Happy New Year!

One man holds the key to the room deep under Times Square, where the only sounds are a hissing pipe and a rumbling subway overhead. Behind the blue, padlocked door are the pieces of the New Year’s ball that will mark midnight as it slides 77 feet down a pole atop One Times Square.

The crystal sphere lands amid the gritty water tanks, rickety planks and iron grates that fill the rooftop of the building, one of the most recognizable in the world. The 25-story tower has hosted New Year’s celebrations since it opened in 1904, 100 years ago this year.

One Times Square is a bit like an amusement-park funhouse: more glitz than guts. The building is covered with billboards, flashing lights and an electronic news zipper, but it is virtually empty.

Countdown Entertainment, which co-produces the annual Dec. 31 event, is the only tenant, on its 21st and 22nd floors. “This whole building is a promotional event,” Countdown President Jeff Strauss said.

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The Times Square 2005 New Year s Eve Celebration (FAQ) starts at 5:00 p.m. (EST). MTV on cellphones isn’t live but it’s got ringtones and videos you can download. Sprint’s MobiTV service costs $9.99 per month plus connection charges for 2 frame a second broadcast reception.

Earthcam covers New Years with 12 webcams from Times Square and other live webcams from around the world including Moscow, London, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Seattle. Las Vegas.com has Las Vegas Cameras.

News Link has US Broadcasters by State and Global Networks, TV/Radio World link to television and radio stations, world-wide. Newspapers of the World and the United States can make their own schedule. AlertsUSA delivers terrorism-related information via wireless audio streaming and SMS alerts to cell phone users for $2.99 per month.

Jook Leung is internationally recognized as an innovator in panoramic photography. VR Log, VR Photography and VR Mag have more information on 360 degree photography.

Perhaps the most interesting are cameraphone blogs.

They include Textamerica, Dot Photo, Fotolog, Buzznet, AutoPic, Blogger Pro, TypePad, FoneBlog, Fotopages, Phlog, Audblog, CamBlog, 20six, Ploggle, albino gorilla, Photokyo, Rare Window, Uboot.com, AT&T Wireless, Cingular Mobile, Sprint PCS, Verizon Picture Messaging, T-Mobile Hiptop blogs, Hello (sharing), mlogs (audio & video).

TextAmerica, the free moblogging solution, now offers the ability to post short videoclips to a moblog like shack.textamerica.com. Do a search on New Years at Flickr.

PhotoFusion, for Nokia camphones, automatically stiches stills into panoramas.

Other netcams that might be adopted for wireless use include:

Happy New Year!

Intel’s Resolutions

Intel has a clever bit of PR (below):

According to the Chinese calendar, 2005 is the year of the Rooster. However, a technology calendar might suggest that it is the year of mobility. In that spirit, Intel proposes 10 mobile resolutions:

  1. Be a wireless winner: In honor of National Mobility month, for two weeks beginning Jan. 6, use maps.yahoo.com to find an Intel Centrino mobile technology-verified hotspot and you could win a Sony notebook based on the next-generation Intel Centrino mobile technology platform, codenamed Sonoma. Other prizes include movie downloads from Movielink and music downloads from Musicmatch. Every entrant will receive a free month of games from Yahoo! Games on Demand. To enter, go to www.mobilitymonth.com or maps.yahoo.com and look for the Mobility Month link.

  2. Mobilize your home entertainment: In January, Intel will launch the Sonoma platform, enabling mobile entertainment PCs that support accelerated graphics for superb DVD playback and gaming, theater-quality sound for MP3s and TV tuner ExpressCards that will be available soon. Sonoma is based on an updated Pentium M processor, codenamed Dothan, that is made using a 90-nanometer process rather than the 130-nanometer process used to manufacture existing Pentium M chips. Sonoma will include an updated WLAN chipset, codenamed Calexico 2, which offers lower power consumption, an improved software interface and supports the 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g wireless standards. It also includes an updated chipset, codenamed Alvi for multi-channel sound, 2Mbytes of on-chip cache and supports a faster 533MHz front-side bus.

  3. Take your laptop on vacation: Record your favorite TV shows with an Intel Pentium 4 processor-based Entertainment PC and take them with you on your notebook. Your notebook also enables you to stay in touch, store and send digital photos, replace weighty travel guides and maintain photographic travelogues on your family Website. A great wireless destination is the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Jan. 20-30, where you can watch streaming video of the nominees from WiMAX-enabled cafes and lodges.

  4. Escape the house often for some relaxing entertainment: Be seen at a Wi-Fi-enabled park, cafe or beach unwinding with a broad-brimmed hat, dark sunglasses and an Intel Centrino mobile technology-based notebook to stay current on Hollywood gossip, fashion and, in particular, the Golden Globes. Get the latest news leading up to the Jan. 16 ceremony as it unfolds with “ET Inside the Golden Globe Awards” on Yahoo!, exclusively sponsored by Intel Centrino mobile technology, at et.tv.yahoo.com/micro/globes2005.

