GPS


Scientists have discovered that the Earth is heavier than they thought, with so-called Dark Matter being the leading candidate for the planet packing on the pounds, reports New Scientist: GPS is handy…





Via popsci.com:

Customers buying Kit-Kat bars in the United Kingdom could be unwrapping a 21st-century version of Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket–a GPS unit the candy-maker will use to find them, apprehend them and give them a prize. Nestlé claims to be the first to market its chocolatey wares with a GPS-based promotion. The somewhat sinister-sounding “We Will Find You” campaign will place a GPS-enabled bar inside four versions of Kit-Kats. Inside the wrapper, it would look exactly like a regular Kit-Kat, according to the York Press newspaper, in the town where Nestlé is based. When the would-be snacker pulls a tab to open the wrapper, the GPS device will turn on, which will notify the company. Then a “prize team” will locate this person within 24 hours and hand him or her a check for £10,000 (about $16,000).





Maps and directions are virtually worthless, as they have become ubiquitous. But what about the incomparable sensation of being lost? Much harder to come by. That’s where this guide comes in. (Eventually…


BLDG BLOG writes that the exurbs of Washington, DC are scattered with office parks quietly housing organizations and companies connected to national security and government secrets. Drive though, and you may not…





Created by Crowdflow, a visualization of the movement of 880 iPhones across Europe during the month of April, 2011, made from the phones’ location data. In the dystopian future, a thousand video feeds like this one will flicker across a wall of screens in Big Brother’s central surveillance facility:



Google Self Driving CarJohn Markoff writes in the NY Times:

Google, a pioneer of self-driving cars, is quietly lobbying for legislation that would make Nevada the first state where they could be legally operated on public roads.

The cars, hybrids, have a laser range finder on the roof, as well as radar and camera sensors and more equipment in the trunk.

And yes, the proposed legislation would include an exemption from the ban on distracted driving to allow occupants to send text messages while sitting behind the wheel.

The two bills, which have received little attention outside Nevada’s Capitol, are being introduced less than a year after the giant search engine company acknowledged that it was developing cars that could be safely driven without human intervention.





VultureVia the Telegraph:

The large bird, which was carrying a GPS transmitter and a tag bearing the identification code R65 from Tel Aviv University, strayed into rural Saudi Arabian territory at some point last week, according to a report in the Israeli daily Ma’ariv.

Residents and local reporters told Saudi Arabia’s Al-Weeam newspaper that the matter seemed to be linked to a “Zionist plot” and swiftly alerted security services.

The bird has since been placed under arrest. The accusations went viral, according to the Israeli Ha’aretz newspaper, with hundreds of posts on Arabic-language websites and forums claiming that the “Zionists” had trained the birds for espionage.

The incident comes amid growing paranoia among Israel’s neighbours over the nation’s growing military might.



Afterwards, agents told him not to worry … because he’s “boring”… but apparently he was just interesting enough to merit between 3 to 6 months of observation … and a GPS tracker under his car. From Kim Zetter at Wired. Enjoy the article … and consider its ramifications.

GPS Tracking Device

A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do.

It took just 48 hours to find out: The device was real, the student was being secretly tracked and the FBI wanted their expensive device back, the student told Wired.com in an interview Wednesday.

The answer came when half-a-dozen FBI agents and police officers appeared at Yasir Afifi’s apartment complex in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday demanding he return the device.