Monday, March 31, 2008

Mobile phones 'more dangerous than smoking'

The UK's Independent newspaper has this worrying new article about a new report just out on the daangers of prolonged mobile phone use:

Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos, a study by an award-winning cancer expert has concluded. He says people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take "immediate steps" to reduce exposure to their radiation.

The study, by Dr Vini Khurana, is the most devastating indictment yet published of the health risks. It draws on growing evidence – exclusively reported in the IoS in October – that using handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer. Cancers take at least a decade to develop, invalidating official safety assurances based on earlier studies which included few, if any, people who had used the phones for that long.

Earlier this year, the French government warned against the use of mobile phones, especially by children. Germany also advises its people to minimise handset use, and the European Environment Agency has called for exposures to be reduced.

Read in full - 'Mobile phones 'more dangerous than smoking''


The growth in digital footprints

Smartmobs has a post on how a recent IDC Study Forecasts 'Explosive Growth Of The Digital Universe; Spotlights Worldwide Phenomenon Of “Digital Shadow”':

For First Time the “Digital Shadow” – Amount of Digital Information Being Generated About People – Surpasses the Amount They Create Themselves; Digital Universe Bigger Than Estimated Due to Explosion of Digital Cameras, Digital TVs, Surveillance Cameras and Social Networks.

“Society is already feeling the early effects of the world’s digital information explosion. Organizations need to plan for the limitless opportunities to use information in new ways and for the challenges of information governance,” said Joe Tucci, EMC Chairman, President and CEO. “As people’s digital footprints continue growing, so too will the responsibility of organizations for the privacy, protection, availability and reliability of that information. The burden is on IT departments within organizations to address the risks and compliance rules around information misuse, data leakage and safeguarding against security breaches.”

Read more at 'As people’s digital footprints continue growing'

Saturday, March 29, 2008

People power transforms the web

The Guardian reports how how net users are, by banding together, changing every aspect of our lives:

In July 2004, US cinema advertisements for Halo 2, the science fiction computer game, briefly carried the address for a website - - which appeared to belong to a beekeeper who had mysteriously disappeared. Her honey-based recipes had been replaced by an apparently random list of numbers. Over four months 600,000 people joined in solving the mystery of what the numbers meant. What unfolded was a striking display of 'We Think': structured, mass collaborative creativity and intelligence.

People set up blogs and bulletin boards, websites and instant message groups. One 4,000-strong group, the Beekeepers, became the community's core, and discovered that the numbers were 210 sets of global positioning co-ordinates around the world and at each there was a public payphone.


Read article - 'People power transforms the web in next online revolution'

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Taleban threat hits Afghan phones

BBCNews has an interesting post about how Afghan mobile phone companies have begun switching off their signals at night in parts of the restive south after several attacks by the Taleban:

Ten mobile phone masts were attacked in recent weeks, the latest on Tuesday night, the Afghan government says. Last month the Taleban threatened the companies, alleging that the networks were being used by Afghan and Nato troops to target them.

Mobile phones are the only form of communication for many Afghans. They were introduced to the country in 2001, after the fall of the Taleban. The latest attack took place on Tuesday night, when a mobile phone tower was set on fire in the western province of Herat.

Since a threat by the Taleban last month to target the towers unless the phone companies switched off their signals at night, 10 such facilities have been attacked, six of them completely destroyed.

Read article - ' Taleban threat hits Afghan phones'

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Climate Change Will Have Impact on US Transportation

GreenCarCongress reports on a new report from the National Research Council about climate change and transportation:

While every mode of transportation in the US will be affected as the climate changes, potentially the greatest impact on transportation systems will be flooding of roads, railways, transit systems, and airport runways in coastal areas because of rising sea levels and surges brought on by more intense storms, according to a new report from the National Research Council.

Although the impacts of climate change will vary by region, it is certain they will be widespread and costly in human and economic terms, and will require significant changes in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation systems, according to the report, The Potential Impacts of Climate Change on US Transportation.

Read more - 'Climate Change Will Have a Significant Impact on US Transportatio Infrastructure and Operations'

Digital Tatoo

Weird? The 'signs' of times to come.... Gizmodo reports on the following oddity:

A subcutaneously-implanted, wireless digital tattoo display whose fuel cell is powered by blood. An entrant into the same Greener Design Competition as the gravity clock, the concept uses Bluetooth to communicate with your portable gadgets—or even devices implanted elsewhere in your body.