  5. Battle bulk: Dieting may be the most common New Year’s resolution, but the truly trendy also will resolve to shed notebook bulk with a slimmer model. Intel Centrino mobile technology enables thin, light notebooks with great battery life and integrated wireless LAN capability.

  6. Stay in visual touch: Cameras for videoconferencing are now available for notebooks, enabling videoconferencing with friends and family from more than 56,000 Intel Centrino mobile technology-verified wireless hotspots worldwide.

  7. Work smarter, not longer: Whether you are flying cross-country or waiting at soccer practice, laptop mobility enables you to fit work into slices of time that otherwise would go unused, freeing time later for other important activities.

  8. Get smarter, have fun: Notebooks are becoming mobile backpacks at all educational levels. Students access information online from wireless hotspots on and off campus, including cafes, libraries and dorms. New laptops based on the Intel Centrino mobile technology to be introduced this month will double as all-in-one entertainment devices, making more space for other dorm room necessities, such as the minifridge and lava lamp.

  9. Make a wireless cafe your extended office: Advanced wireless communication combined with an increasing number of hotspots are heating up the coffee culture around the world with people genuinely relaxing on a cafe couch with everything they need to do their jobs on their laptops.

  10. Reuse or recycle that old equipment: If you’ve upgraded to an all-in-one laptop that delivers improved graphics and audio features, consider giving your old DVD player or stereo to a charitable organization. Donate old computers to educational organizations or dispose of them through an environmental e-waste organization. Good sources are www.eiae.org and www.intel.com/education/recycling_computers/strut.htm.

Intel, of course, is loosing the public relations campaign that counts — compare Intel’s home page with Apple’s home page. Who would you rather work for or do business with?

U.S. corporations are donating millions of dollars in cash and supplies to victims of the tsunamis along the Indian Ocean, easily eclipsing the initial $35 million in aid earmarked by the U.S. government.

Pfizer is donating $10 million in cash and $25 million worth of drugs to relief agencies; Coca-Cola is donating $10 million; Exxon Mobil Corp., is giving $5 million; and Citigroup Inc., is contributing $3 million. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has also pledged $3 million.

Drug companies Merck & Co. is giving $3 million in cash while Johnson & Johnson and Abbott Laboratories Inc. are each donating $2 million; each of the three are also sending drugs and other health care supplies to the region. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is donating $1 million in cash and $4 million in antibiotics and antifungal drugs. Roche Group and GlaxoSmithKline PLC were also planning to donate supplies and/or cash. Nike, American Express, General Electric, The Walt Disney Co., and First Data Corp. are each giving $1 million.

Charity Navigator (right), is said to be America’s premiere independent charity evaluator and has tips for choosing a charity. They advise large, reputable organizations who have an international presence and know local officials and needs.

Maybe Intel should resolve to be faster on their feet next year.

Tsunami Warning Ideas

While many people are aware of the terrible impact of disasters throughout the world, few realize that this is a problem that we can do something about.
Kofi A. Annan
UN Secretary-General

United Nations experts believe that governments around the world must work together to build early-warning systems from natural disasters like the Indian Ocean tsunami, reports ComputerWorld.

Tsunami warning systems will be a key topic at the long-planned World Conference on Disaster Reduction on Jan. 18-22 in Kobe, Japan, the site of a massive earthquake in January 1995 that killed more than 6,400 people.

“The international community has to move ahead and build global systems to avoid a repeat of what has happened in Asia this week,” Reid Basher of the UN’s Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning in Bonn told Reuters. The conference “is expected to prompt a quantum leap in learning and commitment for improving prevention, risk assessment and early-warning systems,” a statement from the ISDR secretariat in Geneva said.

A John Schwartz article in the New York Times raises the possibility of using SMS to create a warning system for disaster notification. The article mentions a Web log (desimediabitch.blogspot.com) that often posts text messages. “This tragedy is going to put this more to the forefront,” said Greg Wilfahrt, cofounder of SMS.ac, a company that sells text message services in more than 170 countries.

Science Friday’s 2nd hour explains details of Tsunami detection and prediction with an expert from Seattle’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab (PMEL). The Deep Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) is a real-time tsunami buoy system comprised of two parts; a bottom pressure recorder (BPR) and the surface buoy with related electronics.

The Alert Retrieval Cache (ARC) project plans to use SMS to save people’s lives, according to Boing, Boing. It will collect, sort, and route SMS messages for the puposes of Tsunami alerts and relay communication. All the people relevant to that message can receive it, instantaneously (example).

The failure of state-owned and hierarchical warning systems to alert us about the South Asia earthquake & tsunami, despite prior information has put into focus issues of forums for information exchange. What we need is to get credible, real time information from the grassroots to save lives.

