Thursday, May 19, 2005

New Articles

- New article from Howard Rheingold titled 'Backpackers & MoSoSo Design' :

While mobile devices may not have been designed with community use in mind, several researchers in Australia are investigating how to create devices and services useful for community media. Jeff Axup, a Ph.D candidate in the University of Queensland, Australia's Information Environments program, specializes in Mobile Community Design. He's working from a challenging foundation: although mobile telephones -- both devices and services -- were never designed to support community uses, more and more SMSers, mobile IMers and Mobile Social Software experimenters are using their small-screen, tiny-keyboard devices to kludge together roving social networks, smart mobs and other forms of mobile community. Axup and his colleagues believe good design begins with observing users in their natural environment.

- The article 'Government 2.0:Information technology is about more than just saving money. It's about transforming operations' has a short but interesting section on 'Intelligent Transportation'

- BBC writes about: Dolphins offered mobile solution - Dusky dolphins living off the coast of Cape Town are about to be issued with mobile phone technology.

It will not be handsets though and, despite their sophisticated ability to communicate, they will not be chatting or texting each other.

Instead they will have collars imbedded with a mobile phone SIM card to keep track of their movements.

Mobile phone technology is revolutionising the way animals - both on land and sea - are tracked.

- According to RFID Journal, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is about to launch a pilot program to track 1,800 inmates using RFID devices. If the test is successful, the technology will be deployed for the 18,000 inmates of the L.A. county jails.

With this system, inmates carry a wrist bracelet which issues a signal every two seconds and is caught by RFID readers installed everywhere in the prison. Officers and staff also carry a RFID device attached to their belts. And a central server keeps track in real time of the position of all prisoners and guardians. Besides tracking locations, the system also intends to reduce violence within the jail and to avoid escapes.

If this system works as its promoters think, the potential market to equip all federal, state and county jails in the U.S. exceeds $1 billion. This overview contains other details and references, including a picture of a wristwatch transmitter worn by inmates.

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