Monthly Archives: February 2013

Treasure Hunting — GPS-style

By: Sierra Vista Herald

Original Source: Treasure Hunting — GPS-style

Everyone knows that “X” marks the spot on any self-respecting treasure map. Follow the clues on the map and that chest of gold can be yours. That’s what it’s like in the movies, but did you know there are treasures hidden in all sorts of places in and around Sierra Vista? A little over a year ago, my husband and I got hooked on modern day treasure hunting or geocaching. Using a handheld GPS device we downloaded a few cache coordinates from geocaching.com to see if the purported fun panned out. It sure did! Concealed along the trails in the Huachucas, local roads, or in parks there are literally hundreds of caches to find. From ammo boxes filled with trinkets and log books, there are also much smaller ones ranging from official Geocache pins, plastic containers to Altoids boxes.

Geocaching has been around for a while — since May 2000 — when satellite technology was drastically improved and GPS coordinates became much more accurate. Dave Ulmer, a computer consultant from Oregon decided to test the accuracy of the newer technology and stashed the first geocache. It was a bucket filled with some prizes — books, videos, a slingshot, log book and pencil. He posted the coordinates on a website for GPS enthusiasts. The idea was to find the stash, then leave something — if you took an item, plus log your visit. It didn’t take long for the whole treasure hunt idea to catch on. Today there are almost 2 million active geocaches around the world and 5 million geocachers.

A favorite area to track down treasure is in Miller Canyon. Here you’ll find a string of caches that honor each branch of the military. They’re well hidden, so be ready to search high and low. There is also a good series along the Clark Springs Trail and Perimeter Trail. The titles of the caches are sometimes a hint as to where you’ll find them such as “Little Stumpy” or “Tanks A Lot.” The thrill of the hunt is on when you download the coordinates along with any additional clues from the website and hit the trail. Familiar hikes that have become a little blasé are new territory when looking for that illusive cache. You may have to scramble up a hillside or search under rocks. It usually requires some work to locate it even with the coordinates. Nothing is exact, but that adds to the competition and the fun. It might not be found and require a second search on another day.

If hiking the Huachucas isn’t for you, there are plenty within easy walking distances in Sierra Vista or along the roadsides. It’s an excellent way to mix technology with actually getting the kids away from computer screen and outside. A smartphone works just as well as a GPS device, so no additional purchase is necessary if you have a phone.

Our grandsons, who are 5 years old, love to geocache with us. There are plenty to find in Florida where they live. The boys take along “treasure,” usually small plastic dinosaurs to put in the larger caches. It’s always entertaining to watch them open the box and discover what the pirates hid in the woods.

To get started, you’ll need to establish an account on geocaching.com. The basic membership is free or you can opt for a paid one which gives access to premium caches.

Once you’ve opened an account, take time to read through their Geocaching 101 before you hit the trail. Play by the rules, get outside and enjoy our beautiful area

Best Handheld GPS Reviews

GL Announces its Hand Portable Test Instruments for TDM Network

By: PR Web

Original Source: GL Announces its Hand Portable Test Instruments for TDM Network

GL Communications Inc. a leader in providing PC-based test, analysis and simulation products and consulting services to the worldwide telecommunications industry, announced today the availability of its Hand Portable Test Instruments for TDM Networks.

Speaking to media persons, Mr. Vijay Kulkarni CEO of the company said, ” GL’s handheld telecom test instruments are simple and easy to use and are designed to test almost any network interface in the TDM (Analog, T1, E1, T3, and E3) network. They are portable, battery operated, rechargeable, and light.”

He explained, “GL’s LinkTest™ Dual E1 is a handheld dual-port tester for E1 and data communications (V.11 / X.24, V.24/RS232, V.35, V.36/RS449, EIA-530, EIA-530A) interfaces. With the support of a large range of software options for E1 services and sub rate multiplexing system, this handheld unit provides a scalable test solution for E1 and data testing.

GL’s LinkTest™ SINGLE is a sophisticated bit error rate tester in a compact, hand held package. The unit can test a wide variety of communications facilities and equipment including Asynchronous, Synchronous, T1, fractional T1, E1, fractional E1, modems, multiplexers, CSU/DSUs, T1 ESF CSUs, DU, NTUs and TIUs.

