First Read Tech

City announces 5G reservation period … Google buys new Chelsea property … and more of today’s tech news

A 5G smart cellular network antenna base station. | Shutterstock
The Latest

NYC announces 5G reservation period
New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, which oversees antenna deployment on city-owned property, announced that it will open the first stage of its new reservation period in June, though telecom insiders said it will do nothing to bridge the divide between the city’s goals and the industry's needs. (Crain’s New York Business)

Google buys new Chelsea property
Google purchased the Milk Building in Chelsea, one of Manhattan's most expensive neighborhoods. The building is attached to Chelsea Market – a building Google also owns. (New York Business Journal)

Citi Bikes bookable through Lyft app
Lyft announced Wednesday that its Citi Bike operation has been completely integrated into its smartphone app, with the bikes now bookable through the Lyft app, which the company expects will lead to increased ridership. (The Verge)

OMNY pilot to launch this month
Starting on May 31, the MTA will launch a pilot program of its new tap-to-pay system, known as OMNY, that will eventually replace swiping a MetroCard. The new technology will roll out in phases, allowing transit officials to iron out the kinks as they work toward fully retiring the MetroCard in 2023. (Curbed New York)

NYC high school directory goes virtual
New York City’s iconic high school directory is slimming down and moving mostly online in a change designed to simplify the complicated high school admissions process. But the overhaul raises questions about whether families who don’t have easy access to the internet will get the information they need. (Chalkbeat New York)

Baltimore still under cyberattack
More than two weeks ago, hackers seized parts of the computer systems that run Baltimore’s government. It could take months of work to get the disrupted technology back online, and Mayor Bernard Young said Monday that he’s not yet ready to give in to the hackers’ ransom demands. (The New York Times)

Amazon shareholders reject facial recognition ban
Amazon shareholders have rejected two proposals that would have requested the company not to sell its facial recognition technology to government customers, despite accusations that facial recognition technology is biased and inaccurate, and could be used to racially discriminate against minorities. (TechCrunch)

Qualcomm loses antitrust case
A federal judge ruled this week that Qualcomm unlawfully stifled competition in the market for wireless chips, casting a new cloud over the tech giant and setting the stage for further upheaval in its dealings with the world’s smartphone makers. (The Wall Street Journal)


New York City can avoid a wireless meltdown
An obscure Y2K-type glitch crashed New York City's wireless communications system last month, exposing a need for greater redundancy and resiliency. To ensure such essential capabilities are not disrupted again, we must beef up backup systems. More fiber should play a big part. (Shrihari Pandit, Crain’s New York Business)

Time to get tougher on MTA vendors
In the latest example of contractor problems plaguing the MTA, a long-awaited fleet of new M9 train cars has been delayed again as the Long Island Rail Road continues to test them. The question now is whether the MTA can follow through, provide the necessary oversight to make sure the work is done well, and enforce penalties if it’s late and above cost. (Newsday)


No one is innocent in New York’s taxi biz
The taxi industry is – and has always been – a mess. The irony shouldn’t be lost that the medallion was originally created to fix one problem, and over time created a new one. The medallion owners, the bankers, the lenders, the lawyers, the city, Uber, Lyft – no one is innocent in New York City’s taxi industry. Except, maybe, the drivers. (Quartz)


A new kind of media giant
AT&T chief Randall Stephenson has a grand vision for revolutionizing the telecommunications company. His strategy – breathtaking in scale and scope – includes plans to fully integrate AT&T with Time Warner media properties like HBO and Warner Bros. (Fortune)

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