Wireless remote data
Technologies and sample systems that gather sensor data across distances, usually via radio links. This includes general telemetry and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), especially for gathering data about wildlife, natural resources, and distributed energy systems.

Ken Novak's Weblog


daily link  Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Mini-Box.Com: "Mini-Box is a small, lightweight, yet powerful x86 system designed for embedded or general purpose PC computing applications. Consuming under 10 watts, the M-100 is an excellent candidate for low power, small form factor computing requirements. The M-100 is equipped with a backlit LCD, customizable 14 key keypad, front load Compact Flash, USB and audio."  Comes with Linux on a bootable CF.  Powered by 12v DC.  4:49:59 PM  permalink  


daily link  Monday, August 30, 2004


Robocop Now in Beta: "If you're in New York City when the Republican National Conventions kicks off next week, watch for police officers watching you with extra sets of megapixel peepers. The Federal Protective Service has outfitted patrol officers with helmets embedded with wireless video cameras. The images from the helmet-cams and traditional surveillance cameras mounted in federal buildings are streamed to a headquarters-on-wheels where deployment decisions can be made. ..

The wearable component of the Federal Protective Service's system is more akin to two projects in development at UC Berkeley. As reported on TheFeature earlier this year, smart firefighter helmets will provide emergency personnel with an "augmented reality" display that overlays text and images onto their view through the helmet. Meanwhile, command and control officers can help guide the rescue efforts by sharing the view of the firefighters inside a blaze.

The police system is also quite similar to UC Berkeley professor Ken Goldberg's Tele-Actor, a "human robot" sporting wireless Web cams and microphones. Groups of online participants can collaboratively control the Tele-Actor as "it" moves through remote spaces. For example, in one experiment a class of high school students "visited" a restricted biotechnology laboratory using the Tele-Actor as their collective avatar. "  12:16:59 AM  permalink  


daily link  Sunday, August 29, 2004


Mobile Phone Advertising That's Pull, Rather Than Push: Interesting note on ads that engage cellphone users. First, a billboard that shows a you video when you sent it an SMS (and presumably sneaks in an ad). Second, a magazine that encourages readers to photograph the pages and send them in to the publisher to enter a sweepstakes (and presumably pay closer attention to the ads).  It's reported that people have been snapping ads already to share images of clothes and hair that they like.  11:40:26 PM  permalink  


daily link  Friday, August 27, 2004


IEEE Internet Computing: Wireless Grids: Distributed Resource Sharing: Wide ranging review articles on wireless mesh and sensor applications.  8:03:02 AM  permalink  

Futuristic factories make mesh: "Industrial motors (not including facility heating and ventilating) consumed 679 billion kilowatt hours in the United States in 2003. That's 63 percent of all electricity used in industry and 23 percent of all electricity sold in the United States last year, according to the Energy Department. .. DOE figures a wireless sensor network could increase a motor's efficiency by 10 to 20 percent, which corresponds to a total U.S. energy savings of 120 trillion BTUs (35.1 billion kW-hr) per year..

Sensicast has devised a suite of control programs that have frequency "agility" that is, they seek out the clear frequencies and attempt to evenly spread out the simultaneous communications going on among the nodes on the mesh.  ..

Each wireless sensor will operate for years on a single battery charge, but for the future, GE is working on new technology that could harvest the vibrational energy of the motor itself to power the transceivers. Rensselaer, for its part, will be developing a physics-based model that will enable turnkey analysis and lifetime predictions from the sensor outputs of a motor. "

  7:59:29 AM  permalink  


daily link  Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Wireless Sensors: How Not to Replace 1000 Batteries: Nice brief review of long-lived power sources for sensors, including

  • printed batteries (e.g., Power Paper);
  • extended shelf-life mini-batteries with a nanomaterial called "nanograss;"
  • a nuclear-powered battery that uses a speck of nickel-63 and a tiny cantilever of piezoelectric material (nickel-63 has a half-life of around 100 years)
  • indoor lighting photovoltaics microbattery
  • "strain energy harvesting" using the stretching of piezoelectric fibers
  10:07:42 PM  permalink  


daily link  Sunday, August 15, 2004


RFID in Japanese Restaurants: Finally, RFID in the sushi bar -- I've been talking about this for 2 years, finally RFID has gotten practical:  At a Tokyo restaurant, under each sushi plate "was a small square shaped bump, barely visible under blue lacquer. It was an RFID chip implanted in the plate. Different chips for different prices. Cool. The tallying up of over 18 plates literally took less than 5 seconds. "  9:49:54 PM  permalink  

Bluetooth phones are hackable:  Recent tests have expanded the list of issues. "Adam Laurie of A.L. Digital Ltd. discovered that there are serious flaws in the authentication and/or data transfer mechanisms on some bluetooth enabled devices. .. Confidential data can be obtained, anonymously, and without the owner's knowledge or consent, from some bluetooth enabled mobile phones. This data includes, at least, the entire phonebook and calendar, and the phone's IMEI. .. Access can be gained to the AT command set of the device, giving full access to the higher level commands and channels, such as data, voice and messaging. " Dozens of models are affected.  Combined with new long range antennas, many demonstrations have been done with hundreds of phonebooks harvested, calls made remotely (allowing listening in conversations at a distance), and messages sent impersonating the owner of the phone.  The likely fix will be to reduce the time the devices keep Bluetooth open.

