Tag Archives: Times Square

Location Based Emergency Notifications

The National Weather Service has pinged your phone with those “DANGER FLOOD WARNING” message one too many times. The same service that they use to let people in a specific area know when there’s an Amber Alert.

So why are colleges and universities so far behind the times?

Last month there was a drive-by shooting outside of Brooklyn College and CUNY sent out a generic text to all Brooklyn College students “stay inside, active shooter”.
But the texts were so vague that they didn’t even say they were from Brooklyn College, simply “stay inside”.
People around the world, who may be current Brooklyn College students, got generic “shelter in place” notifications.

But why should the colleges still be on the text/email alert systems?

Shouldn’t they be able to place a beacon on the campus, which sends out a notification to people within a certain radius, stating “stay in place”?

Or even better, shouldn’t that be standard across America?
When there’s a shooter in Orlando or a car into a crowd in Times Square, there should be an alert within a mile of that site to stay away. And anyone outside that radius, who enters it, maybe their phone would pick up the signal and tell them to turn away.

We know the technology is there, we’ve seen it in action, and it needs to get implemented.

End of a Toys R Us Era – Times Square

Only a few weeks remain before the Times Square Toys R Us store shuts down for good.

Toys R Us Front Of Store

This store is their flagship location, and features a giant indoor Ferris Wheel, loaded with cars and other popular kids toys (like the Mystery Machine Van and fire trucks).

Toys R Us Ferris Wheel

Previous years the store was open 24-hours a day in the lead up to Christmas, but with less snowstorms across the country this year (leading to less impact on their sales) and with the rise of internet shopping, they skipped that tradition this year.

Earlier this year Toys R Us shut down the famous FAO Schwartz store on 5th Avenue (as made famous in BIG) after buying them out six years ago. FAO Schwartz products are still carried in Toys R Us stores.

Both closing are being attributed to rising prices of real estate in NYC.