Archive for the Research Category

Helmet’s protecting more than just your head…

Posted in Research on May 3, 2009 by danbastian

While browsing ABC’s Science and Tech Index, I came across another rather unusual way that technology is changing football players’ lives – for the good. A technology has been developed, specifically for helmets, that detects when a player has over heated.

Back a few years ago, in 2001 to be exact, Korey Stringer died from complications brought on by heat stroke during practice. Stringer was an offensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, a professional football team. Had this technology been around then, he could have avoided the heat stroke.

Mark this technology as the first for athletes to track their health while they are playing. With today’s high level of competitiveness and athletes only pushing themselves harder and faster, health risks are only going to increase. Professional sports in the U.S. has to be one of the richest businesses to be in – it seems only right that the players are protected.

This story did bring back memories of high school football. I played quarterback, and I remember when a helmet was just a helmet. Now they are going to have this technology, they already have microphones in them – and who knows what’s next. Had I found out about this a while back, I would have tried to talk to the Towson football team to see if they were doing anything with their helmets and would have considered it for a module if I found out something interesting.

More on GPS

Posted in Research on April 27, 2009 by danbastian

ABC’s Science and Tech news had an interesting video on GPS trackers. If you check out this video (go to WATCH: YouTube Gets Social), 45 seconds into it, the anchor goes into a segment on new, commercialized GPS locators specifically for keeping track of anything. Your car, kid, luggage, laptop. Anything you want.

I think this is rather unusual and strange. Knowing how society works, you can imagine the use these things are going to get. These devices can be very powerful if the wrong people use them. Without getting into it, you can imagine what the future holds for stalking, stealing, drug trafficking, possible terrorism, etc.

Being able to know where an item or a person is at anytime can become dangerous.

It can also provide to be very useful, they can be beneficial to parents keeping tabs on their children; they can be useful for people wanting to keep track of their cars. It is becoming more noticeable to me how technology is completely transforming the way we live, and I think it is going to continue to change our values, morals and way of life.

Following Up Module #1

Posted in Research on April 23, 2009 by danbastian

In my first module, I reported on a 20 year old girl who broke up with her boyfriend via text messages.

I found a video on CNN during my morning cycle of websites that took this story to the next level. It turns out text messages are ending marriages as well…

An actual Razor cell phone…

Posted in Research on April 19, 2009 by danbastian

I went back to ABC’s Science and Technology section of their website to see if I could find anymore interesting articles (it’s where I found last week’s article about the thumb drive).

Low and behold, I found a rather interesting blog post about a cell phone that was developed, and sold that has a built in electric razor. The cell phone is also fitted with a 2.6 – inch touchscreen, a 3-mega-pixel camera, both MP3 and MP4 players, an FM radio, GPRS, Bluetooth connectivity, and of course a working electric razor. Phew.

It seems like something this extravagant should cost a few hundred dollars. The website where you can buy it, i-Pmart.com is only selling them for $116 plus shipping and handling. That seems cheap, especially because it is an endorsed product by none other than David Beckham.

You can see the endorsement and the actual phone up close in this YouTube video

This idea sounds and looks cool, probably a little unnecessary, but pretty cool. But most of you, like me, probably get a little skeptical because we doubt whether it will work properly, especially since it isn’t made by a well-known company. I guess there’s only one way to find out.

Not your average flash drive…

Posted in Research on April 12, 2009 by danbastian

In researching the topic of how technology is changing our lives in unique ways, I’ve come across some strange stories. But none – not even close – have come close to this one. To sum it up, a man from Finland, lost his finger in a motorcycle accident. To replace it, he got a prosthetic thumb made of silicone. Sounds normal right?

Well it is except for the fact that he can peel back the tip of the prosthetic finger to uncover a USB drive that fits in their perfectly.

The two gigabyte memory storage device is removable as the man has two different prosthetic’s that he wears. He hasn’t thought of something crazy yet for the other one – it’s your normal prosthetic finger.

With all types of responses to the ‘Flash Finger,” I can only imagine what’s in store in the future. With developments like this, it seems like anything might be possible.

All I know is that I think it’s very cool. I thought it was nice to be able to have your flash drive on your keychain, but I’ve still managed to loose two flash drives. I think it would be pretty hard to loose your finger…

ID scanners…are they invading our privacy?

Posted in Research on April 5, 2009 by danbastian

In a very interesting article I found on ‘Security In The Digital Age,’ it argued another reason against using ID scanners in bars – which I hadn’t thought about at all before reading it.

When your ID is swiped through one of these ID scanners, it saves the information that is on the front of the ID. This article talks about the balance between security and privacy and how some bar patrons feel about their information being saved in a scanner.

The debate between security and privacy is tough to figure out. On one side you have the safety and security. Bars are protected, it keeps those underage out of bars, and if police know that bars are using scanners, they can focus on more important problems then some drunk kid a bar causing a scene.

On the other side, you have privacy. When these bars scan an ID, it saves the information on the front of the ID. With the way our information is being used, it’s hard not to worry. You never really know where your information is going and how it is being used. Not only that, bar owners and managers can use your information to market and to advertise. They can send you any information they want – and you can’t really do anything about it.

I think this debate will be resolved in a few years when more is known about which is more important, security or privacy. Until then, there will be countless arguments for each side there will be people who are against one or the other and it will be a while until we figure it out.

More on Facebook…

Posted in Research on March 29, 2009 by danbastian

With my upcoming module on Facebook, I wanted to look even further into it. Originally I found this video on CNN.com that I was going to comment on that had to do with the safety of users privacy and their identities – but I found something more interesting on the website for the New York Times. This article discusses the rapid growth of Facebook and where it stands in our society.

I should say first that I was very impressed by the Times’ setup and multimedia for this piece. There are a lot of links, charts, pictures and related articles.

The article goes into the evolution of Facebook from when it started in a dorm room to the phenomenon it is today. I found the part on the third page about how the guest services manager for the Philadelphia Eagles was fired from his job over a status update posted on his Facebook page. It relates to my module as I have vastly changed up my module to incorporate this article as I find it really interesting.

Interesting because I remember when Facebook was brand new. Parents didn’t know about it, teachers didn’t know about it, family members didn’t know about it – only college students. During that time – which was only around five years ago – I would have never guessed Facebook is what it is today.