By timothy from Slashdot's not-sure-why-people-are-so-worked-up-about-it department
PolygamousRanchKid writes with these lines culled from InformationWeek: "With the grant of their US Patent #8090532 Microsoft may be attempting to corner the market on GPS systems for use by pedestrians, or they may have opened a fertile ground for discrimination lawsuits. ... Described as a patent on pedestrian route production, the patent describes a two-way system of building navigation devices targeted at people who are not in vehicles, but still require the use of such a device to most efficiently route to their destination. ... For example, the user inputs their destination and any constraints or requirements they might have, such as a wheelchair accessible route, types of terrain they are willing to cross, the option of public transportation, and a way point such as the nearest Starbucks on the route. Any previously configured preferences are also considered, such as avoiding neighborhoods that exceed a certain threshold of violent crime statistics (hence the description of this as the 'avoid bad neighborhoods' patent), fastest route, most scenic, etc."
Having lived in some high-crime neighborhoods, the actual feature (versus the patent) sounds like a great idea to me.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's yes-I-want-one department
Computerworld is one of many publications heralding the expected arrival next week of the long-awaited OLPC tablet
, and making much of one very cool feature: the price. The initial XO laptops from OLPC never quite made it to the hoped-for under-$100 level. But at least with an ordinary LCD screen, says project founder Nicholas Negroponte, the new XO-3 actually has
. (An optional daylight-readable Pixel Qi screen bumps the price up, but it's not clear quite how much.) Both OLPC and Pixel Qi will be at next week's CES; hopefully I'll get a chance to provide some first-hand details, and ask whether there will be another round of the Buy One Give One program, so users outside the reach of big government buying programs can both further the project and play with the product; so far, the word is that these will only be available for large government buyers. (TechCruch has better pictures of the new device
.)Read Replies (0)