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Mobile Technology News, December 16, 2013

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • 27 Best Vines Of The Week In 1 Video: Dec. 9 – Dec. 15, 2013 (VIDEO)
    Vine, Twitter’s micro-video social network, is perhaps the best form of entertainment for Generation Distraction. With a limit of six seconds per video, Vine allows viewers to absorb a diverse array of content in just a few minutes, and forces Vine-makers to be concise with their creations. The result is a steady supply of hilarious, surprising and inventive mini-movies.

    To celebrate this relatively new medium, we’ll be doing a weekly compilation of our favorite Vines. This week, we offer everything from a dog who’s very protective of his beer to the best way to listen to music at Walmart, and of course, what happens when dolphin impressions go wrong. If you see something you like, we encourage you to follow its creator on Vine. If there’s something you don’t like, well, just wait a few seconds and it will be over.

    Video produced by Oliver Noble

  • Keith Alexander, Rick Ledgett Discuss Amnesty For Edward Snowden
    Director of the National Security Agency Gen. Keith Alexander doesn’t believe amnesty is the answer to ending Edward Snowden’s leaks of classified documents.

    In an interview that aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Alexander likened the scenario to a hostage situation: If an individual was to shoot 10 of 50 hostages, Alexander explained, he shouldn’t be set free in exchange for the 40 remaining hostages.

    “I think people have to be held accountable for their actions,” Alexander said. “Because what we don’t want is the next person to do the same thing, race off to Hong Kong and to Moscow with another set of data knowing they can strike the same deal.”

    However, the sentiment is not unanimous among high-ranking NSA officials. Rick Ledgett, the NSA official leading the task force to assess the damage done by Snowden’s leaks, disagrees with Alexander.

    “My personal view is, yes, it’s worth having a conversation about,” Ledgett told CBS. “I would need assurances that the remainder of the data could be secured and my bar for those assurances would be very high. It would be more than just an assertion on his part.”

    Ledgett said some of the most worrying documents in Snowden’s possession are those that would provide a “roadmap” for other nations to protect themselves from U.S. surveillance efforts.

    To an adversary, Ledgett said, “It is the keys to the kingdom.”

  • Google buys military robot-maker
    Google acquires the engineering company that developed Cheetah, the world’s fastest-running robot and other animalistic mobile research machines.
  • Take two apps three times a day
    Take two apps three times a day
  • 'Quartered'/Weapons of Mass Distraction
    Joan:

    Quartered

    Fifteen minutes to read the morning news
    Fifteen minutes to listen — oh! To listen! To Massanet.
    Fifteen minutes to transform under steamy stream of shower
    Fifteen minutes to talk to my daughter.

    Quartered
    Into pieces life divided
    Cut up sliced priced
    Concise frame around fragments

    Fifteen minutes to make love
    Fifteen minutes to stroke the cat
    Fifteen minutes to scan the New Yorker
    Fifteen minutes to compare myself to poets therein.

    Quartered. Multi-tasking,
    Quartermaster, multi-functioned, fully maxed.
    “Extended Partial Attention:” A new breed of
    Children’s brains attuned to music, TV, computer.

    No! I wont travel that road,
    I’ll stay my course,
    Fight till the end
    For forest walks
    A day without planning
    Revel in Tsukimi — bathing in moonlight
    Making love slowly
    On an endless Sunday afternoon.

    Then fifteen minutes back to town
    Fifteen minutes to come back down
    Fifteen minutes before the phone starts to ring
    Fifteen minutes to wonder what tomorrow will bring.

    Quartered, nickeled and dimed
    Urban huntresses search for sustenance
    Something not tainted not painted with mercury
    Or lime, not raised on a farm in a cage in a clime
    Warming and shrinking. Trying like hell
    To breathe — glorious breath of life.

