Points of Interest: July 1, 2004
Coke = Security Risk. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio is wary of Coke cans. Not the normal ones, the "GPS-inside" ones that allow the company's prize patrol to find winners of the summer promotion. A spokesperson from the based explained that any devices "that have the capability of transferring and receiving information" are restricted from rooms on base cleared for top-secret discussion." Coke notes that "There's no sort of listening-in device." But, better safe than sorry, says the Air Force: Coke cans will be screened before being allowed into secure areas.
Lawnmower Navigation Challenge. The Institute of Navigation hosted a competition for university students that involved building an autonomously navigating lawnmower. The machines had to cut grass within an area efficiently. Alas, not much grass was cut (sounds like the DARPA challenge) and in the end Ohio University won.
NGA to Fix Afghan/Pakistan Maps. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) explained yesterday that maps used by soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan have errors. The errors, according to a spokesman include misplaced labels and missing labels. So far, the maps are not known to have caused any problems in the field. NGA officials would not explain how the errors were found, but confirmed updated maps are in the works.
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