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TSA’s next generation body scanners came out of research at PNNL lab

Last week the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced it would remove backscatter scanning machines from U.S. airports. The decision followed a fail by the company that made those units to devise a satisfying software fix for the problem of images that were deemed too invasive for many airline passengers.

Spokane and other airpots using the backscatter machines will see those replaced. TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said the replacements will roll out in early summer 2013.

The next technology to go into the airports has a Washington state pedigree. Starting this summer the TSA will install machines using millimeter wave beams to look for contraband or weapons at the airline checkpoints.

That technology is developed by L-3, a New York company. That technology traces directly to research done at the Pacific Northwest National Labs in the Tri-Cities.

A story from the Review back in 2006 noted that L-3 acquired the rights to the technology after buying it from the California firm that licensed the millimeter wave system developed at PNNL.

Here's the old story for background:

April 1, 2006 in Business

Body-scanning system developed at PNNL may find wider application

The Spokesman-Review 

A New York company that has extensive contracts with the Department of Homeland Security has acquired a body-scanning system developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

L-3 Communications announced this week it has acquired SafeView Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif. SafeView had licensed an innovative holographic body scanner system developed in the 1990s at PNNL’s Richland, Wash., lab.

The technology uses ultra–high frequency waves known as millimeter waves to detect objects that evade the discovery of traditional metal detectors. The non-intrusive, low-radiation system provides a 360-degree image of any objects worn under the clothing of a person scanned by the screening device.

SafeView has already sold versions of its system — called the Scout Personal Screening System — to dozens of customers, including the London transportation system and to the U.S. Department of Defense, which employs the technology to protect people inside Baghdad’s Green Zone.

L-3 officials did not disclose how much the company paid to acquire SafeView. SafeView reported 2005 sales of about $50 million.

A press release on the acquisition said SafeView will help L-3 develop a more advanced set of security systems to be used in the aviation and maritime industries. L-3, which is traded publicly, had revenue of about $12 billion last year.

Cougar killed by wildlife police in tree above Tri-Cities home

WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS — Washington Fish and Wildlife police killed this 120-pound cougar on May 2 after it moved into a Kennewick neighborhood and perched in the tree above a yard where three girls ages 4, 7 and 10 normally play.
 
Two schools are nearby.
 
Arrangements are  underway to donate the animal’s remains to Washington State University for biological research at the Tri-Cities campus, WDFW officials said.
 

ZAP acquires technology developed at PNNL

A CalifornPHEV Smart Charger by PNNL - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.ia electric car company called ZAP has licensed a battery-charger controller developed by the folks at the Pacific Northwest National Lab in the Tri-Cities.

ZAP has made trucks and electric vehicles for customers in more than 70 countries.

It announced it will use the controller (or time scheduler) to determine the best time for charging up an electric vehicle’s lithium-ion batteries.

The controller technology allows electric car owners to recharge their rides at times of lowest cost and least stress on the grid.

The ZAP deal is a non-exclusive arrangement, a press release noted.

 ”ZAP believes the patented smart car charging technology is an important feature to ensure the environmental viability of electric cars,” said ZAP Founder and Director of Business Development, Gary Starr.

 

Shock await 1-10 Fever

Spokane returns to the Arena tonight for the first time in nearly a month. Visiting Tri-Cities provides the opposition at 7 p.m.

About 500 tickets remain for Saturday’s game.

Read on for my unedited game preview that will run in Saturday’s S-R.

Shock run record to 9-0

Spokane’s two most lopsided wins this season have come against Tri-Cities. The Shock clobbered the Fever 61-20 on Saturday night to improve to 9-0. Spokane crushed Tri-Cities 62-32 six weeks ago in Spokane.

More below.

 

Unbeaten Shock visit 1-7 Tri-Cities

Back with an advance of Saturday’s Spokane/Tri-Cities game. The unedited version is below.

 

Shock, Fever, Burn, Cowbells

A follow-up post to Spokane’s 62-32 win over Tri-Cities on Saturday. Find the game story I posted last night here, game stats, game photos from Dan Pelle and John Blanchette’s column that brings together cowbells, Gene Frenkle and armpit farts. Tri-Cities coach Richard Davis declined to talk to me after the game, but he did vent about the disputed fumble call on a shovel pass here.

Finally, here’s an Idaho Statesman recap and a Shreveport Times article on Boise’s road win over Bossier-Shreveport Saturday. Spokane visits the Burn this Saturday.

(Spokane’s Ben McCombs is pictured above pressuring Tri-Cities’ quarterback Joe Ayoob, a recurring theme during Saturday’s game).

 

  

Shock thump Fever, improve to 2-0

Not the prettiest game of all time, but the Spokane Shock managed to put away Tri-Cities 62-32 on Saturday night at the Arena.

Read on for an unedited game story.

Where the jobs are: go to Yakima, the Tri-Cities…

So says a quarterly survey by the staffing company Manpower, reported recently in Forbes. From the article:

Cities in the Pacific Northwest and Texas have the best employment outlook for April through June, while cities in the the Southeast have the weakest, according to the study.

Yakima’s 21 percent projected increase in employment — apparently due to a strong apple crop and processing — gave it “the strongest employment outlook in the country” for Q2 of 2009.

Kennewick was No. 2, with 19 percent growth expected. No. 3 was Anchorage, Alaska.

And the worst job prospects? Hello, Florida, hit hard by the construction bubble and then hit again by the tourism slump.

State Rep. John Driscoll — whose predecessor, John Ahern, frequently talked about “a great sucking sound” as employers took their jobs to nearby Idaho — said he was pleased by the news.

“Well, he indeed heard a sucking noise, but he had the direction wrong,” said Driscoll, D-Spokane. “The good jobs are coming here.”