I don’t know how many people actually use Google Alerts (I am sure it is millions), but for those who don’t, you can find some real interesting and sometimes strange stuff on your topics of interest, along with many other beneficial aspects of the alert system. All in all I probably have more than 50 google alerts to keep up to date with indexed items like my blog, new trends in amateur radio, my name search and so on.
The information is much differently than a reader, like Google Reader, but since it is an email with a little blurb on the new found alert, it is a similar concept, except in email form. Instead of the user finding a site of interest and adding the rss feed to their rss reader, they find a topic of interest, then have Google go get it (with various optional settings). You just type in the search term you want, just like when you Google something, (including special character searches, which I love) and whenever Google’s spider indexes the term, it finds a match, and boom, you have an alert.
Today, this was the title of the alert for my heading â€œamateur radioâ€ blog (see screen shot above). I didn’t really want to put the text of the alert in this post, but you get the idea from the screen shot. The article itself was detail oriented (approved for all audiences), but the quote from Wired read as:
The GPS unit uses APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) a system which uses amateur radio frequencies to send data, which, ironically, was first developed at the United States Naval Academy (all the nice girls love a sailor).
The shoes are a concept right now, albeit a working one, and can be tried out at the Gallery Aferro in Newark, New Jersey in September (15th, 22nd, and 29th). Mens and women’s sizes will be available, and orders will be taken for custom builds.
information and photo above of shoe: http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2007/08/gps-alarm-shoes.html
I would like to know a little more about the technology that went into the shoes, like how they are able to transmit without using a call sign without being a licensed radio operator (I assume that a shoe can not be a licensed amateur radio operator). There are FCC statements for frequency use that allows radio controlled planes, RC cars, and similarly controlled machines, to operate on ham radio frequencies without a license, but most will still post their call sign on the side of the plane if they have one. I don’t know that much about RF tags that retailers use on everything, but I am fairly certain they don’t use amateur radio frequencies.
Of course, it says it is using APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System), a system developed by WB4APR which, according to his website, “uses amateur radio to transmit position reports, weather reports, and messages between users”, and all those users are amateur radio operators (as far as I can tell anyway). I am sure the inventors of these shoes are aware of all the frequency implications and how it can and can’t be used, and I am by no means any expert on the subject at all, I am just interested, as a licensed amateur radio operator, how the technology (and shoes) move from mainstream over to amateur radio use.
For those who know a lot more about packet radio (and APRS) than I do, which wouldn’t be hard, I would love to hear your comments.