Technology

The Airbnb gold rush is on

The Airbnb gold rush is on

Whole buildings, like this one in Chinatown, are being converted into hotels

Photographs by Ken Richardson AIRBNB, LIKE THE draw of ride-hailing apps to car owners, started with the premise that your home can make you a little extra money by renting out rooms to travelers looking to save a few dollars. Empty-nesters, they said, could rent out junior’s bedroom now that he’s moved out and put(...)

Read More »

How now cow power?

How now cow power?

Cows providing fuel for electricity

IN A RURAL valley south of Deerfield, power lines strung on new poles run along a stretch of muddy gravel between the main road and the interior of Bar-Way Farm, where hundreds of cows provide electricity along with their milk. Manure from the cows is pumped into a massive, red, airtight tank that acts like(...)

Read More »

Watching the games people play

Watching the games people play

State keeps real-time track of every slot machine

SECRETED ON THE 12th floor of 101 Federal Street in Boston’s Financial District is a windowless command center, manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Keycard entry is so restricted and the information so sensitive that even top level managers don’t have access. Four big-screen monitors are mounted on the wall with information(...)

Read More »

Cities and states must take lead on climate change

Cities and states must take lead on climate change

Policies can yield substantial health dividends

CLIMATE CHANGE CREATES risks that scientists have been warning about for decades. Fortunately, many actions that reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change and hedge against longer-term risks can also benefit public health right now. Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions often go hand in hand with reductions in air pollutants with well-established relationships(...)

Read More »

The high toll of inmate phone calls

The high toll of inmate phone calls

Advocates say charges keep prisoners isolated, undermine criminal justice reforms

IT’S EASY TO take ordinary conveniences like making a telephone call for granted. Advances in technology have made communication cheaper and higher quality than ever before. But one group has been excluded from enjoying the benefits of the falling cost of this modern amenity: inmates. For years, inmates and their families across the nation have(...)

Read More »

Baker doubling down on failed biotech strategy

Baker doubling down on failed biotech strategy

State subsidies -- an expensive mistake -- have marginal economic impact

This opinion piece has been corrected in several spots (headline and story) to reflect the fact that $1 billion has not been spent by the Massachusetts Life Science Center. Only $650 million has been spent so far, which would significantly reduce the estimated cost per job HERE WE GO again. Government giveaways to industries will benefit(...)

Read More »

Using the web to improve accessibility

Using the web to improve accessibility

TransitScreen is piloting technology in Cambridge

Transportation in cities is changing rapidly as new technology-enabled mobility options such as bike-sharing, car-sharing, and ride-sharing emerge. Our mission at TransitScreen is to make information about these proliferating public and private mobility choices accessible to everyone – regardless of their age, language, or social status – allowing them to save time and money while(...)

Read More »

Uber, Lyft changing traffic patterns at Logan

Uber, Lyft changing traffic patterns at Logan

More passengers choosing to be chauffered

RIDE-SHARING SERVICES appear to be changing traffic patterns at Logan International Airport, boosting the number of people paying for chauffeured services while causing a slight drop in the use of private cars, rental cars, and public transportation. Data compiled by the Massachusetts Port Authority indicate the number of people using ride-share services, taxis, and limos(...)

Read More »

Drivers urge DPU to alter background checks

Drivers urge DPU to alter background checks

Rejected Uber and Lyft drivers say unlimited reach discriminates

EDWARD HARUNK SAID driving for Uber gave him the flexibility to take care of his sick wife and bring her to doctor’s appointments whenever she needed. “Being an Uber driver enabled me, as a sole caregiver, to set my own time and allowed me to focus on my wife’s challenges,” the 59-year-old Wellesley resident, a(...)

Read More »