Industrialized Cyclist Notepad

Bike of the Day: Norton Commando
April 27, 2012, 10:42
Filed under: Bike of the Day | Tags: ,

Couldn’t resist this one. Sorry about the poor quality of these Bike of the Day photos — Ipod photos. Not good.





AT&T and Friends: Helping govt. violate your Constitutional rights, and lying about it

This is old news, but I thought I’d post it just for giggles.

Speaking of old news. If the United States Constitution is no longer valid, maybe we should get a new one together.

Wiretaps cost hundreds of dollars per target every month, generally paid at daily or monthly rates. To wiretap a customer’s phone, T-Mobile charges law enforcement a flat fee of $500 per target. Sprint’s wireless carrier Sprint Nextel requires police pay $400 per “market area” and per “technology” as well as a $10 per day fee, capped at $2,000. AT&T charges a $325 activation fee, plus $5 per day for data and $10 for audio. Verizon charges a $50 administrative fee plus $700 per month, per target.

Data requests for voicemail or text messages cost extra. AT&T demands $150 for access to a target’s voicemail, while Verizon charges $50 for access to text messages. Sprint offers the most detailed breakdown of fees for various kinds of data on a phone, asking $120 for pictures or video, $60 for email, $60 for voice mail and $30 for text messages.

All four telecom firms also offer so-called “tower dumps” that allow police to see the numbers of every user accessing a certain cell tower over a certain time at an hourly rate. AT&T charges $75 per tower per hour, with a minimum of two hours. Verizon charges between $30 and $60 per hour for each cell tower. T-Mobile demands $150 per cell tower per hour, and Sprint charges $50 per tower, seemingly without an hourly rate.

For location data, the carrier firms offer automated tools that let police track suspects in real time. Sprint charges $30 per month per target to use its L-Site program for location tracking. AT&T’s E911 tool costs $100 to activate and then $25 a day. T-Mobile charges a much pricier $100 per day.

an AT&T spokesperson referred me to the company’s privacy policy, pointing out a specific line that reads, “We do not sell your personal information to anyone for any purpose.  Period.”

via These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps – Forbes.

The invisible bike helmet

… Designed to inflate like an airbag in the event of a collision.

By Hovding.

Here’s how it works: Sensors in the collar detect unusual movements by the wearer. Upon impact, the sensors trigger a gas inflator that pumps air into an airbag that’s folded into the collar, which fully inflates around the head it in 0.1 seconds. Hövding, which is available in Europe for SEK3,998 (about $595), weighs about 1 1/2 lbs. and uses a rechargeable battery. It must be turned on. About one hour before the battery runs out, it makes a “battery low” sound.


I see a little problem with this. “Unusual head movements…” There is a fair bit of head movement in normal non-crashy cycling, so the Device would have to be calibrated to ignore all that. In the event of a solo wreck during which the front wheel is suddenly removed from beneath the rider (a relatively common path to head injury for bicyclists), for example, when a rider totally wipes out on black ice or a wet streetcar rail, the first sign of “unusual head movement” that would be detected by the Device could very well be that of the head impacting the pavement structure. In other words, too late. And so the rider is injured twice, first by slapping the skull onto the pavement structure, and second by paying six-hundred bucks for an invisible helmet that inflates only after the collision has occurred, thus launching the injured rider’s head off the ground rudely with further negative consequences to his or her neck and overall temperment. However, it may do quite well at detecting sudden accelerations involved with collision with a motor vehicle or fixed object.