A bunch of the "chat" applications out there now are just jabber. You should be able to use any generic jabber client you want if you know the right settings to login.
You don't want half of these devices on a network. Gross generalization time but... Most of them are very insecure and there are no such things as patches or updates from many vendors. They would be compromised as soon as they were discovered. I cringed every time the antivirus pop-up came up on the screen of the machine running the monitors used during my son's birth. At least they were running an antivirus to tell them the machine was compromised so they could be incompetent instead of ignorant.
Everyone is so worried about kids hurting themselves, physically or emotionally, that they aren't allowed to do actual science anymore. We assume that science is too hard so we dumb it down. Chemistry classes don't even have chemicals anymore. At this point, I think we need to expect more out of our students and let them prove how intelligent they can be if we don't hold them back or get in their way.
There are a bunch of services like that on the horizon. The issue isn't really providing a "next-gen" service so much as it is doing something useful with that data wherever it gets routed. Even with text messaging, its pretty simple to receive a message and route it to an answering point. The problem is whether the dispatcher on the receiving end can actually see that message and do something with it using whatever software/hardware is powering their workstation. 911 is an intentionally slow moving service because it has to work. When it doesn't work, lives can be lost. This sometimes means new tech, however useful, is held up while everyone slowly plans upgrades to their systems and then validates them and then validates them some more.
Even without the RFID, I've watched them deny kids onto flights because their passport wasn't signed. It was interesting to watch the mother explain that her kids could barely write their name let alone be expected to have a signature that would ever be useful for identification. They finally made her hold her kids' hands so that each of them could sign their names. The whole system is flawed and RFID is just another expensive layer on top of it. I would have hoped RFID was implemented more like magnetic strips on credit cards. When they work, it speeds things up. When they don't, every business has an imprint machine or a place to type in your credit card number in their computer so they can still take your money. I guess there is more incentive in the case of credit cards to actually get it right for the consumer though.
That should have said "you DON'T look at it until you have business need"
If you don't need access to the information, you shouldn't have it. If you have access to the information and don't have business need to look a it, you look at it until you have business need. If you can't handle this, you should be fired and perhaps prosecuted depending on how you used the information.
I have a zigbee smart energy gateway. The power companies don't share the information needed to connect it to my meter. I suspect the reason is that they still have a certain amount of security through obscurity.
I seem to be the only person not allowed to collect data from the smart meter on my house. I have allow Google to collect the data for me or I can't access it at all.
Sounds like UI needs a better UI on their emergency notification system.
SSDNINJA writes "This editorial discusses the habit of Bethesda Softworks to release broken and buggy games with plans to just fix the problems later. Following a trend of similar issues coming up in their games, the author begs gamers to stop supporting buggy games and to spread the idea that games should be finished and quality controlled before release – not weeks after."
donniebaseball23 writes "Oral arguments for the California games law are set to begin on November 2. It's a hugely important court case for the industry, and if the Supreme Court sides with the legislators it could lead to an exodus of talent from the games business, says one attorney. 'Certainly less games would be produced and there would be a corresponding job loss,' said Patrick Sweeney, who leads the Video Game practice at Reed Smith LLP. 'But I expect the impact will likely be significantly deeper. I believe the independent development community would be severely impacted. Innovation, both from a creative and technological aspect, would also be stifled. The companies, brands and individuals that we should be embracing as the visionaries of this creative and collaborative industry will migrate their talents to a more expressive medium.' Meanwhile, Dr. Cheryl K. Olson, author of Grand Theft Childhood, notes that even if California gets its way, it could backfire."
One of England's oldest graveyards is under siege by badgers. Rev Simon Shouler now regularly patrols the grounds of St. Remigius Church looking for bones that the badgers have dug up. The badger is a protected species in England so they can not be killed, and attempts to have them relocated have been blocked by English Nature. From the article: "At least four graves have been disturbed so far; in one instance a child found a leg bone and took it home to his parents. ... Rev. Simon Shouler has been forced to carry out regular patrols to pick up stray bones, store them and re-inter them all in a new grave."
If our kids aren't smart enough to use a ruler without injury, what can we really expect them to learn?
The Roku set top boxes have a pretty easy to use scripting language so you can buy one of those for less than $100 and write a quick channel to access your media. They have a table of the media the different players support on their website. It's a very basic interface but its hard to beat for the price.