Jim Mielke's concept would be implanted beneath the skin on your arm. It then taps into your bloodstream, converting the oxygen and glucose into electric power. The display then "works" by changing the color of smart-ink pixels tattooed over the implant. It also acts as a touchscreen input device, so you could manage your cellphone calls by tapping on your arm. Most creepily, there's potential for a 3G video call to be shown on your skin.

Urgghh..mmm.... raised eyebrows: so Read more here

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Map Pinpoints Disease Hotspots

BBCNews reports on how a detailed map highlighting the world's hotspots for emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) has been released:

Map of world's Emerging Infectious Diseases hotspots

It uses data spanning 65 years and shows the majority of these new diseases come from wildlife.

Scientists say conservation efforts that reduce conflicts between humans and animals could play a key role in limiting future outbreaks.

Writing in Nature, they said their map revealed that global anti-EID resources had been poorly allocated in the past.

Read article - 'Map Pinpoints Disease Hotspots'


Brain blanket boosts mind control

NewScientistTech reports how with a sheet of electrodes placed over the brain, people can quickly learn to move a cursor around a computer screen using their thoughts:

Early trials suggest that this new procedure could overtake more established brain-computer interfaces (BCIs).The two established techniques involve inserting electrodes into the brain or attaching them onto the scalp. These approaches have let people control robotic limbs, steer wheelchairs, type messages and walk in virtual worlds using thought alone.

BCIs will one day transform the lives of people with disabilities and neurological disorders affecting their ability to move or communicate, says neuroscientist Gerwin Schalk at the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, US.

Read in full - 'Brain blanket boosts mind control'

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cyber Goggles for Human Tagging

Now it looks like tagging has gone from social-bookmarking onto super-goggles! Now here's a future snippet of interface design:

Tagging has become a popular standard in Web content management. Tags let a user associate that data with a subject matter, much like a card catalogue in a library. When that user goes to retrieve the data, they need only remember a keyword or two to find it. Just imagine if you could tag everything you saw with your eyes in the course of a day. University of Tokyo have developed a system which can do just that. Conceived as a memory aid for the elderly, the Cyber Goggles package consists of a pair of over-sized glasses on which a tiny camera and LCD screen are mounted. Both feed into a computer worn on the back.

Read in full - 'Cyber Goggles for Human Tagging'

The Coming of Twine

CNet News notes how Radar Networks is prepping for a March public beta of Twine:

a Web application that organizes information into a "semantic graph," connecting people, places, companies, products, Web pages, videos, and photos, and turning it into semantic Web content...

...Twine is a new service for knowledge networking, sharing, organizing and in finding information from people you trust," Spivack explained when the application was first introduced in October 2007. "Unlike a social network that is about who you know, Twine is more about what you know."

Read full article here


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

MIT plans to roll out 'folding' car

This MIT project has been in the works for some time and has been blogged about here previously. Yet now it seems that the project is coming to fruition. The Register reports that

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are planning to knock up a full-scale model of their "City Car" - an experimental vehicle which "folds" itself in half and snuggles up to other City Cars in the manner of supermarket trollies.

Artist's impression of MIT folding car in a supermarket trolley stack

The MIT team, led by architecture professor Bill Mitchell, reckons its revolutionary wheels would solve urban transportation problems at a stroke, with pollution-free electric drive and the ability to park in one-eighth of the space of a conventional car. Mitchell declared: "We have reinvented urban mobility."

Read full post - 'MIT plans to roll out 'folding' car'

Camera 'looks' through clothing

BBCNews has this new article on new camera (erm - surveillance) technology that sees through a person's clothes:

A camera that can "see" explosives, drugs and weapons hidden under clothing from 25 metres has been invented.

The ThruVision system could be deployed at airports, railway stations or other public spaces.

It is based on so-called "terahertz", or T-ray, technology, normally used by astronomers to study dying stars.

Although it is able to see through clothes it does not reveal "body detail" or subject people to "harmful radiation", according to the designers.

"It is totally and utterly passive - it receives only," said a spokesperson for Thruvision.

Read full post - 'Camera 'looks' through clothing'

The Assystem City Car??