How does it work? Here’s a scenario – Morquendi is a relief worker in Middle Earth, and he runs short of medical supplies, specifically antibiotics. The supplies are needed immediately. He needs to inform someone from his location. He sends out an SMS to ARC.

The Sorter program looks for similar keywords in the cache, as in Morquendi’s message. After the program is done sorting, it links this message to all those numbers that are attached to similar attributes as in Morquendi’s original message. Then it flashes this message to all these numbers. People in the vicinity, and anyone across the world who is awake, or knows Morquendi, receives the message.

Iconoclast Bob Cringely, has his own thoughts on what should be done:

We don’t need governments and huge sensor arrays to warn people on the beach about the next huge wave approaching at 400 miles-per-hour. Thanks to the Internet, we can probably do it by ourselves.

Here’s the problem with big multi-government warning systems. First, we have a disaster. Then, we have a conference on the disaster, then plans are proposed, money is appropriated, and three to five years later, a test system is ready.

We can’t rely on governments to do this kind of work anymore. They just take too darned long and spend too much money for what you get.

The Tsunami Warning System (TWS) in the Pacific Ocean shows us how such a warning system can be run with the cooperation of 26 countries. TWS is based on crunching two kinds of data — seismic activity and changes in sea level measured by tide gauges.

Depending on where the originating earthquake is, the tsunami can be minutes or hours from crashing into a beach. This week’s wave took about 90 minutes to reach Sri Lanka, just over 600 miles from the epicenter.

The seismographs are online, we gather the data using XML, continuously crunch it using the codes I am assuming already exist, then we need the warning, which I would flash on the screen of my PC down at the surf shop using a Javascript widget built with Konfabulator, the most beautiful widget generator of all.

Looking just like a TV weather map, the widget would flash a warning and even include a countdown timer just like in the movies.

You don’t need an international consortium to build such a local tsunami warning system. You don’t even need broadband. The data is available, processing power is abundant and cheap.

Bob Cringely is a good writer. Of course he’s no geologist (nor am I).

Still, a giant 9.0 tsunami is due on the west coast. And bureaucracies will be bureaucracies. They won’t do anything until funding is available (in 1-2 years).

The FCC s Emergency Alert System is coming to cell phones. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) has fallen into disarray and needs major reform, concluded FCC Chairman Michael Powell recently as he announced agency plans to revamp the system, according to a report in Broadcasting and Cable. Featured would be instant alerts transmitted via a sophisticated new EAS that could beam warnings about crises from local TV and radio stations to TVs, radios, personal computers and an array of digital devices — including cell phones and PDAs.

Seventy outdoor sirens are strategically placed in the emergency response zones surrounding the Umatilla Chemical Depot. Homes and businesses in Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield, Echo, Irrigon and Boardman (Oregon) have been provided a free special indoor warning device called a Tone Alert Radio (TAR). In addition to providing warning and emergency instructions for a chemical emergency, TARs can provide weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The Amber Alert System is America s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and may have elements that might be utilized in Tsunami warning systems.

The MediaCast System is used by retailers to provide “Instant Digital Signage”. Messages are sent over Verizon’s cellular network to a flash card and displayed on the sign’s flat screen.

Maybe Intel and schools around my region could develop a system to monitor Mount St Helens utilizing an RSS feed, an audio podcast announcement, and a pop-up map. Maybe something like a multi-media access point with a touch screen could show maps. Perhaps a pager or a $99 instant messaging appliance could trigger pre-recorded audio announcements. Independent of cellular networks. By May of 2005.

RAINS-Net, the Regional Alliances for Infrastructure and Network Security, might be one solution. It provides automated alerts from the 911 emergency centers and relays messages to authorized personel in schools, hospitals and downtown building managers. Or the general public, if need be.

Private cellular emergency services are also available. You can sign up now to get emergency messages sent to your phone from local, regional and national government sources. AlertsUSA delivers terrorism-related information via wireless audio streaming and SMS alerts to cell phone users for $2.99 per month.

WorldSpace (left), a pioneer of direct satellite delivery for digital audio radio services (DARS), demonstrated Data-casting and IP Multicasting capabilities at the Global Military Satellite Communications Conference recently.

WorldSpace leverages its two geo-stationary satellites, AfriStar and AsiaStar, and its ownership of broad spectrum licenses to deliver more than 100 digital quality audio channels per satellite as well as multimedia content directly to portable receivers.

After launching XM Satellite Radio’s wearable MyFi device ($350) in October, XM CEO Hugh Panero said he believed one day a portable satellite player would be combined with a device like an iPod.

Firsthand accounts and videos of the tsunami disaster and its aftermath have flourished, giving Internet users near-instant replays of events that happened in faraway countries. The BBC created message boards on its news Web site where hundreds of people have published appeals for information about their relatives. CNN News did the same.

