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Quake Watchers

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Earthquake researchers at Caltech are looking at tapping everyday citizens--by studying their cell phones or laptops--to help them measure earthquakes, reports the Whitter Daily News. "A couple of years ago, the researchers noticed that accelerators - small devices that measure motion - were becoming common, and now they're practically a standard part of Macintosh laptops and touch-screen cell phones. That's when it clicked that the accelerometers might help them with their research. 'Lightbulbs went on in people's heads - there's seismometers all over the place,' said Tom Heaton, director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory at Caltech." [WDN]