Data-process 'Em, Dano Florida's Department of Law Enforcement awarded a $1.8 million contract to Printrak International Inc. for 34 Printrak LiveScan stations that will become part of a statewide booking identification system.The system holds fingerprints, mug shots and arrest data, and is capable of identifying suspects in seconds. LiveScan units are being deployed to county sheriffs' offices on the basis of booking volume. Some county agencies have purchased the units independently of the state program. Additional information is available by calling Francine Harris at 714/238-2000.
Finger on the Trigger Handguns are a leading contributor to violence and child fatalities. Oxford Micro Devices is developing a fingerprint-verification device that would allow only the authorized user of a gun to fire it. The system could save lives by stopping accidents and preventing the use of handguns by anyone other than the owner. "User authorization is activated by a sensor switch as soon as users hold the weapon's grip. If the user's fingerprints are matched, the gun become activated in less than milliseconds," said Steve Morgan, Oxford Micro Devices president. The system consists of a fingerprint sensor called the FingerChip, developed by Thomson-CSF, a A236 Video Digital Signal Processor Chip and software from Oxford Micro Devices. The handguns can be configured to be fired by one or several authorized users. Additional information is available by calling 203/924-9933 or online at .
Train Engineered to Have No Engineer New York's JFK International Airport is building a driverless Automated Light Rail System to move thousands of travelers between terminals. The system consists of 8.4 miles of predominately elevated double track with 10 stations and 32 vehicles, and will move passengers between six terminals at the airport. The total capital cost of the project is estimated at $930 million. Additional information is available online at .
Tapeless Recorder The Voice IT VR-2000 is a portable digital recorder that records 50 minutes of audio on non-volatile flash memory. An additional 50 minutes of capacity can be added with a removable memory card. Voice IT VR-2000 makes transcribing easy by allowing users to adjust the speed of dictation and insert edits anywhere in a recording. The recording can be transferred to PC, attached to user files and e-mailed or posted on the Web. Additional information is available by calling 970/221-1705 or online at .
Premio Pushes PCs Into New Dimension The Shadowhawk BX PC series provides an ideal balance of performance, manageability and exceptional value. A powerful 300 MHz Pentium II Processor, a 6.4GB hard drive, 32X CD-ROM and 64MB SDRAM DIMM provide superior computing. The system is ready for networking and equipped with 3Com's 3C905-TX PCI 10/100 card. Premio's 14.5-inch TFT flat-panel monitor brings vivid images and multimedia to life with 1024x768 VGA and 256K color support. A Matrox Productiva with 8MB and AGP video card perform brilliantly in conjunction with the LCD monitor in providing superior image quality and performance. The system is loaded with Windows 98, Lotus SmartSuite 97 and more.Additional information is available by calling 636/839-3100 or online at .
Old Wiring, New Networking The PassPort Plug-In Data Networking System allows users to easily connect computers and printers using existing electrical wiring. Computers and peripherals can be connected over ordinary AC power lines. The PassPort plugs directly into any electrical outlet, and users can create a
local area network in minutes. It measures 3.5 inches by 5 inches by 2 inches, and has a data rate of about 350K bits per second. The computer or peripheral is connected to the PassPort Plug-In and the electrical outlet. Additional information is available by calling 801/756-5199 or online at .
Logistics and Transportation Automation The freight industry has come a long way from the days of CB radios and paper files, thanks to the Internet, GPS and other
technologies. Logistics Manager 2
-D automates the entire process of supply-chain information. In addition to standard transportation and logistics functions, the program employs a two-dimensional bar-coding technology that allows users to capture documents -- bills of lading and shipping labels -- and compress them into two-dimensional bar codes. Afterward, the data can be "unzipped" using a hand-held scanner. Logistics Manager 2-D can be integrated into a network, allowing users to transmit bills of lading and receive status reports. The program requires a PC with at least a 486 processor, 30MB available hard disk, 8MB of RAM, Microsoft Windows 3.1, 95 or NT, and a VGA monitor. Additional information is available by calling 650/326-1700 or online at .
Class Pictures Canon's Vizcam 1000 Camera provides crisp, clear images of the 2-D and 3-D worlds. It records images of objects, photographs, books and slides. Teachers use Vizcam to replace traditional overhead projectors and transparencies, and Canon is marketing the camera for classroom use. A rugged three-axis arm rotates 180 degrees at the base, and the camera head can be raised and lowered as needed, providing flexibility for capturing images. The camera can show the images on computer monitor or TV, and can be recorded on a VCR or saved on disc. Additional information is available by calling 516/328-5960.
Talk is Cheaper The INT100CS Internet Telephone allows users to make Internet phone calls from a PC. The system is similar to a traditional telephone handset, making it more convenient than listening through speakers and talking into a microphone. The handset plugs into IBM-compatible computers. Using a number of services, the system also allows users to call any standard telephone from their PCs. Calls to standard phones are cheaper than regular long-distance rates. Additional information is available by calling 800/394-8812.
