Train Passengers Stranded and Google's Secret Microphones - ITS Tactical
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Train Passengers Stranded and Google’s Secret Microphones – Hump Day Happenings

By The ITS Crew

Today is another edition of our Hump Day Happenings, where we provide topical skill-related news, events and products across the web. This week we’re bringing you information about a stuck train, Google’s hidden microphones and a newly discovered material that could change medicine.

Amtrak Train Stranded in Oregon for 36 Hours

Passengers and crew on an Amtrak train heading from Seattle to Los Angeles were stranded for 36 hours, due to fallen trees on the track. The crew made the decision to keep the passengers aboard the train, rather than finding a way to get them back to a town.

The delay caused the train to run low on things like food and hygiene products, so after 36 hours Amtrak made the decision to send the train back to Eugene, Oregon. We’re glad that everything worked out well for both the crew and the passengers, but we also want to highlight the need for being prepared with something like a Go Bag, even when you’re traveling.

Google Now Revealing Which Products Contain Microphones

Google Nest Secure

Google has come under scrutiny from many Nest users, after revealing that their Nest Secure home security and alarm system contained a microphone, previously not disclosed to users.

After an announcement that the voice-activated Google Assistant could be used with the Nest Secure, many users questioned how that was possible, as the existence of a microphone had never been mentioned in any Nest Secure product materials. Google claims that the microphone was included for future product features, like detecting broken glass and that the lack of mentioning it in any product materials was an error.

As the Internet of Things continues to grow, it’s important that consumers stayed informed of the possible security issues that can arise from having smart devices, with or without microphones.

Researchers Develop “Smart” Material for Medical Care

Shape Memory Polymer

A new Shape Memory Polymer (SMP) has been developed by researchers at Syracuse University that could be a breakthrough in healthcare. The material can change its shape in response to external factors like temperature changes or light exposure.

The team created the material using a process involving applying high voltage current to two separate polymer solutions. This new “smart” material could be used in wound treatment, as well as cancer treatments by responding to cellular activity.

Back in Stock: 4-Piece Toolset

Bogota 4-Piece Toolset

Now back in stock, the full-size Titanium Flats 4-Piece Toolset includes three straight picks and one tension wrench. This lightweight set weighs just .3 ounces and the flat shape makes it incredibly easy to store.

Stuck in the Middle

To help add a bit of humor today, we wanted to include this video of a Minnesota parking lot, where an Internet user document the deluge of vehicles attempting to get out after a recent snow storm. Too bad someone didn’t have a set of MAXTRAX on hand, although we thoroughly enjoyed some of the methods we saw people try.

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