Smart City

Google's Sidewalk Labs's plans to build a smart city "from the internet up" in a disused waterfront area of Toronto. It does contain too much "tech for tech's sake", an independent panel has said. It also accused the company of being too vague about what it planned to do. Some of the planned innovations were "irrelevant or unnecessary", it added, and did not seem to put citizens first. Sidewalk Labs has said it has consulted thousands of Torontonians and they are at the core of its development plans.But the panel of 15 people, including academics, urban technology and legal experts, "felt that the plan did not appear to put the citizen at the center of the design process for digital innovations, as was promised in the beginning and is necessary for legitimacy". "Some of the solutions felt like 'tech for tech's sake' - applying a complex technological solution to a situation that mostly doesn't need it," it said.


Google shutting down URL shortening service

Google announced that it is shutting down its URL shortening service, The company says that new and anonymous users won’t be able to create links through the console as of April 13th, but existing users will be able to use it for another year, after which it will be discontinued completely.


URL shortening

URL shortening is a technique on the World Wide Web in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) may be made substantially shorter in length and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using a redirect on a domain name that is short, which links to the web page that has a long URL. For example, the URL "" can be shortened to "".
This is especially convenient for messaging technologies that limit the number of characters that may be used in a message, such as SMS, and for reducing the amount of typing required if the reader is copying a URL from a print source. In November 2009, the shortened links of the URL shortening service Bitly were accessed 2.1 billion times.

Other uses of URL shortening are to "beautify" a link, track clicks, or disguise the underlying address.


Why Are URLs Shortened

A URL shortener is an online application that converts a regular URL (the web address that starts with http://) into its condensed format. The user only has to copy the full URL of a website and paste it into the URL shortening tool to come up with an abbreviated version that is around 10 to 20 characters long.

Why are URLs shortened? There are three key reasons why a URL will need to be condensed.
1. Twitter posts have character limits. A tweet can only go as long as 140 characters, so sharing a full URL with your followers can be difficult. When posting links?with your tweet, the ethical thing to do is to introduce it first and state why you're sharing it. This may be impossible without a shortened URL.