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Categories

Archive for the ‘surveillance’ Category

postheadericon SoCal mall installs ‘Find Your Car’ kiosks in parking garage to help you find your car — and others find you?

Big Brother’s watching us on public streets and in our homes, and now he’s fixed his gaze on shopping malls — under the guise of helping us find our cars in a mall parking garage. Santa Monica Place has installed Park Assist’s M3 Camera Vision system with “Find Your Car” kiosks that allow wayward shoppers to punch in their license plate number to receive a picture of their auto and its whereabouts. It utilizes a network of cameras to capture each car’s location and read the plate, and has a central control system that can dole out firmware upgrades as more (nefarious?) needs arise. A similar system is used at Heathrow Airport, though the British version snaps a photo of your plates upon entry and and tracks cars with infrared cameras — as opposed to Park Assist’s use of hi-res cameras to capture an image of your plate once you’ve parked. While helping people find their cars is an admirable goal, the system seems rife with opportunities for abuse because the footage is privately owned — meaning the car location information could be sold to anyone, including that crazy ex-girlfriend of yours. As for us, we’d rather not exchange a walk-on part in the war to maintain our privacy for a lead role in another video cage. We’re just fine remembering things the old-fashioned way, thanks.

SoCal mall installs ‘Find Your Car’ kiosks in parking garage to help you find your car — and others find you? originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Jan 2011 11:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink LA Times  |  sourcePark Assist  | Email this | Comments

postheadericon AIRPrint performs ranged fingerprint scanning, won’t let the terrorists win

While ears may be the new biometric du jour, Advanced Optical Systems (AOS) is doing its best to keep fingerprints as the preferred method for identifying enemies of the state. The company has built a fingerprint scanner with the ability to accurately read a print up to two meters away, and our military views the system as a means to reduce the risk to soldiers at security checkpoints all over the world. The AIRPrint system is a significant upgrade over previous biometric security systems because it allows a person’s identity to be confirmed by military personnel from behind the safety of a blast wall or armored vehicle, which keeps our serviceman out of harm’s way. AIRPrint uses a source of polarized light and two 1.3 megapixel cameras (one to receive vertically polarized light and another to receive horizontally polarized light) in order to produce an accurate fingerprint. The prototype is able to scan and verify a print in under five seconds, but the device can presently only process one finger at a time, and that finger must stay a fixed distance from the cameras to get a precise reading. Despite these current limitations, AOS claims that soon the equipment will be capable of reading five prints simultaneously while a person is moving toward or away from the device. The system will be ready for market in the third quarter of this year, which is bad news for terrorists and soccer hooligans, but a windfall for Big Brother.

AIRPrint performs ranged fingerprint scanning, won’t let the terrorists win originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 18 Jan 2011 07:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Technology Review  |  sourceAdvanced Optical Systems  | Email this | Comments

postheadericon US opts to derez virtual fence along Mexico border, replacing it with more affordable measures

Remember that hugely ambitious “virtual fence” that the US Homeland Security department was so keen on blowing a few billion dollars on? Well, following a bunch of setbacks and delays in its development, it’s now been determined to be too darn expensive and is being scrapped. That’s not without splashing some cash, however, as it’s estimated that a billion dollars has already been spent on installing sensor towers along a 53-mile stretch of the Arizona border with Mexico. The plan now is to redirect funds to more conventional (and commercially available) surveillance measures, such as thermal imaging and unmanned aerial drones, which is estimated to cost $750 million to cover the remaining 323 miles of Arizona’s border. Whatever happens, keeping illegal immigration and contraband smuggling to a minimum isn’t going to be a cheap task. Almost makes you wonder if this isn’t a problem better solved by non-technological means.

US opts to derez virtual fence along Mexico border, replacing it with more affordable measures originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 15 Jan 2011 23:59:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Slashdot  |  sourceReuters  | Email this | Comments

postheadericon Samsung enters new Galaxy with BabyView range of infant video monitors

Talk about broadening one’s horizon. Samsung took a break from pushing its connected HDTVs and Galaxy S line here at CES to introduce something just a wee bit different: a baby video monitor line. Yeah, seriously. The BabyView range is said to be engineered to fit into the wild and crazy lifestyles of “tech-savvy parents,” enabling proud mamas and papas to share audio and video of their youngster with friends and family via Twitter and Facebook. How so? It’ll log video onto a built-in SD card, which can then be offloaded and transferred — not exactly the most seamless process in the world, but hey, there it is. The whole line will offer night vision, two-way talking, sound / vibration alerts, a remote nightlight, SD card slot and networked support for up to four cameras. Hop on past the break if you need specifics, and look for the whole lot to land this spring for between $199 and $299.

Continue reading Samsung enters new Galaxy with BabyView range of infant video monitors

Samsung enters new Galaxy with BabyView range of infant video monitors originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 09 Jan 2011 06:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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postheadericon CCTV cameras help solve ‘six crimes a day’ in London, says Metropolitan Police

Been questioning the value of having omnipresent surveillance cameras tracking your every move? Well, if you’re an outlaw, you still won’t like them, but for the rest of us law-abiding types, London’s Metropolitan Police has a comforting stat to share: almost six crimes a day are being resolved with the help of CCTV footage. It’s being used primarily to aid the identification of perps on the run, and the number of suspects identified as a result has gone up to 2,512 this year. There is a bright light for criminals, however, as the Met admits digital recordings aren’t kept around as long as VHS ones used to be, meaning that if you slip the dragnet once, you’ll probably be alright. So good news for everyone!

CCTV cameras help solve ‘six crimes a day’ in London, says Metropolitan Police originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 28 Dec 2010 05:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceBBC  | Email this | Comments