Published: Tuesday 28 February 1995

The Japanese computer giant, Toshiba Corporation, will now ensure a drastic reduction of paperwork in corporate offices. It has devised a system increasing the flexibility of networked computers. The new Wireless Desk Area system allows portable computers to form wireless communication networks. The equipment consists of communications software, with either a wireless Local Area Network card or an infra-red transceiver. It automatically identifies terminals for communication upto a distance of 100 m.

If you are caught in a fire, don't panic, breathe easy: this message comes from the Vancouver-based Canadian firm, Brookdale International Systems. The company has designed an unique smoke hood. The EVAC-U8, rolled up in a soda can-sized container, supplies fresh air during fires for 20 minutes at a stretch. The device, costing US $70, utilises a multistage catalytic filter mouthpiece that purifies the air in smoke particulates, carbon dioxide and other toxic gases. A 1-way valve ensures that the exhaled air doesn't loop back. The translucent hood does not block vision, and is heat and flame resistant upto approximately 400 0C.

Equifax, a US company that provides consumer data for credit evaluation and insurance claims, will now supply medical records and data on doctors to hospitals, which will help review ailment patterns. This new healthcare project is estimated to gross about US $300 million. Says Jack Sullivan of the San Francisco firm, Harris, Bretall, Sullivan & Smith, "This gives Equifax a larger share of the booming information business. So we decided to put US $50 million in Equifax."

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