Last Thursday, the FCC started collecting information from consumers about the quality of their broadband service. If you’ve got a PC that can run Java, you can go to Broadband.gov and run the test now. (The FCC will collect your IP address and physical address, but not your name or email address, reports Wired.) If you’ve got an iPhone or Android smartphone, you can download an app to measure your connectivity and report it.
It’s like watching a slow-motion video of cirrhosis of the lung.
At some point, we’re going to have to stop referring to every red-hued outbreak map as being zombie-like, but this is not that point. It’s nearly Halloween, the #2 movie in the nation is Zombieland, and yesterday the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis warned that unemployment may exceed 10% before the end of the year. This is the appropriate way to view unemployment today.
Steve was mailing some packages from his home in Virgina to various points in the country, and noticed something strange on his receipt. The packages destined for Pennsylvania and Washington state are leaving the contiguous United States. What?
This is the weirdest weather map you’ve ever seen. Sort of. It shows the solar power capacity of different regions of the U.S. It’s the coolest-looking slide from an interactive map compiled by NPR to illustrate this week’s series about America’s power grid. It shows power sources and where they’re located, and also the larger infrastructure that carries our electricity from those sources to our homes.
Everyone’s still unsure whether the H1N1 Swine Flu is a mild outbreak or something worse, but in the meantime you can amuse yourself with this grim Google Map of suspected and actual cases around the globe. It will give you something to do until the time comes when you have to decide between joining Randall Flagg or Mother Abagail.
Garmin wants to bill reader Hal $99 for a new SD card after failing to tell him to remove his old card before returning his dead-on-arrival StreetPilot C510. The SD card holds the unit’s maps, and without one, the GPS unit is useless.
CNN Money has put together a couple of quick interactive maps of the U.S. that let you see the bank failure rates and foreclosure rates for each state. According to these two maps, Wyoming is the place to be.
We’ve seen “Walmart is a virus” videos before, but this interactive map showing the proliferation of Walmart from the early 1960s until 2007 is especially cool. Zoom in and out as the Walmart infection grows…
Behold! A map of the Starbucks locations that are rumored to be closing. If you know of a location that’s getting the ax, you can submit your information to the Seattle Times. [Seattle Times via Starbucks Gossip]
A recent sweep of New Jersey gas stations by state and local inspectors resulted in over a third of them receiving citations for posting the wrong gas prices on road signs, changing the price of gas too often, and other other violations. The New Jersey Star Ledger made a very helpful map of the violator stations, available inside.
Suburban commuters may not enjoy paying an average of $4 a gallon for gas, but the rural US, where income levels are low and dependence on large vehicles is high, is getting hit the hardest says the New York Times.
CSO has produced an interactive U.S. map that shows what’s required of companies that suffer a data breach in the 38 states that care enough about consumer rights to have passed disclosure laws. Most are modeled after California’s strict SB1386 anti-ID theft law, but now you can tell at a glance what your state is doing about the issue—and in most cases you can click on the icon in the pop-up info box to see a copy of the actual law.
A law professor and associate professor of geography set out to create the most comprehensive map of U.S. payday lenders to date. What they found, to their surprise, was “a surprising relationship between populations of Christian conservatives and the proliferation of payday lenders.” And it’s not a side effect of a poor population that happens to be Christian, according to the authors: “Our research showed that the correlation between payday lenders and the political power of conservative Christians was stronger than the correlation between payday lenders and the proportion of a population living below the poverty line.”
Now that we’ve got such advanced cell phone technology, Russel Shaw with ZDNet thinks we should start putting it to use to make shopping in the real world easier. His idea, free for the taking if you’re feeling entrepreneurial: shopping mall geolocation services.