    Renate:

    Weapons of Mass Distraction

    Did I hear this term somewhere? Or did it spring from my own brain? If it did, it’s because I’m afflicted. A victim of electronic distraction. Call it addiction if you must. It may not be terminal but I wonder. How often do I resist the beeping, humming, ringing, burping sounds of my “devices,” or the new email fluttering onto my screen? I interrupt my writing or anything else I am doing. Just a quick glimpse, I tell myself, and my nervous system spills out a few endorphins as a reward.

    Excitement — the hook. Excitement in the morning, excitement during a meal, excitement after midnight. My iPad, iPhone, iPod, Kindle, iMac (no product placement intended) have a promise in store all day long, to be gobbled up like popcorn. Electronic fast food. Everything fast, fast, fast. Speed and multitasking are the genies of this age of distraction. It doesn’t matter that fast is la grande illusion. One click on a link from a friend — oh, it’s one of those French cat videos on YouTube! Wait, this is hilarious. Cat doing the ménage? Too good to be true. What else? Cat as philosopher! Who’s behind this? A little research can’t hurt, can it? Who did the music on that? Oh, there’s Shostakovich, that bumpy little waltz that Pina Bausch used in one of her pieces: a long line of dancers swinging their butts with seductive smiles. Hm, that waltz also came up in a Netflix movie I rented a week ago — what was that movie again? No idea. Didn’t Scene4 also use it for a recent opening page? Let me look that up…

    Maybe I should call myself lucky that I am only affected by a handful of devices and not (yet?) infected by the bug of video games, online poker, a new app per day, or the need to read a dozen online newspapers and news blogs to know what’s really going on. The more sources of information, the more excitement, the more an unfortunate side-effect of the drug kicks in: guilt. Lack-of-information guilt, Facebook guilt, dragging-my-email-feet guilt — all culminating in the worst, most damning guilt: wasting-my-time-with-electronics.

    I don’t have to go paranoid with brain research here — parents and doctors kvetching about the next generation of kids with brains quite different from theirs. Multitasking, speed-addicted, split-image, split-personality brains. Orwell is waving hello. I can’t imagine a more potent weapon to put people out of civic or social commission through brain clutter, information flooding (Google Glasses), constant entertainment, instant gratification. And instant forgetting.

    Let the future worry about itself. Right now, I worry about what the electronic distraction is doing to culture, my culture. Where has it gone, the culture café of the past, the intellectual center where everyone (certainly my friends) would gather to see, read, and discuss what was relevant at the moment. I remember there was a consensus, everyone reading the same authors not because they were bestsellers but because they were artistically and existentially necessary. Proust, Primo Levi, Nabokov’s Lolita, Virginia Woolf. It was unthinkable to miss out on films by Bergman, Visconti, Fellini, Godard… And even on television, everyone would rush home in time to see certain shows — Upstairs Downstairs, The Singing Detective, Smiley’s People. I think the last time I visited this café the TV was tuned to The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Prime Suspect — before people split up into either Sex and the City or Queer as Folk and The L Word.

    Now, each one of my friends sees different movies, if they still go to the movies at all and don’t prefer to wait for the Netflix release, or sit at their computer binge-streaming TV series from the past they just discovered, years later. How do you talk about Homeland with friends who are just getting into Season 1 and others who are already comparing the series to its Israeli original, Prisoners of War, with 24 episodes available only on Hulu Plus or on multi-region players accepting European-format DVDs. Even our different electronic equipment divides us.

    It’s even more fragmented when it comes to who reads what right now. How many of my friends read up on Hannah Arendt to discuss how deadly wrong she was about Eichmann? Who has been reading Erik Larson’s weak account of Hitler’s Berlin, In the Garden of Beasts, and could discuss the comparison with Edmund de Waal’s history of a Jewish family’s rise and fall, The Hare With Amber Eyes?

    These gatherings and discussions aren’t happening or are isolated incidents of virtual simultaneity you can’t count on. If you want a moment of cultural cohesion it takes a lot of organizing. You don’t get it from FB “sharing” and “friending” and “commenting” and “liking.” Our cafeteria of the electronic age has way too many temptations, turning us into separate, more or less isolated, busy little tribes — tribes of often no more than one or two, each one with singular, odd passions. French cats, flash mobs, mangas inspired by Gertrude Stein, posting customer reviews of everything bought on Amazon, revisiting tennis legends, collecting urban legends, comparing every existing version of Vissi d’arte on YouTube. Passions that can be puzzling because who else understands the method to the madness? There’s just no time, no time to share, no time to spare because, wait, that was my iPhone chirping. A text message. Hold on.