GL’s LinkTest™ SINGLE+ is a sophisticated bit error rate tester in a compact, hand held package. The unit can test a wide variety of communications facilities and equipment including DDS, T1, fractional T1, E1, fractional E1, T3and E3NTUs, multiplexers, CSU/DSUs, T1 CSUs, DTUs and TIUs.

GL’s LinkTest™ DUAL is a sophisticated bit error rate tester in a compact, hand held package with dual interfaces and a full color display. The unit can test a wide variety of communications facilities and equipment including T1, fractional T1, E1, fractional E1, T3 and E3 modems, multiplexers, CSU/DSUs, T1 CSUs, DTUs, NTUs and TIUs.

GL’s LinkSim™ simulates a variety of communications links, inserting delays and inserting errors such that the user can determine what effects these impairments will have on their systems.”

Mr. Kulkarni further added, “These handheld instruments are sophisticated bit error rate testers in a compact, handheld package and can test a wide variety of communications facilities and equipments.”

About GL Communications Inc.,

Founded in 1986, GL Communications Inc. is a leading supplier of test, monitoring, and analysis equipment for TDM, Wireless, IP and VoIP networks. Unlike conventional test equipment, GL’s test platforms provide visualization, capture, storage, and convenient features like portability, remotability, and scripting.

GL’s TDM Analysis & Emulation line of products includes T1, E1, T3, E3, OC-3, OC-12, STM-1, STM-4, analog four-wire, and analog two-wire interface cards, external portable pods, and complete system solutions. Capabilities include voiceband traffic analysis and emulation across all traffic types (voice, digits, tones, fax, modem), all protocols (ISDN, SS7, GR-303, Frame Relay, HDLC, V5.X, ATM, GSM, GPRS, LTE, etc.), and with capacities up to thousands of channels. Our newest products provide astonishing capacity and capture capability up to and including gigabit speeds.

GL’s VoIP and IP products generate / analyze thousands of calls and traffic simultaneously with traffic types such as frames, packets, voice files, digits, video, tones, noise, and fax. Almost all codecs are supported including G.711, G.729, AMR, EVRC-A,B,C, GSM, iSAC, and many more. Additional features include visual analysis, real-time listening, and recording. The product line also includes Ethernet / IP Testing capability that simulates and checks frame transport and throughput parameters of Ethernet and IP networks, including delay, errors and other impairments.

GL’s Voice Quality Testing (VQT) product line complements all of GL’s products. Using ITU-standard algorithms (PAMS, PSQM, and PESQ), GL’s VQT provides a widely accepted solution for assessing voice quality in the telecom industry. Voice Quality Testing across multiple networks (T1, E1, T3, E3, OC-3, OC-12, VoIP, Wireless, and Landline) is available.

GL’s Wireless Products perform protocol analysis and voice quality assessment on GSM, CDMA, UMTS, and LTE networks. Connections can be made to any wireless phone with automated call control, GPS mapping and real-time signal measurements.

GL’s Echo Canceller testing solutions provide the broadest range of simulation and analysis, including line and acoustic echo. GL’s compliance testing per G.168. G.167 and P.340 across TDM, IP, VoIP and Wireless networks is widely accepted in the industry.

GL’s wireless VQT solutions help assessing impairments to voice quality such as poor mobile phone quality, voice compression and decompression algorithms, delay, loss and gain in speech levels, noise, acoustic and landline echo, and other distortions are easily assessed and accurately measured.

GL’s Handheld data testers can test a wide variety of communications facilities and equipment including T1, fractional T1, E1, fractional E1, T3 and E3 modems, multiplexers, CSU, DSUs, T1 CSUs, DTUs, NTUs and TIUs and more. The testers provide convenience, economy, and portability for almost any interface, including RS232, RS-422, RS-530, X.21, T1, E1, T3, E3, and many others.

