On the edge: News briefs

Emergency alert

A promising device that alerts drivers of approaching emergency vehicles has run into trouble in its pilot stage, according to New Scientist magazine. The Warn-Tone, introduced by Leicester, U.K.-based Petards Civil Systems, overrides the outputs of car radios and cassette and compact disc players with spoken warnings. Issues about signal strength, which emanates from the EMS vehicles, still need to be resolved. The Radio Authority of Britain refuses to grant a test license, fearing signals will spill into neighboring homes and buildings. Petards is the government systems integration division of Screen Plc., Maidenhead, U.K., a security and surveillance solution provider.

Embedded systems monitoring

ITCN Inc., Miamisburg, Ohio, won a $10 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract from the Navy to offer its embedded system monitoring technology, called SystemTrace, to government agencies. SystemTrace runs on a workstation overseeing one or more modules via Ethernet TCP/IP, or transmission control protocol/Internet protocol, and tracks data flowing through backplanes, data busses and discrete signal lines. The data is then correlated by time, allowing users to conduct analysis, performance monitoring and diagnostics of embedded systems. The monitoring is carried out unobtrusively in real time.

Privacy standards

The International Security, Trust and Privacy Alliance has released a privacy framework for companies developing software and services to meet privacy guidelines. It also provides a means for agencies and supporting companies to assure technologies are aligned with policies. "It is based on a wide range of input from privacy managers from the government, companies and the legal community," said alliance president John Sabo. Organizations participating in ISTPA include Carnegie Mellon University, Computer Associates International Inc., Intel Corp. and NCR Corp. More information can be found at www.istpa.org.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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