  • The Dirty Little Secret About Human Intelligence
    Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

    We are rightly fascinated with dolphins. They have the good fortune of being cute, friendly, curious and comical, graceful, powerful and highly social. Dolphins seem familiar, like a close family friend, but alien, too, living in a world we hardly understand. We are drawn to them as they are to us, bound by a common curiosity and innate urge to explore.

    Dolphins therefore naturally give us an ideal opportunity to discover the possibility of communicating with non-humans in ways not trivial. We are compelled to follow this path because doing so teaches us something deeply important about ourselves: how humans fit into the pantheon of life. Clearly if other animals exhibit impressive intelligence appropriate to their environment, perhaps we are not as special as we’ve been taught. A good conversation with a dolphin about the latest cetacean gossip would be convincing evidence that humans are not the pinnacle of evolution, only the temporary pinnacle of one small twig on the tree of life.

    We know that Homo sapiens (wise hominid) primates are late arrivals in the history of life. Through various fits, starts, and dead ends from Australopithecus to Paranthropus, through various Homo species like erectus and habilis, to modern sapiens, our lineage is short. Our most ancient direct-line ancestors only go back at most a few million years. Modern people, looking like us, have been around for only about 100,000 years. So what exactly is this experiment we call modern Homo sapiens? Does our intelligence and ability to communicate make us special? Dolphins put us to the test.

    We are compelled to follow this path because doing so teaches us something deeply important about ourselves: how humans fit into the pantheon of life. — Jeff Schweitzer

    We humans have always thought of ourselves as particularly bright, proudly noting our compassion, humor, altruism and impressive capacity to generate language, mathematics, tools, art, and music. In citing this self-serving list, filtered to our benefit, we assume that humans possess, and other animals lack, these honorable traits or capabilities. We ignore the inconvenient fact that we choose to define and measure intelligence in terms of our greatest strengths. We arbitrarily exclude from the definition of intelligence higher brain functions in other animals. Enter the compelling interest in communicating with dolphins. We would be low on the list of smart animals if we included in our basic definition of intelligence the ability to use self-generated sonar to explore the environment and to communicate.

    Descartes was convinced that animals completely lacked minds, and his influence is felt even today. Even Stephen Jay Gould, no species-centric chauvinist, concluded that consciousness has been “vouchsafed only to our species in the history of life on earth.” With all due respect to the late Professor Gould, perhaps one of the greatest evolutionary biologists of our time, the issue is not so simple. As with almost all aspects of comparative biology, intelligence, self-consciousness and self-awareness are elements of a continuum rather than phenomena with sharp boundaries between species. Intelligence and self-awareness do not belong exclusively in the domain of humankind. Dolphins are exhibit number one. Being smart seems to be a trait unique to human beings only when we artificially designate our particular suite of characteristics as the definition of intelligence, proving that circular logic is not too intelligent.

    Let’s dig a little deeper. Intelligence can be thought of as the ability to learn from experience (acquire and retain new knowledge), and to subsequently apply that new knowledge with flexibility to manipulate or adapt to a changing environment. Or we can view intelligence as the ability to create abstract thought, beyond instinct or responses to sensory input. Originality and creativity are hallmarks of intelligence, and both are found in abundance in dolphins. Imagine if we could actually talk to them; here is a glimpse of the kinds of insights we might gain. At the Makapuu Oceanic Center in Hawaii, trainers working with a female rough-toothed dolphin named Malia praised or fed her fish only for behaviors that had not been previously rewarded. Within a few days, Malia began performing novel aerial flips, corkscrews, new tail flaps, new twisted breaches, and other never-before-seen behaviors. Malia learned early on that the trainers were looking for new acts, not repetitions of previously demonstrated talents. As her repertoire expanded, she needed to create ever more unique combinations of movements to get a reward, which she did with aplomb, performing stunts so unusual that trainers could not have otherwise encouraged the behavior through standard training techniques. This propensity for originality and creativity was not a fluke unique to one individual.

