Monday, July 11, 2005

Virtual mobility in a Virtual Country?

This post may not be purely about mobilities, but I feel it's interesting enough to warrent attention: the Los Alamos research labs in the US are creating the most sophisticated simulation computer programs to inhabit them with virtual cities, virtual people and track all possible movements, habits, and lifestyles...why?

An extract:

"Deep inside the cave-like laboratories of the legendary research center that created the atomic bomb, scientists have begun work on a Manhattan Project of a different sort.

In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, they have been constructing the most elaborate computer models of the United States ever attempted. There are virtual cities inhabited by millions of virtual individuals who go to work, shopping centers, soccer games and anywhere else their real life counterparts go. And there are virtual power grids, oil and gas lines, water pipelines, airplane and train systems, even a virtual Internet.

The scientists build them. And then they destroy them.

On a recent weekday at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, researcher Steve Fernandez took several power-relay plants in the Pacific Northwest offline with a few clicks of his keyboard while Kristin Omberg and Brent Daniel were working up mathematical models that calculated the worst places to release biological agents in San Diego."

See full article at: 'Computers Simulate Terrorism's Extremes'

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