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US "Underground" Operations in Iran, Cuba and Sudan

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Despite the current sanctions on business dealing with Iran, Cuba and Sudan, the Government has agreed that technology companies may export Internet services to these countries. The feeling behind the move is to allow the people of the countries access to the Internet to promote free speech and expression, according to an unnamed official. He added that the treasury department is to issue a general license to allow the exports from companies like Microsoft and Yahoo.

Google is about to announce a new service for cyclists on its Google Maps feature. Cyclists will be able to plan trips and find nature trails in 149 cities around the US. It is hoped that the new system will encourage more people to get out on their bikes and will be more user friendly than those systems which exist already. The feature can be found at and will include itineraries and estimated biking times. In addition users can find out how difficult the terrain will be and how tired they are likely to become. A spokesperson from Google has commented on the new system and said that roads should not be for cars alone.

Commuters in New York are finally being treated to the latest technology to allow them to see when their train will arrive. Electronic arrival time clocks have been installed into the New York transportation network, long after other cities such as Paris and London were lucky enough to have them. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority have commented that the clocks should ease some of the anxiety which commuters feel in NY. In addition subway tracking schemes and GPS bus timers are also being trialled in the city. However not all commuters are happy about the new technology and some simply said they would prefer more trains rather than knowing when they would come.

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health have revealed a new technology which shows blood flow in a 4D equivalent. The blood flow is seen as a bundle of long threads which are color-coded depending on the speed of the flow. Blue is relatively slow, while green is much quicker. Red or yellow indicates a problem. The imaging machine can also indicate the direction of the blood flow. Patients will only need to be in an MRI scanner for ten minutes and require no anesthetic or other procedure. The new technique is called Phase Contrast Vastly Under-sampled Isotropic Projection Reconstruction.

Manufacturers are already coming up with accessories for the iPad. The Belkin Max Sleeve is one of these. For $39.99 the padded sleeve also has room for other gadgets by being expandable. It has a pleated design to allow storage of a charger, iPod or other items. When the extra space is not needed it collapses to its original shape for easy transportation. It is made of neoprene and comes in black/white or plum/violet.

The Microsoft research lab in Cambridge has come up with a device to help those who suffer from Alzheimer's disease. The SenseCam is worn around the neck and contains a small digital camera and a movement monitor. The idea is that the patient can take photos of their experiences and use them to jog their memory later. It could also benefit family members who will no longer have to repeat things over and over to their relative. The device will allow the patient to relive experiences to help that memory to become set in their mind and to become more real. Researchers have discovered that certain images, such as faces are better at encouraging recollection. These can be used alongside summaries of particular days which are put together by family members. The device will select relevant photos and a verbal narrative can be added.

Questions are being raised as to how dangerous it might be for police officers and paramedics to use the gadgets they are required to have inside their vehicles. The drivers say that the systems which include GPS, radios and dashboard computers are essential to the work they do, but they obviously present a clear risk. According to the New York Times, 75% of police cars have on board computers and 30% of ambulances now have the devices. Jeffery Lindsey from the Health and Safety Institute has said that the technology is enormously beneficial, but that training needs to take the use of gadgets into account. The government has agreed to finance solutions to these problems and are paying for research into hands free devices for police officers. †

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