AutoBlogGreen have this nice little number on their post about the new Assystem City Car - full of the latest tech mod-cons too:
Perhaps if the Assystem City Car didn't look like a time traveling street sweeper from Uranus it wouldn't be the butt of so many jokes (So very sorry). Of course, what do you expect from Swiss designer Franco Sbarro, a man with a history of, um, interesting designs. It is a bit of a shame, too, because this thing actually has lots of very neat-o tech incorporated into it as well as several green features. For example, according to their website, it's a hybrid. The front wheel has an electric motor in it whilst the back is petrol driven. Also, it's 95 percent recyclable or re-useable, which ought to come in handy shortly after the conclusion of the Geneva Motor Show where it made its debut.

On the tech side, the Assystem City Car has external cameras which recognize highway signs, pedestrians and traffic lights and "reinforces" them inside your windshield. Other subsystems which show up on your HUD include telephony, hi-fi, video, and oh, navigation in case you actually want to drive somewhere after you're done being entertained. Safety is not forgotten in this concept either. Not only will the biometric iris analyzer let you know if you are too drunk tired to drive, it will also immobilize the engine and send you a text message in case of an "unauthorized intruder."

Wow - pretty smart for a car?!

See original post - 'The Assystem City Car '

Monday, March 17, 2008

What's the best mobile broadband?

The Guardian has a brief yet useful post on some of the offers on mobile broadband. This is good to know when choosing a provider - this is becoming quite popular now for laptop surfers on the move:

Finding out which package suits you best hinges on how much you're willing to pay and how often you will use it. Vodafone's option is the cheapest - just £7.50 a month - but you only get 120MB of downloads for your money (that's not many web pages).

For heavier users, 3 dishes out contracts from £10 a month with a data allowance that's 25 times larger at 3GB, while T-Mobile's Web'n'Walk package offers 3GB for £20 - although you get the added bonus of unlimited access to the company's thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots for downloading big files.

At the higher end, power users might want to look at Orange's Business Anywhere calling plan: it's at least £25, but comes with unlimited downloads and 250 minutes of Wi-Fi access included.

Taken from 'What's the best mobile broadband?'

Can driving greener get you into heaven? Vatican says sure

Here's an interesting post from AutoBlogGreen - anti-green being the new sin:

The first hints that low-mpg cars were sinful in the eyes of the Catholic Church came last fall, when a spokesman for Pope Benedict XVI confirmed that the Pope would use an April 2008 address to the UN as a way to speak to the moral implications of living a greener life. Today, the Vatican has gone a bit further and told its followers that polluting the earth should be considered a "new" sin.

Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, whom Reuters describes as "the Vatican's number two man in the sometimes murky area of sins and penance," said over the weekend that pollution ranks up there with human cloning and other genetic manipulation as barriers to heaven. There have got to be about ten thousand great editorial cartoons generated by his statement.

As we know, the Vatican became the first country to fully offset CO2 emissions last summer by installing photovoltaic cells and buying carbon offset credits.

Read in full - 'Can driving greener get you into heaven? Vatican says sure'

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shockwave traffic jams recreated for first time

Well well... it seems there is an embedded human equation:

human car drivers = traffic jams

Great video! Via -

Driving in Circles


A bus too far?

Are we returning to the earlier modes of arduous yet adventurous mobility of travel? As of now tickets go on sale for an express coach service from London to China. It's called the BuddhaBus - is this the future for low-impact long-haul travel....or traveling hell??

It wasn't that long ago that a 16-day journey to China would have been seen as a minor miracle: today having to spend more than 24 hours travelling anywhere fills us with horror. Flying has spoilt us.

Spending two weeks in a bus is about as appealing to most people as a stretch in prison. But our grandparents would spend months at sea and regard it as nothing worse than an adventure. They travelled that way out of necessity - because there was no other means. For those who feel they must cross continents today, longer, slower journeys are a necessity of a different kind. There is another means, but it is wrecking the biosphere.

Read more - 'A bus too far?'

See also, a new company called, whose purpose is to make it easier for people to journey without flying - just launched March 08.


Climate to cause new mobility of relations

Is climate change relevant to a blog on mobilities? I think yes, for several reasons - one of those is that new geo-political relations will alter how mobilities are enacted between states and regions and will throw up new contested regions. Not to mention the socio-political ramifications on movement and the 'energy' of movement. Here are two very recent posts on the climate change issue and its socio-political effects that are stark and revealing:

i) Climate change may spark conflict with Russia, EU told

ii) Food crisis will take hold before climate change, warns chief scientist

See also this interesting piece on 'life after humans' - A lethal virus, humanity wiped out - then what?


