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VATICAN CITY

  • "Vatican Library begins using computer chips to identify volumes," by Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, 29 March 2004: "Starting last year, the library began inserting so-called Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, computer chips in books available on its open shelves as a way to find misplaced tomes... With this new technology, a library worker can pass a wand-like antenna over the shelves and 'if a book is missing or in the wrong place, the antenna will sound an alarm to signal there's a problem,' [said the library's vice prefect, Ambrogio Piazzoni]... So far, 50,000 books have been tagged with the RFID chips.... Although some US libraries see RFID technology as a way to make book checkout easier and faster, the application will take on a different dimension at the Vatican since no books can be removed from the Vatican Library - except by the pope. 'We're the first to merge our extensive cataloging system with this technology,' Piazzoni said. That means each book or document's catalog data - such as its title, author, number of pages, date published - will be inserted into the book's chip. This way even readers at the library can aim their handheld computer at a book and get its catalog information without having to reach up and take it down."
  • "Motorola Trial WiFi Enables Gendarmeria Vaticana Security Network," Motorola press release, 23 February 2004: "Motorola Inc.'s Global Telecom Solutions Sector (GTSS) today announced it is delivering a trial WiFi (Wireless Local Area Network) system to the Gendarmeria Vaticana... The high data speed network can support real-time video streaming, giving the police officer wireless access to the CCTV network and intelligent number-plate checking databases. The WiFi system operates on the 802.11g standard..."
  • "Wireless in the World: Higher Calling - Vatican City" by Barbie Nadeau, Newsweek International, 7-14 June 2006: "In the next few months, Wi-Fi hotspots will be popping up all over St. Peter's Square and inside the church. By Easter, tourists with wireless laptops or PDAs may be able to download information about the architectural history of Bernini's columns or the significance of Michelangelo's Pieta in electronic form, to serve as e-book pocket guides. Sister Judith would love to see the church offer wireless e-learning of catechism or even marriage-preparation classes..."

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