Waves of hope is a non profit weblog run by volunteer reporters, writers and citizens from all over Sri Lanka. Tsunamihelp.blogspot.com provides information direct from the disaster.

Location-Based Services such as mobile games, child tracking, social networking and other services will be on this train. Location service providers for cellular networks include Adesso Systems, Aeroscout, Enpocket, F-Secure, Intellisync, Tatara Systems, Sproqit Technologies, MapQuest and Xora to name a few.

But Localized Handheld Content can be free — like Dayton’s ad-supported cloud. Publically accessible from Kiosks. A commercial medium with an emergency alert override. What’s wrong with that? Everyone benefits.

Drop historic photos into PhotoStory and add narration. Every hot spot can have unique content available via spashpage. Just look around. Tell the story.

NewsBreak (right), a Pocket PC application, can access “podcasts” (recent feeds) of international or local news. In your neighborhood. On your block. It uses whatever wireless connectivity you have available including WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular connections. Anyone can provide an RSS feed with audio or video enclosures. For practically nothin’. Audio makes sense for handhelds. WebJay it.

Spash pages, handhelds and public kiosks could include scripts for an emergency alert override. Audio messages and maps specific to each location could automatically pop-up when a trigger code is received.

Sputnik can manage hundreds of $200 Access Points and can customize splash pages for each one. Add a WiFi hard drive. It could cost less then an outdoor sign and might be funded by local businesses. At no cost to taxpayers.

This revolution is unstoppable.

Local hotspots might use a $400 touchscreen with a $500 laptop, a $200 WiMax backbone and a $150 wireless netcam to provide local content and global connectivity. It could make money.

Scripting tools like Konfabulator and open source tools like Open GIS, Google Wireless, Yahoo Mobile and a million creative minds will energize the “free” cloud into a crackling powerhouse. Video Blog TV Channels and MobileTV via DVB-H are GOING to happen. WiFi/WiMax networks will bust out of the walled prison.

Blogging Tools like Blogger, Text America, Nokia’s LifeBlog and Podcasting have come of age. Citizen reporters/responders may be the wave of the future. But few are trained. No plan is in place.

Perhaps 2-3 WiFi/Cell handhelds with megapixel cameras ($500) similar to the ASUS WiFi PocketPC should be available at every community center, school, library and fire station. They provide still image capture, video capture and video playback. Anyone could cover local events – and help in emergencies. Download floor plans. Upload photos or video clips. It’s not glamorous; broadband handhelds are muddy, utilitarian technology, initially using WiFi, but ideally using 700MHz. Get used to it.

Combine WiFi/Cellular handhelds with eGig’s 120GB Network Attached Storage/WiFi access point (right) on dozens of school and fire station rooftops. Backbone with WiMax to hilltop satellite access points. A turnkey package with a local 120Gig Access Point, a WiMax client backbone, and 3 WiFi/Cellphones ($500 each), might cost less than one Project 25 two-way radio ($2500).

Local governments are mis-guided when they take their marching orders from telecommunications lobbyists like Verizon or Motorola. A WiMax cloud for broadband interoperability could make all the difference. Saving time. Saving lives. Saving money. Creating a new economy.

Related DailyWireless stories include; Tsunami Monitoring, Neighbor Node, Revolution in Mobile Services, Radio Station in a Box, Al Gore’s WebLog TV Channel, Blogger is the Story, Portland Online Vrs The Bloggers, Selling Out DTV, Tsunami Monitoring, Monitoring Mount St Helens, Oceanographic Dead Zone, Subducting the Zone, West Coast Grid, Grid Becomes Self-Aware, Just Say No, Sensor Nets, Meshing at Intel, Oceanographic Wireless, WiFi At Sea, Spying on the Ocean, and Earthquake Monitoring.

Additional DailyWireless articles include Earthquake First Responders, Hurricane Frances Lineworkers, Hurricane Help, ISP in a trailer, Mobile COWS, Tagging Photos with GPS, Blogging On The Road, Video Blogging, War Blogging Comes Home, Tachyon & Datastorm Satellite News, and Wireless Priority Service Worked.

The Global Grid

Unstrung reports that telecom services across South Asia are gradually being restored after the devastating tsunami that hit the region last weekend. Subsea communications links will be vital as aid agencies the world over continue the work of assessing the damage and providing assistance.

The major undersea cables, operated by consortiums of telecom providers, survived largely unscathed — Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. says the Tata Indicom-Chennai-Singapore cable, SEA-ME-WE-2 and SEA-ME-WE-3, and the Western Africa Submarine Cable (WASC) were not affected; neither was Bharti Tele-Ventures Ltd.’s 3,200 kilometer cable connecting Chennai, India, with Singapore.