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

US seeks terrorists in web worlds

Now BBCNews has been discussing the story about how the US government has begun a project to develop ways to spot terrorists who are using virtual worlds:

Codenamed Reynard it aims to recognise "normal" behaviour in online worlds and home in on anomalous activity. It is likely to develop tools and techniques for intelligence officers who are hunting terrorists and terror groups on the net or in virtual worlds.

The project was welcomed by experts tracking terror groups using the net to organise or carry out attacks. Brief details about Reynard came to light in a report sent to the US Congress by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) - which co-ordinates the work of US intelligence agencies.

Read post - ' US seeks terrorists in web worlds'

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Social Networking Moves to the Mobile phone

The New York Times has an article on the emerging shifts towards transplanting Internet networking onto mobile phones. In particular, the grab for mobile social networking:

Social networks may be nothing new to habitués of the Internet. Several years of competition among Facebook, MySpace and Friendster have generated tens of millions of members.

But now the market is teeming with companies that want to bring the same phenomenon to the cellphone. There are so many “mobile social networking” upstarts, in fact, that when New Media Age magazine in Britain tried to identify the “ones to watch,” it ended up naming 10 companies.

Some of those in the thick of battle are resigned to having a lot of company. “If there weren’t competitors, there wouldn’t be a market,” said Dan Harple, founder and chief executive of GyPSii, a mobile social network based in Amsterdam that is a contender. “Maybe there are 30 or more now — in three years, there will be 5 that matter.”

The prize, as these start-ups see it, is the 3.3 billion cellphone subscribers, a number that far surpasses the total of Internet users.

Read in full - 'Social Networking Moves to the Cellphone'

‘Sentient cities: ambient intelligence and the politics of urban space’

SmartMobs has a good post following Professor Stephen Graham’s presentation on ‘Sentient cities: ambient intelligence and the politics of urban space’ at the Mobile City Conference:

Increasing amounts of information processing capacity are embedded in the environment around us. The informational landscape is both a repository of data and also increasingly communicates and processes information. No longer confined to desk tops, computers have become both mobile and also disassembled.

Many everyday objects now embed computer processing power, while others are activated by passing sensors, transponders and processors. The distributed processing in the world around us is often claimed to be a pervasive or ubiquitous computing environment: a world of ambient intelligence, happening around us on the periphery of our awareness, where our environment is not a passive backdrop but an active agent in organizing daily lives. The spaces around us are now being continually forged and reforged in informational and communicative processes. It is a world where we not only think of cities but cities think of us, where the environment reflexively monitors our behaviour.

Read full post - ' Mobile city conference - Stephen Graham on the politics of urban space'

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Sciences of Protection: Designing Safe Living

New Sciences of Protection: Designing Safe Living

IAS Annual Research Programme 2007-08


An interdisciplinary international conference to be held at Lancaster University.

Thursday, 10 July – Saturday, 12 July 2008

This conference investigates ‘protection’ at the intersections of security, sciences, technologies, markets and design. It considers three central questions:

n How is ‘safe living’ conceived of by designers, artist-writers, policy makers and regulators, scientist-engineers, social scientists and humanities scholars, and how do these conceptualisations of ‘safe living’ engage with sciences and technologies of protection?

n Is ‘safe living’ achievable, and how do conceptual, practical, political and cultural practices of design engage with sciences and technologies of protection to achieve ‘safe living’?

n And if ‘safe living’ were achievable, would it be desirable – as a politics, as an ethic, as a day-to-day way of life? Would ‘new sciences of protection’ make us safe or would they commodify us and/or multiply our fears and anxieties? Who/what would benefit from new sciences of protection, and who/what would be targeted as the unsafe and therefore as the unprotectable? And what are the mechanisms for this allocation of protection and 'safe living' -- socially, culturally, politically, and economically?

