Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Daily Report

Fox News reports that a Bosnian man tried to enter the U.S. embassy in Vienna, Austria carrying a backpack containing hand grenades, nails, and Islamic literature. The police arrested the man after he was intercepted at security. (See item 21)

PRNewswire reports that a study conducted by the American Red Cross and the Council for Excellence in Government has shown that Americans are more prepared than last year to deal with weather emergencies, natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The report is intended to help state officials determine areas of vulnerability. (See item 22)

Information Technology

24. October 1, Computer World – (National) Military, oil firm use BI to avert disaster. The military is now using Business Intelligence software widely to support soldiers in the Iraq war effort. For example, business intelligence tools from Paris-based Business Objects SA are being used to search for defective batteries that could malfunction and cause explosions in Humvee vehicles. A group chief of business systems and technology at the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command Acquisition Center in Fort Monmouth, N.J., said his group also hopes to use BI tools to provide soldiers with data that will help them work in specific types of environments, such as extreme heat. Meanwhile, BP America Inc. in Houston is relying on a BI mashup to keep up with the wrath of Mother Nature. After hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, BP wanted to be able to get data about the condition of its drilling equipment, pipelines and other apparatus more quickly, said BP’s information management director. The oil company turned to a BI mashup that links maps and geospatial data with company data to create a visual representation of its equipment in the Gulf of Mexico.

25. October 1, New York Daily News – (National) NYPD has test camera scan license plates in Manhattan. The New York City Police Department has been operating a camera that scans the license plates of cars passing just blocks from ground zero, a newspaper reported Monday. The camera is an example of the kind of technology the NYPD hopes to use to create a high-tech security ring around Lower Manhattan, the Daily News reported. City officials pointed out that the camera, also not far from City Hall, is currently in a test phase. The camera is the only one of its kind attached to a fixed spot, though some squad cars have similar technology. It transmits scans of license plates wirelessly, and then matches them to a database. The executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union said the camera raises new questions about privacy. An $81.5 million plan to safeguard Lower Manhattan and parts of midtown modeled after security measures in London’s financial district, would feature surveillance cameras, as well as barriers that could automatically block streets.
Source: http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--nypdeye1001oct01,0,6934407.story

Communications Sector

26. October 1, The Heights – (New England) Cell phone usage up 380 percent. Technicians for Verizon Wireless studied the usage in New England university neighborhoods between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on both Thursday, Aug. 23 and Thursday, Sept. 6. Boston schools such as Northeastern University and Boston University saw a 280 percent and 70 percent increases, respectively, while the cell sites serving the Harvard and MIT areas climbed 50 and 20 percent. Overall, Verizon Wireless network usage has seen a 20 percent increase in the Boston area since early August.
Source: http://media.www.bcheights.com/media/storage/paper144/news/2007/10/01/News/Cell-Phone.Usage.Up.380.Percent-3002128-page2.shtml

27. September 30, Dslreports.com – (National) Satellite phone system to make rural areas safer. Losing a cell phone connection due to gaps in reception is a common experience. At the very least, these gaps are frustrating and in some cases can be detrimental to a person’s ability to access emergency services. TerreStar Networks is working on a $1 billion satellite system designed to fill in those gaps to improve communications and emergency services. The system, which they hope to have up and running next year, will be tested out in Northeastern Vermont, an area chosen for its qualities as a “developmental sandbox,” where applications for rural areas can be widely tested

Source: http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Satellite-Phone-System-to-Make-Rural-Areas-Safer-87983

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