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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Problem: RFID readers send out broad signals, looking for a response from tags in range. With more and more things being tags, that’s more and more potential returns. Enter new technology recently patented by Dan Steinberg of Virginia. His reader acts like a flashlight, in comparison, reports New Scientist in a recent article. It “transmits its interrogating signal through a narrow aperture in an absorptive plate. Only tags directly in of the beam the reader receive enough signal to respond.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/22 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Microsoft PR folks just dropped us an e-mail noting that this year NORAD’s Santa Tracker would be using the Live Local mapping technology to track Santa’s flight on Saturday.

On the other hand, the Microsoft folks point out this app for tracking holiday lights. It’s sort of lame since there’s little detail.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/21 at 12:37 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A SmartMobs post points out something very timely: that despite all the goodies on the Web to help manage the transportation crisis in New York City, the old fashioned way works. The story describes a woman standing on teh street with a sign reading: “Need a ride to 27th and Park.” Hopefully those in their cars will be more likely to see her and pick her up than those just browing craigslist on their home PCs.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/21 at 12:30 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A White House report (pdf) overseen by Karen Evans, from the Office of Budget and Management, reports on the success of e-government since the the passage of the E-Government Act of 2002. Recall that’s the source of Geospatial One-Stop.

Four federal agencies were described in a CNET article as successful using a scorecard: the National Science Foundation, the Department of Labor, the Department of Transportation, and the Small Business Administration. Nine others were described as “unsatisfactory.” The rest got “mixed” reviews. I confess that I can’t decipher the scores from the scorecard the last edition of which is dated September.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/21 at 12:00 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Like many journalists, I’ve a fascination with the “most e-mailed article” list on many news sites. Today, the one at the New York Times? “Governments Tremble at Google’s Bird’s-Eye View”.

The article is another round up of the concerns countries around the world have regarding the imagery provided by Google Earth, in particular. The article, from Tuesday is well-written and quite correct, so far as I can tell, regarding technology and legal issues. In fact, when I blogged it earlier this week, (from a publication that ran it last Friday) it was the most read blog post here at APB. It actually had a different headline: “Google Earth: Too close for comfort?”

There are some points to be made regarding the “popularity” of this article.

1) Bird’s-Eye View is the term Microsoft has chosen for its oblique aerial imagey from Pictometry. I believe Pictometry used the term before licensing the data to Microsoft. Bad rap for Butterfly man!

2) The article, and ones like it which do not have evidence of misuse of the technology, has cauased some, alas in geoblogging community, to use such headlines as: “Iraqi Insurgents Using Google Earth Against American & British Forces.” Others are good enough to include a question mark, suggesting that well, maybe they are: “Iraqi Insurgents Using Google Earth in Warfare?”

3) Why are “regular” (non-geogeek) people so interested in this topic? I’ll offer a few guesses: They don’t really understand how the technology works or where the imagery comes from. They, like the countries who are nervous, wonder just how Google can “get away with this.” They are concerned about their own privacy in the U.S. and elsewhere (and why not considering the latest news from Washington?).

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/21 at 07:57 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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