StarChase: Austin Police to test new GPS device that launches and sticks to suspect’s vehicle…

Criminals are about to have a much tougher time getting away from police. On Friday Austin police are rolling out a new GPS tracking system. It brings the slogan “you can run, but you can’t hide” to life.

Austin police got into 79 pursuits between January and August of last year. Many times officers must call them off because things get too dangerous.

“Obviously as a police officer and a member of the community, we don’t want people to get away with violent crimes and fleeing from police we want to be able to capture people,” said APD Officer Tom Howard.

Last summer an innocent man was killed when he was struck by a car thief who was being pursued by an APD officer.

“There are pursuits every week, every day. We want to make sure we’re able to end these pursuits quickly, with as little damage to property and as little risk to the public and ourselves and the person we’re pursuing as possible,” said Howard.

Austin officers are hoping the Star Chase System will do just that.

It’s a compressed air-launcher that attaches to the grill of a patrol car. Officers use a laser to target a fleeing vehicle and with the push of a button, a GPS device launches and sticks to the suspect’s vehicle.

The pursuing officer can then back off and wait for directions from dispatch, who will be able to view the vehicle’s position on a real-time tracking map.

“This allows officers to slow down their speed, whereas normally we’d be going with our lights and sirens at all times. This gives you the option to go without lights and sirens because you already know where this vehicle is heading,” Howard said.

The department trained officers on Wednesday. This Friday, patrol cars outfitted with the system will roll out in the city’s highest pursuit areas. Depending on the success of the program–even more could be added to the fleet.

APD is the first department in Texas to use the system. The company is allowing the department to test it for free for eight months. Typically, it would cost $4,900 dollars to outfit each car.

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Siemens’s Supersized Wind Turbines Head Out to Sea

Siemens installed two colossal offshore wind turbines this week, demonstrating technology that could have a significant impact on the economics of wind power.

The German company has been developing the turbines, which produce double the maximum power output of its current models, for several years. It has been testing the technology on land, and installed the first ones offshore with the help of a new ship designed specifically for the task. The turbines feature test blades that are 60 meters long, but Siemens intends to employ world-record 75-meter blades eventually.

Yet for offshore wind power to compete with fossil fuels, wind turbines may need to get even bigger. The new turbines generate six megawatts of power in good wind. Several companies are designing 10- and even 15-megawatt machines with 100-meter blades. These blades would reach two-thirds of the way to the roof of the Empire State Building. The push to supersize wind turbines is part of an effort to reduce installation and maintenance costs, which can be far higher than the cost of the turbines themselves. The pictures in this slideshow give a sense of just why installation is so costly.

SolidWorks World 2013: The Numbers


This year marks the 15th anniversary of SolidWorks World.  In 1999, when we had our first SolidWorks World in Palm Springs, there were approximately 800 people, 60 partners, and 70 technical sessions.  I was there, and I remember thinking how great it was to meet so many people with a passion for 3D design. Things have changed quite a bit.

At today’s event we have over 4500 attendees, over 240 technical sessions, and over 100 partners.  The number of SolidWorks users is continuing to grow at an amazing rate. It was only four years ago that we announced our one-millionth user, and today, we have over two million. In fact, if you stacked two million SolidWorks DVD cases, it would make a pile over 3.2 times the height of Mount Everest! To me, that is an amazing number, and if you are using (or learning how to use) SolidWorks today, it’s confirmation that you are in good company. Here’s a quick look at some of the community statistics:

  • Total SolidWorks Users: 2 million
  • SolidWorks Resellers: 407
  • SolidWorksSolution Partners: 800
  • Certified SolidWorks Users:  61,000
  • SolidWorks User Groups: 218
  • Facebook Fans: 525,000+
  • 3D ContentCentral Users: 1 million
  • DraftSight users: 1.3 million

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What is myMLCservices?

myMLCservices is a new and creative approach to providing additional channels for delivering Customer Service to our customers.  As technology advances many new communication media/methods/mechanisms are available to all of us for gaining technical expertise, improving our product knowledge and expanding our capabilities.  No longer are we limited to only one or two methods of learning or problem-solving.

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What is My.SolidWorks?


1. What is the purpose of My.SolidWorks?

The main focus of the initial release (we are in beta now) is to browse recent content and search across our hosted community and learning web sites. This allows for one gateway into the valuable resources within the SolidWorks community.

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Site Unseen: More ‘Angels’ Invest via Internet

After Adam Winter read about a roving teleconferencing robot, he got a hunch that the $2,000 gadget might become the next big thing.

So the 38-year-old technology consultant from Columbus, Ohio, sat down at his computer earlier this month, clicked a button and committed to plunk $10,000 from his bank account into the 18-month-old Silicon Valley startup that developed the robot.

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MLC CAD Systems personnel pass CSESP (Certified SolidWorks Enterprise Sales Professional) certification

The following MLC CAD Systems personnel passed their CSESP (Certified SolidWorks Enterprise Sales Professional) while at SolidWorks World 2013.  This was held over the course of 2 days in Orlando (in addition to many hours of pre-training preparation work) and marks the highest level of certification currently offered by SolidWorks for sales professionals. 

Congratulations to:

Jay Clanahan of MLC CAD Systems – Oklahoma

Brenna Stevens of MLC CAD Systems – Houston

Matt Harmon of MLC CAD Systems – Austin

Lance Lessard of MLC CAD Systems – Atlanta

Lance Rosenbaum of MLC CAD Systems – Dallas

Pam Goldston of MLC CAD Systems – Atlanta