    So yes, let us strive to communicate meaningfully with dolphins. Perhaps dolphins will teach us enough about ourselves so that we can learn to adopt a more humble understanding of our position in the biosphere. Being humble about who and what we are will be easier when we recognize our kinship with our cousins in the animal kingdom.

    Ideas are not set in stone. When exposed to thoughtful people, they morph and adapt into their most potent form. TEDWeekends will highlight some of today’s most intriguing ideas and allow them to develop in real time through your voice! Tweet #TEDWeekends to share your perspective or email tedweekends@huffingtonpost.com to learn about future weekend’s ideas to contribute as a writer.

  • Internet's Sad Legacy: No More Secrets
    Anyone who can watch you will watch you.

  • Online Dating's Surprising Lesson About Race

    2013-12-15-raceonlinedating440x500.png
    Via qz.com

    Quartz, a business and marketing website, recently released data on the Facebook dating app Are You Interested (AYI), which connects singles within the confines of their direct and indirect Facebook networks. Quartz’ data are based on a series of yes or no questions about who users are interested in, as well as response rates between users, once notified of a potential suitor. The data show that white men and Asian women receive the most interest, whereas black men and women receive the least amount of interest (see headline photo for the complex picture of racial preference by gender). The writers at Quartz summarize the findings as follows:

    Unfortunately the data reveal winners and losers. All men except Asians preferred Asian women, while all except black women preferred white men. And both black men and black women got the lowest response rates for their respective genders.

    As a sociologist, I am entirely unsurprised that race matters, especially in such a personal process like dating/mating. However, these findings may come as a surprise to the (quite significant) segments of the population who identify as color-blind; those who label contemporary society post-racial.

    And this is why dating sites are so cool. Social psychologists know that what people say and what they do have little empirical connection. Dating sites capture what we do, and play it back for us. They expose who we are, who we want, and of course, who we don’t want. As shown by Quartz, “we” fetishize Asian women while devaluing blacks.

    With a schism between what people say and what they do; between what they say and what the unconsciously think, surveys of racial attitudes are always already quite limited. People can say whatever they want–that race doesn’t matter, that they don’t see color–but when it comes to selecting a partner, and the selection criteria are formalized through profiles and response decisions, we, as individuals and a society, can no longer hide from ourselves. The numbers blare back at us, forcing us to prosume uncomfortable cultural and identity meanings both personally and collectively.

    Of course, what these sites tell us about ourselves does not stop at race. They also tell us that we care about things like income, physical (dis)ability and body size, exposing the range of isms that American prefer not to speak of in polite company, and certainly refrain from applying to themselves.

    At an individual level, how someone fills in hir preferences and the way s/he engages (or refuses to engage) interested parties, tells that individual a lot about who s/he is. But dating sites, at a cultural level, are incredibly revealing even before the first user signs up. Indeed, before anyone has answered anything, the architecture of online dating sites say a lot. Namely, they tell us what we value. They tell us which characteristics are the ones about which we are likely to care; about which we should care.

    More concretely, the moment a site prompts users to select racial identification and/or racial preference, an embedded race-based value system is both exposed and reinforced. As such, although the Quartz graph of user data is revealing, the presence of racial identification and racial preference on dating sites in general already demolish arguments about colorblindness and post-racial culture.

    Jenny Davis is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at James Madison University. She writes about social psychology and new technologies. Jenny is a weekly contributor for the Cyborglogy blog (Cyborgology.org), where this piece first appeared.

