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Technology Can Improve Vehicle and Highway Safety
Image June 9, 2019 Technology chris

For consumers concerned with vehicle safety, 2012 is a great year.

One topic that is becoming increasingly important in the United States, is reducing the danger associated with distracted driving by integrating new and improved technology.

Several key features are being introduced in 2012, many of which are becoming industry standards, that were aimed directly at keeping the driver focused on operating the vehicle instead of performing other tasks that contribute to distraction on the road.

Technology is at the forefront of helping to solve this issue both in the United States and throughout the world.

Among the specific points of interest are voice-recognition systems, lane-drifting prevention measures, and warning systems that give fatigued or distracted drivers an alert when there is a potential collision.

Effectively, the goal is to make drivers better behind the wheel.

Manufacturers such as Kia don’t believe that safety should be compromised because of price and is offering its primary safety features standard on all models in 2012. There also seems to be an awareness that the more drivers take their eyes off the road, the greater the danger of an accident.

One of the remedies is the use of features that put critical information directly in front of the driver without sacrificing visibility. BMW is using a head-up display, or HUD, in order to ensure that drivers are not diverting their attention away from the driving task. The HUD displays information such as vehicle speed, weather conditions, and navigation information. This is the same technology seen in military aircraft.

Dodge has integrated some of the features of its navigation system, namely turn-by-turn directions, into the primary control panel of the vehicle to avoid the need to look to the side and downward, away from the road.

With the consensus that change is needed in the industry, it is clear that companies are proactive with respect to sharing the important message of driving safety. There are clearly preventable accidents that technology may be able to stop from happening if these features are utilized and become more widespread.

The 2012 Washington Auto Show was a great forum for progress, and the future looks promising for even more advances in automobile safety moving forward.…

Maintaining Data in This Technology Era
Image May 8, 2019 Technology chris

Managing information in today’s Information Technology environment is critical. A database allows an individual or group of users to maintain and access a multitude of information easily. Order is maintained through the use of these sometimes sophisticated tools. In this article we will identify and describe the use of databases in my organization.

Microsoft Access is generally the most commonly seen database application used in my organization. We frequently use this system to analyze data and to generate reports. Microsoft Access is possibly the most popular database program because basic users can efficiently solve a wide range of problems with it. From an Information Technology developer’s perspective, they can create very high end sophisticated multi-user solutions. Costs are another advantage considering that some other systems can run for thousands of dollars providing the same results. One very important benefit for end users is that Access is part of MS Office. This enables us to view, import and export data across the various software platforms. This proves to be an extremely powerful tool for my organization by effectively reducing lag in time management.

Web site creation using Microsoft Access seems to be one limitation. Its limited graphical user interface and security issues have been identified to also be a drawback. My unit generally hosts Microsoft SharePoint and then extends the Access database across it enabling us to share and edit information. Although not considered a database it is used extensively throughout the organization to bridge this gap. It is worth mentioning that this particular application platform developed by Microsoft has its own databases. Databases are created and configured automatically whenever a user establishes new content. An excellent web application to streamline and manage data.

Due to varying factors in different databases it is sometimes difficult to offer a one size fix all recommendation. One of the very first recommendations for improvement of any system is to run a performance analyzer. The entire database is scanned and usually automated recommendations are often suggested. As the organizations grows so does the data and users that are accessing the system. Performance can be significantly enhanced and network traffic reduced when a split database is utilized.

There are many database solutions used to support personal, workgroup, and enterprise computing within an organization. The design and management of these systems directly impact how well they perform or communicate.…

Image May 6, 2019 Technology chris

Oh technology.
Oh how from your stress I wish to be free.

Another complication within your program,
One more system error, another application jammed.

I threaten this laptop with water,
As its disc drive becomes hotter.

Technology stinks.
But it helps us communicate. *winks*…

Researchers Developing Touch Technology for Everyday Objects
April 6, 2019 Technology chris

Objects Such as Door Knobs and Wall Panels Could Be Made Smart

Imagine if when you reached to open a door, the knob would recognize you and unlock the door without you having to provide a key. Or what if your Smartphone could figure out from the way you’re holding it to adjust the volume automatically. These are the kinds of things researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are working on. In a recent press release, they announced Touché, a new kind of sensing technology that is being developed at the university in conjunction with Disney research. Their combined goal is nothing short of developing a new paradigm for touch sensitive objects.

In the press release the research team at Carnegie Mellon describe how research by a variety of groups in recent years has led to advances in capacitive signals across a broad range of frequencies in a wide range of materials. In essence, they write, the technology is very similar to that used in other touch devices such as phones and tablet computers. But it’s different too, the researchers at Disney say, because the goal is different. In one environment, users are manipulating a device to receive information, text files, video, etc. In the new paradigm, the user is sending the information to the device which then responds in “smart” ways.

With Touché, the researchers say, information is obtained by embedding electronic signals in everyday materials, such as metal in a doorknob or the glass in a mirror. Those signals are then sent to small embedded independent processors that take actions that a user would like to have happen; changing to soft lighting when applying makeup, versus harsher lighting for examining teeth during flossing, for example. All things that make life a little easier for people, or that offer a more pleasurable experience, such as recognizing the touch of an individual on a stereo console to access preset parameters that uniquely suit the taste of the person who wishes to listen to some music.

It’s not science fiction, Disney researchers say, Touché exists and works in the lab right now. Thus far, the only hurdles to mass production are costs. How many people would be willing to spend an extra ten, fifteen or even twenty dollars on a doorknob just to make it smart to the touch?

Those at Carnegie Mellon say the trick is to spread the costs over a complete system. Instead of making each object individually smart, why not just embed sensors that talk wirelessly to a central processor, the way the human body works.

That might yet happen, at least for upscale homes. Disney plans to advertise the concept at its theme parks and for those that are interested, to install the new technology as soon as possible.…