Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #183
October 7th, 2007

Brooklyn Doctor Opens IM Practice

Dr. Jay Parkinson launched his medical practice in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in late September with no waiting room, no fluorescent-lit exam rooms, and best of all, no overhead. Parkinson’s practice is online. Want to reach him? Try instant messenger or e-mail.
Parkinson’s medical practice combines quaint house calls of yore with decidedly 21st-century technology. For a yearly fee of $500, Parkinson makes an initial visit to his patients in their apartments and offers two additional visits as needed. But he is available to them any time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays for unlimited consultation on IM or e-mail.
Source: Julie Sloane, Wired News, October 3, 2007

UK police can now force you to reveal decryption keys

Users of encryption technology can no longer refuse to reveal keys to UK authorities after amendments to the powers of the state to intercept communications took effect on Monday (Oct 1).
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) has had a clause activated which allows a person to be compelled to reveal a decryption key. Refusal can earn someone a five-year jail term.
Source:, October 3, 2007

Menace in a bottle

After the plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airlines with liquid explosives was uncovered in London in August 2006, there has been pressure on the airline industry, and Homeland Security, to find new ways to not only detect liquids in baggage and on airline passengers, but also to figure out what they are. Now, the DHS Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) is teaming with scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory to find a possible solution.
“Having to place your consumable liquids through the baggy routine when going through airport security may one day be history,” says S&T Program Manager on the project, Mr. Brian Tait, “and that’s going to make a lot of people very happy. This is a new screening prototype that definitely shows promise.”
Source: US Department of Homeland Security, October 2, 2007 issue

BT plans wi-fi world-beater

BT Group is attempting to create the world’s largest wi-fi network by persuading millions of UK customers to turn their home wireless “hubs” into public hotspots.
In exchange for opening up a part of their network for public use, BT broadband customers will get free access to the network across the country, BT’s 2,000 existing public hotspots and to more than 190,000 hotspots operated around the world by FON, the Spanish wireless start-up with which BT has worked on the project.
Source: Maija Palmer, The Financial Times, October 4, 2007

Forget municipal Wi-Fi, welcome to Zigbee City

Utility company Göteborg Energi AB has selected NURI Telecom to provide Zigbee-enabled electricity meters to every home in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. The meters will then link themselves together to allow remote meter reading without infrastructure costs.
[Gothenburg will get a 270,000-node Zigbee network.]
Source: Bill Ray, The Register, October 5, 2007

Is There a Future for Old-Fashioned Museums?

If the Spirit of St. Louis can come alive on your desktop, you might not want to trek to the mall.
They’re building not one Newseum, but two. One is made of glass and steel, and is under construction on Pennsylvania Avenue, with a stunning view of the Capitol. The other is made of pixels and bandwidth, and is under construction on a three-dimensional private island on the Web.
Source: Joel Garreau, The Washington Post, October 7, 2007 (Free registration)

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