  • IBM faces shareholder lawsuit over cooperation with NSA
    Lawsuit accuses the company of concealing that involvement with a controversial surveillance led to loss of sales and stock price decline.
  • Amazon Drones: Orwellian Mayhem?
    President Obama’s proposed 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) calls for a general ban on drone attacks on American citizens. On the December 1st telecast of 60 Minutes, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled his grand vision for drone attacks on our porches and personal spaces. From a warehouse to your front door, goods delivered in record time with minimal hassle. What could possibly go wrong with that? Pretty much everything and here’s why.

    First, consider the practical implications. Gift-bearing drones raining down on unsuspecting citizens pose a potential air traffic control nightmare, not to mention a recipe for power line disasters, car accidents, and a litany of potential mistargeted or malfunctioning deliveries. The FAA is attempting to circumnavigate all of this with a series of drone safety and usage rules that Bezos hopes will take effect in 2015. But rules and practice often don’t move in sync.

    Second, look at the moral implications. Beyond the technology itself, using drones forces us to ask ourselves about the type of world we want to live in. Drones threaten the one last unhampered vestige of privacy we have: our homes. In order to accurately and safely deliver a shipment, the network of drones would need to know the intricacies of where you live and many more details about your comings and goings.

    Think of it as Google Maps to the nth degree. Whereas Google Maps show in many instances, outdated satellite imagery of your street or neighborhood, the Amazon model would need to have up-to-the-minute data. The only way to achieve that would be through a system that could constantly monitor your home, to reflect potential barriers for delivery. In other words, there would need to be some kind of eye in the sky watching your world. You may have your fence up, bushes grown, and windows shut, but the drone could see all and by default, so could Amazon or anyone else with drones in play.

    And let us not forget that Google incurred millions of dollars in fines for illegally picking up passwords and personal data from unsecured wireless networks while taking city snapshots for its map app. While this is supposedly not Bezos’ intent, the fact remains that a drone monitoring network would be able to exploit similar vulnerabilities within our home networks and so much more.

    Furthermore, Amazon or similar companies could easily start interpreting the big data it accrues to its own advantage. For example, suggesting products and services based on what it spies about you and your surroundings. Such is already the case online based on your surfing activity. The frightening concept of using satellite imagery to suggest purchases is not that farfetched. In many ways, it would be the natural next step.

    And how long do you think it would be before the government tries to utilize such information or demand such data from Amazon and others? About the only safe place left to us would be basements and crawlspaces. Does that sound like paradise? Commercial drones on the scale Bezos envisions portend a dangerous step into an irreversible version of Orwell’s “Big Brother Is Watching you” nation. That’s the opposite of our forefather’s intent for declaring independence.

    Interestingly enough, Canada and Australia already allow limited commercial use of drones. A textbook seller in Australia for example, currently delivers books to outdoor locations. Other countries want to use the technology for police procedures. And in China, a company is testing package delivery.

    Clearly, this is an issue that goes way beyond Bezos. But his recent declaration brings the debate to the forefront. If indeed this is our future reality, then this issue needs to be better understood and tightly regulated. In truth, an extra day for UPS or FedEx offers far greater value to the truths and rights we hold self-evident, more so than any benefit a drone system could afford businesses the world over.

  • What Is a Data Breach and How Do I Protect Myself?
    When protected, sensitive or confidential data is accessed or used by someone without authority, this is a data breach. This can involve any kind of data such as personal health, financial, or business related.

    3D

    Not all data breaches result from hacking into a computer. One can breach data simply by peering over someone’s shoulder at the computer screen when they shouldn’t be. It can also be elaborately planned: A company’s new employee may actually be working for an extensive crime ring to steal data from the inside. Needless to say, a data breach can lead to identity theft (among many other problems).

    In the workplace, especially retail, where credit cards are processed, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is designed to provide retailers with guidelines to eliminate data breaches. In a healthcare workplace, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) helps control who has access to personal health information.

    How can you protect yourself?

