802.11b wireless flaw identified: ""In order to exploit the vulnerability potential attackers only need a common wireless adaptor which retails for about US$35 and instead of using it to enable their computer to access a network, they can change its coding to interfere with transmission. "With this adaptor you can basically totally disrupt any wireless network that uses this technology within a kilometer of its operation in anywhere between five and eight seconds.".. [Professor] Looi said any computer, PDA or notebook could send out the signal if the wireless adaptor was programmed accordingly. ..
Wireless technology is gaining traction and in some countries is used to control infrastructures such as railway networks, energy transmission and other utilities. QUT's School of Software Engineering and Data Communications deputy head, associate professor Mark Looi said the discovery of the flaw should send a warning to high levels of government and industry worldwide. "Any organization that continues to use the standard wireless technology (IEEE 802.11b) to operate critical infrastructure could be considered negligent," Professor Looi said. "This wireless technology should not be used for any critical applications as the results could potentially be very serious."" 11:11:14 AM
In a Road That's All Eyes, the Driver Finds an Ally: Adding PV cells, LEDs sensors and cameras to road lane markers has many benefits (and could create a mass market for these components). "after perfecting illuminated markers that are embedded in the road surface to guide motorists through bad weather or warn of dangerous conditions, Mr. Dicks's company, Astucia Traffic Management Systems, is going a step further. Its latest creation is an embedded stud equipped with a camera that catches speeders, monitors traffic for criminals or stolen cars and even checks for bald tires on the fly...
illuminated marker would be more visible than a plain reflector, and the idea was that a car passing over the markers would cause them to stay illuminated long enough so that they would provide a warning trail of lights for any vehicles close behind. Working mostly with family members at first, Mr. Dicks produced a prototype marker within two years. He dodged the white L.E.D. problem by combining the glow from red, green and blue arrays. The group not only overcame the limitations of solar cells, but also managed to engineer markers that turned red to warn when the gap between two cars was dangerously small...
Optical systems inside the casing are able to monitor the atmosphere for fog. Electrical resistance detectors can check for standing water. The addition of a thermometer allows the marker to predict ice.
[Now, high-resolution digital cameras inside] the flush-mounted housings [use] a special series of lenses that in effect allow the camera to look upward and forward from its subsurface location. .. Astucia has developed a system that is operating on a highway in Scotland. It employs three embedded cameras to give front, rear and side views of passing vehicles. Other embedded sensors project two infrared beams over the road that are used to time traffic and determine its speed. The images and the speed data travel under the road by cable to a computer. It in turn relays the data by satellite to Astucia's offices. The system is currently being used to monitor traffic slowdowns. When it detects them, it turns on illuminated markers farther up the road as a warning. Mr. Dicks said that its speed measurements were accurate within 0.5 percent, well within the tolerances demanded for traffic enforcement [including catching speeders]. Similarly, he said, the systems can be combined with optical character recognition software to automatically track stolen vehicles or cars believed to be used by suspected criminals..
Mr. Dicks was not the only person with a desire to illuminate to road markers. After a friend struck and killed a pedestrian in 1991 at a crosswalk in Santa Rosa, Calif., Michael Harrison developed a system that uses flashing L.E.D.'s in the road surface to make crosswalks more visible. The company he founded in 1994, LightGuard Systems, now has about 700 installations in the United States. A study of 100 illuminated crosswalks by Katz, Okitsu & Associates, a traffic engineering firm based in Southern California, estimates that adding the blinking L.E.D.'s to crosswalks can reduce pedestrian accidents by 80 percent." 8:55:29 AM
Solar Roofing System: Marley Roofing is a major UK manufacturer of many kinds of roofing products. They have introduced a solar tile system. "The Marley SolarTile™ was designed to integrate with the Marley Modern interlocking tile and is easily installed by fixing to standard batterns. .. Each tile has a PV laminate comprising of 10 BP Solar Saturn cells generating an output of 23Wp. Over the year a suitably orientated installation of 100 Marley Solar Tiles will generate enough electricity for a typical 3 bedroom household (excluding central heating and water heating).
Marley SolarTiles™ are easy to install, use standard battening and are completely modular to meet the requirements of any roofing application. The Solar Tile has just two parts, a Top and a Base. The tile top fits onto the base and contains the photovoltaic elements which generate electricity. The tile base fits onto the roof and provides the electrical connectors to the house wiring." This would allow the substitution of new PV cells as they are developed. 8:42:18 AM