Cell phone
News from the new tool for data collection – Zee News:

Washington: Researchers can garner vast amounts of information bearing on pollution, epidemics, transportation, from cameras, audio recorders and other applications built into cell phones, cheaply and efficiently.

But how to get mobile users to cooperate? “We can ‘soft control’ users with gaming or social network incentives to drive them where we want them,” said study co-author Fabian Bustamante of Northwestern University.

For example, a game might offer extra points if a player visits a certain location in the real world, or it might send a player to a certain location in a virtual scavenger hunt, according to a Northwestern statement.

To test soft control, researchers created Android games, including one called Ghost Hunter in which a player chases ghosts around his neighbourhood and “zaps” them through an augmented reality display on his phone.

In actuality, the player’s zapping motion snaps a photo of the spot where the ghost is supposedly located, said Bustamante, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern.

In Ghost Hunter, researchers are able to manipulate where the ghosts are placed. Some are placed in frequently travelled areas, others are located in out-of-the-way, rarely photographed locations.

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Phone records detail McLaughlin’s ties to Methuen housing
News from Eagle Tribune:

METHUEN — For a man who was run out of Methuen 20 years ago, Michael McLaughlin has kept close ties with city housing officials.

Call records last year from McLaughlin’s taxpayer-funded cellphone show the former Methuen town manager and disgraced Chelsea housing director had the ear of Methuen Housing Authority Director Ken Martin and housing board Chairman Robert Sheehan.

McLaughlin was forced to resign as executive director of the Chelsea Housing Authority in November, after it was revealed he underreported his $ 360,000 annual pay to state officials by $ 200,000. The FBI and state Attorney General’s office are now investigating him.

The 66-year-old Dracut resident has long been known as a political power broker in the Merrimack Valley. But locals who kept in touch with McLaughlin — including Martin, Sheehan and two other board members — deny ever discussing housing authority business with him.

“Mike and I are friends,” said Martin. “But he’s had nothing to do with Methuen housing in the 15 years I’ve been here.”

McLaughlin and Martin exchanged more than 400 cellphone calls during the 11-month period from Dec. 29, 2010, to Nov. 28, 2011. Sheehan’s cellphone and work numbers appear 37 times.

“I’ve known Mike for a long time,” said S…………… continues on Eagle Tribune

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