Category Archives: Government

Senate Committee Vote In Favor Of Automotive “Black Box” Privacy

by Categorized: cars, Government Date:

Your car collects data all the time. Speed, braking, seat belt use are only part of the information recorded and stored in the event of an accident. Who owns that data and what it can be used for is a question that experts have debated.

1X00099_9The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approved legislation on Wednesday which would limit access to data to the vehicle owner or lessee, unless there is a court order. (Laws in Connecticut protect the data.)

From The Detroit News: “There is no limitation on what additional personal information could be tracked or recorded, an individual’s location or travel habits without consent. The proposal raised widespread questions and concerns regarding the ownership of the data,” the senators said in a statement unveiling the bill in October.

Data can still be retrieved without owner consent if authorized by a court of law or the information is retrieved pursuant to a NHTSA recall and all personally identifiable information is not disclosed. The information could also be used without consent for determining the need for emergency medical response following a motor vehicle crash (used in vehicles equipped with Advanced Automatic Crash Notification systems).

According to the story, the bill has the support of several automobile manufacturers, and the American Automobile Association among others.

State Invests In Non Petroleum Based Fragrances

by Categorized: Connecticut, Entrepreneur, Government, Uncategorized Date:

The state of Connecticut wants what you smell to be from renewable sources, and to that end has invested in a company which is creating ways to produce scents from biomass sources.

Last week, Connecticut Innovations announced a $500,000 investment in P2 Science Inc. of New Haven. The investment was made through its Eli Whitney Equity Fund and Elm Street Ventures.

Biomass consists of wood chips, unwanted grain products and similar materials which has been used for heat or creating energy.

A worker displays biomass fuel at the Diageo Roseisle distillery in Scotland

A worker displays biomass fuel at the Diageo Roseisle distillery in Scotland March 20, 2014. (REUTERS)

Connecticut Innovations said the company will use a proprietary process to create aldehydes for use in fragrances, polymers, lubricants and cosmetics.

P2 Science is a specialty chemical company dedicated to producing high-value, high-margin consumer and industrial product ingredients from biomass. In addition to new proprietary ingredients, the company’s products will include vegetable-based equivalents of chemical ingredients previously only available from petrochemical sources and will be suitable for direct substitution for such ingredients in customer products. Because they will be derived from soy, canola, palm and other oils, as well as wood, grass and other plant-based feedstocks, P2 Science’s products will meet the growing demand for renewable alternatives.

 

Connecticut Launches New Data Website

by Categorized: Connecticut, Government Date:

X00232_9To increase transparency in state government, Connecticut unveiled Data.ct.gov as a central location for government produced data.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement, “We launched this website to as part of our goal to make the data collected by state government more open and easily accessible to its owners – the taxpayers of Connecticut. Data.ct.gov will make vast amounts of data – data that was previously hard to find – easily accessible to individuals, researchers, entrepreneurs, academics, policymakers and other state agencies, and spur a new level of innovation and collaboration in our state.”

The site features data in eight categories: Business, Government, Education, Public Safety, Transportation, Health, Environment, Housing and Development. The data is collected by executive branch agencies and an executive order signed by Malloy last year instructs the state agencies to identify and upload the data to the site.

The site has some data already, including traffic counts for the state, leased and owned state buildings, and information about the state’s First Five Program. Sections for Health and Public Safety were empty as of Monday at noon.

 

Vote For The Next Gen Space Suit

by Categorized: Connecticut, Government Tagged: Date:

Fresh off the success of it’s 2012 collection, NASA is soliciting the public’s help in picking the next generation space suit for upcoming missions to space.

There are three versions under consideration for the Z-2 Spacesuit Design, and you can vote here

Option A: “Biomimicry”bio_spaceCenter_scaled
uses the protective qualities of natures creatures to protect it’s occupants.

 

 

 

 

tech_nbl_scaledOption B: “Technology” refers back to suits of the past and is designed to help facilitate movement.

 

 

 

 

trend_rocks_scaledOption C: “Trends in Society” attempts to predict what clothing may look like in the future.

 

 

 

 

The last space suit wonTime Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2012,

NASA says:

The Z-2 marks several milestones for NASA:

  • First surface-specific planetary mobility suit to be tested in full vacuum

  • First use of 3D human laser scans and 3D-printed hardware for suit development and sizing

  • Most advanced use of impact resistant composite structures on a suit upper and lower torso system

  • First integration of the suit-port concept with a hard upper torso suit structure

  • Most conformal and re-sizeable hard upper torso suit built to date

Photos courtesy of NASA

New App To Vent About Your Commute To Your Elected Representatives

by Categorized: Apps, cars, Government Date:

If you are stuck in traffic, you could take to Twitter or Facebook, but will anyone besides your friends and followers read it?