GL’s Network Surveillance and Monitoring products include Probes for TDM, IP, VoIP, ATM, and Wireless networks. An open standards based approach provides a scalable, feature rich, real-time access to network characteristics. Centralized or distributed access, efficient transport and database loading allow compatibility with 3rd party and standards based monitoring systems.

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Landscaping In 2013 And Beyond: Why It Will Never Be Quite The Same

By: My Edmonds News

Original Source: Landscaping In 2013 And Beyond: Why It Will Never Be Quite The Same

What if I told you Climate Change was only one half of the problem we face today? What’s the other half, you say? Kim Kardashian? Maybe. But how about Peak Oil? It hasn’t been on the radar of the general public since bell bottoms were raging and pandemics of “disco fever” were breaking out all over. Unfortunately for us, Peak Oil hasn’t gone into the dusty vintage bins of the local thrift store.

Peak Oil is recognition that the world’s supply of oil is limited and that we have reached the zenith of production. In other words, it’s halfway gone. Or if you’re an optimist, there’s still half left!

Certainly, the “easy” oil is gone. That’s why we have deep-sea oil rig disasters. When we were drilling for easy oil, no one would dare go far out into the ocean and a mile deep just for plain old oil. That would be crazy.

So, let tar balls on the beaches be an omen. From now on, oil will become more scarce and difficult to obtain.

peak-oil-1-14Simple math:

Easy Energy = ease of productivity and increased growth.

Difficult Energy = difficulties in productivity and lack of growth.

Dropping energy supply means the relentless upward pricing on energy and resulting downward pressure on growth. That’s crap news for the world economy.

Forever.

What it implies for landscaping is just as momentous as what it implies for how we live our normal everyday lives. That is to say we will probably never landscape the same way again as Peak Oil progresses from background noise to a daily cacophony of new ills and teeth gnashing.

Some say we’ll just replace easy oil with alternatives. However, those alternatives are also peaked and/or require greater investment to extract the energy cleanly. Take your pick: shale gas, nuclear energy, coal, all the solar sources, etc. Nothing is as plentiful, cheap, and beautiful as the energy from the easy oil we’ve enjoyed for the past 100 years or so.

In other words, we just don’t get the bang for our buck with any alternative and we’re into big bangs and big bucks in this country. Energy will just continue to get more and more expensive and the returns less and less bountiful.

Many of these alternatives only feed the other half of the problem, Climate Change. These problems cannot be separated. They will not present themselves to us one at a time like nameless villains to a Hollywood Kung Fu hero. They’re not going to let us ready ourselves for the perfect roundhouse kick to the face, knocking them out dead so we can move on with our scripted plot. No, we have to battle both foes simultaneously and the reality, my dear Kung Fu disciples, is that our current skills are unworthy.

To illustrate, look at hurricane Sandy. Currently there is a relief bill in Congress asking for $60 billion to rebuild after the damage from Sandy. For the large expenditure of cash there will be the large expenditure of energy required to rebuild. There’s the heavy machinery of excavators, loaders, and trucks to remove the damage and debris. Then, the energy in the manufacture and delivery of new materials. And finally, the machinery and tools to re-construct the damaged buildings and infrastructure. This is a sort of downward spiral. The energy used to build our world of today has created a climate that will destroy our world of tomorrow. Perhaps it is poetic justice.

Peak Oil and Climate Change are intimately related. The burning of fossil fuel is releasing the legacy of carbon that was stored in the soil over millions of years. Nature did some hard work for us, over eons of time, for the biosphere’s benefit. The consensus among scientists is that the only way to fix Climate Change is to get all that atmospheric carbon sequestered back into the soil again. That is going to be hard work for us humans to do. Nature had millions of years to do it. How long do we have? And how are we going to do it without the productivity provided by cheap energy?

To illustrate this problem, look at the difficult energy we’re going after: Tar sand oil, shale gas, deep sea oil, etc. We’ve got to burn energy just to get to this hard energy then we got to burn even more just to make it clean and useable. This accelerated use of energy just to get energy makes Climate Change uglier and meaner all the more quickly.

We’ll also turn to more coal burning as one of the alternatives. It’s already happening. Coal is highly effective at green housing the earth and is poisonous to boot. Not a good decision, Earthlings.

