Texting on the Tube made possible? Teenage inventor builds low-frequency radio for underground communications

Gerald Lynch Features, Science, Tech Digest news 2 Comments

We've all been there; on the phone, on the verge of breaking the meaning of life during the daily commute when your train hits a tunnel and your signal cuts out. We can send a man to the moon, but…

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Plans for mobile reception on the tube abandoned

TechDigest writer Mobile phones Leave a Comment

Do you remember March 2007? What stands out in your mind about it? If the answer to that question is "why, that's the month TfL announced they'd be trialling mobile phone reception on the underground of course", then prepare to be disappointed.

Two years later, they've decided it's not going to happen. Quite why it took so long is anybody's guess, but the reasoning can be helpfully pinned onto everyone's favourite excuse: the perilous economy. A TfL spokesman explained: "While it is technically possible to deploy mobile phone and data wireless solutions on the deep level Underground tunnels and stations, the unique nature and environment of the Tube mean that project costs would be prohibitively high at this time."

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Google adds tube map to Google Maps

Duncan Geere Web 2.0, Websites 1 Comment

google-tube-map.jpg

Google Maps launched its new ‘Transit’ section of Google Maps this morning, which focuses on public transport. Wonderfully, included in the update is a tube map that you can turn on and off on the display – immensely useful for planning ya route across the capital.

Be aware though – because it’s tied to real geographical locations, it might be a bit confusing, and not as intuitive as using the regular tube map. On the other hand, you might find out something useful, like how close Lancaster Gate (on the Central Line) is to Paddington, or Canon Street to Bank, saving you some trouble, and going miles out of your way to change tubes.

If you’ve got a local metro/tube/underground system of some sort, is it shown on Google’s new layer? Let us know in the comments. Now… if only Google would release street view in the UK…

Google Maps UK (via TechCrunch)

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FLASH GAME CHALLENGE: Metro Rules of Conduct

Duncan Geere Flash Game of the Week 1 Comment

metro-rules-of-conduct.jpg

If you’re a commuter, or if you’ve ever used the underground in London during rush hour, then you’ll be familiar with the horror of having millions of people around you, without being able to look at any of them. Instead you’re forced to stare vaguely into space down the carriage.

This game perfectly simulates that experience. Use your arrow keys to look around, look at people’s stuff for points. But don’t get caught looking! That’s a recipe for someone thinking you’re some kidy of stare-y weirdo. I got 8968 points. What’s your best score? Tell us in the comments.

Metro Rules of Conduct (via RPS)

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Glasgow tube stations get O2 phone reception today

Duncan Geere Transport 4 Comments

glasgow-underground.jpg

That nice gentleman up there has probably just fainted with delight, after discovering that today he’s able to use his O2 mobile on the tube in Glasgow. We’ve known about it for a while, but today, O2 has brought phone reception to the five busiest platforms on the Glasgow subway – Buchanan Street, St Enoch, Partick, Hillhead and Govan.

The move is just a trial, but if it goes well, then you can bet your bottom dollar, or pound, that it’ll show up in London, and any other subway systems around Britain. Get ready to ask loud people to shut up underground, as well as on buses and trains.

Are you in Glasgow and on O2? What’s the service like – perfect? Or a bit patchy? Let us know in the comments.

O2 Press release (via O2UKOfficial Twitter)

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GALLERY: Swedish ISP has Bond-style datacentre in a nuclear bunker deep below Stockholm

Duncan Geere Weirdness 2 Comments

Step down 1&1, you no longer have the coolest datacentre. That honour now belongs to Bahnhof, at their Pionen datacentre, buried deep in the bedrock below Stockholm in a former nuclear bunker. I don’t know where to start – it uses submarine engines! It has waterfalls! There’s 1,500,000 Watts of cooling! It can withstand a hit from a nuclear missle!

Click the image below to check it out, before my head explodes from the awesomeness.

(via, and more pictures and info at, Royal Pingdom)

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