The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on September 18, 2002 · Page 5
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 5

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Wednesday, September 18, 2002
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WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 18,2002 COMPUTERS THE HAYS DAILY NEWS AS Developing technology helps elderly live independently By COLLEEN LONG ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER DENVER — Ken Nixon sees his 84- year-old mom, Louise, every day. They chat in the morning and sometimes have dinner together, and he watches as she takes her Alzheimer's medication, even though they live about 250 miles apart. The two communicate through computer screens, a system that Nixon and his brothers created using a DSL telephone line that allows them to dial straight into their mother's computer. "This has exceeded all of our expectations," said Nixon. "It's almost like being in the same room with her. You don't realize how much the visual makes a difference when you're just talking on the phone." Surveillance technologies like the one Nixon created are being tested across the country to help the elderly and disabled achieve greater independence. Privacy is a concern because information could be leaked, and it could jeopardize autonomy. Jon Sanford, a researcher at the Veterans Affairs Center on geriatric rehabilitation hi Atlanta, said the technology can be divided into three main categories: assisted, monitoring and tracking and feedback. Assisted technology can be as simple as a large-button telephone or a lazy-su- san shelf. It is'commercially available. Monitoring technologies use sensors or video cameras to surveil a person's well-being, similar to the Nixons' system. Tracking and feedback technology for assisted living and private homes is in the development stage. Researchers hope to create systems that follow movement and health and safety, will recognize inconsistencies and give feedback to take corrective action. "Tracking technology tries to promote independence," Sanford said. "It tries to adapt the environment to an individual." Some technology, such as wanderer alerts, already is used in nursing homes. "The technology is drifting more and more into the mainstream, though, and things are moving pretty fast," said Gavin Hougham, director of gerontology research at the University of Chicago. "I wouldn't be surprised if something was out on the market for private use very soon." Hougham said the technology won't come cheap and some families will not be able to afford it unless covered by insurance. Researchers at Minneapolis based- Honeywell International Inc. are working on feedback technology that will use motion sensors, medical devices and software to give a caregiver access to conditions and daily routines. Honeywell spokeswoman Patricia Silva said researchers are integrating phone sensors, motion detectors, temper-, ature sensors and devices that would monitor pulse and activity level, hopefully permitting a disabled or elderly individual to live alone. "We're trying to create systems that are specific to an individual's needs," Silva said. Information either would be transmitted to a health-care facility, or a caregiver would have a pager that would beep if an inconsistency were detected. The technology is being tested in retirement communities in Florida and Minnesota. The costs still were undetermined. Silva said stringent passwords and encrypting would be used to determine if information were put on the Internet. Critics like Hougham say the technology could be considered an invasion of privacy. "These systems all presuppose privacy isn't going to be an issue," he said. "The upside is, you can keep an eye on mom. The downside is, what if mom doesn't want her son having access to her every movement?" As long as the people who have access to the information have a right and a need to know, the technologies wouldn't breach privacy, said John Banja, an ethicist and professor at Emory University in Atlanta. "If the caregiver would be there anyway to witness what was being recorded, then it's not an invasion of privacy," he said. "But this is a moral experiment. We'll have to see how it can be abused and then try to avoid it." He said security would have to be flawless. Nixon said it is a risk he's willing to take, mostly because he knows how much his mother likes living on the family farm in Lavaca, Ark. His system uses corporate conferencing software which transmits images and voice. There also is a live video where his mother can see images of her grandchildren. ASSOCIATED PRESS Louise Nixon, on the computer screen from Lavaca, Ark., reacts as she is able to see her great-grandson, Parker Davis, and her son, Ken, in Overland Park. Ken and his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's, communicate on a daily basis via the Internet, allowing Louise Nixon to maintain an independent lifestyle. • The family also set up wireless cameras that monitor the front and back door and still cameras that take photos every 15 seconds that can be viewed over the Internet. Piecing together the system is not expensive, Nixon said. A DSL is about $40 a month and the system costs about $1,000 each. "If you can keep someone from going into a rest home, it maintains independence and it also saves millions of dollars," Nixon said. He is hoping to