    • As a consumer you must keep your operating system updated to the latest secure version.
    • Run antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing and a firewall.
    • Protect your wireless communications with encryption and use a VPN for portable devices.
    • Use secure passwords with upper/lower case and numbers.
    • In the event someone else is responsible for a breach read very carefully any notification of a data security breach and don’t assume that the breach was accidental or that identify theft is not likely.
    • Use an identity theft protection product. It will scavenge cyberspace for any unauthorized use of personal information such as from your credit cards and Social Security number; will keep track of personal credit information; and will send an alert if suspicious activity is detected–maybe even prior to you receiving a consumer notification.

    Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing  identity theft prevention. For Roberts FREE ebook text — SECURE Your@emailaddress — to 411247. Disclosures.

  • Professor 'Totally Destroys' Student In This Email After He Asks For A Grade Bump
    College student and Reddit user TheLostCaterpillar emailed his chemistry professor on the advice of another Redditor after he noticed that he was only 0.78% away from an A.

    It didn’t go well.

    The student posted a screenshot of his professor’s response along with this explanation: “He wrote back and totally destroyed me. I feel embarrassed and stupid. Think twice before asking your prof about grades!”

  • This Dad Got The Best Christmas Present.. He Heard His Daughter's Voice For The First Time
    Ken Stehle has been deaf for more than 50 years, but with some technological magic, he heard his daughter sing for the first time last weekend.

    Ashley Stehle, 15, is a member of Villa Duchesne High School’s advanced show choir in St. Peters, Mo., according to KSDK.

    At her Christmas concert on Sunday, her dad wore his new hearing aid, which allowed him to listen to the sound of Ashley’s voice.

    “He was just closing his eyes and listening to my voice,” Ashley told the news channel. “He didn’t really care if he was seeing me because he has always seen me. He wanted to hear me and that was just awesome.”

    In September, we wrote about a deaf 7-year-old from Guatemala who heard his family’s voice for the first time thanks to a new hearing device. And last July, a 14-month-old girl heard herself for the first time after receiving a cutting-edge cochlear implant.

    Watch Ashley Stehle’s entire performance below:

  • South Florida Traffic May Soon Be Run By A Wireless Command Center That Communicates With Cars

    Imagine a future where traffic runs smoothly, crashes are rare and commute times slashed. That future is just around the corner.

    Florida, along with a handful of other states, is at the forefront of a national effort to create a system that allows vehicles to wirelessly communicate with each other and the streets and roads around them.

    “It can actually really change transportation,” said George Gilhooley, vice president of HNTB Corporation, a transportation consulting firm. “The real key driver behind it all is safety. It can save lives, prevent injuries.”

    Picture everything vehicles do — how fast they’re going, whether windshield wipers are on, if brakes are suddenly engaged — sent to a traffic command center that predicts and prevents traffic slowdowns based on that information.

    This futuristic command center can relay information to vehicles — such as encouraging them to slow down to avoid a bottleneck or crash ahead. Motorists can be warned that a traffic light is about to change or that they’re coming to a dangerous curve in the road.

    Such a system takes much of the decision-making out of the hands of motorists and into the control of computers.

    It comes as advanced technology has become more affordable and expanding highways and roads more expensive or impractical. The increasing option for transportation officials is to turn to technology.

    “You don’t have [the land],” said Mohammed Hamid, a transportation researcher at Florida International University. “When you build bigger highways, there’s no guarantee it will solve congestion problems … [Technology] gives back much more.”

    Advanced technology has transportation researchers envisioning:

    – Providing motorists information on how long they’ll be stuck in traffic after a crash.

    – Using variable speed limits in express toll lanes.

    – Opening up shoulders to traffic using advanced sensors, cameras and variable speed limits.

    – Setting up predetermined detour routes when traffic is diverted off highways and equipping those routes with extra cameras, sensors, electronic message signs and automatic detour timing plans for traffic signals.

    Such options seem possible as a wave of advances hit local roads in Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Florida Department of Transportation is deploying vehicle detection sensors that measure speed, travel times and volume of traffic. More traffic cameras are coming with those sensors, along with electronic message signs.

    “Ten years ago it was managing incidents on the freeway; now it’s actively managing the arterial traffic,” said Mark Plass, FDOT traffic operations engineer.

