Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Spectrum of Light Captured From Distant World 32

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Cosmos: "Astronomers have made the first direct capture of a spectrum of light from a planet outside the Solar System and are deciphering its composition. The light was snared from a giant planet that orbits a bright young star called HR 8799 about 130 light-years from Earth, said the European Southern Observatory (ESO). ... The find is important, because hidden within a light spectrum are clues about the relative amounts of different elements in the planet's atmosphere. 'The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models,' said co-author Wolfgang Brandner. 'We need to take into account a more detailed description of the atmospheric dust clouds, or accept that the atmosphere has a different chemical composition from that previously assumed.' The result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the universe, said the ESO. Until now, astronomers have been able to get only an indirect light sample from an exoplanet, as worlds beyond our Solar System are called. They do this by measuring the spectrum of a star twice — while an orbiting exoplanet passes near to the front of it, and again while the planet is directly behind it. The planet's spectrum is thus calculated by subtracting one light sample from another."

Comment cell phone. (Score 1) 1092

The only solution to this problem is to have the subject transmit its coordinates to a server. Your "small, unobtrusive device" then becomes a combination of GPS receiver and cell phone. There is no other option. The software used is largely irrelevant.

THUS, you are best served in this case by getting her a cell phone and teaching her what to do if she gets lost. Preferably a cellphone that already has some of these features available.

I have implemented such a system myself for my company, although for vehicle location rather than people. We use off-the-shelf USB dongles on a laptop, and we have a client app on the laptop that "phones home" every few seconds with the updated positions. A server side app allows plotting points on the map (research Google Maps or Microsoft Virtual Earth). It's very neat, and I'm sure its exactly what you want for your daughter... but since you would want her carrying around a "small device" rather than a laptop anyway, you're looking at a cellphone.

Slashdot Top Deals

No skis take rocks like rental skis!