accident Stories July 14, 2014

NY woman dies in tragic subway accident while trying to catch her iPad

The New York Post reports that a 21-year-old woman has died after falling in front of a subway train while trying to catch the iPad she had dropped.

The woman who was crushed to death by a subway train at Union Square on Saturday lost her balance after fumbling with her iPad, causing her to fall onto the tracks, officials said.

Police said that it appeared the woman had lost her grip on the iPad and made a grab for it as it slipped, losing her footing and falling onto the tracks just as a train was arriving. The conductor reportedly spotted the woman on the rails but was too late to stop the train.

Cautionary note: the linked report has a photo which appears to show some of the remains of the victim – we’ve cropped it out of the above photo.

Photo: R Umar Abbasi/New York Post

accident Stories July 4, 2013

According to a new Apple patent application published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (via AppleInsider), Apple is looking into new mapping features that would integrate real-time, crowd-sourced traffic and navigation data through ratings and user reporting.

At first glance the features appear to be similar to those included in the community-based mapping app ‘Waze’, which is one of the reasons that Google just acquired the company last month. The patent application, titled “User-Specified Route Rating and Alerts,” describes a system for users to “provide ratings for routes, streets and/or locations.” In other words, users can rate a suggested route when getting directions in order to provide crowd-sourced feedback to Apple and in return Apple will provide the most efficient and accurate routes to other users based on the ratings:

Particular implementations provide at least the following advantages: Route determination is improved by accounting for real-world considerations and concerns of travelers. Real-time user-generated alerts allow for faster and more accurate notification of events within proximity of a user that might hinder the user’s progress as the user travels… In some implementations, rating database 110 can store information related to users’ ratings of routes and/or locations. For example, a user of mobile device 102 can interact with navigation engine 104 to provide ratings for routes and/or locations. The ratings information provided by the user can be transmitted to navigation service 106 through network 114. Navigation service 106 can store the ratings information in rating database 110 and route engine can determine routes based on the ratings information stored in rating database 110.

Apple also walks through a process of gathering user-generated alerts for routes including accident reports, road closures, etc. Apple plans on taking all the alert and route rating data and providing it to other users in real-time to improve route directions. In other words, if your device is detected to be in the same location as a user-generated alert, Apple will be able to push that alert to your device or suggest an alternate route based on the incident that’s been reported:

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