are to New York as freeways are to Los Angeles; that is to say, they're an integral part of the landscape and no matter how hard you try, you're going to have to engage with them at some point. As such, most New Yorkers have a love-hate relationship with taxis. But New York's Taxi & Limousine Commission is trying to ease that relationship a little bit -- on Thursday, it gave a preview of the next generation of the city's yellow fleet, where new cabs will have a touch-screen that lets you watch TV (or turn it off), pay by credit card, follow
your progress on a map
, and best of all, make it easier to retrieve that umbrella that you forgot in the backseat when you got dropped of that one drunken night in the East Village. The commission said that the new system will let you call a hotline and tell them where you were dropped off and what was lost to use as clues to retrieve your forgotten property. We're assuming that then they'll retrace various cabs' driving histories (via GPS) over the period of the last several hours. But just keep in mind that you probably weren't the only person getting out at Port Authority around noon last Wednesday. The TLC says the new cabs should start hitting Manhattan by the end of the year.