The search for a "smart gun" -- which fires only when held by its owner -- has led Colt Manufacturing Co. to build a prototype for law enforcement use.
When energized, the gun emits a radio signal. If the signal bounces off a ring-mounted transponder worn by the owner, a blocking pin is removed from the trigger mechanism, enabling the gun to fire. If the gun is more than one meter from the transponder, it won't fire.
For more information contact: Colt Manufacturing Company Inc. P.O. Box 1868, Hartford, CT 06144-1868. 860/236-6311
SASS LITE is an unmanned surveillance balloon originally developed for the United States Army. Its low infrared, radar and noise signatures assist covert aerial surveillance, and both the ground control station and the airship are fully self-contained and portable, for police, disaster, border patrol or search and rescue applications.
The airship is also equipped with digital autopilot, 100 GPS way points, programmable climb and descent rate and is capable of long-duration day or night flights.
For more information contact James Miller, BOSCH Aerospace Inc., 7501 S. Memorial Parkway, Suite 207, Huntsville, AL 35802-2226, 205/882-9394.
Motorola's PageWriter will allow users to create and send messages wirelessly, communicating with e-mail systems, fax machines and pagers. It employs a graphical user interface and built-in address book.
The device -- scheduled for release early next year -- has 1.2MB of memory and is slightly larger than a deck of cards.
For more information contact Motorola, Messaging Systems Products Group, 1500 Gateway Boulevard, Boynton Beach, FL 33426, 407/739-2000.
Universal Geographic Client
Intergraph's Geo Media -- a "universal geographic client" -- allows the user to access multiple GIS data sources simultaneously for display, analysis and presentation, without translation. The first version of Geo Media -- available in early 1997 -- is expected to accelerate the move toward open systems geoprocessing.
For more information call Intergraph at 800/747-2232 or 800/345-4856. Web address:
For What It's Worth: A Guide to Valuing and Pricing Local Government Information, by Public Technology Inc., notes that local government should capitalize on its most valuable asset -- information -- and proposes that there should be access and user fees.
The guide provides a practical model that local government can use to determine information's market value. It also examines the political, legal and ethical effects of information pricing policy, and provides local government case studies.
A PC-formatted floppy disk containing two Microsoft Excel for Windows files accompanies the book. The files are editable spreadsheets, so readers can use their own parameters and figures to calculate cost.
For more information contact the PTI Publication Center at 800/PTI-8976 or e-mail: < firstname.lastname@example.org >. Softbound, 76 pages with floppy. Free for PTI members, $16 for a non-member cities or counties, $32 retail.
Kiosks: The Good, The Bad, and the Boring, from Summit Research Associates Inc., examines the success and usefulness of different types of kiosks in the United States and abroad. Intended for those evaluating kiosks or considering upgrades, the report evaluates kiosks for public-sector information and reference/transactions; financial services; retail/commercial; health care; travel and tourism.
Scores of "good," "bad" or "boring" are based on criteria such as: quality of the application and information presented, value to the user, time required to process information, ease of use, location and design.
For more information call Summit Research Associates at 7728 Warbler Lane, Rockville, MD 20855, 301/670-0980. Softbound, 94 pages, $350 retail, $195 for government. Quantity discounts and site licenses available.
The Cyberethics Reader, by Nancy E. Willard offers simple and universal guidelines to becoming a good citizen of cyberspace. It emphasizes First Amendment freedoms and the need for strong ethical principles in an arena where each individual is bound only by his/her own sense of personal responsibility. Topics included are: "Speak Responsibly," "Don't Pollute," and "If It's Not True, Don't Say It."
For more information call McGraw-Hill at 800/338-3987. Softbound 128 pages, $12.38 retail.