market his system to other caregivers of Alzheimer's pa-. tients. "We really understand how difficult it', can be to watch over someone and also i for that person to feel like they are being baby-sat," he said. "We just want our. mother to be comfortable." — On the Net- Honeywell International Inc.:, www.honeywell.com t Alzheimer's Association: www.alz.org Survey confirms Internet integral to college life By MARTHA IRVINE ASSOCIATED PRESS CHICAGO — Andy Perez uses the library at Rice University hi Houston for the quiet, not the books/H^ doesjjiis rejgy^, qn- line,' . •' \ •t'Edell Fiedler "taps intdlhe Internet to "register for classes-and check grades at Minnesota State University, Mankato, sometimes saving her the 60-mile drive to school. Rakesh Patel regularly uses e-mail to ask his professors at Chicago's DePaul University questions about assignments. Stories like those have become increasingly common on college campuses. Now a new survey, released Sunday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, has confirmed what they suggest: the Internet has become an integral part of college life, and not just for studying. The survey of college students across the country found that 86 percent use the Internet, compared with 59 percent of the overall U.S. population. "For this group of college students, the Internet just works. It's like turning on the tap and getting water or turning on the TV," says Steve Jones, the report's lead author and chairman of the communications department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Anyone walking into a college computer lab, or classrooms that have computers, is likely to find students flipping through any number of Internet activities. They surf for information for assignments, download music files and play online games — all the while taking time to message friends who might be across campus or across the world. It's what David Silver, an assis- tant professor of communication and the director of the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies at the University of Washington, calls "social multitasking." The survey found that much of stiidehtsVipternet ^urfmg' is not related to schoolwork. In/fact, 42 percent bf students who"use the Inter net say tne'y use i{ most often to keep in touch with friends by instant message or e-mail, compared with 38 percent who use the Internet most often for academics. Nearly three-quarters say most of the e-mail they send is to friends. "My old roommate had Instant Messenger open 24 hours a day," Perez says, referring to the America Online service that allows private, real-time conversations via computer. Though he thinks that's a bit excessive, Perez acknowledges checking his own e-mail "every minute" he's logged on. That doesn't mean students are slacking off. Jones says his research indicates that students are simply using the Internet to help them pack more activity into less tune. Nearly 80 percent of students surveyed said the Internet has added to their college academic experience, while 56 percent said e-mail alone has enhanced their relationships with professors. The survey, which has a margin of error of 2 percentage points, was distributed randomly and answered by 2,054 students this spring. E-mail "gives you the ability to revise and edit your thoughts more carefully, whereas you might become nervous and slip hi a public setting," says Ron Ayers, a Boston resident who recently graduated from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.' Rice University- student Andy Perez 'Works Saturday on -a" computer at the campus library in Houston. Perez, a computer science major, works in the library for the quiet, not the books. He does his research online. At Clarkson, Ayers oversaw that school's version of the Daily Jolt, a group of student-run Web sites that include everything from campus news and weather reports to dining hall menus. "If they didn't have the Internet, I find it highly doubtful that they would read newspapers," Ayers says of his college peers, — On the Net: Pew: www.pewlnternet.org Daily Jolt: www.dallyjolt.com IT'S COOL TO BE IN SCHOOL especially at the Learning Center. Call today to enroll at 623-2426 or stop by 323 W. 12th Street in Hays. Our program is FREE! Today is Wednesday, Sept. 18, the 261st day of 2002. There are 104 days left in the year. Today in History By The Associated Press Today's Highlight in History: On Sept. 18, 1947, the National Security Act, which unified the Army, Navy and newly formed Air Force into a national military establishment, went into effect. On this date: In 1759, the French formally surrendered Quebec to the British. In 1810, Chile declared its independence from Spain. In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which allowed slaveowners to reclaim slaves who had escaped to other states. In 1927, the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System (later CBS) made its debut with a basic network of 16 radio stations. In 1961, United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold was killed in a plane crash in northern Rhodesia. In 1975, new the FBI in San Francisco, by the Symbionese Liberation Army, In 1981, a museum honoring former President Ford was dedicated in Grand Rapids, Mich. Ten years ago: Ross Perot's name was submitted for the 50th state ballot - Arizona - on the same day that Perot hinted on NBC's "Today" show that he might throw his hat into the presidential ring, after all. Five years ago: Two gunmen opened fire on a group of German tourists in front of the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo, killing nine of the tourists and a bus driver. One year ago: A week after the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush said he hoped to rally the world" in the battle against terrorism anb predicted that all "people who love freedom" would join. Boeing announced plans to lay off up to 30,000 commercial airplane employees by the end of 2002. • Today's Birthdays: Actor James Gandolflni is 41. Singer Joanne Catherall (Human League) is 40. Actress Holly Robinson Peete is 38, Rhythm-and-blues singer Ricky Bell (Bell Biv JDevoe and New Edition) is 35. