GT Spectrum

Reports from the IT horizon.

by , / November 4, 2005
Forget Me Not
Vidstone's Serenity Panel is a 7-inch LCD Panel in an 8 x 6.5-inch mounting that can be attached to almost any upright or slanted gravestone.

The panel displays a five- to eight-minute photo slideshow detailing memories of a deceased person's life. The battery- and solar-powered display features two weatherproof headphone jacks and a weatherproof enclosure. The panel requires four hours of sunlight per day to remain fully charged. -- Vidstone

E-Mail Monitoring
Canada's Federal Cabinet was to start reviewing legislation in the fall that would give police and security agencies the right to begin surveillance of the Internet.

Under the new measures, law enforcement agents could intercept personal e-mails, text messages and possibly even password-secure Web sites used for purchasing goods and financial transactions.

Participants involved in consultations over the bill said a draft of the legislation circulated earlier in 2005 didn't require court authority for police to intercept communications or demand information from Internet servers. -- CanWest News Service

ACCURATE Assessment
The Johns Hopkins University, in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), announced the opening of A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable and Transparent Elections (ACCURATE), which will blend public policy and computer science in an attempt to create stronger and more accurate voting technology.

ACCURATE, funded by the NSF and in cooperation with five other research institutions, will be based at Hopkins and seek to assuage mounting concern about the increasing use of electronic voting machines. -- Johns Hopkins University

India's Smart City
Dubai Internet City (DIC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of the south Indian state of Kerala to develop Smart City, a high-tech business campus for IT companies in the city of Kochi. The business campus will serve as an international center of excellence for the IT industry with a special focus on IT-enabled services.

Under the MoU's terms, the Kerala government will transfer ownership of the existing Infopark project, an IT business park in Kochi, to DIC. This will be merged into the Smart City project that will be developed adjacently.

The first phase of Smart City will be developed in an area of about 350 acres in the heart of Kochi, Kerala's commercial hub. Of this, the Kerala government will lease 100 acres to DIC while 250 acres will be sold at a mutually agreed cost.

The first phase of development will be completed over seven years. Eventually development will extend to 1,000 acres. Smart City is expected to be one of India's largest IT parks and have a positive impact on the local economy -- creation of as many as 33,000 jobs is expected in the first phase, and 75,000 following the development of the 1,000 acres. --

Vein Patterns
A patent for biometric identification of individuals through the use of subcutaneous vein patterns has been acquired by Luminetx Corp., a developer and marketer of bioscience technologies.

The acquisition of U.S. Patent No. 5,787,185, "Biometric Identification of Individuals by use of Subcutaneous Vein Patterns," addresses the use of subcutaneous vein patterns, unique to each individual, as a biometric for the registration and verification of individual identity.

The patent contains broad claims covering the methods of using vein patterns for biometrics, and is well adapted for use with high-speed computing techniques.

Beware of Spyware
Home Internet users have a 1in-3chance of suffering computer damage and financial loss due to computer viruses or spyware, according to a Consumer Reports survey, which also said consumers spent around $9 billion during the last two years to repair damages caused by viruses and spyware.

Rush Implementation
RFID deployment is rapid, but some companies are being pushed to use the technology faster than they might like, according to a Frost & Sullivan study commissioned by the Computing Technology Industry Association. The following are industries in North America, as a percentage of 510 respondents, planning to deploy RFID technology in the next 12 months.
  • Automotive: 59 percent
  • Consumer goods: 58 percent
  • Transportation and logistics: 58 percent

    Few and Far Between
    Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds are used by a small but info-hungry segment of the online population, according to a report from Forrester Research, which found that only 2 percent of online adults and 5 percent of online teens in North America use RSS.
    Shane Peterson Associate Editor
    Jessica Jones Managing Editor