$1.7 billion parking meter case

A California woman claims “smart” parking meters are making her sick. And now, she wants nearly $2 billion because of it.

Denise Barton filed a claim against the city of Santa Monica, Calif., for $1.7 billion alleging the radiation from “smart” parking meters around the city are causing health complications, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press.

“In April, they started turning on the new smart meters downtown and I started getting sick,” Barton told ABC News.

On Aug. 6, Barton filed the $1.7 billion claim that gives the city 45 days to respond.

“I figured that’s the value of my life and health considering how much I had to go through as a child,” Barton told ABC News.

Barton, who experienced neurological damage following a car accident as a young child, added, “It’s also the value of taking away my choice of the best way to protect my health without my consent.”

The “smart” meters, which were installed by the city last March, allow drivers to use smartphones and credit cards to purchase metered time. The parking slots have sensors that will reset a meter when a parking space is vacated.

According to a spokesperson for the city of Santa Monica, “The meters use basic wireless technology that is commonly available and utilized in WiFi and cellular communications.”

Smart meters use a cell phone network to communicate for 2 to 4 seconds when a censor detects a vehicle or when a censor detects a vehicle leaving, assistant finance director Don Patterson told ABC News.

But it’s the high-tech capabilities that Barton alleged have caused ear infections and tightness on the back, left side of her neck and an irregular period.

“I know it seems a little big but they can’t do things that affect people’s health without their consent,” Barton told the Santa Monica Daily Press.

“I think that’s wrong,” she said.

Deb Hossli, a risk manager for Santa Monica, told ABC News the city’s liability adjuster is currently investigating to determine if the claim will be honored or rejected.

“We’re not concerned about any health risks. It basically uses a very weak WiFi signal that only communicates between the meter and the sensor in each space,” Patterson told ABC News.

Over the years, there has been much debate about whether cell phones can cause cancer. Earlier this year, the Environmental Health Trust called into question a report that found little evidence that cell phones were connected to brain cancer.

“The city doesn’t regulate communication,” said Patterson. “What we’re using is what basically is widely available cell phone technology. If you have WiFi in your house, it’s the same technology. If you have a cell phone, then that portion of the technology is the same.

“It’s all off-the-shelf technology,” he said.


original post at: http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/denise-barton-california-files-1-7-billion-claim-100035821–abc-news-savings-and-investment.html


Microsoft Reveals Xbox SmartGlass

Microsoft has unveiled a new technology it’s calling SmartGlass — a way to share videos and gaming content across a variety of devices.

At its keynote event in advance of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft executives demonstrated how the SmartGlass application will let you share a variety of media from your tablets and mobile devices to your TV.

According to a Microsoft press release, the free app is for Windows 8, Windows Phone and “other portable devices” and is coming sometime this year. It will connect phones, tablets and PCs with your Xbox 360 giving you more control over video and other content and the ability to share videos across devices.

It will also offer “companion content.” By way of example, at the E3 keynote executives showed how SmartGlass would enable you to watch “Game of Thrones” on your TV via Xbox 360’s HBO Go app while your tablet provides you with a map of Westeros and a look at where things are taking place in the show’s fictional world.

They also showed how gamers playing “Halo 4” on their Xbox 360 could access and view in-game maps on their tablet. And they showed how those playing “Madden NFL” on their Xbox would be able to draw a play on their tablet and make it happen in the game.

Microsoft is calling SmartGlass “an intelligent companion” that pulls you deeper into the experience. Though details are still forthcoming, SmartGlass appears to be Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s AirPlay. The app will apparently work with tablets and phones of the Windows, Android and iOS variety.

SmartGlass is also an interesting answer to what Microsoft competitor Nintendo is planning to do with its forthcoming Wii U game machine. That is —  provide a second screen for gamers to access additional content on.

Nintendo’s Wii U will come with a GamePad — a controller with a screen built into it. The GamePad will give players and additional and different way to interact with the games they’re playing. 

Meanwhile, SmartGlass appears to be yet another part of Microsoft’s ongoing push to make the Xbox not just a game machine but an all-in-one media center. Earlier in the keynote address, Microsoft revealed its forthcoming Xbox Music service.

Microsoft announced SmartGlass during a keynote event in advance of the Electronic Entertainment Expo which starts in Los Angeles this week. Be sure to check out writer Devin Coldewey’s live blog of the entire event right here

original post found at: http://www.ingame.msnbc.msn.com/technology/ingame/microsoft-reveals-xbox-smartglass-812655#