It’s time for us to stop thinking and worrying about the shidduchim of our six-year-olds with ADHD. It’s time for us to stop running away from our problems. Face the problems.
– Dr. Ronen Hizami, Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist

The event was in memory of my friend Rebecca, who we lost almost one year ago, although it was the first anniversary on the Hebrew calendar on Wednesday, the day of the event.

Education ends the stigma. It’s important that we get a clear picture of what it is so that we stop stigmatizing without realizing what it’s all about.
– Rabbi Yisroel Grossberg, Principal of BCA and Rabbinic Advisor for Chazkeinu

Amudim, an organization formed to help provide assistance and guidance to those facing crisis, and whose founder was on the panel, recorded and live streamed the event via Facebook.
I turned their feed into an unlisted YouTube video, making it easier to view without a Facebook account.

We do have a choice whether we stay in denial or whether we come out of denial and take action and fight it.
– Judith Leventhal, Licensed Social Worker, Author  of National Bestselling Series, Small Miracles

I know it’s two hours long, but trust me it is worth watching and sharing along to everyone you know. You never know who needs it and who will benefit from it.
As always, if anyone ever needs it, my inbox is always open to talk.

Book Sharing

I recently have been exploring the idea of some sort of book sharing program.

I bought two books, had them delivered to a couple of people, and the plan was to have them pass it on to the next reader when they were done with it.

There were/are a few problems with my plan…the first was I didn’t have a proper delivery method to get it from person A to B…but more importantly, I didn’t actually have a list of people to pass things on to!

The obvious answer to problem #1 is USPS flat rate shipping…but funny enough, with Amazon’s cheap book prices, and free shipping seven days a week, it’s actually simpler to buy a new book for each person (obviously this depends on the book).

The first two books I’ve sent out were polar opposites: Scrappy Little Nobody, Anna Kendricks’ autobiography; and 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, recently turned into a Netflix show.

If you are interested in getting involved or want one of those first two books, feel free to reach out (you know…twitter, email, comment below) and join in on the reading fun!

Smarter Ads On Hulu

I wish the advertisements on Hulu were smarter.

They have my watching history, including what shows I’ve watched, which shows are on my watchlist and most importantly: What show I am in the middle of.

If I’ve already watched a show, there is no need to keep promoting it to me…but more importantly, last week I was in the middle of watching the second episode of 24: Legacy and in a commercial break they showed me ads to “Watch the pilot of 24: Legacy now on Hulu”.

You know I’ve already seen it. And let’s argue that you don’t know that it was me that watched it but another user (despite the newly added profiles), but you do know that I am currently watching the second episode…so ads for the first one are wasted on me.

The tech is all there, you have all my info, and I WANT you to use it. Now make the user experience user-friendly.

Hulu Logo

The Media vs Trump

Media critic and NYU Professor of Journalism Jay Rosen had an interesting thought process this weekend about the Trump White House vs. CNN, and I thought it’d be nice to compile it in one place for easy reading.

My thoughts on it: I think it is a very interesting take, and I am curious to see how it plays out because it has potential to shift the entire dynamic of interviews on television, taking the cards away from the guests and letting the anchors ask what they want, how they want!

Link to thread: https://twitter.com/jayrosen_nyu/status/828032518565789697

Twitter thread by Jay Rosen (https://twitter.com/jayrosen_nyu):
Here’s my read on this news: CNN declines to have Kellyanne Conway on air — and lets that fact be publicly known
The background here is the Trump team ‘freezing out’ CNN and trying to punish it for reporting it didn’t like
Last wee, Jake Tapper spoke up about the White House refusing to send any representative to his Sunday program
Instead of ‘you get no one’ the White House is this week saying to CNN: you can’t have what everyone else is getting…Mike Pence.
But instead of taking a second tier guest — Kellyanne Conway — CNN came back with its own statement: you wanna give up the air time? Fine.
Why do these adolescent games matter? Any kind of push back matters for a press capable of cave-ins like this
Another reason it could matter is that the White House is pushing CNN into a little booking experiment that might otherwise never occur.
Weeks of news coverage ABOUT the Trump White House without on-air guests FROM the Trump White House allow CNN to test a proposition…
Does it really hurt CNN in the ratings when speakers from the White House fail to appear on air? What if the answer turns out to be no?
If the boycott and ‘punishment’ continue, and CNN does fine in the ratings, AND in digging up juicy things about the Trump White House—
—then it will have been demonstrated that you don’t need their guests to do well. If the White House wants to give up the airtime, fine!
Which in turn means: If the White House “comes back” to CNN, the power relationships between guest and host might be subtly altered.
When everyone on set knows CNN can live with it if the White House rep never returns, it’s a little easier to hold speakers accountable.
Works the other way around too. When a guest doesn’t care about getting asked back, this has a welcome effect on freedom of expression.
In sum: the White House thinks it’s playing hardball with CNN. But it may wind up illuminating an alternative path: outside-in coverage.
Compared to the shifts I have described here, news that Kellyanne Conway was turned away is just a delightful confection.

Going At It Alone

This Sunday I went to Monster Jam on my own. This follows solo trips to Virginia, Niagara, and Washington D.C., including a Garth Brooks concert, among other things.

Is it fun to go to these events alone? Nope.
Is it necessary to go to these events alone? Yes.

When planning these trips, there is always the option of adding an extra person, it’s usually as simple as adding a hotel room…and with Monster Jam there was an unused ticket that went to waste.

If I waited for someone to do all these things with I never would have walked the Freedom Trail in Boston, wandered thru the streets of Camden Yards, or felt the spray of the Class 6 White Water Rapids of Niagara.
Never would I have stomped around the Tidal Basin or climbed the staircases of the New York Capitol, and it’s likely I never would have rocked out with the fine people of Richmond.

No, I definitely don’t want to have done all these alone. It would be a lot nicer to have someone to share the experiences with, to talk about the fun times that was had.

But until all that is an option, I’m just gonna have to keep going at it all alone.