Chris Stamper

Buddy system

Technology
by Chris Stamper
Posted 5/21/05, 12:00 am

IBM is rolling out new computerized shopping carts that alert customers to sale items and let them scan groceries as they place them in their baskets. Known as the Shopping Buddy, it includes a laser scanner and a touch-screen computer with a wireless connection.

IBM touts this invention as a personalized shopping assistant on wheels. The Stop & Shop chain in New England is testing these carts now to see if its customers like them.

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Clear the air

Technology | Major tech companies want country to switch from analog to digital television signals sooner rather than later
by Chris Stamper
Posted 5/14/05, 12:00 am

Microsoft, Intel, and several other major tech companies want Congress to hurry up and sign off traditional analog TV signals next year so the spectrum can be used for other purposes. The downside is that thousands of TV sets with no cable, satellite, or digital converter attached will become useless.

The official date for the "transition" in which traditional VHF and UHF channels stop broadcasting is Dec. 31, 2006, with a catch. The shutdown can't happen until 85 percent of homes are ready to receive digital signals.

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Chinese checkers

Technology | The Chinese government has implemented internet filters that discourage unwanted religious material and political dissent
by Chris Stamper
Posted 4/30/05, 12:00 am

China's communist government is quietly boosting its internet censorship capabilities, including the filters that discourage unwanted religious material and political dissent, an international group of researchers reported this month. Their study concluded that state officials use a combination of technology and complex regulations to control online expression, especially any pro-Western, anti-Communist, or opposition political speech.

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