March 31, 2009 By Karen Stewartson
The following entities are driving environmentally friendly programs:
Alabama may soon join a handful of states that provide subsidized phone service to low-income families. Under the proposal, Miami-based TracFone Wireless would give free prepaid cell phones to more than 500,000 residents who receive government assistance. The phone plan would give users 68 free talk minutes per month, unlimited calls to 911 and text messaging.
However, distribution has been stalled for possibly another year because Alabama can't give statewide 911 authorization to TracFone. The phone company must get certification from each county's 911 emergency service board to provide the service. - The Birmingham News
Researchers in the Netherlands have developed an intelligent pill, or iPill, that's programmed to target specific areas in the intestinal tract and dispense medicine.
The iPill, a plastic capsule, can be swallowed with food or water. It has a microprocessor, battery, pH sensor, temperature sensor, radio frequency wireless transceiver, fluid pump and drug reservoir. It communicates via a wireless transceiver to a control unit outside the body.
The iPill is being tested on animals and could one day benefit those with Crohn's disease, colitis or other intestinal disorders. - Phillips Research
Research published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology suggests that text messaging can improve students' verbal ability. A study of 88 children between the ages of 10 and 12 found that texting improves their reading ability and command of the English language. - BBC News
More than 5 million U.S. households - or 4 percent of the country's homes - aren't ready for the upcoming transition to all-digital broadcasting and would be unable to receive any TV programming if the transition were to occur, according to a February 2008 survey by the Nielsen Company.
You may use or reference this story with attribution and a link to