Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #127
September 10th, 2006

Neighborhood Watch Goes High Tech

In June, Texas authorized the installation of hundreds of night vision-enabled Webcams along its Mexican border. Before the end of the year, concerned citizens will be able to monitor the streaming video footage for illegal crossers and even call a toll-free number to report their observations to local law enforcement officials.
Source: Stephen Ornes, DISCOVER, Vol. 27, No. 9, September 2006

Start-up pays people to answer questions online

A new social search site that pays people to answer questions from visitors will become publicly available on Monday. ChaCha will pay “guides” up to $10 per hour spent searching for Web sites that contain answers to user questions.
Source: Elinor Mills, CNET News.com, September 3, 2006

Attention, Shoplifters

There are 6 million video cameras mounted in stores across the U.S., according to market researcher J.P. Freeman Co. Their unblinking eyes are everywhere, watching exits and peering down aisles. You already knew that. But you probably had no idea how smart some of these cameras are getting.
Source: Elizabeth Woyke, BusinessWeek Magazine, September 11, 2006 Issue

Start-up TurnHere provides ‘short videos’ of ‘cool places’

TurnHere‘s motto is “short films, cool places.” The Emeryville company, started in June, plans to produce about 25,000 short videos this year, most of them about neighborhoods and their local attractions. Some are advertisements for small businesses, but with a movie-like feel. All are shot and edited by professional filmmakers and available online.
Source: Sue McAllister, Mercury News, September 5, 2006

Pervasive Web Application Debuts In Pubs and Clubs Down Under

bCODE, the universal provider of mobile ticketing solutions, today announced the launch of its “bCODE-Drinks” consumer portal located at www.bcodedrinks.com. Users of this web portal are able to buy “wireless drinks” for friends and colleagues — which are sent as encoded SMS messages — as well as being able to create and customise multimedia messages appearing on the video screens at bar venues upon scanning and redemption.
Source: bCODE press release, September 6, 2006

Real-Time Traffic Routing from the Comfort of Your Car

Engineers have developed a system for taking anonymous cell-phone location information and turning it into an illuminated traffic map that identifies congestion in real time.The system takes advantage of the steady stream of positioning cues–untraced signals all cell phones produce, whether in use or not, as they seek towers with the strongest signals.
Source: National Science Foundation, August 30, 2006

RFID plane tickets to track travellers

Scientists at University College London (UCL) are developing a system that combines radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and high-definition CCTV cameras to track passenger movements in busy airports.
Source: James Brown, Computing, UK, September 7, 2006

The top censored news stories of 2005-2006

For 30 years, Sonoma State University’s Project Censored has released an annual list of the most important news stories not covered by the corporate media in the United States. Here again are the top 10 news stories that didn’t make much news.
[Note: in this list, you’ll find subjects such as ‘Net Neutrality,’ ‘Halliburton and Iran,’ ‘High-Tech Genocide in Congo,’ ‘U.S. Operatives Do Torture’ or ‘World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall.’]
Source: Peter Phillips, Trish Boreta & Project Censored, via bohemian.com, California, September 6-12, 2006


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