A new tool called the Geographic Population Structure (GPS), which converts DNA data into its ancestral coordinates, has pinpointed origin of Yiddish speakers, according to a team of researchers led by Dr. Eran Elhaik of the University of Sheffield, UK. [continue]
From the CBC: GPS game blamed for Ottawa bomb scare.
A treasure-hunting game is being blamed for a bomb scare that resulted in the four-hour closure of a major Ottawa road and an operation involving two dozen police officers, a hazmat team and the police explosives unit last week.
The scare was prompted by the discovery of a suspicious package under the Transitway bridge at Hurdman station last Wednesday that turned out to be part of a geocache. Geocaching is a game that involves searching for hidden packages using GPS co-ordinates. (…)
Police are urging geocachers who hide packages to tell police exactly where they are [continue]
Dear police (especially Insp. Tyrus Cameron of the Ottawa Police),
Geocachers are not likely to tell you about every cache they hide; the idea of doing that would never cross their minds.
But you’re supposed to be good at figuring stuff out, right? Ok, so how do you think geocachers know where to look for the hidden cache boxes? They find cache locations listed on the web, that’s how. And you can find those locations too, in seconds. It doesn’t take four-hours or two dozen police officers.
If you think some suspicious box might be a geocache, just have somebody back at the office take a quick peek at geocaching.com. What do you want to bet that the geocaches in your neighbourhood are already listed there?
Through a thick drizzle I gaze at the ominous gray stone buildings of the Tower of London, England’s most notorious prison. I wander from one to the next, trying to imagine what it was like to be held captive here hundreds of years ago. That’s when I hear a ghost. “Psst, you there… I’m sentenced to die tomorrow morning. Please, I beg you, can you help me escape?” I stop walking and look down at the screen of my HP iPAQ. There’s a picture of a portly Brit in 18th-century garb. His name is Lord Nithsdale, and he was involved in a plot to overthrow King George I. In my earphones, the voice tells me I’ve entered the year 1716 and again asks if I want to play the Lord Nithsdale adventure. I wipe the raindrops off the clear plastic pouch holding the PDA, a GPS unit, and a radio transmitter and hit Yes.
The adventure is part of a prototype location-based game designed for visitors to the tower, where inmates like Guy Fawkes and two of Henry VIII’s wives were executed. The idea is that instead of reading plaques and staring solemnly at the Bloody Tower, tourists skulk around with PDAs, re-creating classic prison breaks. [continue]