21265_10151640998621171_1521854591_nWired reports on a way to get attention in higher places. Called the I’m Stuck App, it notifies your elected representatives when you are stuck in transit. The idea being that tie ups and delays may be part of larger problems in America’s infrastructure, and by contacting  representatives in Congress action may result.

The app was developed by the bi partisan infrastructure advocacy group Building America’s Future.

 

Former Employer, Not Google Tipped Off Government About Searches For Pressure Cookers And Backpacks

by Categorized: Google, Government Date:

The post that swept the internet Thursday by a Long Island woman who said her families home was searched by the FBI after her family searched for information about pressure cookers and backpacks was touched off by her husband’s former employer, according to Tech Crunch.

The article quotes the Suffolk County Police as saying in a statement:

Suffolk County Criminal Intelligence Detectives received a tip from a Bay Shore based computer company regarding suspicious computer searches conducted by a recently released employee.  The former employee’s computer searches took place on this employee’s workplace computer.   On that computer, the employee searched the terms “pressure cooker bombs” and “backpacks.”

After interviewing the company representatives, Suffolk County Police Detectives visited the subject’s home to ask about the suspicious internet searches. The incident was investigated by Suffolk County Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Detectives and was determined to be non-criminal in nature.

 

Apple Could Face Harsh Penalties In E-Book Case

by Categorized: Apple, Government Date:

The U.S. Justice Department announced it’s proposal for penalties against Apple Friday after the company was found to have fixed prices and restricted competition in the e-book market earlier this month.

Reuters reports the government is asking U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan to penalize Apple by asking it to cancel existing agreements with the publishers, submit to a five year  ban from entering e-book distribution contracts which kept consumer prices inflated.

Publishers Hachette Book Group Inc, HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Penguin Group (USA) Inc,  Simon & Schuster Inc and Macmillan settled with the government.

Apple would not be able to make deals with content providers of video and music for iPad and iPhones which would increase the prices at which competitors sold the same content.

Apple does not have a significant share of the e-book market according to analysts quoted in the article.

Competitors Barnes & Noble and Amazon would have to be given the opportunity to have a link within their apps that would allow customers to check for a lower price.

Apple is planning to appeal the verdict.

 

South Windsor Electronics Recycling On Saturday

by Categorized: Connecticut, Government Date:

If you live in South Windsor and have old electronics you want to get rid of, Saturday is the day.

The town will sponsor a dropoff for old electronic equipment at the Town Hall, 1540 Sullivan Avenue on Saturday, July 13, 2013 from 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM in the rear parking lot.

In a press releaBUSINESS COMPUTER SMALL COMPANY WOMAN PREPARATION FUTURE PROBLEMSse the town stated, “Residents may bring to the collection site telephones, phone equipment, cell phones, computers, copiers, fax machines, iPods / PDAs, modems, computer monitors, keyboards, mousse, printers, stereos, radio equipment, televisions, speakers, microwaves, digital cameras, VCRs, DVD players.”

 

Google, AOL Suing IRS For $88 Million

by Categorized: Google, Government, Uncategorized Tagged: Date:

Saying they were overcharged stemming from a transaction in 2004, Google and AOL are suing the Internal Revenue Service for $88 million.

MIO5X009_6B8E_9According to a Bloomberg article, the companies worked together on several projects, starting in 2002.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, issued the warrant for its “series D preferred stock” in June 2002 in recognition of AOL efforts to promote Google’s search engine among its users, according to the complaint.

The IRS erred in disallowing a $238.6 million deduction claimed for the difference between the price AOL paid to exercise a warrant for Google stock and the value of the shares, according to the complaint in U.S. Tax Court.

AOL’s suit is separate from Google’s action. Google is asking for over $83 million and AOL is asking for over $4 million.

Stamford Firm Raises $2.15 Million In Funding

by Categorized: Entrepreneur, Government Date:

Local Yokel Media, a Stamford firm that places digital ads in hyperlocal media has announced that it’s raised over $2 million in funding.
The funding comes in part from Connecticut Innovations and the Department of Economic and Community Development. The firm specializes in placing advertising that it targeted to specific geographical areas, using  the websites of local newspapers and blogs. The company also creates ads if needed.

“The funding that we have secured will be used to further build our hyperlocal ad targeting platform, and for business development and sales and marketing efforts,” said Dick O’Hare, Local Yokel Media CEO.