Keynote Speakers

Professor Anthony Dunne (Royal College of Art, London, UK and dunneandraby designs)

Fiona Raby (Royal College of Art, London, UK and dunneandraby designs)

Professor Susan Silby (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA)

Professor Lucy Suchman (Lancaster University, UK)

Professor Richard Buchanan (Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA)

Lynn Hershman Leeson (Director of ‘Strange Culture’)

Benjamin H. Bratton (Director Advanced Strategies Group at Yahoo! and UCLA Design|Media Arts)

We invite papers and presentations on such topics as:

Designing safe life/designing safe living (e.g., synthetic biology, genetics, designing safe citizens); Designing safe places (environmental futures, workplace safety, home/homeland security, the built environment); Distributing protection and 'safe living' (RFID and the design of safe borders, targeting unsafe citizens/environments/species/systems/procedures, designing 'the exception'); 'Design noir'; Designer security: fashion and new sciences of protection; Performing 'protection' and 'safe living'; Design, law, justice; Global brands and new spaces of consumption and control design methodologies, protocols, and procedures the safety of design as a practice and a method; Designing safe images/images of safety and protection; The codes and conduct of 'safe living'; Control, sustainable security, and the emergence of eco-cities safe/unsafe futures; Design, emotion, protection the pleasures of (un)safe design; Design and public engagement -- where should the design debate take place?

Abstracts should include a title, medium of presentation, contact details of the author(s) (name, postal address, email), and a summary of no more than 300 words. Please submit them to Anne-Marie Mumford at no later than 15 April, 2008. For future information about the conference please visit:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A spooky social network

SmartMobs refers to a story that Hollywood 'super producer' Steven Spielberg is preparing to launch a new social network in the next few months:

The focus will be on users who’ve had or who are interested in sharing paranormal and extraterrestrial experiences. The new social network may also have original video content investigating alleged ghost and UFO stories.

Now that sounds like a spooky social network to fly around on....

Read more here

Friday, March 07, 2008

Global phone calls become museum piece

Here's an interesting post on how visualizations from the New York Talk Exchange (NYTE) project are part of a new exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art called "Design and the Elastic Mind.":

Open through May, the exhibition examines how designers use technology in ways that change lives.Researchers stress that no information about individuals or actual conversations and messages are being collected. AT&T Inc. is giving MIT only aggregate data from its switches in the city.

The information reveals a trove of interesting population patterns. By looking at the neighborhoods where the data came from, researchers determined that New Yorkers who engage in global gab tend to be on the high end of the socio-economic scale or struggling to make ends meet. Translation: international business and professional people or poor immigrants.

Read more - 'Global phone calls become museum piece' via msnbc

Carfree Cities Conference

Worldchanging has news on the upcoming June 2008 Carfree Cities Conference:

Portland, arguably America’s greenest city, will host the 2008 conference Towards Carfree Cities VIII: Rethinking Mobility, Rediscovering Proximity, from June 16-20, 2008. The conference will bring together activists and professionals from around the world to share strategies for building sustainable transportation systems and the transforming cities into human-scaled environments rich in public space and community life.

This year is the first time carfree activists, planners, and thinkers will gather in North America. The conference will showcase recent strides made in Portland’s urban landscape and teach participants about the city’s approach to sustainable living. Previous conference sites have included: Lyon, France; Timisoara, Romania; Prague, Czech Republic; Berlin, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Bogotá, Colombia; and Istanbul, Turkey. Now America gets a chance to show our stuff.

The conference is the annual gathering of the World Carfree Network, a Prague-based organization formed in 1997 as an offshoot of the venerable Carbusters magazine.

Read full post for registration - 'Carfree Cities Conference'

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Drivers face a toll for life in the fast lane

There's some news coming out now on how UK Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly plans to turn the motorway hardshoulder into a pay-as-you-drive fast line in order to increase mobility and revenue, without spending too much to achieve it:

Drivers are to be given the option of paying to drive faster in extra lanes on up to 500 miles of Britain’s most congested motorways. The toll lanes, part of a government plan for road pricing, will have signposted speed limits 10 or 20mph faster than on adjacent uncharged lanes.

The lanes will be created from 2010, either by turning the hard shoulder into a running lane or by building an extra lane. Drivers travelling with at least one passenger may be allowed free access to some of the lanes but, on others, the Department for Transport (DfT) will make all vehicles pay to ensure that traffic flows freely.

Similar toll lanes are in use in America, where they have been dubbed “Lexus lanes” because of the perception that only wealthier drivers can afford to use them.

Read from The Times - 'Drivers face a toll for life in the fast lane'

Also, read commentary on this topic from The Register - 'Road charging, the sequel - Kelly unveils 'wired m-way' plans'

Tata Rolling Out Large WiMax Network in India

The New York Times has a resent post discussing how Tata Communications plans to connect 200,000 retail customers using WiMax by March 2009:

The company, which is targeting both retail and enterprise customers, said that it plans to roll out WiMax in 110 cities for its enterprise customers and 15 cities for retail customers this year.

