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Car Pool Coordination

It’s already happening in a few cities. Lone drivers who want to use car pool lanes can stop at informal gathering spots to pick up passengers who need rides. But passengers aren’t always going to the same destinations as drivers-and some drivers prefer quiet passengers to talkative ones. So information science researchers Paul Resnick of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Marc Smith at Microsoft are creating a computerized system that will make it easier for drivers and passengers in any city to find happy car pool matches. Called RideNow, the system starts with a Web interface where users can log in, specify their preferences, and enter their destinations and the approximate times at which they want to travel. Software matches up drivers and passengers, calls both parties’ cell phones, and patches the calls together so that the users can negotiate a meeting place. Resnick says tests of the system should start this fall in Ann Arbor. Later, Resnick hopes, startups might want to commercialize the service in cities without extensive public transportation, perhaps charging a subscription fee.

Deep Dive

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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