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Legislative Commission on Science and Technology



Speaker Sheldon Silver Chairwoman Adele Cohen
June 1, 2006

New York State Assembly

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Central Park to be equipped for WiFi  Parks Department officials said yesterday that they expect to have the park ready for wireless Internet access by the end of July. Every other city park will get the technology by the end of summer. At a City Council hearing yesterday, Councilwoman Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan) said the department was taking too long. "Free wireless Internet in our city parks is a no-brainer," said Brewer, who chairs the Committee on Technology in Government. "We should be wiring as much of New York City as possible." But the Parks Department said it is working as fast as it can. "This is an emerging technology for the Parks Department," said spokesman Warner Johnston. He added that 10 parks are currently equipped with wireless capability, including Washington Square Park, Bryant Park and Tompkins Square Park. "Now that we have become more expert on the technology and the challenges of wiring our parks, we will be able to move quicker on this in the future," Johnston said.

Full Text Source: New York Post

Towerstream announces first pre-WiMAX T1 solution  Towerstream, a fixed wireless Internet provider and WiMAX Forum member, announced that it is offering New York City businesses the first ever last mile T1 solution with a guaranteed 99.999% uptime. The service called High-Availability T1+ (HI-VI T1+) and offered for $600/month, will be backed by Towerstream's leading Service Level Agreement (SLA). More information can be found on the Towerstream website. The initial offering is available for businesses in New York City and will roll out to select cities in the coming months. Under the terms of new T1 offering, businesses are guaranteed to receive 99.999% availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Customers who purchase the Hi-Vi T1+ product are assured their service will have less than a minute of downtime per month. Any additional service interruptions will be covered under the terms of the SLA agreement and customers will be credited the appropriate amount pending on the length of the outage if one ever occurs.

Full Text Source: Broadband Wireless Exchange

UAlbany is named top US nanotech college  Students and faculty at the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering can now claim something that their counterparts at Cornell University, the University of Michigan and even Stanford University cannot: The college was ranked the best school in the United States for micro and nanotechnology by Small Times, a trade publication based in Ann Arbor, Mich. The ranking is considered a big step in the growth of the school, which was started in 2004 and has just 125 graduate students and 35 faculty.

Full Text Source: Albany Times Union

A 'magical' moment for Tech Valley  When IBM Corp.'s new Blue Gene supercomputers are up and running later this year at Rensselaer Technology Park, researchers throughout the Capital Region will have a powerful new tool to use. "Magical research will flow from this," predicted Tim Lance, president and chairman of the New York State Education and Research Network, or NYSERNet, based at the park in North Greenbush. The supercomputer array will be housed at the park and connected to the NYSERNet infrastructure, enabling data to move as fast as 10 gigabits per second to and from the supercomputers. In New York City, the network connects with most worldwide research networks.

Full Text Source: Albany Times Union

FDA asked to better regulate nanotechnology  Citing research suggesting that some invisibly small engineered nanoparticles might pose health risks, a coalition of consumer and environmental groups petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to beef up its regulation of nanoparticle-containing sunscreens and cosmetics and recall some products. The legal filing was synchronized with the release of a report by the environmental group Friends of the Earth that highlighted the growing number of personal care products with nanoingredients, defined as smaller than 100-millionths of a millimeter. At least 116 such products are on the market, the report found. "Scientific bodies are beginning to develop an understanding of the serious risks that may be associated with nanomaterials," said Joseph Mendelson, legal director of the Washington-based International Center for Technology Assessment, which spearheaded the FDA filing. "Every day, consumers are being asked to be a test market for some of those risks."

Full Text Source: Washington Post

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