August 25, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
University of Washington Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Babak Parviz heads a group of researchers working on electronic systems for contact lenses, like the "heads up" visual display in the Terminator movies, in which information is displayed in a robotic eye. A University of Washington News item describes possible applications such as aiding the visually impaired, holographic driving controls and accessing the Internet. According to Parviz, the display won't impede the user's vision.
Students at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) may interact with students and teachers on campus, as well as online in Second Life. The university has an entire virtual campus in Second Life. The online presence started with the idea of building a virtual hotel environment for the use of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management. "Second Life enables students and educators to create innovative environments for distance learning, computer-supported cooperative work, simulations and teaching," said project leader Paul Penfold. "This use of simulation in a safe environment will greatly enhance experiential learning." Students can access a wide variety of library materials and information about the library via the platform and links on the library's intranet.
On August 17, a sleeve gastrectomy --- removal of part of the stomach as a weight-loss measure -- was twittered live by Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. The procedure, performed by Alex Gandsas, M.D., was a success according to the hospital, and the Twitter account included photos of the operation.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.