Our future selves must face the reality that continued economic growth may be very slow, or flat, or maybe we’ll have the zombie apocalypse scenario for economists: de-growth. Think prolonged depression.

If energy will eventually be priced high enough for use only in critical systems like: national security, health care, U2 rock concerts, and Jay-Z’s yacht, what is that going to mean for our industrial style of food production?

Where Landscaping Comes In
Landscaping will become very important to us all in the not too distant future. Its focus will necessarily shift from ornamental appreciation, botanical curiosity, soulful reconnection, sexy plants and envy building to an agricultural purpose with an importance paramount to the locality. For example, the emergence of Urban Agriculture is a recent outgrowth of the effects we’re already feeling. Grow your own food. This will continue to spread and become the norm.

In a low-energy world, we’ll grow food not just in backyards and front yards but in all public spaces of the city. Local sources of food will be grown biologically, not industrially, because the lack of easy energy will demand it. Landscaping with edibles and tending small livestock will increasingly become a part of many more people’s lives.

The energy-intense industrial farms that are supposed to feed our growing, starving world forever into the future depend on cheap energy to operate. Today we’ve replaced pesky, slow, expensive, yet sustainable human and animal labor with technology that is productive but needs large amounts of energy to work.

Consider that Iindustrial farms of today operate approximately 10 to 1. That’s the amount of fossil fuel energy needed to grow, fertilize, and deliver a crop to the city vs. the amount of food energy it returns for human consumption.

10 to 1: Whether you measure it in calorie, joule, or Btu, it’s a lousy return on investment. Can you imagine the effects of removing the fossil energy from this system (the petroleum to run the machines, fertilize, pesticize, and deliver the food)? This system will starve to death.

10 to 1: If you invested 10 dollars in a stock that paid you 1 dollar back, you would soon be chasing your hat out the window. Hopefully you live in a single-story house. Cheap energy has made this 10-to-1 return on investment seemingly feasible, but only if you give it a short term look.

We have decided to utterly rely on petroleum to grow our food supply instead of using the proven methods of Nature that has sustained humanity for eons using renewable human and animal energy. This is setting us up for disaster.

Gardening in our hometowns in a biological way (in cooperation with the sustainable systems of Nature) to produce food using our hands, our hearts and our brains instead of energy-sucking machines and chemicals will be the foundation of the path forward. We may not need all of us to grow all our own food 100-percent of the time (no black-and-white answers here), but the local contribution by we, the small players of the world, will be major. The meek shall indeed inherit the earth, and we shall plant broccolini.

What About Technology?
Some say, if we really need to, we will just invent a new technology to save us from a changing climate and the disappearance of cheap energy. We’ve come a long way from our cave-dwelling past, cowering from thunder and bashing potential meals with blunt stones tied to sticks.

Today we’ve got digital cameras tied to sticks capable of performing internal surgeries thru minute incisions that heal without stitches. We’ve got Hellfire missiles on robotic drones to make killing our fellow man almost as easy as changing channels on a TV. We’ve got aircraft that took a historically large world and made it quite small. We’ve got pills that take small floppy things and make them large and erect again. We’ve got handheld devices that combine PC, TV, radio, GPS, maps, and more, with immediate access to LOL CATS 24/7/365, all easily portable, and in almost every hand in the world.

We’ve gone beyond Dick Tracy. Batman required an upgrade to keep up with us. We are oh so close to being James T. Kirk. Or Spock, save for the mind melds and all that logic. What other proof do we need? Science fiction has become scientific reality. Technology has solved a lot of problems and we can congratulate ourselves on that.

However, technology is really the science of using energy to increase our productivity. Technology replaces our weak bodily output by transforming easy energy into (sometimes) productive work with a side effect of pollution. Whether it be the automobile to get us places faster, the computer to handle tedious calculations with incomprehensible speed, down to the simple dishwasher. Dish pan hands are a centuries-old problem solved by technology, but only by using cheap energy and with the side effects of pollution.
The side effects. It’s like one of those sleeping pills that may cause painful wretched death.

