<data:blog.pageName/> |<br /> <data:blog.title/>


Powered by WebRing.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

More reason why hands-free devices are not the answer

I got this article from aXcess News. The woman in the article apparently thought that having a hands-free cell phone would keep her safe. As I have said before, this is not the case. She was so distracted by the conversation that she lost control of her SUV and slid off a bridge.

Hopefully, she will learn from this mistake. The story goes as follows:

March 28, 2005 (AXcess News) Portland - A woman was shocked but unhurt after her SUV plunged off a bridge, falling 60 feet into a river, then sinking another 55 feet to the bottom.

Melissa Borgaard was quoted in the Oregonian paper following the accident as saying, "You're in a car going off a bridge - you think you're done."

Borgaard had been driving across a rain-soaked bridge near downtown Portland, distracted by her conversation on a hands-free cell phone, when her sport utility vehicle skidded out of control and broke through a guardrail, plunging into the Willamette River Saturday.

She did not recall much though she apparently was not wearing her seatbelt which probably saved her life as she swam through the broken windshield to the surface.

Witnesses said Borgaard floated on her back when she surfaced to cheers from onlookers who say her SUV plunge into the river. Several onlookers had called 911 on their cell phones as authorities arrived at the scene within minutes.

Borgaard, 31, was released from the hospital the next day with only minor cuts and bruises. Her SUV still lies on the bottom of the Willamette River. No word on the whereabouts of her cell phone though.

It is fortunate that the woman in this article lived to learn from her mistake. Too many others have not. The story that follows is from Drive Now, Chat Later. It involves a double tragedy for a family.

A 28-year-old Indianapolis man was talking on his cell phone while driving and ran through a stop sign. A dump truck broad- sided his car, killing him instantly. Further police investigation showed that he was talking to the manager of a funeral home to make arrangements for his brother who had been killed the day before while he was driving and talking on his cell phone. The brother had run through a traffic light and a city bus broad sided him.

Two brothers dead, two deaths that did not need to happen. When will people ever learn?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Even fighter jocks have problems with this

I got this from Drive Now, Chat Later. The guy that wrote this is a fighter pilot in the Air Force and he couldn't manage talking on a cell phone and driving at the same time

"I, like most people, feel that I am an above average driver. When I have occasionally talked on the phone while driving, it readily becomes apparent to me that I lose some situational awareness. It's almost like I have the automatic pilot on but, unfortunately, I don't have one in my car.

I am very good at multitasking, have fantastic reflexes and have developed exceptional situational awareness and hand-eye coordination. I was in the United States Air Force for 10 years and regularly flew within a couple feet of another aircraft going 500 mph. I presently am a commercial airline pilot and still use all of the skills I've developed over the years. Being able to manipulate a machine to make it do exactly what I want it to do is my livelihood. If I notice a serious degradation in my driving performance when I attempt to talk on a cell phone and drive, imagine what happens to your average Joe Blow."

People should listen to this one. He is a professional and he has problems handling his car when on the phone. If he can't do it, how do most of us fare? I would say very poorly.

For this and other stories and statistics, go to Drive Now, Chat Later

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hands free is not the answer.

I just saw this story on the web. Unfortunately, I do not agree with Senator Tracey Eide saying that hands free devices would make things safer. The problem is not the phone, it is the conversation that distracts the driver.

THURSTON COUNTY - A new effort is being launched to ban driving with hand-held cell phones.

This comes in the wake of Wednesday's fatal crash on I-5 where troopers believe the driver may have been distracted by her cell phone.
State troopers say Judi Dallman, 39, of Chehalis veered across the center divider on I-5 south of Olympia Wednesday afternoon.

Dallman's car went right in the path of 46-year-old Dorothy Lantz of Rochester. Both women were killed.

Investigators believe Dallman may have been using her cell phone.
The news brings back bitter memories for Laura Rhoades. She lost her two daughters, Jennifer and Jessica, in a cell phone related accident.

"When I heard what happened yesterday it brought back flashbacks of what happened to us five years ago. I just can't imagine what either of their families are going through." This is the first time she's ever spoken publicly about what happened.

But others have spoken loudly about the need for restrictions on cell phones for drivers.
State Sen. Tracey Eide (D-Federal Way) has been trying to get legislation passed for several years that would ban the use of handheld cell phones requiring drivers to use hands-free phones or face a $35 ticket.

"It's a safety issue. We all have cell phones. I want to save your lives," the senator said at the hearing in 2002.

Laura hopes this passes so drivers "wouldn't be distracted on the road and that driving would be made safer so that this wouldn't happen like what happened to our family or this recent accident."

Laura says her family's strong faith has moved them passed bitterness. They want to focus on the memory of their two beautiful daughters and pray that no other family has to go through what they've endured.

Investigators are still checking the exact cause of Wednesday's accident, but they say the driver had her phone book on her lap and the cell phone was found next to the car. No matter what they find, Sen. Eide says she'll be reintroducing her bill this next session

I do agree with the need for better driver education and safer drivers. But requiring hands free devices is not going to make things any better. It does not do a driver any good to keep his hands on the wheel if that person's mind is not on the road.

Four car pile-up caused by idiot talking on phone while driving

I just got this from the June 21 edition of The Royal Gazzette. It is just another example of someone too focused on the conversation on their cell phone. It is good to see that there is someone willing to do something about it.

