Emerging Technology

Jim Stoup

These days, there’s no shortage of information available on the Internet. Everybody and anybody can offer an opinion.

But how do you determine what’s valuable and what isn’t?

 

For an increasing number of people, the ‘go to’ site for online info is Wikipedia, a huge compilation of information where content is maintained by users.  While many Internet sites have no controls for the accuracy of user posts, Wikipedia does. But it recently did a study of the quality of the information on its site and found 99.9 percent does not meet its own standards.

There’s been a lot of talk about “drones,” remote controlled aircraft which fly with no pilot on board.  But drones are being used for more than military operations. 

A scientist at Virginia Tech has been named one of Popular Science’s  ‘Brilliant Ten for 2013” for using them to study micro organisms in the atmosphere, which can have a huge impact on what goes on, on the ground.

Many pilots learned how to fly and surgeons how to make incisions by engaging in some type of “modeling and simulation” program developed by a group of engineers.

But while “modeling and simulation” is now becoming its own profession, in Virginia few schools provide a course of study needed to train and retain these specialized engineers.
 

Researchers at Virginia Tech have come up with a plan for a new kind of helmet for construction workers that can monitor their exposure to carbon monoxide and warn them before it becomes dangerous. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning kills hundreds of Americans each year and sends thousands more to the hospital.  Construction workers face an especially high risk because they often work in enclosed spaces where exhaust from gasoline-powered hand tools can build up fast. 

Virginia inventors, entrepreneurs, and university researchers could get additional state protection for their trade secrets under proposals being discussed by a General Assembly panel. 

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