  9:49:13 AM  permalink  

Goatse at Defcon: Nasty wifi attack demonstration (with hilarious and disgusting images). A program running on a machine with 2 wifi nic's can inject responses to HTTP (browser) requests, thus impersonating web sites.  New vector for phishing?  Linked from Bruce Schneier.  8:59:47 AM  permalink  

The Wireless Robotic Gas Worker: Neat - a wireless snake-shaped robot that surveys pipes for damage and leaks.  A useful starting point for other out of the way inspection devices.  12:24:27 AM  permalink  


daily link  Saturday, August 14, 2004


NeroSoft TimeTrax: "TimeTrax is an application for the XM Satellite Radio XM PCR PC-based radio. This radio, available for under $50, plugs into a USB port on your PC and lets you tune into over 120 digital audio satellite channels, featuring music, talk, comedy and news.  Using TimeTrax, you can now record directly from your XM PCR radio onto your PC's hard drive in WAV or MP3 format." Software automatically breaks songs into separate MP3 files and collects metadata (artist, title, etc).  Can be scheduled to retain all songs by an artist, for example.  Software free (registered for $20), hardware $50, service $7/mo.  8:31:09 AM  permalink  


daily link  Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Nokia Lifeblog: Nokia's got the concept that's been around since the 80s Media Lab, of recording your life online -- using their all-singing all-dancing Nokia 7610, of course (has 1 mpixel camera, video, real and mp3 player, voice recorder, triband, bluetooth, smtp and pop3, games, java, etc.)  10:23:30 PM  permalink  


daily link  Sunday, August 08, 2004


New Solar Tent Prototypes for US Army (June 16, 2004):   "Iowa Thin Film Technologies, Inc., has completed the development of integrated solar technology for three Army tent prototypes. The tents integrate the company's PowerFilm® flexible solar panels directly with the tent fabric. Iowa Thin Film Technologies says that it is the only company in the world that has developed this fabric integration solar technology."  Could be equally useful during disasters or in refugee camps.  9:47:55 PM  permalink  


daily link  Tuesday, August 03, 2004


RSA Security - The Blocker Tag: Selective Blocking of RFID Tags for Consumer Privacy: Clever scheme for allowing consumers to block scanning of tags on items that they have purchased (eg, while in public places), and allowing scanning of those same items when desired (eg, in a medicine cabinet or refrigerator at home). 

"One may think of a the RSA® Blocker Tag as "spamming" any reader that attempts to scan tags without the right authorization. (The RSA® Blocker Tag manipulates the reading protocol with the aim of making the reader think that RFID tags representing all possible serial numbers are present.) When a Blocker is in proximity to ordinary RFID tags, they benefit from its shielding behavior; when the Blocker tag is removed, the ordinary RFID tags may be used normally.

Thanks to their selective nature, RSA® Blocker Tags are designed not to interfere with the normal operation of RFID systems in retail environments. They help prevent unwanted scanning of purchased items, but do not affect the scanning of shop inventories. Thus RSA® Blocker Tags are designed not to be usable, for example, to circumvent theft-control systems or mount denial-of-service attacks -- only to protect the privacy of law-abiding consumers."

  9:53:04 AM  permalink  


daily link  Monday, August 02, 2004


Sveasoft Firmware Documentation Site: Firmware Guides and Manual for their modification of the Linux in the WRT54G Linksys Router.

  11:40:40 PM  permalink  

Linux on the WRT54G:  "This is a mini Linux distribution for the Linksys wrt54g. In about 20 seconds, you can install a small set of Linux tools to your access point's ramdisk. The distribution is geared towards those who are curious about casually exploring the internal workings of this device. The installation is strictly to the ram disk of the box. No permanent changes are made. If you mess something up, power-cycle the box.

Upon completion of the installation, you'll be able to telnet into the box and have a system with basic tools such as syslog, httpd (with cgi-bin support), vi, snort, mount, insmod, rmmod, top, grep, ls, ifconfig, iptables, ssh, iptraf etc. "  The author also has tools for accessing the Linux running in the Linksys NSLU2 network storage/USB device.  Like the WRT54G, it costs under $100.  3:31:32 PM  permalink  

Copyright 2005 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 11/24/2005; 11:54:47 PM.
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