Freedman's Flash

Freedman's Flash

by / April 30, 1998
Talk to Your Mirror

AutoLink has combined a cellular phone and a global positioning system to work from a car's rearview mirror.

Users can immediately determine their exact location, request emergency and roadside assistance, receive driving directions and information on restaurants, hotels or the shortest routes.

AutoLink's cellular phone system features a voice recognition system that allows drivers to keep their hands on the wheels. A small display screen on the mirror also provides compass direction and temperature.

The system costs about $800.

For additional information, contact HighwayMaster Communications, 16479 Dallas Parkway, Suite 710 Dallas, TX 75248. Call 800/828-4696.

Simulated Eye Surgery

A new surgical simulation technology was demonstrated at the American Medical Association's Medicine Meets Virtual Reality conference. The technology allows surgeons and students to practice delicate opthalmic surgery.

During the practice session, the user looks through a mounted binocular -- revealing a computer-generated eye -- and holds a joystick manipulated much like a surgeon's scalpel. Surgeons can "feel" the scalpel as they practice making incisions on the virtual cornea.

The system uses 3D immersive display binoculars from n-Vision, a SensAble Technologies Phantom 3D Touch device, and it runs on an Intergraph NT workstation with visualization software developed by the University of Colorado Center for Human Simulation.

For additional information, contact n-Vision, 7680 Old Springhouse Road, Madison Building, First Floor, Mclean, VA 22102. Call Kiera Reilly at 703/506-8808 x 3002.

Next Generation PCs

Toshiba Infinia 7260 is not just any PC desktop computer sitting on a store shelf.

Infinia 7260 allows users to switch among CD, TV, radio, phone or video conferencing capabilities with just a touch of a button. Users can surf online while listening to the radio or update their database while watching a football game on television.

A sleep button and an "Instant On" feature is also provided, which brings the system right back to where users left off.

Every Infinia has access to Toshiba's InTouch Center -- toll-free technical support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Infinia 7260 features a 266MHz Pentium Processor with MMX, a 6.4GB hard drive, 64MB EDO RAM, a 24X CD-ROM and a 56Kps modem. It is bundled with Windows 95, Microsoft 97, Netscape Navigator, Quicken and many other applications.

For additional information, contact Toshiba, Computer Division System, P.O. Box 19724, Irvine, CA 92623. Call 800/457-7777.

Optical Storage
on Bacteria

Scientists at Syracuse University are using protein found in bacteriorhodospin -- a bacteria found in the salt marshes -- to write and store data.

Jeff Stuart, senior research scientist, said that two lasers beams are used to access and/or write information to a bit of the protein. These beams cause structural changes in the protein similar to how an optical plate is altered.

The protein has the ability to store information three dimensionally and for up to 5 years. "Currently, we are working on a storage system that can store up to 10GB of information," said Stuart.

For additional information, contact Syracuse University, Chemistry Department, Center for Science & Technology, Room 1014, Syracuse, NY 13244. Call Jeff Stuart at 315/443-5908.

Secure Your Phone Conversation

The Tele Safe II is a phone security device that alerts users to the presence of an eavesdropper on their telephone line. Automatic muting ensures that no sensitive information is revealed.

It features a comprehensive LED display, auto-mute function and RF sensitivity adjustment. It weighs 5.4 ounces and requires a 9V alkaline battery.

For additional information, contact P3 International, 71 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10010. Call Scott Longnecker at 212/741-7373.

Underwater Encounter

You don't have to get wet to see a wonderful underwater world. OceanLife Volume 6 on CD-ROM, developed by Sumeria, provides over 50 minutes of underwater video, photography, music and information on marine life in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. It covers areas from the Gulf of California to Costa Rica's Cocos Island and the Galapagos Islands.

Combined with the other five volumes of OceanLife -- Western Pacific, Micronesia, Hawaiian Islands, Great Barrier Reef and the Caribbean -- it can provide a powerful tool for students who want to learn about marine life.

The movies are produced using QuickTime for Windows and Macintosh in a 320x240 pixel size format.

The CD costs $49.95.

