Points of Interest: Feb 10, 2005


Dominos and E-911. Dominos has a problem. The company only takes orders from old-fashioned landline phones. That way, they can be sure they are sending pizzas to "real" houses. But of course, we all use cell phones with numbers that may, or may not reflect our location based on our phone number. (I'm lucky; I live in 617 and have a cell phone with 617, unlike my father and brother.) Suggests an article in Wired: the pizza company can use the E-911 technology to solve the problem. Interestingly, when I called my DLS provider about my wired DSL line, I was told there was a problem with service in Boston but not "my area." When I asked what "my area" meant I was told, "oh, not your area code." When I asked about what which area code was affected, and heard my own, I confirmed that even wired line location isn't fully used or understood.

Crime Tracking Patent Suit. Satellite Tracking of People, LLC ("STOP"), a GPS-based offender tracking and reporting system, announced has filed a patent infringement action against Pro Tech Monitoring (Odessa, FL) in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. STOP's federal complaint alleges that Pro Tech's CrimeTrax crime scene correlation system infringes STOP's U.S. Patent No. 6,405,213 B1, entitled "System to Correlate Crime Incidents with a Subject's Location Using Crime Incident Data and a Subject Location Recording Device," and seek a permanent injunction prohibiting Pro Tech from continuing to offer its unlicensed crime scene correlation product. I wonder if a buyout may follow?

Sign of the Times. Back a few years ago I'd read about how junior or senior high students mapped the town's trees or hydrants and I thought what a great opportunity to explore GPS and GIS technology. But times have changed. Recently, in conjunction with a University of Washington course a hundred students mapped wireless access points in Seattle. The professor in question is in the communications department. By the way, the maps are so large they are offered via Bittorrent.

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