IT Trends :: Thursday, July 20, 2006


Humans Are Animals, Too

By Terry Calhoun

How often do you have bright ideas that you are at least momentarily convinced would make you fabulously wealthy if you had: (a) the time, (b) the connections, and (c) the business savvy to make something of it? I’m not sure if this is a common thing for others, but it happens to me with some frequency. I have a ready supply of personal “idea inventions” that that are making someone else very rich.

I keep getting reminded of past “idea inventions” in the strangest places and at the strangest times. This time, it was in the San Francisco airport, between my flight from Honolulu to SF, and my later flights to Minneapolis, then to Detroit. In the middle of “Brainy Robots Start Stepping Into Daily Life” (New York Times, Tuesday, July 18, 2006, A1, C16), which I was reading avidly because the book I just finished also had a theme of artificial intelligence, I was reminded of an idea from 15 or 20 years ago which is now a commercial product.

It’s called Poseidon. The idea is simple: the water in a swimming pool is constantly scanned by computers, which identify certain kinds of movements of the bodies in the water and notify lifeguards when someone is likely to be drowning. It’s currently in use in Europe. I suspect that the main reason that it’s not yet in the U.S. is the same reason I thought it was an attractive idea in the first place. Once it’s in use in the United States it is likely to become a “standard” so quickly that every public pool will need to have one for liability reasons. (That makes it tough to introduce, because no one wants to be the first to spend money on something that no one has to have yet.)...

Read Complete Article | Back to top

IT News

Ohio University CIO Resigns in Wake of Data Breaches

After hackers attacked Ohio University's servers in the spring, an external consulting service recommended major IT staff changes...

Read More | Back to top

Librarians Fight for Facebook

The executive director of the American Library Association's Young Adult Library Services Association thinks...

Read More | Back to top

Framingham State's Laptop Program Has Matured in Five Short Years

In 2001, Framingham State College became the first public higher education institution in Massachusetts to require freshman to...

Read More | Back to top

Privacy Fight Spills Onto Campus

The Federal Communications Commission's proposed wiretapping laws may force colleges to...

Read More | Back to top

Deals, Contracts, Awards

Georgia Tech Preps Personal Robots for Computer Science Students

Microsoft will contribute $1 million over a three year period to developing the Institute for Personal Robotics in Education (IPRE)...

Read More | Back to top

Alabama A&M University Selects Foundry Networks

The adoption is intended to redesign and future-proof the university’s campus-wide network infrastructure…

Read More | Back to top

New Technology

WFU Signs Cingular for Wireless Program

This fall, Wake Forest University will give up to 500 Cingular 8125 Pocket PCs to...

Click here for details

Computer Trouble? Just Call Teen Tech Team

The Teen Tech Team, which learns how to build and fix computers, is supported by...

Click here for details

Some Colleges Are Abandoning Phone Lines and Deploying New Technologies

The University of Miami's student body president is advocating a plan to increase effective communication in emergencies...

Click here for details

Report: The Next Step in Brain Evolution

This thought-provoking piece is about "digital natives," those who grew up amidst 21st-century technologies...

Click here for details


Campus Technology 2006
in Boston, July 31-August 3, 2006

Events Calendar

comments powered by Disqus

Campus Technology News

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.