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Comment: Re:Police unions will kill it (Score 3, Insightful) 151

by cpoch (#48304689) Attached to: Ford Develops a Way To Monitor Police Driving
I have worked with automated vehicle locator data throughout the US as a source of data integrated into my company's products. Getting a fire department's AVL data is easy. Never had any objections if they have the hardware installed. Getting police AVL data is next to impossible in most places thanks to the union agreements. I am unaware of a single US police department that has AVL on by default for their vehicles. Those that have AVL systems installed have it configured so the officer can turn it on and off, usually at the flip of a switch on the dashboard.

It's such an issue with the unions that we've had trouble with getting some departments to have AVL enabled in the police cruisers leading and following a parade just for the duration of the parade. It makes the command center's job much easier if they know the exact extents of where the parade is in real time, but you can figure out the information in other ways so it would seem like something that wouldn't get a lot of push back. I can't even imagine trying to get an always on system installed in a department, regardless of who you pitch it to.
Technology (Apple)

+ - Nokia's iPhone

Submitted by
traveller604 writes: "Nokia announced 4 the new phones (N95 8GB, N81, 5610, 5310) earlier today at the Nokia GoPlay event in London. However by far the most interesting and controversial thing that was shown at the event was the Nokia's iPhone lookalike demo video. When pressed during the Q&A about the striking similarity to the little Cupertino device, Anssi Vanajoki — Nokia's Executive VP & General Manager of Multimedia — said, "If there is something good in the world then we copy with pride." Apple fanboys, before you start crying out your anger watch this."

+ - Ice Block Air Conditioning->

Submitted by JumperCable
JumperCable writes: The AP has an interesting article on the use of ice blocks as air conditioning in New York high rises. The concept is pretty basic. Overnight during off peak energy pricing hours & during the coolest part of the 24 hour day, the system freezes water in storage tanks into giant blocks of ice. These storage tanks are located in the basement (coolest location). They are frozen with ethylene glycol.

Given that most of the brown outs occur during the summer months due to high electric demand for air conditioning, I wonder how much of an effect this system would have in reducing brownouts if it's use was more wide spread. The article mentions it is only cost efficient for large companies. But how much of this is profit padding? Couldn't a smaller system be worked out for home use? CALMAC is one of the producers of these systems.

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Media (Apple)

+ - iPhone gets a better battery life and more

Submitted by morpheus83
morpheus83 writes: Talk about last minute upgrades: In a press release today, Apple has revealed a number of significant upgrades to both the iPhone's battery life and touch screen. Instead of around 5 hours of video/talk and 16 hours of audio playback, Apple has updated the iPhone's battery life rating to the following numbers: up to 8 hours talk time, a whopping 250 hours of standby (over 10 days), 6 hours of internet use, 7 hours of video playback and 24 hours of audio playback. The original 3.5" plastic surface of the iPhone has been changed to "optical-quality" glass, which should bring some smiles to those who were concerned about the durability of the phone's primary feature and user interface.

+ - Best Places to Work in IT->

Submitted by
jcatcw writes: "Computerworld's annual summary of the best places to work in IT lists companies that excel in five areas of employment: career development, retention, benefits, diversity, and training. According to the scorecard, the top 5 retention methods are: competitive benefits; competitive salaries; work/life balance; flexible work hours; and tuition reimbursement. Sixty-four percent of these companies expect the number of U.S.-based IT staffers to increase in 2007, on average by 7%. The whole list contains the top 100. The top three are: No. 1: Quicken Loans; No. 2: University of Miami; No. 3: Sharp HealthCare. "
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