|Ken Novak's Weblog
Purpose of this blog: to retain annotated bookmarks for my future reference, and to offer others my filter technology and other news. Note that this blog is categorized. Use the category links to find items that match your interests.
Subscribe to get this blog by e-mail.
New: Read what I'm reading on Bloglines.
Friday, August 15, 2003
Reporters sans frontières - Iraq
: Interesting review of press developments, with a note on cybercafes and satellite dishes: "one shopkeeper in Baghdad's Karradeh Karej Street, where business is booming for him and dozens of others selling receiver dishes. "Even shoemakers are selling them," said one. They cost between $150 and $220, about the same as the fine you would get in Saddam's time, when they were illegal. If the police found one at the bottom of your garden or hidden in a cardboard box on the roof, it would be immediately seized and if you were caught out a second time, you risked up to a year in prison. When the regime was particularly worried about foreign influences, helicopter patrols would go looking for the dishes. In November 2002, when the threat of a US invasion was growing, the authorities reiterated that they were banned. " 5:47:49 PM
The Crossbow MDA300CA Enviromental Data Acquisition Card: "is designed to interace directly with remote sensors like Soil Moisture, Humidity, Temperature, Wind Speed, Wind Direction, and Leaf Wetness. .. for Agricultural applications such as Irrigation Management, Early Frost Warning, Pesticide and Fertilizer Application.
Supports Remote Environmental Sensors including Soil Moisture, Humidity, Temperature, Wind Speed, Wind Direction and more. Developed at UCLA’s Center for Networked Embedded Sensing." UCLA Data collection software is available. Crossbow sensor and software kits available online for under $2000. 2:03:40 PM
BW: The Sensor Revolution: "Sensor networks promise a mammoth extension of the Internet. To date, the Web has been a showcase for the human brain. It specializes in the words, numbers, music, and images that mankind produces. With sensors, the network stretches to the far vaster field of global activity. This means such networks can cover every single thing that moves, grows, makes noise, or heats up. ..
York International (YRK ) Corp., which manages ventilation systems for more than 60,000 customers, plans over the next five years to install hundreds of thousands of networked sensors on its clients' air-conditioning units. These will monitor temperatures and automatically send updates to York's offices. That should lighten the workload for York's 2,000 technicians, boosting productivity by as much as 15%.. Tyco Thermal Controls LLC is turning to wireless sensors to cut down on the cost of laying wires in its pipe-heating systems. Such wiring accounts for two-thirds of the expense of installing monitoring systems. During the next three months, Tyco plans to launch customer tests." 1:54:37 PM
MICA: The Commercialization of Microsensor Motes: Profile of architecture of Crossbow sensors and their networks. "The first commercial generation of this platform was dubbed the Rene Mote,´and several thousand of these sensors have been deployed at commercial and research institutions worldwide to promote the development and application of wireless sensor networks. The platform’s development community is based on the open-source model.. Most development work is done in the public domain, and it includes the hardware design and software source code. .. Although there’s no official consortium, the current community includes U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Los Angeles, Intel Research Labs, Robert Bosch Corp., U.S. Air Force Research Labs, Crossbow Technology, and others. ..
MICA developers and U.S. Air Force Research Labs used the new technology to create a wireless sensor network at the 29 Palms Marine base .. An unmanned aircraft dropped about 30 wireless magnetic sensors along a road. The sensors were packaged in a thin layer of foam to protect them from the hard landing on the desert floor. Once safely on the ground, the sensors formed a wireless network and began looking for magnetic anomalies. As a vehicle passed by the sensors, they would detect the vehicle from its magnetic signature. As the vehicle continued along the network, the engineers were able to estimate the vehicle’s speed and direction. The unmanned aircraft returned overhead to collect the data from the network and transmit them to the remote operation command headquarters. The entire development of the application, including the demonstration, took fewer than 60 days." 1:51:30 PM
Cringely rant on IT depts, outsourcing, and India subcontractors: "Now another question: Why are Linux computers gaining in popularity with large organizations while Macs, which are based after all on BSD Unix, aren't? .. Again, it comes down to the IT Department Full Employment Act. Adopting Linux allows organizations to increase their IT efficiency without requiring the IT department to increase ITS efficiency. It takes just as many nerds to support 100 Linux boxes as 100 Windows boxes, yet Linux boxes are cheaper and can support more users. The organization is better off while the IT department is unscathed and unchallenged...
[T]oday it is probably cheaper for a good-sized company to hire six to 12 smart people, empower them, keep their training current, and have them run the IT organization. A few smart leaders with a good pool of contractors can do a better job with open source support tools than IBM or any other outsourcing vendor can with its proprietary tools. ..
[T]he end game has not the big U.S. companies winning, but their Indian subcontractors. This isn't rocket science, and the Indians are going to quickly see that they can cut out their U.S. employers and go directly to the customers. It won't happen immediately, but eventually every U.S. outsourcing vendor will try to bring the work back in-house for this very reason." 10:16:55 AM