Minority Report on the Buses


CCTV security systems could soon spot an assault on a bus before it happens, according to a major research project.The system, part of which has already been tested in laboratory conditions, looks for suspicious behaviour associated with crime. It would be able to send live CCTV pictures to operation rooms, from where controllers would be able to intervene. The Queens University Belfast team say the software could make a significant impact on crime on transport. Although much of the work is currently at the theoretical stage, the team from the university’s newly-founded Centre for Secure Information Technologies predict that within five years their software will be able to profile people as they board a bus.

via BBC

Anti-Wifi Paint

Researchers say they have created a special kind of paint which can block out wireless signals.It means security-conscious wireless users could block their neighbours from being able to access their home network – without having to set up encryption.The paint contains an aluminium-iron oxide which resonates at the same frequency as wi-fi – or other radio waves – meaning the airborne data is absorbed and blocked.

BBC link

Armed against recession


army shop dalstonarmedforces2

As the recession continues to bite the armed forces are experiencing an increase in the number of new recruits – which has risen 10% on last year. This surge of interest is seems not only to be a product of the recession but the Forces increasingly extensive and sophisticated self-promotion.

In addition to the web and TV based ‘Start Thinking Soldier’ campaign are a whole host of offline, regional events. Potential young recruits are being targeted at consumer events, shopping malls and schools using experiential events and arcade-style virtual reality simulators. Even in my local shopping arcade is a shop dedicated to promoting the exciting adventures a soldier will embark on with the added excitement of virtual reality gaming and cool buggies to drive.

The RAF have also launched RAF Altitude – an online magazine portal for young teenagers to sign up and learn about RAF career options. The interface includes areas to register and ‘Dive In’ to learn about RAF survival techniques, RAF history and a Youtube channel dedicated to promoting the cool life of an air force cadet.

To sew the seeds of military ambition at an even earlier age are Hasbro’s ultra realistic Action Man dolls (seen here in the window of Hamleys in April 2009). Hasbro recently reintroduced the dolls with special permission from the MoD. The figures will now come equipped with accurate replicas of the weapons used in the Iran and Afghanistan wars as opposed to the more fanciful inline skates, water pistols and snowboards.

According to BBC News:

‘The MoD says it hopes the figures will boost the profile of Britain’s serving forces. [It’s] an ideal opportunity to raise public awareness of the armed forces and what the personnel do day-by-day,” says Squadron leader Stuart Balfour. “We feel by children playing with these toys, it promotes things like discipline, sense of belonging to a wider organisation and team work.’

Visualising Crime

New York Daily Gun Deaths. Each bullet represents a death. Colors show the type of death i.e. suicide, homicide, accidental or legal police action. Counts are broken down by age group.

New York Daily Gun Deaths. Each bullet represents a death. Colors show the type of death i.e. suicide, homicide, accidental or legal police action. Counts are broken down by age group.

For almost every reported crime, there’s a paper or digital record of it somewhere, which means hundreds of thousands of data points – number of thefts, break-ins, assaults, and homicides as well as where and when the incidents occurred. The NYPD (and more recently, the LAPD) use COMPSTAT, an accountability management system driven by data.While a lot of this crime data is kept confidential to respect people’s privacy, there’s still plenty of publicly available records.

via link

Mobile scanner could detect guns


British scientists have developed a portable microwave scanner to help police identify individuals carrying concealed guns and knives. It is small enough to be used covertly, at some distance from the subject. The device is based around microwave radar technology and is designed to pick up the “reflections” of weapons concealed beneath clothing. from bbc

Man charged for dumping silicone girlfriend


On August 21, the 60-year-old unemployed resident of Izu, central Japan wrapped his 1.7-meter tall, 50-kilogram silicone girlfriend in a sleeping bag, drove to a remote wooded area, and dumped her. Two weeks later, a couple while out walking their dog spotted the body and frantically called the cops. The doll body had been wrapped in a bag and bound around the neck, waist and ankles. A head of black hair was visible from one end of the bag. via Guardian

Sex dolls now available from Japan


Japanese robot hurls net at suspected intruders


T-34 is a security robot that throws nets over intruders. The security robot was developed jointly by robot maker tmsuk Co Ltd. and Alacom Co Ltd. The remote-operated prototype robot T-34 moves at up to 10 km/hr speeds at the direction of an authorized individual with a linked mobile phone. If T-34’s sensors detect anything wrong in an office building or warehouse, the operator can see what T-34 sees in real time. The T-34 security robot can launch a net at intruders, incapacitating them until police arrive.

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