By Sarah Titterton
Opposition senator Kenny Bascome forcefully repeated his tireless call yesterday for Government to ban hand-held cell phones while driving after yesterday’s four-car pile-up near Shelley Bay.The accident, which took place near the Bethel AME Church yesterday, reportedly resulted in minor injuries to one driver and one man arrested on suspicion of impaired driving. Speaking during the Motion to Adjourn in the Senate yesterday evening, Sen. Bascome said an eyewitnesses who called in to the radio talk shows yesterday claimed the man had been speaking on a cell phone at the time. Sen. Bascome said the size of Bermuda’s winding roads and the amount of traffic congestion in the country made it incomparable to other jurisdictions. Banning cell phones, he added, would be a pro-active step towards greater safety on the roads.
or information contact newsdesk@royalgazette.bm Copyright 20©01 The Royal Gazette Ltd.

If you want to see the statistics concerning the use of cell phones while driving, please visit Drive Now, Chat Later

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Wireless networks under attack by potential hackers!

For those of you with wireless networks in their homes, I just saw this today in the Detroit Free Press (www.freep.com). The article goes as follows:

HEATHER NEWMAN: Wireless Net users listen up: You're exposed
An impromptu test in Ann Arbor reveals vulnerable networks
June 15, 2005
We drove down the streets of Ann Arbor, tallying the sins of computer users as we went.
Jim Haburne from Interlink Networks sat by my side. On his laptop, special software available for free on the Internet picked wireless computer networks out of the air. Each new network we passed generated a metallic chime.
Zing! There was a school. Zing! There was a branch of a hospital. Zing! Zing! Zing! Zing! An apartment building, blissfully packed with people shopping online and answering their e-mail.
Had we been hackers, a few taps on the laptop and we could have seen everything many of those folks were doing, exploring the secrets they thought were safely stored on their hard drives.
At the end of the drive from I-94 to downtown Ann Arbor, the tally was shocking: about 900 wireless computer networks, all detected from the street inside a moving car. More than half had no security whatsoever.
Chances are it's no better where you live. Check out your neighborhood at http://www.wigle.net/, a site often consulted by hackers looking for wireless connections, and I'll bet you find more than a few neighbors whose Internet access is open for the world to use -- and whose computers are open for the world to browse.
Wireless networks are becoming the standard for small businesses, homeowners and larger companies who want to offer access to clients or visitors in public areas of their buildings. Instead of having wires running from servers through the walls to jacks that computers and laptops can plug into, wireless networks send the information through the air.
The problem is that it's very difficult to limit how far those transmissions are sent. Even if it's hard for you to log in to your wireless network on your front porch, a hacker with an inexpensive antenna can still do it from the street. The car-mounted antenna Haburne used for what hackers call a war drive cost about $50 over the Internet and can detect networks from about three-tenths of a mile away, but that was a fancy model. Instructions abound online for how to build an even more powerful antenna for about $6 worth of materials, including a can of Pringles potato chips and a tube of toothpaste. (And yes, you get to eat the Pringles first.)
There are several commonly available types of security for wireless networks. You can hide the name of your network, which hypothetically makes it harder for people to connect. In reality, though, the first time a legitimate user connects to your network, the name of the network is sent over the air in plain text for anyone with the right hacker software to see.
Every computer network card, including those you install to use a wireless network, has a unique ID. So you can limit the IDs you allow into your network. But again, anyone with some time on their hands and sniffer software will see the ID numbers being exchanged and can easily program their own machine to pretend that it is a legitimate point of contact.
You can encode the data you send between your network and a computer or laptop using something called Wired Equivalent Privacy, or WEP. This is tougher to break. But given a half hour, enough information is sent back and forth between a computer and your network for the code key to be picked out of what has been transmitted.
Haburne demonstrated this with 28 minutes of data collected from his own home wireless network. It took a hacking program he downloaded from the Web exactly 9 seconds to break the code. The hacking program, like everything else he used except the antenna and a GPS receiver, was free.
So what can people see if they break into your network? Any shared files or folders, for starters. Any information transmitted not using a one-time-only, secure connection like a Secure Socket Layer (which you see most often when you pay for things online with your credit card).
Haburne's transmissions captured by the hacking program included logging into his Comcast e-mail account, which did not use SSL to protect the transmission. His username and password for his e-mail were displayed as plain text right in the information collected, as was the actual text of all the messages he sent and received. It was sobering.
Contact HEATHER NEWMAN at 313-223-3336 or newman@freepress.com.

The best way I can think of to protect your network is through the use of firewalls. These firewalls are available as both physical and software firewalls. I would recommend using both.

Related stories >
How to thwart wireless Internet invasions
HEATHER NEWMAN: Wireless Net users listen up: You're exposed
DATABASE: News and notes

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Never run from the police

I just read in the Holland Sentinel about this guy who ran from the police. He already had a criminal record and was wanted for violating his probation.

After he was spotted by the police, he did the most idiotic thing a person in his situation could do. He led them on a chase, first by car, then on foot.

When has this ever worked? The answer is simple. That strategy never works! If he ever watched television, he would have realized that people who do these stupid stunts always get in more trouble then if they would just stop for the police.

It is a proven fact that if you give a cop an attitude when you get pulled over, they will give you a huge ticket. Being nice and watching your mouth will always keep you out of trouble. When they ask you if you know why they stopped you, never admit that you did anything.