The Press Trust of India reported Tuesday that the Malaysian leg of the South Africa Far East (SAFE) submarine cable had been disrupted and traffic was being rerouted via VSNL s redundancy cables. There was no word on when the cable could be restored although a representative from the Melkbosstrand Submarine Cable Station, told DailyWireless that efforts are being made to have the system repaired ASAP.

The SAT-3/WASC cable links Europe with West Africa and SAFE continues the connection on to India and Malaysia. The Indian link remains operational.

Leasing a 45 Mbps line to Hawaii (or Japan) is cheap using Tyco’s 7.86 terabit transpacific fiber line (which terminates in Portland’s Brewery Blocks). San Luis Obesbo might also be a sweet spot.

The TxVision teleport in Hawaii can uplink to two-thirds of the world s population in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and India. Those satellites include AGILA 2, MEASAT 2 and Japan’s JSAT DBS (JCSAT-8). A far eastern footprint is one hop away. Alternately, New Skies NSS-6 in Australia, can “see” Asia, the Middle East and Southern Africa with spot beams.

Westbound Satellite Circuits from Hawaii:

Long. Ant. Band Satellite Geographies Served
128E 9.3 m C/Ex-C JCSAT-3 South East Asia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan
138E Ku/C APSTAR-5 (pending launch)
146E 9.3 m C/Ex-C AGILA-2 Asia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka
148E 11 m C-Band MEASAT-2 Asia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka
150E 2.4 m Ku-Band JCSAT-1B Hawaii-USA, Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia
154E 11 m C/Ex-C JCSAT-2A Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Japan and South East Asia

Transpacific Fiber is just laying there:

  • TyCom Transpacific Fiber connects Japan to the West Coast, then returns to Asia via Hawaii and Guam. The 8-fiber pair architecture, using both 64- and 96-channel DWDM transmission technology, will provide a state-of-the-art system having a design capacity up to 7.68 terabits/second. The TyCom Global Network (TGN) will also connect to other Asian countries including South Korea, Philippines, China, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and link all pan-Asian and transpacific segments into the TGN system.

  • AT&T’s WorldNet’s has two cables that go overseas from Bandon, Oregon. The 5Gbps TPC-5 goes to Japan from with a spur to California (map1 & map2) and a second, the China-US cable. China-US runs 80-gigabits and has 30 international partners led by AT&T in North America. It’s one of the major links between China and the U.S. mainland. The China-US cable has four pairs of fiber arranged in a VERY big loop. Each pair, equivalent to 241,920 circuits, has a speed of 20 Gbps, giving the network a total capacity of 80 Gbps and 967,680 circuits. Optical amplifiers and SDH multiplexing equipment are used in the network.

  • Global Crossing’s PC-1 landed in Harbour Pointe, Washington in 1990 while Alaska United lands in Seattle and also links to Alaska. PC-1 was the most advanced Pacific telecommunication cable ever deployed at the time.

Here’s a review of the big West Coast Transpacific pipes:

  • AUFS Alaska United Cable System
    (Updated 23 May 2002 – AT&T)
    In-Service: Feb 1999
    Seattle, Washington, USA — Juneau, Alaska, USA — Whittier, Alaska, USA — Valdez, Alaska, USA – 3,751 km at 4 x 2.5 Gb/s Maintenance Authorities: GCI, AT&T

  • PC1
    (Updated 20 October 2000 – Global Crossing)
    In-Service: Dec 1999 North Ring; Nov 2000 South Ring
    Grover Beach, CA (US) – Harbor Pointe, WA (US) – Ajigaura (Japan) – Shima (Japan) 21,000 km at 4 x 20 Gb/s Maintenance Authority: Global Crossing

  • NorthStar
    (Updated 16 October 2000 – Telstra)
    In-Service: Oct 1999
    Nedonna Beach, Oregon, U.S.A. — Branch Juneau, Alaska, U.S.A. — Whittier, Alaska, USA — Valdez, Alaska, USA – 3,352 km at 6 x 2.5 Gb/s Maintenance Authority: WCI Cable

  • NPC North Pacific Cable, Pacific City, OR
    In-Service: May 1991
    Pacific City, Oregon U.S. — (Miura, Japan): branch Oregon to Seward, Alaska. 9,531 km at 3 x 420 Mb/s, 1 x 420 Mb/s Maintenance Authority: PT Cable, Inc. (C&W IDC, C&W plc)

  • Tyco Transpacific
    (Entered 10 April 2001, Tyco)
    RFS: June 2002
    Ring system with a maximum capacity of 5.12 Tb/s. Seg 1 – Emi, Japan to Nedonna Beach, Oregon, USA 8338 km Seg 2 – Toyohashi, Japan to Piti, Guam 2741 km Seg 3 – Agat, Guam to Lualualei, Hawaii, USA 6604 km Seg 4 – Kahe Point, Hawaii, USA to Hermosa Beach, California, USA 4445 km Seg 5 – Hermosa Beach, California, USA to Twin Rocks, Oregon, USA 2064 km Maintenance Authority: Tyco

