Doppler Radar On Wheels

A pencil-beam, x-band Doppler radar -- that can look inside tornadoes and hurricanes from very close range -- is now truck-mounted and portable.

The system -- called "Doppler on Wheels" recorded Hurricane Fran before the eye passed over radar in Wilmington, N.C., last September. Image colors show the speed and direction of the wind.

For additional information contact Joshua Wurman, University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology, 100 E. Boyd, Norman, OK 73019. Phone 405/325-6561.

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Video Visits

The Personal Telemedicine System enables interactive audio and video links between patients and health professionals. The patient's blood pressure, pulse, lung and heart function may be monitored, or a wound may be examined, without the patient visiting a clinic. The link can be initiated by either the patient or the health care professional.

It is installed easily in the patient's home on ordinary telephone lines.

For additional information contact Frederick Haase, American TeleCare, 7680 Golden Triangle Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344-3732. Phone 612/897-0000.

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Follow the Light Rope

Finding the way out of a burning, smoke-filled building is easier with the LiteLine 360, a rope containing a series of small lamps. FlexLite's plastic sheathing is water resistant and can withstand temperatures up to 450 F. It costs $1,200 for 100 feet.

For additional information contact FlexLite Inc., 102 Fernwood Ave., Edison, NJ 08837. Phone 800/932-9899.

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Pay By Fax

Chax is a $169 software package that lets government agencies accept faxed checks for payment. The payer fills out the check and faxes it to the government agency, which uses Chax to enter the client's name, address, bank and checking account number into a personal computer. Chax creates a machine-readable check that can be deposited like any other check.

"The concept of authorizing another person to create a check on your account takes some getting used to," said Jerry Simonoff, president of Micro Business Systems, "but in fact, there is no more opportunity for improbity with a Chax check than there is with a mailed one." According to the company, this type of transaction is supported by Title 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code, which covers commercial paper.

For additional information call Edgar Geithner at 508/875-3821 or write to Micro Business Systems, 65 Cornell Drive, Plainview, NY 11803.

Fax Uncloaking Off the Port Bow

Engineers at the University of Rochester invented a software package that encodes fax transmissions, making them appear to be just a random pattern of dots.

The fax recipient places a customized plastic decoder sheet over the pattern and the message appears. Characters must be at least one-third of an inch high in order to be legible.

For additional information contact Tom Ricky, University of Rochester, 147 Administration Bldg., Rochester, NY 14627-0033. Phone 716/275-4118.

Tough Notebook PC

If Rambo carried a laptop, it might be Panasonic's CF-25 magnesium alloy notebook. It's 20 times stronger than wimpy plastics. The CF-25 is also dust- and shock-resistant, with water-resistant sealed keyboard and touchpad.

Inside is a 100MHz or 133MHz Pentium CPU, a maximum hard disk size of 1.35GB and 8MB internal RAM, expandable to 72MB. Floppy and hard disk drives are mounted in shock- absorbing gel. Estimated street price is $3,500.00.

For additional information call 800/662-3537 or write to Panasonic, Personal Computer Company, Two Panasonic Way Panazip 7D-6, Secaucus, N.J. 07094

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[ January Table of Contents]