You could even say that technology created Climate Change and Peak Oil as a simple side effect. Technology is the tool which allowed us to super-size wet-kiss all the easy oil goodbye in a geologically instantaneous moment of time. After all, it took all of 92 million years to make Earth’s fossil fuels and so far only 150 years to burn our way through half of it, releasing the carbon components into the atmosphere.

In addition, technology is great at wasting energy when the work is non-productive. Just think of some of our most notorious technological accomplishments: The atomic bomb, rockets to the moon, computers, and arguably the crowning evolutionary progression of Television: “The Jersey Shore.” These are all heavy expenditures of energy with dubious results for humanity.
Of course, you can argue about whether these are wastes of energy or not. For example: You might say we saved lives by blowing up entire Japanese cities (or technology just allows us to kill each other faster and in a more spectacular fashion rather than cooperate for common goals.) You can enumerate the ways a flaming rocket to the moon has inspired us (we did get some awesome grey rocks out of the trip, can I give you a couple bucks for gas money?). You can argue that Facebook has opened social accessibility to new levels (it’s like a strange experiment in mutually supportive narcissism. Click “like” if you agree with me.) You might possibly even wax poetic about how Snooki saves us from the aimless drudgery of modern existence (Nah!)

The point is that technology has always been employed to use the energy available to us and often in unproductive ways. But never has it created new energy. That is, technically speaking, not possible.

So we can create technology to use what energy we earthly receive as efficiently as possible but that is still using energy. Once fossil fuel is gone, it’s gone, and we’re essentially limited to making the most of our annual blessing of solar energy in its many forms: solar radiation, wind, hydro-electric, biofuels, etc. The small amounts of nuclear fission, tidal, and geothermal energy will also play a small role. Nuclear fusion is just a dream.

Technology gave us an ease of living that led to our proliferation and our current predicament. If Technology is the culprit, how is it going to turn around and be our savior? It’s like saying the devil is a tricky guy but this time, since we really need his skills, I think we can trust him.

Not to lose sight of the fact that we don’t know how technology will accomplish this miracle but we’re absolutely betting our lives on it. Perhaps we should call it a Tinker Bell mentality, our way of life will be resurrected if only we believe hard enough. We should start clapping our hands now.

Landscaping in the Age of Transition
This period of Peak Oil coupled with the effects of Climate Change has been named the Age of Transition by those with enough clarity to start the named activity. Yes, Transition has already started whether we like it or not, and will continue until humanity reaches the equilibrium of sustainable resource use in relation to population and lifestyle. The last 150 years or so of the Industrial Age’s rampant growth fueled by cheap but limited fossil energy is starting its relentless and permanent downward slide by all indications.

This is not a guilt trip or a blame game. I hope this is not a doomsday scenario. This is simply our reality. This is our time of reckoning. This is our generation’s chance at showing we’re up to the task of solving, like other great generations, a problem of our own making.

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Facebook Is Said to Create Mobile Location Tracking App

By: Business Week

Original Source: Facebook Is Said to Create Mobile Location Tracking App

Facebook Inc. (FB) is developing a smartphone application that will track the location of users, two people with knowledge of the matter said, bolstering efforts to benefit from growing use of social media on mobile computers.

The app, scheduled for release by mid-March, is designed to help users find nearby friends and would run even when the program isn’t open on a handset, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.

Facebook is adding features to help it profit from the surging portion of its more than 1 billion users who access the service via handheld devices. The tracking app could help Facebook sell ads based on users’ whereabouts and daily habits. It may also raise the hackles of consumers and privacy advocates concerned about the company’s handling of personal information.

Regulators in the U.S. and Europe have already scrutinized Menlo Park, California-based Facebook amid concerns that it doesn’t do enough to keep data private. Apple Inc. and Google Inc. have similar tools for continuously keeping tabs on user whereabouts.

Derick Mains, a spokesman for Facebook, declined to comment.

The team developing Facebook’s location software is being led by Peter Deng, a product director who joined from Google in 2007, one person said. The group also includes engineers from Glancee, a location-tracking startup Facebook acquired in May, and Gowalla, a location-based social network whose assets were purchased in December 2011, the person said.

