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MelissaB

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Member since: Mon Nov 8, 2004, 09:21 PM
Number of posts: 15,497

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New chip tracks smart-phone locations down to the inch, even indoors


New chip tracks smart-phone locations down to the inch, even indoors

By Kathleen Hickey
Apr 26, 2012

In 2010, GCN’s Kevin McCaney speculated that soon everyone would have a Marauder’s Map, the magical parchment that allowed Harry Potter and his friends to see in real time the location of everyone on Hogwarts school grounds.

That fantasy — dreamed up by J.K. Rowling over a decade ago — could now be a reality. Broadcom Corp. has begun shipping a new smart-phone-tracking microchip, Broadcom BCM4752, which aims to pinpoint a user’s location down to a few centimeters — even indoors. It also tracks your vertical position, so it can tell which floor you are on in a building.

By combining sensor technologies, wireless protocols and multiple satellite feeds in a small, low-power chip, Broadcom, the largest supplier of Global Positioning System chips to cell-phone manufacturers, claims the BCM4752’s speed and accuracy are 10 times better than competing products.

The chip uses a range of sensor technology — Wi-Fi (including recently announced 5G Wi-Fi), Bluetooth, Near Field Communication and radio — for indoor tracking.

More here: http://gcn.com/articles/2012/04/26/broadcom-gps-tracking-chip-precise-to-the-inch.aspx

The Guy that Shoulda Won (political ad)

Disclosure: My daughter did this for a school project. The wind is blowing really hard in the beginning and messes with the sound, but I thought the video was great overall.

It ain't easy being a liberal in west Texas.

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A million Texas children are without insurance

A million Texas children are without insurance
Emergency room primary source of care for many


By Chris Tomlinson Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — More than a million Texas children remain without health insurance, and those kids are not getting the care they need.

The startling condition of the state's children came into vivid focus last week with the release of the annual Kids Count survey. The analysis of official state and federal data by the nonpartisan Center for Public Policy Priorities found that 1.2 million Texas children have neither private nor public health insurance.

Almost 40 percent of Texas mothers received little or no prenatal care and one in seven babies were born premature, statistics show. The difference between being insured and uninsured is stark: 90 percent of insured kids are healthy, while only 58 percent of kids without insurance are considered healthy.

It comes as no surprise that the percentage of children covered by health care is directly related to the employment rate and the parent's economic status.

With 25 percent of Texas children living in poverty, a rate that consistently runs 5 percent above the national average, Texas ranks 41st in the nation in number of uninsured kids, even though the unemployment rate is lower than the national average.

More: http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2012/apr/08/a-million-texas-kids-without-insurance/?partner=popular

Finally a flying car... no kidding!

This new toy is riced at $279,000, and deliveries begin by the end of the year.



Terrafugia Transition, the world's first street-legal airplane


Like other modern street-legal vehicles, the Terrafugia Transition includes such safety equipment as air bags for the driver and passenger, energy-absorbing crumple zone construction, a collapsible steering column, auto-tensioning seatbelts with force limiters, and a back-up camera.

But unlike most other street legal vehicles, the equipment list also includes a stowable floor-mounted control stick, an antiservo tab, electric pitch trim, and, patented, electro-mechanical folding wings. That's because the Terrafugia can fly, but the developers would prefer you not call it a flying car. It is billed as the world's first practical street-legal airplane.

And practical it is, with a sensible 100-hp engine said to be good for 35-mpg on the highway, disc brakes all around, a storage compartment big enough to swallow up a set of golf clubs, and a built-in airframe parachute.

The reason behind not wanting it called a flying car is that the Transition is designed not so much to be a car that flies, but as an airplane that can be driven to its destination if thunderstorms pop up. Its creators are quick to point out that because bad weather and small planes don't get along, this innovative ability vastly increases its practicality and makes an argument for having a personal aircraft in one's garage. And yes, the Terrafugia can fit in one.

Woburn, Mass., based Terrafugia chose the New York International Automobile Show to show its new plane because, they figured, it was likely to draw lots of attention from the media, the public, and those all important potential investors. And if the crowds elbowing each other for a better view during media days are any indication, they made the right call. The Transition was drawing more crowds than almost anything this side of the new SRT Viper. Of course, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology aerospace engineers behind Terrafugia are pretty smart folks. You don't always encounter actual rocket scientists at a car show.



Link is at Consumer Reports: http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/04/video-terrafugia-transition-the-worlds-first-street-legal-airplane.html
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