  • TPC-5 Trans-Pacific Cable No. 5
    (Updated 23 May 2002 – AT&T)
    Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach and Hermosa Beach, CA, Fiber-optic Cables:
    In Service: Dec 1996 San Luis Obispo, California, U.S.A. — Keawaula, Hawaii, U.S.A. — Tumon Bay, Guam, U.S.A. — Miyazaki, Japan — Ninomiya, Japan — Bandon, Oregon, U.S.A. — San Luis Obispo, California, U.S.A. 24,593km at 2 x 5 Gb/s Maintenance Authorities:- AT&T, KDDI

  • Coos Bay and Bandon, OR
    China-US Cable Network
    (Updated 23 May 2002 – AT&T)
    RFS Dec 1998
    San Luis Obispo, Calif, USA — Tanguisson Point, Guam — Okinawa — Shantou, China — Fangshan, Taiwan — Chongming, China — Pusan, Korea — Chikura, Japan — Bandon, Oregon, USA – approx. 30,000 km at 4 x 20 Gb/s Maintenance Authorities: AT&T, ITDC, CT, NTT, KT, KDDI

  • China-US Cable Network
    (Updated 23 May 2002 – AT&T)
    Under Construction: RFS Dec 1998
    San Luis Obispo, Calif, USA — Tanguisson Point, Guam — Okinawa — Shantou, China — Fangshan, Taiwan — Chongming, China — Pusan, Korea — Chikura, Japan — Bandon, Oregon, USA – approx. 30,000 km at 4 x 20 Gb/s Maintenance
    Authorities: AT&T, ITDC, CT, NTT, KT, KDDI

  • Japan-US Cable
    (Updated 23 May 2002 – AT&T)
    In-Service: 2000
    The Japan-U.S. Cable Network consists of 9 segments connecting 3 landing points in the United States and 3 landing points in Japan with approximately 21,000km of 8 fiber submarine cable in a 100% self-healing ring configuration. The Network uses state-of-the-art SDH technology to provide an ultimate capacity better than 160Gbits/s per fiber pair for a minimum design capacity of 640Gbits/s. Maintenance Authorities: MCI-WorldCom, AT&T, KDDI, Japan Telecom, NTTWN

  • Southern Cross Cable Network
    (Updated 20 May 2002 – SCCL)
    In-Service: Nov 2000
    Segment E: Morro Bay, California, US Mainland to Hillsboro, Oregon, US Mainland
    Segment F2: Hillsboro, Oregon, US Mainland to Nedonna Beach, Oregon, US Mainland
    Segment F1: Nedonna Beach, Oregon, US Mainland to Kahe Point, Ohau, Hawaiian Islands
    Each fibre pair is capable of being upgraded to 160Gbit/s. Capacity on the segments is divided into 3 SDH rings comprising: Total cumulative length of the segments is approximately 30,500km. Maintenance Authority: Southern Cross Cables Limited (SCCL) through CW Optus, TNZ, Verizon, Worldcom and Fintel Harbour Pointe, Lynnwood and Seattle, WA

  • PAC
    (Updated 20 October 2000 – Global Crossing)
    In Service: Nov 2000
    Grover Beach, CA (US) – Tijuana (Mexico) – Mazatl n (Mexico) – Fort Amador (Panama) – Puerto Viejo (Venezuela) – St. Croix (USVI) 9,500km at 2 x 10 Gb/s Maintenance Authority: Global Crossing

  • HAW-4 Hawaii – US Mainland No. 4
    (Updated 23 May 2002 – AT&T)
    In-Service: 18 April 1989
    Point Arena, California, U.S.A. — Makaha, Oahu, Hawaii U.S.A. 4,238 km at 280 Mb/s Maintenance Authorities: AT&T, Hawaiian Telephone Company

  • HAW-5 Hawaii – US Mainland No. 5
    (Updated 23 May 2002 – AT&T)
    In-Service: Jan 1993
    San Luis Obispo, California U.S. — Keawaula, Hawaii U.S. 4,775km at 560 Mb/s Maintenance Authority: AT&T

Google recently bought Keyhole for high resolution, interactive flybys. You can fly through 12+ Terabytes of Earth imagery at home. Anyone can buy Digital Globe’s 1 ft satellite imagery. Other satellite imaging is available from Orbimage, Space Imaging, ImageSat, Indian Remote Sensing, RadarSat and Spot. FORMOSAT-2 is a Taiwan imaging satellite.

A NASA satellite formation, consisting of six satellites flying in close proximity (below), will improve the understanding of how clouds and aerosols regulate the Earth s climate.

