Reports from the IT horizon.

by , / July 31, 2007

Segway Speed Chase
Long Beach, N.Y., police made its first Segway-assisted arrest, apprehending three juvenile car thieves in early June after an officer pursued them on his two-wheeled, battery-powered Segway.

At a top speed of 12.5 mph, the Segway won't help in a car chase, but its height allowed Officer Jose Miguez to keep the vehicle in sight for two blocks until the teens ditched the moving car to escape moments before it cleared a curb and struck a utility pole.

After the car crashed, Miguez said, he caught the 13-year-old driver, who identified his two companions. Long Beach police got two Segways in early May to patrol the city's 2.2-mile-long boardwalk during the summer beach season. - Newsday


Tag, You're It
A startup called Dutch Umbrella is selling advertising spots on umbrellas to shopkeepers and restaurateurs in Fairmount, Pa.

Patrons borrow umbrellas from a participating business, then leave them in a collection bin - called a "RainDrop" - at other participating businesses. Each umbrella is identified by a Motorola radio frequency identification (RFID) tag.

Dutch Umbrella sends employees outfitted with handheld RFID-tag readers to visit businesses and identify each umbrella. This information is entered into a program which computes where the umbrellas travel throughout the city and tracks the circulating umbrellas.

The company also creates printouts from the software showing where merchants' umbrella messages have traveled; data they can then use for marketing intelligence. - Informationweek.com


Covert Critters
At some point in the near future, a moth will take flight in the hills of northern Pakistan toward a suspected terrorist training camp. But this is no ordinary moth.

The insect will bear an implanted computer chip, which will allow the moth's entire nervous system to be controlled remotely. The moth will land in a camp without arousing suspicion, all the while beaming video and other information back to its masters via what its developers call a "reliable tissue-machine interface."

The creation of creatures whose flesh grows around computer parts - more popularly known as "cyborgs" - is described as one of the most ambitious robotics projects ever conceived by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research and development arm of the U.S. Department of Defense. - TimesOnline.com


Rapid Growth
By 2012, 90 percent of all broadband wireless deployments worldwide will use WiMAX, and demand for WiMAX and broadband customer premise equipment will rise to $3.7 billion, according to Maravedis Inc.



Karen Stewartson

Karen Stewartson served as the managing editor of Government Technology for many years. She also contributed to Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.

Jessica Jones Assistant Editor