Spectrum: The Public Approves of State and Local Government

Also, carbonized coffee socks eliminate funky feet.

by / August 1, 2013

Hearing Voices

German train passengers leaning their head against the window of a car might one day “hear” advertisements coming from inside their head. The Telegraph reports that German advertising company Sky Deutschland has developed a technology that uses bone conduction technology — which is used in hearing aids, headphones and Google’s Glass headset — to pass sound to the inner ear via vibrations through the skull. The voice comes from a Sky-branded transmitter made by Audiva that is attached to the train window. Although it sounds intrusive, the technology also could be an asset for emergency management agencies that need to relay real-time information during crises.

Sock IT to You!

A Boston-based clothing manufacturer says its high-tech socks can conquer foot odor. The new Atlas socks are made from a mix of cotton, recycled polyester and carbonized coffee, which filters and absorbs perspiration and odor to keep feet cool. Ministry of Supply, the maker of the socks, says it used 3-D visualization, pressure mapping and thermal imaging to design the new product.

Symbol of Change?

Could replacing “the” with a symbol save the world millions of hours of time? Australian restaurateur Paul Mathis is on a grammatical expedition to perhaps change the face of written communications. So far, Mathis has forked over $68,000 to develop the new symbol, which he hopes could replace one of the most frequently used words in the English language. Android phone users can download a free app, which has the symbol.

Word on the Street

In March, the Pew Research Center asked 1,501 adults what they think of federal, state and local government. Although public opinion of the federal government was low (28 percent), local government’s approval rating remained consistent at 63 percent while state government approval increased to 57 percent.

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.