The first satellite, Aqua (acquires precise atmospheric and oceanic measurements), was launched in 2002. The second one, Aura (observes the atmosphere), launched in June 2004, while CloudSAT (will use advanced radar to “slice” through clouds to see their vertical structure), CALIPSO (will provide key measurements of aerosol and cloud properties needed to improve climate predictions), and PARASOL (French’s CNES microsatellite project will measure the radiative impact of clouds), started their mission in October 2004. The last one, OCO, will join them in 2006 and provides space-based observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal anthropogenic driver of climate change.

NASA’s MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument aboard the Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. A Rapid Response system (orbit tracks) provide rapid access to multispectral data globally.

Hyperspectral images provide many different wavebands allowing a variety of surface features to be analysed. Each pixel in an image has up to 200 values associated with it. Vexcell’s flyby software combines synthetic aperture radar (SAR), LIDAR, maps, GIS and photogrammetry.

Fusing high resolution panchromatic data with lower resolution multispectral data over a 3D LIDAR database can create informative, high-resolution flybys that can be made available to laptops everywhere. Google and HP can do it. IBM’s World Community Grid aims to create the largest public computing grid benefiting humanity. The United States government, by comparision, seems ineffectual.

Freefall for Mac OS-X (below), simulates the flight path of more than 650 actual satellites. Lloyd Wood’s free SaVi simulates orbits and coverage, in two and three dimensions, and runs on Linux and Windows (Java simulation).

Here’s a free Java 3D satellite tracker that does most everything. SeeSat-L and their List Serve have mailing lists for visual satellite observers. Download the latest Satellite Tracking Elements to view any satellite location. Here’s NASA’s WorldWind, a Keyhole like terraserver of earth images and a terrific shot of the Space Station (6 Megapixels).

LyngSat lists more than one hundred geosynch satellites over Asia & the South Pacific. Jonathan’s Space Report has the latest news and World SpaceFlight News has more space links than anyone. Here’s the latest from Vandenburg. Spaceflight Now has a regularly updated listing of planned missions from spaceports around the globe. More satellite information is available at Network Magazine, Lloyd Wood’s Satellite Constellations, The SkyREPORT, LyngSat Satellite Chart, Global VSAT Forum, Boeing Satellite Systems, Loral Skynet, PanAmSat and SES Americom.

Mother of Storms by John Barnes, merges climate change, game networking, politics and sex together to make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.

Apple Computer listed these links to help survivors and their families:

United States Agency for International DevelopmentDonate to the International Response Fund
Support South Asia Tsunami Relief EffortsInformation resource for the humanitarian relief community

Dubious Achievements in Wireless: 2004

Well, sure.

Daily Wireless planned to do a year-end wrap-up highlighting some top news items for 2004. But dubious achievements kept cropping up. So we made a list:

  1. Nomadix Claims Redirect Patent Nomadix claimed it developed the technology to redirect customers to a sign-up page first.

  2. Man on the Moon: President Bush wants a new Race to the Moon – and send astronauts to Mars for a “national unifying purpose”. Like space weapons.

  3. Airgo’s MIMO Chips; Airgo’s MIMO products are a breakthrough; providing Wi-Fi rates to 108 Mbps per channel, while remaining 100 percent interoperable and backwards compatible. Too bad no “pre N” standard exists.

  4. Nextel’s Flarion Goes Live: Or dead. The Nextel/Sprint merger could change everything. Or not.

  5. Love Detector: based on layered voice analysis, it applies 8,000 algorithms to 129 parameters of a speaking voice.

  6. Cingular Buys AT&T for $41B; no matter how money they spend, backend incompatibility could be problematic.

  7. PortlandOnline Vrs The Blogs: When good bureaurcracies go bad.

  8. Vulcan Decloaks MiniXP; still vaporware.

  9. Battle Blimps; The Air Force is testing a V-shaped, 175 foot-long, helium filled airship that’s 25 times the size of the Goodyear blimp in Texas.

  10. Diplomatic Stink Over Chinese WAPI; China s home grown proprietary extension to Wi-Fi, (Wired Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure) raises a diplomatic stink.

  11. Flash Supercomputer; On April 3, a class at the University of San Francisco assembled the first “flash mob supercomputer,” in the school gym (SlashDot). (Mostly) fizzled.

  12. Life Bits Wearcam As if.

  13. MATRIX Expands to 33 States The (Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange) sold personal information to American Express for marketing purposes.

  14. WiMax: HPi – Not Oops, nevermind.

  15. Linksys Community Network Username and password should be set to “admin”.

  16. Portable Manpacks Good idea. Goes better with EV-DO or 802.16e.

  17. Plasma Antennas When DailyWireless reported that Markland Technology, a homeland security company, might use their Plasma Antenna in the stratosphere, we were were only kidding. Oops.

  18. Mexico’s Wireless Revolution Craig’s prototype WiMax community. Mexico and Canada.

  19. Cellular Jammers Law enforcement knows what’s good for you.

  20. What About the Radios? “I think the command and control of the public services in this city is a scandal,” said Republican commissioner John Lehman. “There is nothing scandalous about the public-safety agencies in this city,” testified Thomas Von Essen, the former New York City fire commissioner.

