What a predicted 2013 blast from the sun could mean for the U.S.
By Damon Tabor
Posted 06.09.2011 at 12:30 pm 17 Comments
On Tuesday, the biggest solar flare in four years erupted from the sun, sending a mass of charged particles hurtling towards Earth. NASA announced that it was an M-2 (medium-sized) flare and an S1-class (minor) radiation storm. The electromagnetic pulse it induced created amazing auroras, but it could also damage satellites and radio communications. What would happen with an even stronger, larger flare? Something terrible...
911 has been very slow to respond to improvements in technology, sometimes to the detriment of its service. Smartphones, carried everywhere by millions of Americans, have sophisticated tracking, communication, and multimedia capabilities which lie largely untapped by 911. Today, the FCC announced plans to update 911 to allow for texting, as well as other tools like streaming video and MMS.
This may come as a surprise to some (myself included), but despite the current ubiquity of texting, there’s still at least one place that won’t accept your texts: your local 911 center. Unless you live in Black Hawk County in Waterloo, Iowa, that is. Starting this week, the county’s emergency call center will be the first 911 center in the country to accept text messages sent to 911 in lieu of a phone call.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.