    That’s a big deal, Gilhooley said. Controlling congestion on local roads is the most difficult to handle because of the stop-and-go traffic and busy intersections with vehicles going in multiple directions.

    “That’s doing the best you can without bringing the vehicle and highway together in real time,” he said of the new management systems in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

    In central Broward, FDOT will begin managing traffic in real-time with sensors, cameras and electronic signs in January on portions of Broward, Sunrise and Oakland Park boulevards as well as Federal Highway, State Road 7 and University Drive. In the summer, the system will be running on Pembroke Road, Hallandale Beach Boulevard, Hollywood/Pines Boulevard and the southern portion of Federal.

    That technology will allow traffic managers to act quickly when traffic slows down because of congestion or crashes by retiming traffic signals. Eventually, they will be able to predict traffic jams and work to prevent them.

    Seperately, transportation agenices are rolling out new traffic control systems that synchronize traffic signals in real time. Called adaptive traffic control, computers adjust the timing based on how traffic is flowing.

    FDOT also will install the adaptive traffic control system in Broward on Pines Boulevard by 2018 between Dykes Road and Flamingo Road, one of the most congested parts of the county.

    Interest in much of this advanced technology come as they become more affordable, making it possible to buy “off the shelf” as opposed to creating a tailor-made system such as the one used by Los Angeles to synchronize all of its traffic signals.

    “There’re more tools available and they’re getting cheaper,” said Dan Weisberg, Palm Beach County’s traffic engineer.

    The affordability of the technology comes at the right time. South Florida is reaching the point where some of its highways and roads can’t get any wider, Weisberg said. In many cases, residents resist monstrous roads, and government entities can’t afford the land to build them.

    All this deployment of new technology offers numerous opportunities. Consider it transportation’s version of data mining.

    “As more sensors are invested in the infrastructure, we will get access to more data,” said Mohammed Hamid, a transportation researcher at Florida International University. “You can do all kinds of data mining and see what’s causing what and come up with solutions and strategies.”

    The key to harnessing the technology is sharing all the information collected by different transportation agencies so an entire transportation network — including roads, highways, buses, trains and trucks — can be actively managed in real time. FDOT is working with researchers now to develop such a system.

    In concept, information about traffic jams or major accidents can be picked up by Broward County Transit, allowing it to re-route affected buses and letting its passengers know about delays and where buses are going.

    The transit system is in the midst of getting a vehicle locater system that, among other things, will allow passengers to know in real time using a smartphone application when buses are arriving. So any disruption in service or re-routing can be relayed to customers.

    Technology also is helping buses get through congested roads. Next summer, FDOT will test a bus-only traffic signal at State Road 7 and Prospect Road in North Lauderdale that will allow buses to jump ahead of the other lines of vehicles waiting at a traffic signal.

    Studies are also under way in Broward to consider giving buses green lights on Oakland Park, State Road 7, University Drive and Federal Highway.

    “For people taking the bus they want to know it’s reliable,” said Marjorie Hilaire, multimodal project coordinator for FDOT. “This technology really helps with that. If it minimizes those delays you get at certain intersections, it keeps buses on schedule.”

    astreeter@tribune.com, 561-243-6537 or Twitter @adstreeter ___

    (c)2013 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

    Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

    Distributed by MCT Information Services

  • Beautiful Wallpaper Christmas Themes for iOS 7 App Available Now

    YoungGam has announced the release of Christmas themes for iOS7: New Wallpaper, its new holiday themed entertainment app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Do you still use typical and dull backgrounds? YoungGam offers the finest wallpaper app you have found yet.
    Enjoy your own fancy wallpapers. [...]

    The post Beautiful Wallpaper Christmas Themes for iOS 7 App Available Now appeared first on AlliOSNews.

Related posts:

  1. Mobile Technology News, December 15, 2013
  2. Mobile Technology News, December 13, 2013
  3. Mobile Technology News, December 2, 2013
  4. Mobile Technology News, December 6, 2013
  5. Mobile Technology News, December 10, 2013
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