For additional information, contact Sumeria, 329 Bryant St., Suite 3D, San Francisco, CA 94107. Call 415/904-0800.

Communication In Prison

Motorola's 800MHz SMARTNET radio communication system is designed specifically for prison environments.

The system is installed at the Pontiac and Stateville correctional centers in Illinois and have shown to penetrate prison structures more effectively, providing reliable communications through concrete, steel, corridors and underground tunnels.

"We have clear communication from one hand-held unit to another," said George DeTella, Stateville's warden. "With our old system, we had to go through the dispatcher about two-thirds of the time. Now, communication is much faster. This helps us take appropriate action faster."

Dispatchers in the prisons' control rooms can monitor the identity of a radio unit on the communications console's CRT screen. If a user presses the emergency ID button, or if the radio has tilted more than 30 degrees from vertical for too long, it may indicate a staff member needs help.

The systems have built-in encryption capability designed to allow privacy for the users. These specially designed portable radios can be connected to telephone lines, giving users the ability to communicate by phone from within the facility, on the grounds or from the surrounding community.

Each radio system has a single transmit-and-receive site and four two-way radio channels. The system uses trunking technology, and each facility can create "talk groups," so that staff who communicate frequently can do so privately.

For additional information, contact Motorola, Land Mobile Products Sector, 1301 East Algonquin Road, Schaumburg, IL 60196. Call Pat Sturmon at 847/576-6612.

Microsoft Windows CE 3.0

Microsoft's Windows CE 3.0 is a new 32-bit operating system specifically designed for handheld computers.

Code-named Jupiter, Windows CE 3.0 doesn't differ much from Windows CE 2.0. 3.0 allows for a 640x480 screen resolution and gives the look and feel of a Windows 95 device, with universal serial bus ports and network access to servers.

It is predicted that hand-held PCs will be mostly used for editing, e-mail and Web browsing. It's also predicted that their size, weight -- about 2 pounds -- and power efficiency -- 10-15 hours of battery power -- will bully notebook computers out of the market.

Many hand-held computer devices will provide 16MB of RAM and a touch screen and/or a trackball.

Windows CE 3.0 is scheduled for release in 1998's second quarter.

For additional information, contact Microsoft.

Faster Border Exchange

Advanced Technologies for International Intermodal Ports of Entry (ATIPE), developed by Sandia National Laboratories, expedites the movement of freight across the borders with greater safety, security and efficiency.

ATIPE is built around three technologies:

* Authenticated Tracking and Monitoring System (ATMS) -- an automated tracking system that tracks the physical movement and status of cargo. ATMS is already used in Russia, tracking the movement of special nuclear materials. ATIPE uses satellite communication to report cargo status to shippers and border officials in near-realtime via the Internet.

* Process map -- shows all the steps in shipping goods across the border. The map reads like a flow chart and provides all the steps involved in both the physical handling of the material -- such as trucks moving across borders, paying tolls, being weighed -- and the informational part of the process -- filling out forms, permits, reports, and making sure customs offices have all the paperwork they need to approve a border crossing.

* Collaborative information system -- makes collaboration among all the parties involved in a particular shipment possible -- government agencies, shippers, carriers, consignees and brokers.

For additional information, contact Brad Godfrey, Sandia National Laboratory, 505/844-4741.

HTML Editor for
Creating Top Web Sites

Building a Web page shouldn't be a mystery. WebEdit Pro 3.0, developed by Luckman Interactive, is a Web page authoring tool that lets users design and develop powerful, customized Web pages. It incorporates several tools and wizards that work for beginners and professionals.

WebEdit Pro 3.0 is also a perfect tool for learning and reviewing code, because it offers realtime syntax checking for HTML versions 1.0 to 4.0.

According to the company, it can load and edit any existing Web site -- regardless of the editor used to create it -- without inserting any proprietary tags.

For additional information, contact Luckman Interactive, 1055 West 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90017. Call 213/614-0966.
Harry Hammitt is editor/publisher
of Access Reports, a newsletter published in Lynchburg, Va., covering open government laws and information policy issues.

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