Facebook fell 5.5 percent to $28.11 yesterday in New York. The stock has gained 59 percent since closing at a record low on Sept. 4.

‘Mobile First’

Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg emphasized the need for new mobile products in a Jan. 30 call with analysts.

“A lot of what we had to do last year was simply to improve our mobile development process,” Zuckerberg said. “The next thing we’re going to do is get really good at building new mobile-first experiences.”

Facebook already records the GPS coordinates of users when they post status updates or photos from their phones, or check in to a venue. With the new app, the company would go a step further by tracking user whereabouts in the “background” of Apple’s mobile operating system, even when other programs are running or the phone isn’t in use, one person said.

While Facebook would probably need to ask permission from users to track their location to be in accordance with Apple’s guidelines for developers, Facebook may have already gotten consent from its users to run such a feature.

Friends, Events

Facebook’s data-use policy tells users that the company may use information on location “to tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or offer deals to you that you might be interested in.” The company said it may also put together data “to serve you ads that might be more relevant.”

“When we get your GPS location, we put it together with other location information we have about you (like your current city),” the data use policy reads. “But we only keep it until it is no longer useful to provide you services, like keeping your last GPS coordinates to send you relevant notifications.”

A host of apps, including Apple’s Find My Friends and Math Camp Inc.’s Highlight, constantly track user locations to help them find friends or places of interest. Many of the programs have failed to gain wide audiences because of privacy concerns and the heavy toll such apps have on the battery life of mobile phones.

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Mini Helicopter Drone For UK Troops In Afghanistan

By: BBC News

Original Source: Mini Helicopter Drone For UK Troops In Afghanistan

British soldiers in Afghanistan have become the first to use miniature surveillance helicopters in frontline operations.

The drones can fly around corners and obstacles to identify potential hidden dangers, the Ministry of Defence said. The Norwegian-designed Black Hornet Nano features a tiny camera and relays video and still images to a handheld control terminal.

It measures about 10cm by 2.5cm (4in by 1in) and weighs 16g (0.6oz).

The MoD, which also operates more than 300 larger-sized unmanned air vehicles in Afghanistan, said the Black Hornet is carried easily on patrol and works in harsh environments and windy conditions. They have been in use in Afghanistan since 2012, a spokeswoman confirmed.

Surrey-based Marlborough Communications has a £20m contract with the military to supply and maintain 160 of the drones, which were originally developed by Prox Dynamics for search and rescue operations. Mini drones can be piloted directly or programmed to follow co-ordinates using GPS.

Powered by battery, the Black Hornet is reported to have a range of about half a mile (800m), a top speed of 22mph (35kph) and can fly for up to 30 minutes.

They can help soldiers on the ground pinpoint hidden Taliban fighters and explosives.

Sgt Christopher Petherbridge, of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in Afghanistan, said: “We used it to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing, which is a real asset.

“It is very easy to operate and offers amazing capability to the guys on the ground.”

Defence minister Philip Dunne said intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems were a “key component” of the MoD’s investment in new equipment over the next 10 years.

Spending outlined last month also includes almost £36bn for a new generation of nuclear-powered submarines, almost £19bn for combat aircraft, and around £17bn for Royal Navy warships.

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360° Minds For The Future

By: The Hindu

Original Source: 360° Minds For The Future

As technology changes our day-to-day lives in ways that were unfathomable only a few decades ago, the world of work is also undergoing a parallel transformation. In his bestselling book, The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman argues that the twin forces of globalisation and technology, especially the Internet, are rapidly and radically altering how and whom we work for. A click of a mouse can erase geographic boundaries, and routine jobs are increasingly getting automated. Social networks, online retailing, e-books and GPS maps have revolutionised how we socialise, shop, read and navigate our worlds. As a result, new jobs are being continually created that require different mindsets than traditional manufacturing jobs. The aptitude and skills that the 21st Century worker needs are indeed quite different from those that his predecessors required, argue renowned educationists.

