Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #165
June 3rd, 2007

Mobiscopes for Human Spaces

[Note: This is a very long — 11 pages — article, but very interesting. If you prefer, here is a link to a PDF version. Below is the introduction.]

A mobiscope is a federation of distributed mobile sensors into a taskable sensing system that achieves high-density sampling coverage over a wide area through mobility. Mobiscopes affordably extend into regions that static sensors cannot, proving especially useful for applications that only occasionally require data from each location. They represent a new type of infrastructure–virtual in that a given node can participate in forming more than one mobiscope, but physically coupled to the environment through carriers, including people and vehicles. Mobiscope applications include public-health epidemiological studies of human exposure using mobile phones and real-time, fine-grained automobile traffic characterization using sensors on fleet vehicles.
Source: Nine authors, IEEE Pervasive Computing, Vol. 6, No. 2, P. 20, June 2007

EveryScape Launches 3-D Search

Startup EveryScape today launched its three-dimensional search website, aiming to change the way people look for hotels, restaurants and shops by recreating city streets and neighborhoods in photo-realistic detail. […] EveryScape runs in a browser and doesn’t require a download or heavy processing like Virtual Earth. And unlike the two giants, [Google Earth and Microsoft’s Virtual Earth,] EveryScape also lets consumers add to the site their own user-generated content.
Source: Tomio Geron, Red Herring, May 29, 2007

Cities turn to GPS to wipe out graffiti

Graffiti Tracker takes pictures of graffiti before it’s painted over, using GPS cameras that record the date, time and exact location. The company analyzes the graffiti, for example checking whether it is gang-related, and stores the pictures in its database. Police use the information to track or predict where a particular tagger will strike next. Once perpetrators are caught, law enforcement has evidence to prosecute them for a string of offenses.
Source: Reuters, May 29, 2007

Cisco, other tech giants push into surveillance

Terrorists, vandals and other villains skulking in the shadows should take note of Cisco Systems’ recent acquisition of BroadWare Technologies. The BroadWare deal, while small in dollars, highlights the rising demand for companies that make video surveillance gear. Driving that trend is the confluence of homeland security concerns in the U.S. and the spread of sophisticated security networks based on Internet technologies.
Source: Stacey Higginbotham, The Deal.com, May 29, 2007

HP strolls down shopping aisle of the future

Despite the digitization of nearly everything in our daily lives, the Sunday circular ad for beef and bags of baby carrots has remained. Hewlett-Packard is developing a technology to bring even the banal task of grocery shopping into the Digital Age. At HP Labs here, researchers are developing an in-store kiosk solution called Retail Store Assistant (RSA) that will make shopping for food, clothes and electronics easier for buyers and make selling things easier for retailers.
Source: Erica Ogg, CNET News.com, May 29, 2007

Mahalo To Curate Web Search

Substantial buzz has accompanied Jason Calacanis’ startup debut of Mahalo, a search site with human editors refining the results for the currently 4,000 top search terms. Those terms should be in the neighborhood of 10,000 by the end of 2007, Mahalo noted in a statement about their debut as an alpha test of the service. Calacanis opened his blog post about Mahalo with 32 straight ‘Alphas’. “Mahalo.com is in ALPHA–that means not ready for users, but looking for feedback,” he wrote.
Source: David A. Utter, WebProNews, May 31, 2007

LiveJournal apologizes for mass deletion

LiveJournal apologized Thursday for a mass deletion of sex-themed discussions that purged literary criticism and accounts belonging to role-playing game characters and led to an unprecedented user revolt.
In a public announcement, Barak Berkowitz, chairman and chief executive of LiveJournal owner Six Apart, said, “Well, we really screwed this one up” and promised to reinstate a wide swath of communities that were deleted as part of the company’s attempt to eradicate pedophilia-related discussions.
Source: Declan McCullagh, CNET News.com, May 31, 2007


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