Points of Interest: January 18, 2005

VOIP 911. Members of the Voice on the Net Coalition held a meeting last week. Among other things, they encouraged the government to leave them alone when it came to 911. They hoped the government would focus on mobile 911 issues and not place additional requirements on VOIP offerings that would require location determination for emergency response. The companies are exploring solutions including those based on GPS and Wi-Fi. For now, VOIP 911 depends on users inputting their sometimes changing locations by hand.

Appeal Unclear in Collier Case. The Collier County Assessor is still contemplating (free registration required) appealing the verdict of a copyright data suit. Recall that MicroDecisions had appealed an original decision which prevented the company from using the county data in it for-profit products without paying a licensing fee. Earlier this month the court reversed itself, saying the open records laws of the state prevent copyrighting of data. The assessor claims this is indeed a copyright case and argues that since tax payers paid for the GIS, private companies should not benefit. Says MicroDecisions' attorney, "one of the cornerstones of a public records law is that you can get the public records for any reason. You don't have to explain what you're going to do with the public records."

Shake Your Phone. Samsung has a new way to interact with your phone - you don't push buttons or speak names or numbers. You move the phone. Draw an "X" in the air with the phone and it understands "no," draw a circle, it understands "yes." Draw the number 3� you get the idea. Also, shaking the phone up and down will end a call or delete unsolicited text messages. I suspect we'll see people "dancing with their phones" in no time.

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Source: Material used herein is often supplied by external sources and used as is.