Quick Hits

Drivers in Newfoundland could get more than they bargained for if they are caught talking and driving this year. Last month the province introduced a ban on the use of handheld cell phones while driving. The law won’t come into effect until late March or early April to give people enough time to find alternatives to using handheld phones while they drive. Once in effect, anyone caught breaking the law will receive four demerit points on their driver’s licence and fines ranging from $45 to $180. The province has said the ban is aimed at improving safety on the roads.

Diving into communications

A Victoria-based military diving organization, DiveLink International Technologies Inc., has developed a cellular phone interface unit allowing divers to receive and transmit information to remote locations without having to come up for air. According to the company, through custom microchips, the surface unit allows existing cell phones to be plugged in to facilitate communication between the diver and other people, anywhere in the world. DiveLink’s underwater communicators give hands-free operation with no manual adjustments required or complicated menu modes. For more information, visit the company at www.naval-technology.com.

All you need at your fingertips

So, you’re driving down the highway, your favourite CD is playing and there is not a cloud in the sky. Suddenly, it happens: the dreaded gas light appears out of nowhere like a pimple on your first date. Will you make it to the nearest gas station? Better yet, where is the nearest gas station? As of last month, Bell Mobility clients in Quebec and Ontario need not worry. The company announced MyFinder, a location-based service that finds the location of a user’s mobile device – within Bell Mobility’s coverage area – and lets them look up information for services including restaurants, hotels, hospitals, banks or theatres. MyFinder also provides detailed directions and the estimated distance and time of travel, whether by vehicle or on foot. More information can be found at www.bellmobility.com.

Karaoke takes to the road

This year, there may be more than cursing and yelling going on in Chinese cars during traffic jams. China Geely Group said its newest vehicle model, the Geely Beauty Leopard, will not only come with a phone and global positioning system navigation gear, but a karaoke machine as well. The Beauty Leopard will enter production this month and will be available in April.

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