Iowa Planning New Digital Driver's License; Minnesota Isn't Interested

Categories: Iowa, Technology

Tatiana Crane
This is not happening any time soon in Minnesota

Earlier this week the Iowa Department of Transportation announced it's creating an app that would allow people to pull up their driver's license on their smartphone, instead of having to physically carry around a little card everywhere.

The app, which is due to be released sometime next year, would be the first of its kind in the nation. The Minnesota Department of Transportation said yesterday it's not interested in piggybacking on this cutting-edge technology.

See also:
Controversial Bill Allowing Illegal Immigrants to get Minnesota Driver's Licenses Advances

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Sen. Branden Petersen sets his sights on Bitcoin

Categories: Technology

Sen. Branden Petersen

After spending the last legislative session pushing medical marijuana and a cell phone tracking bill, Sen. Brandon Petersen (R-Andover) is now looking toward a totally different cause: Bitcoin, the semi-controversial digital currency.

This week, Petersen announced that he's founding a new nonprofit, yesbitcoin, with a mission to communicate to people and organizations how Bitcoin works and the ideas and infrastructure behind it. Petersen will serve as the executive director of the organization, but his role as senator will stay separate.

See More:
Photo of Bitcoin beggar outside Dinkytown McDonald's goes viral

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Sen. Branden Petersen's cell phone tracking bill becomes law

Sen. Branden Petersen
Late last week, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill written by Sen. Branden Petersen (R-Andover) that makes it slightly harder for law enforcement agencies to track cell phones and the court process more transparent.

Though he initially testified against it, James Franklin, executive director of the Minnesota Sheriffs' Association, says his organization is fine with Petersen's bill and pleased with the opportunity to clear up several public misconceptions in the post-Snowden era of surveillance.

See also:
MNGOP Sen. Branden Petersen to introduce "nation leading" electronic data privacy law

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MNGOP Sen. Branden Petersen to introduce "nation leading" electronic data privacy law

Branden Petersen rect.jpg
Sen. Branden Petersen
Last winter, news broke that the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension owned "cellular exploitation devices" called KingFish or StingRay. They basically function like cell phone towers, allowing officers to gather data from nearby phones.

Law enforcement agencies can use those devices without a warrant and without notifying people whose information is gathered. But a bill written by Sen. Branden Petersen, R-Andover, and approved by a 56-1 vote yesterday would change that.

See also:
Andy Driscoll, KFAI host, duped by The Onion's "Drone Flyover" inauguration photo

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Kickstarter for amazing aerial drone photos of Minneapolis

Categories: Technology
(Drone photo courtesy of Tony Koop)
Drones aren't just a terrifying military technology, they're also allowing amateur tinkerers to take amazing photos of the city we love.

One of them is Tony Koop. But he recently suffered a potentially career-ending loss when his expensive Phantom drone experienced a "flyaway" when he was showing it off to friends near the intersection of Highways 169 and 62.

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Lawmaker proposes smart phone "kill switch" to deter violent thefts

Phil Roeder
Forget pick-pocketing. The street crime of today is "apple picking" -- thefts that target smartphones like Apple's iPhone.

It hit at the University of Minnesota campus, which has seen a high-profile wave of violent robberies targeting students' phones and laptops. And last week, it hit at the Mall of America, where thieves snatched recent mayoral contender Mark Andrew's iPhone off of a table, and then beat him over the head when he tried to chase after them.

Cue the lawmakers.

See Also:
- Here's what Mark Andrew looked like after he was beaten bloody by robbers at MOA [PHOTO]
- U of M crime: Students threaten to "take matters into our own hands," demand more cops

More » lost gobs of cash thanks to website crash

Screengrab via Star Tribune
This page greeted some of the folks who tried to access today and donate.
What do the Obamacare website and have in common today? They both work about as well as e-pulltabs have in funding the Vikings stadium.

About two-thirds of the way though today's "Give to the Max Day," heavy traffic caused the Razoo-powered GiveMN site to give out. And while the coincidence of the crash happening around the same time Barack offered up his mea culpa about the Affordable Care Act's balky website may have caused some to chuckle, it's certainly no laughing matter for Minnesota's nonprofits.

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Al Franken has concerns about iPhone 5s's fingerprint technology

Mark Reilly on Twitter
The line outside Uptown's Apple Store just before 9 this morning.
As people line up outside Apple stores across the country on this most holy of days -- iPhone Day, you might call it -- Al Franken is expressing concern about the security of the new iPhone 5s's fingerprint technology.

SEE ALSO: Al Franken doesn't want mobile app companies to sell your location data without permission

Instead of using an old-fashioned passcode, a feature allows users to unlock the phone with their own fingerprint. That sounds pretty cool, but what happens if your fingerprint information is hacked? And what does Apple plan to do with that data?

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University of Minnesota scientists demonstrate unprecedented mind-controlled drone [VIDEO]

Categories: Technology, U of M
Scientists say the technology could help people control wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs, among other applications.
A team of scientists and graduate students at the University of Minnesota recently demonstrated a mind-controlled drone that is propelled in different directions by nothing more than brain signals.

SEE ALSO: MPD uses robot to arrest Eric Simmons, 29, in north Minneapolis [MUGSHOT]

As reported by a Smithsonian blog, pilots wore a non-invasive helmet studded with electrodes detecting "electrical activity in different parts of the brain near the scalp, effectively reading their minds." Five undergraduates with minimal training were able to fly the drone through hoops with a high degree of accuracy.

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MPD uses robot to arrest Eric Simmons, 29, in north Minneapolis [MUGSHOT]

eric simmons rect 2.jpg
It looks like Simmons was still smarting from whatever the robot sprayed in his face when he was booked into Hennepin County Jail yesterday.
A seven-hour standoff ended yesterday thanks to a high-tech arrest by the Minneapolis Police Department.

SEE ALSO: MNGOPers introduce anti-drone legislation

An MPD SWAT team used a robot armed with a chemical irritant to subdue 29-year-old Eric Simmons before actual human officers swooped in to arrest him.

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