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Startup adds beds and Wi-Fi to buses to turn them into ‘moving hotels’

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LA subway to become first in the U.S. to use body scanners

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But when they’re introduced later in the year, the machines won’t become a permanent part of a station’s infrastructure. Instead, the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has decided to use a small number of the portable trunk-sized scanners, moving them between stations as and when required, the Associated Press reported.



In other words, you can expect to see them set up at a station where a big sports event is being held, or when there’s a protest in the area, or other occasions where a large numbers of people are expected to gather. The authorities point out, however, that the machines could potentially appear at any location on the network.

British security technology company Thruvision, which makes the $100,000 scanners, says the kit can be set up and activated in just 15 minutes.

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As with regular security scanners, the machines are capable of performing full-body screenings of people, checking for things like concealed weapons and explosives. But unlike airport machines, Thruvision’s system can monitor moving crowds of around 2,000 people every hour, with no need for individuals to waste time getting in line. Indeed, the system’s efficiency was key in making the proposal a reality.

The technology is said to be capable of identifying suspicious items at a distance of up to 30 feet (9 meters), giving officials enough time to pinpoint, monitor, and perhaps question a person of interest.

los angeles subway to use body scanners thruvision scan

Metro security chief Alex Wiggins told the LA Times that the kit would be used to prevent what he described as “mass casualty” attacks. In other words, they’ll be focusing more on searching out assault-style rifles and explosives rather than smaller weapons. He added that the authorities will adhere to the 4th Amendment, making it “very, very clear” that a scan is about to take place. Whether such a notification will reduce the effectiveness of the system remains to be seen.

Thruvision’s technology, which has been in operation for a number of years, is based on research work undertaken by the U.K.’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the European Space Agency, and identifies objects via the natural electromagnetic rays that they give off.

Commenting on the decision to introduce the technology, David Pekoske of Los Angeles’ Transportation Security Administration said the nation is dealing with “persistent threats to our transportation systems ,” adding that it’s their job “to ensure security … so that a terrorist incident does not happen on our watch.”

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Microsoft’s two-screen Andromeda may arrive in 2019 with Productivity Mode

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Given this driver provides no other clues, we can only guess what this productivity mode will provide. It likely defines a laptop-style mode that shoves a virtual keyboard onto one screen and the desktop environment onto the second screen. Other modes will be provided as well, but this is the first time we’ve seen a mode actually labeled.

Recent reports regarding the state of Andromeda indicated that Microsoft put the project on hold indefinitely. The components in Windows 10 needed to run the device were reportedly removed from the upcoming “Redstone 5” feature update slated to arrive later this year. The device supposedly didn’t have a target audience or an ecosystem to support its unique form factor, so executives halted the project.

But sources close to the project indicate that it isn’t dead in the water, but merely pulled back to the drawing board for a significant overhaul. In its current state, there was nothing compelling about Andromeda that would push the device off store shelves, it wouldn’t transform the mobile market or push the Surface brand into new, innovative, compelling territory.

That said, sources indicate Microsoft may release Andromeda toward the end of 2019. That is an interesting release window, as products based on Intel’s 10nm processors are expected to arrive during the 2019 holiday season as well. That may be part of the equation; Microsoft wants to use Intel’s 10nm chips, but mass production won’t happen until then.

Then again, Microsoft could go with an ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon chip as seen in always-connected PCs. But the company’s latest Surface-branded products solely rely on Intel-based processors, such as the new $400 Surface Go with the Pentium 4415Y. Keeping the Surface brand on Intel-based processors across the board just makes sense.

Andromeda will supposedly be a two-screen device you can cram into your pocket. It will provide five distinct modes: Laptop, tent, tablet, full, and closed, the latter of which closes the screen together to put Andromeda in sleep mode. Full mode would see the screens touching back-to-back in a smartphone-like form factor. Laptop mode will likely be renamed with the Productivity Mode label as discovered in the Windows 10 driver.

A recently uncovered patent possibly points to three-way calling on the Andromeda device. Illustrations show an individual holding a pocket-sized two-screen device, with each screen featuring an embedded camera. While the standing individual holds the device with the backs of the two screens touching (full mode), he’s chatting in a video call on one screen while a second, sitting individual chats via the second screen.

Given Microsoft has not officially acknowledged Andromeda, everything here is speculation and rumor. But signs indicate there is still life in Andromeda after all, but will it disrupt the mobile market?

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