Ethical mindset

Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner states that five kinds of minds will be valued in the future. As human beings continue to break new frontiers of knowledge from miniscule nano particles to gargantuan galactic spaces, specialised knowledge is going to be increasingly prized. Gardner argues that experts in particular domains or disciplines will play important roles. Research across domains as diverse as chess to physics to dance indicates that it takes about ten years for a person to become adept in a field. Second, as we are bombarded with information from diverse media, the mind that can gather information from various sources and synthesise it in a meaningful way will be critical. Third, as routine jobs get automated, the mind that can extend knowledge or understanding in creative ways will be esteemed. As the world gets more interconnected through the web of globalisation, we need to learn to tolerate and respect difference, be it in the form of language, religion or culture. Finally, in the Indian context, we need to nurture an ethical mindset in students so that they learn to think beyond individual self-interests.

Digital deluge

In a similar vein, educationist, Tony Wagner, says that students need to acquire “seven survival skills” to meet the dynamic demands of an ever-changing workplace. Similar to Gardner, he emphasises the ability to problem-solve and think creatively. Instead of being overwhelmed by the digital deluge of disjointed information, students need to learn to synthesise effectively. As the world gets increasingly specialised, he says that people need to learn to work collaboratively in order to make a difference. He also adds that we need to hone our ability to communicate cogently, both orally and in writing. Clichéd as it may sound, change is the only constant in the future workplace. People, thus, have to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability and not display rigid mindsets. Finally, we have to keep the spark of learning in ourselves alive forever; a willingness to learn and accommodate to the demands of a job will be essential. In fact, Ken Robinson, who writes and lectures extensively on creativity and education, urges us “to adjust to a world where, for most people, secure lifelong employment in a single job is a thing of the past.”

Wagner bemoans the fact that education, unfortunately, has not kept pace with the changing landscape of work. He rightly states that the content schools and colleges teach should be used as a “means of developing competencies, instead of being the goal”. However, school systems across the world are mired in emphasising traditional academic subjects at the cost of honing other talents, according to Robinson. He says that our academic fixation and pervasive testing ends up “stifling the very skills and qualities that are essential to meet the challenges we face.”

The Indian mindset

In an article in The New York Times, Mohit Chandra, a partner with KPMG, complains about the lacklustre quality of Indian graduates. He says that our students need to work on five areas that employers value: communication, creative problem-solving, resourcefulness, curiosity and professionalism. Indian recruits typically expect to be handheld and given detailed instructions for all jobs, and do not necessarily think for themselves. We tend to defer to authority but rarely try to solve problems for ourselves. Students’ thinking is also streamlined into giving the one and only ‘right’ answer that the teacher will award maximum points to. In our culture, we also tend to view a Master’s or doctoral degree as the pinnacle of learning; the idea that we need to continually enhance ourselves is not celebrated in our culture. Even basic rules of conduct like honouring job contracts, sticking to one’s word and being punctual have to be spelled out. As students try to cultivate these traits, our anachronistic educational system also has to wake up to the fact that a notebook does not necessarily have to be made of paper.

In order to make students skilled and savvy for work in the 21st Century, schools and colleges also have to exhibit more innovation, creativity, flexibility and zeal, thereby modelling the very skills they need to impart. Finally, as Gardner says, education in the “broadest sense” cannot be left to schools and colleges alone. Thus, all stakeholders including parents, policy makers and the media have to do their bit to cultivate 360º minds.

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Man Murdered Because GPS Took Him To Wrong House

By: Business Insider

Original Source: Man Murdered Because GPS Took Him To Wrong House

Rodrigo Abad Diaz, a 22-year-old man, was shot and killed after he pulled into the wrong driveway, Diaz’s friends allege.

Diaz’s friends, who were passengers in the car, say they were trying to pick up another friend to go ice skating but GPS brought them to the wrong house, The Huffington Post’s Cavan Sieczkowski reports.

As they were waiting in the driveway, the friends say, the homeowner came out with a gun and “just started shooting.”

Police have since arrested the homeowner, Phillip Walker Sailors, and are charging him for murder.

