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Earthquake-Detecting Program Turns Your Laptop into a Seismometer

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posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 07:22 AM
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This looks fascinating - I can't wait for further news/developments!

Fellow seismo-surfers will, I'm sure, be excited!


If you’ve purchased a laptop over the past few years it’s very likely to contain a device called an accelerometer — a sensor that can save your hard drive by registering if you’ve dropped your precious Mac or PC. In a genius feat of repurposing, Elizabeth Cochran of the University of California, Riverside and and Jesse Lawrence of Stanford have created a free computer program that uses your accelerometer to turn your computer into a seismometer that can easily detect earthquakes. They’re working on building a network of earthquake-detecting computers around the world in order to crowdsource seismic data and get people to safety faster.

inhabitat.com...




posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 07:33 AM
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Going to read the article in a few but some things popped in my head:
How does the system get the location of the laptop?
If I bumped the table the laptop was sitting on, what would it register as?
I use my laptop quite often in my vehicle, for navigational purposes so how would it deal with the myriad of potholes, expansion joints, vehicle vibrations and acceleration / deceleration effects?



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 07:38 AM
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Well, I hate to be negative about this, but to me this is just another method of entrapment, and another excuse to monitor people's computers- giving away their whereabouts and potentially other private information. And the fact that it is free raises even more red flags.

But even without all that it is still a bad idea. Think about it. First, what good is this going to do seeing as the earthquake will already be upon you if you detect it with your laptop? So instead of immediately taking action you are instead going to be tempted to sitting there and watching the damn thing on the screen while the building falls on top of you? :shk:

And further, I have to question whether this is really even necessary, given the staggering amount of seismographic stations on the planet. It is just not making much sense to me. Because in the remote areas where this could be of any benefit, there would have to be internet, and probably high speed internet to be effective at all. And if there is already high speed internet there, chances are there are already a myriad of seismographic stations. And these aren't some cheap, laptop accelerometers. They are the real deal.

In today's world, any place that is active seismically to any great extent is already being monitored by professional, very expensive systems. And readings are also analyzed by qualified seismologists- not everyday people using their laptops for common uses.

I repeat, this is a trap. Beware.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 07:47 AM
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Some great points there TrueAmerican that I hadn't considered.


However, I do love the crowdsourcing elements (isn't that what we do here
) in that data taken from several locations to group it together to make a "decision" on whether it was an event.

With the number of big dogs in this house that enjoy sitting under my desk I am pretty sure I'd be shaking


Still, I'll probably give it a go...



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 07:55 AM
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giving away access to your accelerometers is a risky business.

software has been developed in japan which analyses the information from accelerometers in mobile phones to determine the actions of the user. it is intended to be used by employers to monitor their employees to make sure they are being productive. they claim that the software can learn to determine exactly what a person is doing (walking, running, cleaning, etc), not just where they are.

i don't see any reason to believe that the same software couldn't be used in exactly the same way in your laptop. this one needs a health warning. i don't think i'll be signing up.

[edit on 20/4/10 by pieman]



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 07:59 AM
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reply to post by pieman
 


Interesting, but what possible information would they get, apart from movement, from the accelerometer. Apart from them having zero chance of catching me cleaning
I don't usually jog or walk with my laptop (at least, not with it on!)



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 08:20 AM
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i have no idea what they might get from it, legitimate or illegitimate. a laptop will never make a good seismograph.

i assume that the laptop being "on" is not required for the accelerometers to be monitoring the laptops movements, or they would be pointless, and i can't imagine they'd be monitoring the accelerometers constantly as that would take to much computing power.

i assume that when you sign up, you give permission for your accelerometer movements to be recorded and accessed at a later date if required.

this type of data is already being used to spy on people. it seems like an unwise thing to give away to me.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 10:13 AM
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If you go to the Stanford University site you can get to this map

Note the information about location privacy. They know where you are!

I have just had a look at Ireland. reland is just about the least earthquake prone area in the world. We have very few quakes, not even one a year sometimes.

Here is the network's figures for someone in Dublin.



Eh? You have got to be kidding me. 565 events in the past week? And if these only detect 4.0+ then this says to me that this system is a total waste of time.

1 in the past 4 hours. Must have been riding the Luas I think (Tram system)

[edit on 20/4/2010 by PuterMan]



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 10:18 AM
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Originally posted by MoorfNZ
Some great points there TrueAmerican that I hadn't considered.


However, I do love the crowdsourcing elements (isn't that what we do here
) in that data taken from several locations to group it together to make a "decision" on whether it was an event.

With the number of big dogs in this house that enjoy sitting under my desk I am pretty sure I'd be shaking


Still, I'll probably give it a go...


It only registers 4.0+ so as TA said the chances are it will have already been detected. But if people want to do it then they are free to sit there working their laptop while the world falls in around them as noted by TA.



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 03:03 PM
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i posted this story a couple weeks ago, but it didnt really get much attention.

hopefully your thread takes off, i think its neat and more people need to be aware of it.
My thread - 'Quake Catcher' Software Converts Laptops Worldwide into Earthquake Sensor Network



posted on Apr, 20 2010 @ 08:27 PM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


Alaskan Man - sorry about that, didn't see your previous post despite having been glued to ATS for last 6 mths.

Thanks for all your thoughts and input
I'll watch the prog's development...



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