Government IT projects make headlines
Delaware's Division of Motor Vehicles is developing an electronic vehicle registration process to immediately transmit vehicle purchases to the DMV. Car buyers would complete car registration at car dealerships, and new vehicles would have permanent license plates instead of temporary tags. -- Delaware State News
Idaho dairymen Steve, Brent and Brandon Whitesides are finalizing details on a plant that would make cow manure more valuable. The new $1 million plant would turn manure into energy by producing methane to blend with natural gas. Solid byproducts would be used for fertilizer. -- USA Today
The Iowa Department of Transportation is testing "tetrapods" and "vortex generators" -- two ways to keep snow from drifting on roads. Fifty four-legged tetrapods were built along roads to catch snow. The triangle-shaped "vortex generators," also installed along roads, use wind-powered generators to increase the wind velocity on the road, keeping snow blowing across it instead of falling on the roadway. -- The Des Moines Register
Massachusetts Institute of Technology teams demonstrated prototypes of practical, nonweapons devices designed to solve real problems faced by infantry soldiers, police, firefighters and other emergency workers. Winners of the Soldier Design Competition designed a rocket-launched aerial reconnaissance photography system, which would give soldiers a bird's-eye view of surrounding territory by launching a small, inexpensive rocket that sends photographs back to a land-based computer.
Adrian College and the University of Michigan partnered to create the Terminus Underground Railroad Digital Archive, a multimedia relational database to collect, retrieve and disseminate information on various aspects of the Underground Railroad. The University of Michigan will host the Web site.
New Hampshire introduced Netsmartz Workshop, an interactive, educational resource that uses three-dimensional activities to teach Internet safety to children ages five through 17. The program is a partnership between the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Parents and teachers can download the state's version of the program from the New Hampshire Educators Online.
Civil War enthusiasts now have unlimited access to one of only two known reunion scrapbooks kept by Civil War regiments without damaging the fragile originals. After finding the book of ribbons and newspaper clippings in a library, Paul Cameruci digitally photographed each page, and posted them on a public Web site. The site details reunions of the 93rd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, from 1866 to 1936. -- USA Today
Oklahoma State University-Tulsa plans to construct a $30 million Advanced Technology Research Center. The 180,000-square-foot facility will focus on developing composites and materials for industries like aerospace, biotechnology, telecommunications and manufacturing.