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India Works On GPS Watch In Fight Against Rape

By: BBC News

Original Source: India Works On GPS Watch In Fight Against Rape

The Indian government is working on a GPS watch that it hopes will help in the fight against rape. It follows a string of high-profile gang rapes in the country.

The watch, developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, can be used to alert authorities and family members if the wearer is in danger. The wearer can send a message to the nearest police station or chosen relatives by pressing a button. The GPS system will pinpoint the location.

The watch will also feature a built-in camera that can record for up to half an hour.

According to the Wall Street Journal blog India Real Time, a prototype watch will be ready by mid-year and will cost between $20 and $50 (£13 to £32).

The government has held initial talks with state-run telecom equipment maker ITI Ltd about manufacturing the watch, it said.

The brutal gang rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi in December raised questions about how well the country is protecting women from sexual violence.

It led to nationwide protests with campaigners calling for tougher rape laws.

This month, a 21-year-old factory worker living in a suburb of Delhi was found dead, allegedly another victim of gang rape.

Meanwhile in Goa, a seven-year-old girl was raped in a school toilet.

The cases have sparked a search for technologies that can help and Indian trade group Nasscom recently announced a competition for firms to develop apps specifically focused on keeping women safe.

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TDSB One Step Closer To GPS On Maintenance Vehicles

By: The Star

Original Source: TDSB One Step Closer To GPS On Maintenance Vehicles

The Toronto District School Board’s $1.15-million plan to install GPS equipment in maintenance vehicles is closer to fruition after the board’s Planning and Priorities Committee approved the proposal Wednesday night.

In a bid to increase oversight and efficiency of its roughly 900 unionized maintenance and repair workers, the TDSB hopes to begin installing the systems in April. They will go into 585 of the board’s facility services vehicles at an expected cost of $1,149,096 over the next three years, according to the recommendation document.

Made by Bell Canada — which won the contract in a bidding process last fall — the new “telematics” systems will track routes travelled by facility services vehicles, and clock details such as vehicle speed and fuel consumption.

Smart phones will also be provided for workers to connect with the systems via Bluetooth and electronically track and complete work orders.

The plan comes after a Star investigation last year into high maintenance costs in the TDSB, which included a $3,000 bill for installation of an electrical outlet in a high school library.

A TDSB probe subsequently found evidence that school board equipment was used for non-board related work, and raised allegations that some workers received payoffs from asphalt companies seeking contracts with the board.

Jimmy Hazel, president of the Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council that represents most TDSB maintenance workers, said in an email that he has “no issue” with the proposed systems.

“Hopefully this will also identify and correct some serious deficiencies in management practices that have plagued the department for some time,” he said.

The TDSB will make a final decision on the proposal at its Feb. 6 meeting.

Best Handheld GPS Reviews

DogWirelessplus.com Provider of GPS Dog Fence Ads Videos of DE Systems Border Patrol TC1

By: PR Web

Original Source: DogWirelessplus.com Provider of GPS Dog Fence Ads Videos of DE Systems Border Patrol TC1

The Border Patrol TC1 GPS Containment System and Remote Trainer is essentially a GPS Dog Fence. It is the first of its kind in dog containment technology. It combines a wireless GPS guided electronic fence containment technology along with short range tracking and a robust electronic dog training collar all combined into a compact and portable and handheld dog collar unit. Having Videos to show how this product will solve a customer’s containment and training needs makes the shopping experience efficient and enjoyable.

The first of two videos provides a one minute overview of the TC1 and is located on the GPS Dog Fence page of the site. It explains the advantages of having a customizable, portable pet containment system that works at home and when traveling. Customers can see the product and its benefits before moving forward.

The second video provides a 2:46 in depth, detailed explanation of the TC1’s features. After viewing this video customers will come to understand that combining long range wireless GPS guided electronic fence containment with training and short range tracking the DE Systems Border Patrol TC1 is ideal for keeping pets safely contained and trained. This video is located on the TC1’s product page of the website.

The effects of video on the customer experience and the countless benefits of the effects make video one of, if not the most powerful sales and marketing tools available. DogWirelessPlus.com continues to grow its Video Library and looks forward to sharing as much information with its customers as possible.