July 10, 2013

Valley police departments utilizing digital fingerprinting

A hand-held device that resembles a cellphone and taps fingerprint databases to help police officers identify people in the field is catching on with several departments in the Valley.

Officers say the devices are a valuable tool — particularly when they encounter people who aren’t carrying ID cards or who give false information.

“With these finger scanners ... you’re talking less than a minute (and) you know who you’re dealing with,” Chandler Sgt. Joe Favazzo said.

“The safety factor and the time-saving factors are just amazing.”

Not everyone is as sold on them, however, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, which has voiced privacy concerns.

July 7, 2013

China surpassing U.S. with 54.9 petaflop supercomputer - Computerworld


Computerworld - China has produced a supercomputer capable of 54.9 petaflops, more than twice the speed of any system in the U.S., according to a U.S. researcher who was in China last week and learned the details.

China's latest system was built with Intel chips, but includes indigenously produced Chinese technologies as well. The Chinese government spent about $290 million on it.

Read more: China surpassing U.S. with 54.9 petaflop supercomputer - Computerworld

PayPal looks to conquer space (payments)


NEW YORK — PayPal wants to begin to figure out how payments and commerce will work beyond Earth’s realm once space travel and tourism take off.

PayPal, which is eBay Inc.’s payments business, is launching a PayPal Galactic initiative with help from the nonprofit SETI Institute and the Space Tourism Society, an industry group. The goal is to determine how commerce will work in space. Issues include regulation and what currency will be used.

PayPal’s president, David Marcus, said that while space tourism was once the stuff of science fiction, it’s becoming a reality.

‘‘There are lots of important questions that the industry needs to answer,’’ he said.

Read more: PayPal looks to conquer space (payments

Google's Loon Project Puts Balloon Technology in Spotlight


Google's Project Loon aims to bring remote parts of the globe online with a ring of floating balloons. The balloons will drift through the stratosphere—which is about twice as high as commercial planes fly—to deliver 3G service to off-the-grid areas.

The ambitious project's recent test launch on New Zealand's South Island has generated a lot of media buzz, but it turns out that high-altitude platforms (HAP) have been around for a while.

A decade ago, the European Union funded the CAPANINA project to deliver broadband from high-altitude platforms in the stratosphere. Back in 2005, it successfully produced broadband wireless access at distances of up to 37 miles (60 kilometers) from a free-floating balloon in the stratosphere over northern Sweden.


Read more: Google's Loon Project Puts Balloon Technology in Spotlight

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