A Library In Your Pocket Forget about soft cover vs. hard cover. Users will soon choose their books by display size, resolution and, of course, content. RocketBook is a hand-held digital book reader that allows users to browse, search, automate, highlight, bookmark, link and reference material in ways impossible with conventional paper books. It allows users to easily carry and use a small library wherever they go. Users can download digital books distributed on the Web. Additional information is available by calling 650/327-5110 or online at .
Internet Antenna Internet broadcasting can be seen as the opposite of Web surfing, because content comes to your computer rather than sitting on the Net waiting for you to find it. Internet broadcasting can deliver dynamic information and entertainment with little or no effort on the viewer's part. AirMedia's Internet Antenna plugs into PC serial ports and receives around-the-clock wireless broadcast of Internet news. It requires Windows 95 or NT, 16MB of RAM, a 486 processor or higher, 20MB of disk space, and a CD-ROM drive for software installation. AirMedia is also providing broadcast content. Its health-care channel is providing physicians and pharmacists with 24-hour medical news, new product alerts, clinical study results, medical abstracts and information on continuing medical education. Additional information is available by calling 800/AIR-MEDIA or online at .
Versatile Video Conferencing Video-conferencing technology has matured in recent years, making it easier and cheaper to install. 3Com's BigPicture VideoPhone provides high-quality video conferencing -- still or moving images -- over PCs using phone lines or the Internet. Users can edit home videos into mini-movies, clean up scanned photos and make unique greeting cards, calendars and invitations. With the Capture Card, users can pull still images directly from the BigPicture video camera, a VCR or camcorder and place them into a document or a Web page. The package provides NTSC color camera with built-in microphone, video capture card (internal PCI card), CD-ROM and installation map. It requires Windows 95, a Pentium chip of 133MHz or faster, 16MB of RAM, a PCI-based video controller, a sound card and speakers. Additional
information is available by calling 888/DIAL-USR or online at .
Murder, She Downloaded? It has been pondered whether computer networks can think and learn. People in Washington are wondering whether they can fight crime. Advances in artificial neural networks (ANNs) may give the state's Attorney General's Office a computer Columbo. ANN's information-processing model imitates the neurons of the human brain. Just as learning happens through the synaptic connection between neurons within the brain, ANN examines data using mathematical algorithms and learns to recognize patterns. Washington state's Attorney General's Office is implementing Computer Aided Tracking and Characterization of Homicides (CATCH), a data-visualization and analysis tool that helps investigators interpret data from violent crimes, including sexual assaults and murders. CATCH relies on ANN technology and helps investigators compare cases within databases. CATCH was scheduled for full deployment at the Homicide Investigation Tracking System's unit in September. Additional information is available by calling Staci West at 509/372-6313 or online for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory at .
Printing on the Fly The BJC-50 is a portable color printer that provides high quality printing on the road. The BJC-50 prints two four-color pages per minute, or 5.5 one-color pages, and has IrDA data transfer for wireless communication. An optional automatic sheet feeder holds 30 sheets at a time. The printer weighs 2.1 pounds, has 720x360 dpi resolution, and measures 11.8 inches by 4.4 inches by 1.9 inches. It runs on either a built-in Lithium Ion battery or a power adapter. It requires Windows 3.1, 95, or 98. Additional information is available by calling 800/OK-Canon or online at .
Signed, Sealed and Certified Certifiedemail.com allows users to track e-mail and see when it was received. It is a cheaper, faster solution to registered mail or overnight deliveries. Senders will receive a confirmation as soon as the recipient opens the message. Customers access the site to track the status of their certified e-mail messages, much as a person tracks packages through UPS' or FedEx's Web sites. Recipients are notified that they have a certified e-mail message waiting for them at certifiedemail.com. Certifiedemail.com said its system protects against hackers and viruses. Additional information is available by calling 404/240-0909.
New Millennium, New Office Software Microsoft released Beta 1 copies of Office 2000 to gear up for next year's expected release of the finalized program. According to Microsoft, Office 2000 will be ideal for customers using intranets. The software will make it simple for any user, not only webmasters, to create, view or work on Web-based material. The upgrades include Word, Excel documents and PowerPoint presentations. Users can easily post documents to a Web page without special tools or the need to learn new skills. Office 2000 will come bundled with Frontpage 2000 to help users create and manage Web sites. Additional information is available online at .
Whom to Trust? The Truster is a voice/stress analyzer program that allows users to analyze human voice through a telephone, television, audio tape or microphone.Truster measures psychological patterns of stress during a free conversation, patterns that may indicate lying.The program was originally created by the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, to interrogate potential terrorists at border crossings. According to manufacturer Tech-Ni-Comm, the system is 85- percent accurate. Additional information is available by calling 800/443-4522.
If you have a comment about a product or service you are using -- or have a suggestion for a product news item -- please e-mail Kaveh Ghaemian at or fax 916/932-1470 with the details. Include your phone number for verification and note whether we may publish your comments.
November Table of Contents