IT Trends: Smithsonian Video Game Exhibit; California Budget Solutions Could Include Speed Cameras

Wi-Fi on wheels; electronics left behind.

by / February 26, 2010

Smithsonian on Video Gaming

More than 70 percent of American households play video games on a regular basis, and many families now have two generations of gamers at home.

In keeping with this trend, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, beginning in March 2012, will have on display an exhibition depicting how video games have impacted society. The display will run until Sept. 9, 2012, and will show the emergence of video games as narrative art over the past four decades. Presentations of game footage, video interviews with developers and artists, large prints of in-game screenshots, and historic game consoles will be on display, as will working game systems visitors can play. Source: Smithsonian American Art Museum


Wi-Fi on Wheels

Wi-Fi hotspots are everywhere -- parks, cafés and airports -- but now motorists with the Ford Sync in-car Wi-Fi system can transform their cars into a mobile hotspot. By inserting a USB-compatible mobile broadband modem into Sync's USB port, a Wi-Fi signal is broadcast, providing users with a secure wireless connection throughout their car. Such a technology might be beneficial to public safety officials or government workers in the field.



The average number miles traveled by Americans each day, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's 2001 National Household Travel Survey.


California Budget Solutions

$400 million: The estimated revenue cities and counties will generate by installing speed cameras.

To offset California's budget crisis, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed in his 2010/2011 spending plan that cities and counties would raise nearly $400 million by installing speed cameras. The Department of Finance estimates that 500 speed cameras deployed statewide and would catch approximately 2.4 million violators.

Speeders could be fined:
$225 for going up to 15 mph above the speed limit.
$325 for going more than 15 mph above the speed limit.

Source: The Sacramento Bee


Viral Communication

Although membership and content sharing at various social media sites continue to climb, the Social Influence Benchmark Report found e-mail still leads with 37 percent of users responding that it's how they share content.

46% of social media users worldwide say they can easily tell if the information they get online is true, according to Crowd Science.
46 million Americans received the H1N1flu vaccine as of December 2009, according to the CDC.


Dry Cleaning & Taxiing Data

Approximately 4,500 memory sticks that were forgotten in clothes were taken to dry cleaners in the UK -- but that's not just the only place electronic gadgets are usually left behind. More than 12,500 handheld devices, such as laptops and iPods, are found every six months in London and New York taxis.

Portable devices like USB flash drives that store valuable data can cause security breaches if they fall into the wrong hands. In the UK, under the Data Protection Act of 1998, organizations could be fined up to $800,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office if clients' data isn't sufficiently protected.

Source: Credant Technologies and


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.