  21. Spaceway Retrogrades & DirecTV Kills Two-Way Spaceway Perhaps most under-reported wireless story of 2004.

  22. Paging Dr. Zimbardo: The new e-Plates project uses active (battery powered) RFID tags embedded in the plates to identify vehicles in real time. The result is the ability to reliably identify any vehicle, anywhere, whether stationary or mobile.

  23. Intel Inside Surfboard: With embedded tablet, WiFi, a 1.7Ghz processor and 80Gb hard drive.

  24. World’s Fastest SMS Typist Kimberly Yeo, 23, typed a complicated 26-word message on her phone in 43.66 seconds.

  25. Infrasound Pod Dial-a-dolphin allows callers to tune in to the sea animals’ conversations.

  26. IEEE Votes on UWB (Again) Members can’t get the necessary 75% votes to move forward on a single UWB standard.

  27. Microchip in Arm of Law: Mexico’s Attorney-General, now has a non-removable microchip in his arm.

  28. MIMO Comes Home “Pre-N” or not.

  29. UmbrellaNet Bluetooth-enabled umbrellas form ad hoc wireless mesh networks.

  30. Godzilla in a Dongle Mark Cuban has been carrying movies on his USB dongle. Says it’s The End.

  31. BikesAgainstBush Impounded Joshua Kinberg’s bike-mounted, dot-matrix printer for spraying protest messages in the street was demonstrated (once) for MSNBC — which resulted in his immediate arrest and the impounding his bike.

  32. Philadelphia Plans $10M City Cloud, Philly Faces Fight & Philly Negotiates a Cloud – Verizon wins.

  33. Rain In Paris Cloud Whatever happened to that grand plan to remake Paris into one huge wireless hot spot? Not much, says the International Herald Tribune.

  34. Speed Violation Cameras: Beaverton, Oregon reduced the timing of the yellow caution light where they had a camera and made LOTS of money for the city – until they were found out.

  35. Cognitive Brains Self Organize and talk about television.

  36. AT&T Wireless Music Store & Starbucks Launches Music Stores Customers can also identify a song on the radio by holding the phone close to a speaker.

  37. Satellite Radio Wars Sirius reached a five-year, $500 million deal with shock jock Howard Stern. Oh, please.

  38. Cingular/AT&T Merger Approved They are required to sell operating units and associated airwaves in 16 markets and 10MHz airwaves in Dallas and Detroit.

  39. Mobile TV Expands & Korea Prepares Videocell Services Crown Castle bought 1.4 GHz spectrum across the United States and have deployed DVB-H technology in a three-site, single-frequency network trial in Pittsburgh. The world next.

  40. Taipei Unwired Will reach almost 90 per cent of the capital’s population of three million.

  41. Be Your Own Bell: BeeTelecom has developed a proprietary Linux-based system that enables the average person to set up and manage their own WiFi wireless network with VoIP phone service. Even charge for it.

  42. Intelsat-7 Goes Dark The cause of the Intelsat 7 loss is still unknown. Of course there’s no reason to expect foul play of any sort.

  43. Will 802.20 Challenge WiMax? & WiFi Vrs WiMax for City Clouds No. It’s WiMax.

  44. HardDrive Cell Phone Camera phone comes with a 1.5-gigabyte hard disk.

  45. Tracking Santa Tracking sleighs and other unidentified flying objects are a tradition with NORAD. This is their 50th year!

  46. Motes Croak Vanderbilt University has built a sensor network that mimics synchronized frog songs.

  47. Sprint-tel: Done Deal? & WiFi Cable Phones One good turn deserves another.

  48. Stealth Satellite & Spot Beam Satellite Launched Same deal.

Handheld Facial Recognition

The Los Angeles Police Department is currently testing facial-recognition software on handheld computers reports Wired. Capt. Charles Beck of the LAPD says the facial recognition is like having a mobile electronic mug book.

The LAPD has been using two computers donated by their developer, Santa Monica company Neven Vision, which wanted field-testing of its technology. The computers are still considered experimental.

The ACLU is skeptical of facial recognition. Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California said the technology was unproven and could encourage profiling on the basis of race or clothing. Facial recognition technologies can zero in on faces from live video or stills and look for matches in giant databases like The Matrix

Other experiments with facial-recognition software have had mixed results. At Boston’s Logan International Airport in 2002, two systems failed 96 times to identify people who volunteered to help test it. The technology correctly identified 153 other volunteers.

DHS in October adopted its first biometric facial recognition standard, which supports visual human-facial comparison and computer automated comparisons for watch-list checks.

This standard was developed by the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), a standards-development organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute. The standard is expected to facilitate the interchange of photographs across systems and assist in the future development of interoperable biometric applications.