CLOSE
Original image
iStock

New Record Set for World’s Fastest Elevator

Original image
iStock

As buildings get taller and taller, engineers have to solve a problem that goes beyond wind speeds and structural loads. In order to ferry people to the top of buildings that rise more than 2000 feet in the air, you need a pretty fast elevator. Hitachi’s latest high-speed elevator model—which just set the record for the world’s fastest elevator ride, according to New Atlas—is a good start.

Independent testing by the National Elevator Quality Supervision and Inspection Centre in Guangzhou, China, found that the elevator model can reach a top speed of just under 47 miles per hour.

To help passengers deal with the discomfort of traveling thousands of feet in the air, the elevator has an air-pressure adjustment feature that’s designed to keep your ears from getting plugged like they do on airplanes. And while it shoots up fast, it takes a slower descent (22 miles per hour), so it doesn’t feel so much like a terrifying amusement park ride.

The elevator will be a feature inside the Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, a new 1740-foot-tall skyscraper in Guangzhou, a port city near Shenzhen. It will go slightly slower, though, hitting just 44.7 miles per hour. Compared to most elevators, though, that’s plenty fast. Most top out at around 5.6 miles per hour. The fastest elevator in the western hemisphere, located inside 1 World Trade Center, moves at about 23 miles per hour.

The previous world record holder, a Mitsubishi elevator in the Shanghai Tower, travels around 45.7 miles per hour. Since it's a working elevator and this was just a test unit, Mitsubishi will probably hang on to its Guinness distinction for world's fastest elevator for now. That record was set in April.

[h/t New Atlas]

Original image
iStock
arrow
technology
Google Maps Is Getting a Makeover With More Icons and Colors
Original image
iStock

Prepare to get used to some big changes to your Google Maps app. The tech giant announced in a blog post that it’s changing the tool’s design to better highlight information that’s relevant to your journey.

The first update can be seen when switching between modes of transportation. If you’re driving from your home to work, for example, Maps will show you gas stations along your route, but switch to public transit and train stations will pop up instead.

The app’s color scheme has also been given a makeover. All points of interest (POI) that appear on the map are now color-coded. Looking for the nearest restaurant? Food and drink POI are orange. Need some retail therapy? Shopping icons are blue. Hospitals (pink), churches (gray), outdoor spaces (green), and more are included in the new system.

Within the larger categories, Google has introduced dozens of specialized icons to indicate subcategories. Banks are marked with a dollar sign, cafes with a coffee cup, etc.

“The world is an ever-evolving place,” Google Maps product manager Liz Hunt wrote in the blog post. “Now, we’re updating Google Maps with a new look that better reflects your world, right now.”

This overhaul is the latest way Google Maps is evolving to make life more convenient for its users. In the past year, the app has rolled out features that allow you to locate your parked car and to check how crowded attractions are at certain times. The new design changes will start appearing over the next few weeks.

Phones with maps app open.
Google

Color key for Google Maps.
Google

Icons for Google Maps.
Google
Original image
iStock
arrow
technology
Facebook Just Made It Easier to Tell the Difference Between Fake News and Real Reporting
Original image
iStock

On Facebook, fake news stories "reporting" international conflicts over Toblerones can appear alongside fact-checked journalism from trustworthy outlets. This leads to some bogus stories racking up thousands of shares while real news stories are deemed "fake" by those who disagree with them. With its latest news feature, Facebook aims to make the distinction between factual and fictional posts clearer.

As The Verge reports, articles shared on Facebook will now display a "trust indicator" icon. Clicking on it reveals information about the publisher of the piece, including their ethics statement, corrections policy, fact-checking process, ownership structures, and masthead. By providing that context, Facebook hopes that more users will make better decisions about which news outlets to trust and which to disregard.

The social media network is launching the feature with a handful of publishers and plans to open it up to more down the road. But unless it becomes mandatory for all media pages, it won't be the end of Facebook's fake news problem: Phony sites and real publishers that leave this information blank will still look the same in the eyes of some readers. Additionally, the feature only works when people go out of their way to check it, so it requires users to be skeptical in the first place.

If you want to avoid the fake news in your feed, looking for trust indicators is a good place to start. To further sharpen your BS-detecting skills, try adopting the CRAAP system: The American Library Association has been using it to spot sketchy sources since before the Facebook era.

[h/t The Verge]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios