Americans have a prison problem -- namely, we’ve got a whole lot of people in prisons and that’s a huge drain not only on hard money in our public coffers, but on man-hours lost by both the inmates and the people who spend their productive hours keeping an eye on them. But Graeme Wood, writing in The Atlantic, describes a new prison paradigm that would take the economic – and, for the inmates, psychological – duress out of our penal system: let most of the inmates go free.
Sometimes, you want Big Brother to be watching. In that spirit, South Korean officials are turning to GPS technology to keep their kids safe from criminals, AFP reports.
Starting in October, about 1,200 elementary school children in Anyang City, south of Seoul, will receive matchbox-sized GPS-embedded beepers. The devices can notify authorities of the kids' location and activate surveillance cameras.
A team of NASA researchers has successfully completed the first demonstration of a prototype tsunami prediction system. Using global and regional real-time data from hundreds of GPS sites, the new system can quickly assess large earthquakes and accurately predict the size of resulting tsunamis.
The new system, developed by Y. Tony Song and his colleagues at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, uses GPS data from NASA's Global Differential GPS (GDGPS) and information about continental slope (where the ocean floor descends from the edge of the continent to the ocean bottom) to estimate the energy transferred to the ocean by an undersea earthquake.
Today’s cars may seem too sophisticated for tinkering, but the DIY auto movement is thriving, yielding designs and innovations too radical for mass production. Here are four awesome examples of modern garage-guy ingenuity.
Evasive speed demons may have a harder time avoiding a GPS-enabled speed camera which can capture license plate numbers under any weather condition, 24 hours a day. The new speed cameras in the UK use GPS satellites to help measure cars' average driving speeds over long distances, The Telegraph reports.
Humans make terrible drivers. Research shows we’re panic-prone, unpredictable and slow to react behind the wheel. Now a new breed of robot cars promises to eliminate human error for safer roads, less traffic and major fuel savings
By Lawrence Ulrich
Posted 04.11.2010 at 1:07 pm 0 Comments
Step One: Prove Robot Cars Can Handle the Worst
This fall, a driverless Audi TTS will attempt to race up Pikes Peak. If a robot can ace this harrowing mountain run, your daily commute could be next
When an Audi TTS roars to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado later this year, it will rumble over 12.4 dusty miles, navigating 156 hairpin turns at up to 90 mph, a speed only a pro racer would attempt. Yet Audi won’t have to hire one: The TTS will make the perilous ascent without a human at the wheel.
A fully autonomous pod similar to the general motors “PUMA” concept, this urban commuter does all the work for the driver. The ability to get more power out of smaller batteries and engines will let even the smallest micro-vehicles contain generous cabin space, making for a more comfortable and productive ride to work.
The seat sits higher than in a standard car, providing high visibility all around. The front windscreen serves as the door and opens vertically, blocking rain or snow as the driver enters the vehicle.
I’ve always loved taking pictures from the road when I travel, but on returning home I often had no idea where I had shot many of them. The only way to figure it out was by placing them on a timeline and working backward through my route. Recently I found a way to make it easier. I mounted a Canon digital camera on the dashboard of my car, installed software on it that enables it to automatically shoot pictures every few seconds or minutes, and set up a GPS unit to record the location of each shot.
If you're like most people, there's a thought that runs through your mind anytime you're checking into a flight, passing through airport security, changing terminals at the last minute, trying to sort out a missed connection, or standing close to anything an airline has touched: "There has to be a better way to do this." And you would be right. Southwest Airlines took a big step toward the future of commercial flight this week by implementing GPS satellite-guided landings.
Distracted drivers may soon get some warnings from their windshield displays about road hazards such as children playing in the street or vehicles in the driver's blind spot. General Motors has teamed up with university researchers to bring the concept to market around 2016, the New York Times reports.
Looking for open parking spaces in the city is one of the more teeth-grinding rituals for drivers, but researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey may have hit upon a relatively low-cost solution. They combined ultrasonic sensors with GPS to create digital maps of available parking spaces for Web-based navigation systems, according to Technology Review.
GPS may now reside in everything from our cars to our smart phones, but it once all began as a military application. So it's perhaps ironic, if not entirely shocking, that the head of the U.S. Air Force said today that the military needs to wean itself off dependence on a GPS network vulnerable to jamming and satellite-killing vehicles. DOD Buzz reports that officials have confirmed that GPS has been "jammed or interfered with recently."
Give the National Weather Service some credit for some clever crowdsourcing experiments. It has just launched a Twitter-based program to monitor tweets about severe weather, and hopes to eventually transform cars into mobile weather stations, Discovery News reports.
Millisecond pulsars left in the wake of supernovas could provide the basis for a type of "galactic GPS," radio astronomers say. A growing constellation of known pulsars could allow the scientists to make the first direct detection of gravitational waves -- a predicted consequence of Einstein's relativity theory. The concept might even help guide future spacecraft and explorers, not to mention errant galactic hitchhikers.
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.