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is 31. Actor James Marsden is 29. Actors Taylor Porter and Brandon Porter ("Party of Five") are 9. Thought for Today: "Loneliness ... is and always has been the central and 1 .... . ... inevitable, experience of every man." - From "You Can't 'spaperheiress Patricia Hearst was captured by Go Home Again." by Thomas Wolfe, American author in Francisco, 19 months after being kidnapped (1900-1938). Mathematics Activities Make number cards to be shared with lower grades. On one half of the card paste a numeral. On the other half paste a picture with that number of items on it. Cut them in half. Let younger students uy to match the numeral with the number of items. Newspapers in Education Sponsored By: BankofAmerica. Panel removes parts of security plan WASHINGTON (AP) — Under intense lobbying by industry groups, a White House panel studying ways to protect America's high-tech backbone has dropped several security ideas and turned others into topics for discussion rather than government mandates, according to the latest version of the plan. The ideas that have been dropped include requiring companies to pay money into a fund to improve national computer security anfl restricting use of emerg- fogjviigsless Networks until their .'security is approved, according tp the draft ,pb(ained:by Trie I Associated Press. "We're just identifying the stuff we already know to be a problem, and saying it's a problem," said Russ Cooper of network security firm TruSecure Corp. who was briefed on the plan. "I thought there was going to be some meat, and there's not." The cybersecurity panel headed by President Bush's computer security adviser, Richard Clarke, is expected to release its recommendations Wednesday. Clarke adviser Andy Purdy said Monday the panel has decided to put its ideas out for public comment for two months before sending it to the president. Orice called the "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," the draft circulated Monday added the words "For Comment" to the title. The board is part of the White House, but has no statutory power to compel federal agencies or companies to follow its directives. Officials have previously noted that much of the nation's high-tech backbone ( — its, bank: ing, transportation'saMPutiiitieSf! , .networks;,-^ is owijied and operated' by,'private corporations. Within the past week, officials removed a proposal to create an Internet fund built with tax dollars and industry contributions to pay for Internet security enhancements, the latest draft shows. Security expert Bruce Schneier said the White House won't be able to convince companies that expensive security enhancements are worth it when the company's stock price is at stake. "The government should either make a law, or not bother," Schneier said. "This cajoling only goes so far. I think (companies) do' want to be good corporate citi-' Zens, as long as it's free." : Another dropped proposal would have called for companies' to work on securing wireless networks, and barred the use of such networks until they could be proven secure. Wireless technol- > ogy, which is increasingly cheap and easy to use, has been criti- 1 cized as difficult to secure. Now, the plan says only that "federal agencies should consider ^installing systems that continu- '«Sus'ly check for unauthorized con- posal is under the heading "Is- t sues highlighted for continued! analysis, debate and discussion." Earlier this summer, Clarke lambasted wireless networks as ' inherently insecure, saying "we ' all should shut them off until the technology gets better." A White House official, speak-; ing on condition of anonymity, said Clarke's statements were ' based on wrong information. At '_ the time he made the comments, Clarke believed it was impossible ' to run wireless networks safely, [ the official said. Quart H YOUR HEARTLAND CRAFTS & GIFTS noRmflfr COSMB.TIC STUDIOS Fall Open House Sept. 20-22 SAVINGS, Refreshments & Free Gifts Come & Enjoy 15% off storewide Excluding Merle Norman Cosmetics 2414 Vine • 628-6199 • BE 9B Hours: M-S 10-5:30, Sun. 1-5 |A|^||A|^|A^^ 5 29th Annual Hansen Arts & Crafts Fair Saturday, September 21, 2002 Logan, Kansas 10 a.m.-5 p.m. '(' '«**«*>,t,_ .ray i stage) SPACE WALK TENTS CLOWN Delores Knowles CORCORAN FERRIS WHEEL POP-A-SHOT QUILT RAFFLE TROJAN LICENSE PLATES From • facet 3 :r e />.i Snow Cones Kettle Korn arkey & Noodles Sloppy Joes Pie ^Funnel Cakes Taco Pies Onion Blossoms Hot Dogs , Egg Rolls \ Crab Rangoons Nuchos & ' Cheese Gator Tators BBQ Brisket Polish Sausage Baked Goods Roast Corn > Turkey Legs. ChUi Cheese Dog Hamburgers *|

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