The company expects to invest US$500 million in this venture over the next three years, a company spokesman said.India is relatively under-served in broadband Internet services, particularly for consumers. The country, with a population of 1.1 billion, had 3.24 million broadband subscribers at the end of January this year, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

This figure, which includes connections of a speed higher than 256 Kbps (kilobits per second), is a fraction of India's mobile connections, totaling 242 million at the end of January.

Read in full - 'Tata Rolling Out Large WiMax Network in India'

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

In Need of a Virtual Break.

The New York Times has an article on the need to take a break from the 'always-on' world of connectivity on-the-move:

In short, my name is Mark, and I’m a techno-addict. But after my airplane experience, I decided to do something about it. Thus began my “secular Sabbath” — a term I found floating around on blogs — a day a week where I would be free of screens, bells and beeps. An old-fashioned day not only of rest but of relief.

Like many, though, I wondered whether breaking my habit would be entirely beneficial. I worried about the colleagues, friends, daughters, parents and so on who relied on me, the people who knew that whether I was home or away I would get back to them, if not instantly then certainly before the end of the day. What if something important was happening, something that couldn’t wait 24 hours?

Or was I just one of those Americans who’ve developed the latest in American problems, Internet addiction disorder?

This is an increasing trend.... taking time away from continual connectivity - it may even become the next fashion!?

Read in full - 'I Need a Virtual Break. No, Really.'

Monday, March 03, 2008

Are we shifting towards a psycho–civilised society?


Internet journal First Monday has just published a new paper by Kingsley Dennis that takes a look at the possible detrimental effects of wireless technologies; especially how they might affect neuronal functions - in military, industrial, and social terms. The abstract:

Opening Pandora’s box: How technologies of communication and cognition may be shifting towards a ‘Psycho–Civilized Society’
Increasingly there are indications that the uses of wireless technologies have been developed to target an individual’s biological body, with specific focus upon the neuronal functioning of the brain. This paper examines how some of these uses have had detrimental effects, and what this implies for both present and upcoming developments for particular wireless/sensor technologies. Are we seeing a trend towards a psycho–civilised society, where greater emphasis is placed upon social control and pre–emptive strategies?

For the full paper, follow the links from here


James Bond-style amphibious car launched

(Image courtesy of CNN site)

CNN have an article on the sQuba (above) which draws comparisons with James Bond's amphibious Lotus Esprit from "The Spy Who Loved Me":

It's called the "sQuba," and conjures up memories of James Bond's amphibious Lotus Esprit from "The Spy Who Loved Me." That fictional vehicle traveled on land and, when chased by bad guys in a helicopter, plunged into the water and became an airtight submarine -- complete with "torpedoes" and "depth charges."

The concept car -- which unlike Bond's is not armed -- was developed by Swiss designer Rinspeed Inc. and is set to make a splash at the Geneva Auto Show next month.

Company CEO Frank Rinderknecht, a self-professed Bond fan, said he has been waiting 30 years to recreate the car he saw Roger Moore use to drive off of a dock.

The sQuba can plow through the water at a depth of 30 feet and has electrical motors to turn the underwater screw. You'll have to break out the wetsuit, however.

Read in full - 'James Bond-style amphibious car launched'

Spies' Battleground Turns Virtual

WashingtonPost has an article on how U.S. intelligence officials are cautioning that 'popular Internet services that enable computer users to adopt cartoon-like personas in three-dimensional online spaces also are creating security vulnerabilities by opening novel ways for terrorists and criminals to move money, organize and conduct corporate espionage'. According to the paper:

Over the last few years, "virtual worlds" such as Second Life and other role-playing games have become home to millions of computer-generated personas known as avatars. By directing their avatars, people can take on alternate personalities, socialize, explore and earn and spend money across uncharted online landscapes.

Nascent economies have sprung to life in these 3-D worlds, complete with currency, banks and shopping malls. Corporations and government agencies have opened animated virtual offices, and a growing number of organizations hold meetings where avatars gather and converse in newly minted conference centers.

Intelligence officials who have examined these systems say they're convinced that the qualities that many computer users find so attractive about virtual worlds -- including anonymity, global access and the expanded ability to make financial transfers outside normal channels -- have turned them into seedbeds for transnational threats.

Read article - 'Spies' Battleground Turns Virtual'