http://www.eet.com/sys/news/OEG20021001S0067 [There's a quote by Adm. Grace Murry Hopper that has always stuck with me, "Some day, on the corporate balance sheet, there will be an entry which reads, "Information"; for in most cases the information is more valuable than the hardware which processes it" Such is the case with the new breed of handhelds, I can only imagine what a handheld is worth in the wrong hands, and hope that along the with valuable databases being designed for homeland security, military and law enforcement applications, security and security policy is being built in at the same time. - William Knowles] -=- By Stephan Ohr EE Times Oct 1, 2002 LOS ANGELES - "A failed battery was responsible for the bombing of friendly troops in Afghanistan," John Inkley, manager of federal sales for Palm Corp., told the Power2002 conference here today (Oct. 1). A handheld GPS position finder failed to reset properly after its battery was replaced, and gave incorrect target information to a bomber, he said. Having grabbed his audience's attention for a presentation on "Homeland Security Applications for Handheld Devices," Inkley described other related applications, including a national fire incident reporting system, a surveillance database transmitter for suspicious individuals, and a site profile mobile threat-assessment database for weapons of mass destruction. The goal of putting such databases in handhelds is to prevent terrorist attacks, reduce vulnerability to attacks, and aid recovery in the event of an attack, Inkley said. If a law enforcement officer discovers a package in a crowded auditorium and estimates that it includes 30-lb. worth of explosives, a handheld database could indicate the probable blast zone for those explosives based on their location within the auditorium, and estimate the probable "kill zone" area from which personnel should be evacuated first. Such applications are already being developed for a $250 PDA, Inkley said. Such applications would create a big market for PDAs, as over one-million firefighters, one-million state and local law enforcement officers, 250,000 registered medical technicians and 30,000 airport screeners are employed in the United States, according to Inkley's estimates. Privacy sidestepped Skirting the issue of privacy, he said a single driver's license number could open a database to reveal every residence used by an individual over a 15-year period. Information on medical histories, medical contacts and treatment cues could also be provided, he said. A handheld can bring "the right information at the right time" to field personnel, Inkley said. Information caches such as a terrorist acts database could aid a mobile site profiler to ensure a location is relatively safe from terrorist penetration. Even before 9/11, the U.S. secret service routinely checked every site to be visited by the standing U.S. president. Such information gathering could rely on handhelds to perform background checks on the staff for a hotel or convention center, and for everyone will access to that site, Inkley said. Some 300 agents were equipped with Palm computers before 9/11, and that number will rise, Inkley said. The goal is not only to put information into agents' or analysts' hands, but to help them "connect the dots" to determine if a realistic threat exists by drawing from a broad field of stimuli, Inkley said. In a separate presentation at Power2002, Iain Morris, senior vice president for emerging technologies at Hewlett-Packard Co., said that police officers are currently carrying pocket PCs in such cities around the world as Sacramento, Calif.; Daytona, Fla.; and Singapore. "Walk softly and carry a pocket PC," he advised. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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