Items tagged with Police

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has purchased several devices capable of seizing funds loaded on prepaid debit cards. These devices will be in law enforcement vehicles, and enable troopers to freeze, seize, and return stolen cards. Troopers hope that these scanners will be useful in roadside seizures of suspected drug-trafficking proceeds.The scanners would also be capable of retrieving and storing limited account information from other cards as well, such as banking debit cards, credit cards and “payment account information from virtually any magnetic stripe card”. Law officers would... Read more...
Everyone hates a backseat driver. You know, the person that’s looking over your shoulder, keeping an eye on your speed and pointing out everything “wrong” that you’re doing behind the wheel. Well, given how much technology that is being crammed into automobiles these days, it’s not human passengers that we have to worry about: it’s the HAL 9000 computers that are monitoring every important subsystem in your late model vehicle. Take the case of Cathy Bernstein, for example. The 57-year-old woman made an absolutely boneheaded play by rear-ending another vehicle and then fleeing the scene. Bernstein,... Read more...
A new device from an MIT alumnus will soon be helping police assess dangerous situations from a safe distance. The softball-sized explorer triggers its six cameras when tossed into a room. It then sends the images back to police, where they are rapidly stitched into a panoramic image for tactical assessment. The alumnus’ new company, Bounce, is gearing up to launch the Explorer for both police and rescue services. Image credit: MIT The Explorer was initially designed in response to the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, after which rescuers had difficulty locating survivors trapped in the rubble. “I... Read more...
Google announced today that its Waze app has graduated to the big leagues and has officially joined Google Mobile Services along with other “essential” apps like Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, and Google Maps. This move will give OEMs the option to preinstall Waze on their smartphones and tablets so users can enjoy the benefits of the app “straight out of the box.” "If a leading telecom preinstalls Waze in his handsets, a large percentage of the population would immediately have access to blocked roads, dangerous intersections traffic and more in real time," said Waze spokesperson Julie Mossler. "There's... Read more...
A few weeks ago, we brought you a story about Google’s Waze app and how law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are becoming increasingly paranoid about how the app is being used. In a nutshell, Waze allows drivers to report on road hazards, traffic jams, accidents, and of course police activity. All of this information is reported in near-real-time, and with millions of drivers using the app, it provides a wealth of data to road warriors. But many police departments see the app as a threat. Late last month, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said that the Waze app can be “misused by those... Read more...
Ever heard of "predictive policing?" Your local police department might be savvy to the term. A company called PredPol is making a lot of money from its predictive policing software, which feeds historical crime data to a proprietary algorithm that then predicts the next dozen or so locations that are likely to see crime activity during an officer's upcoming shift."Using only three data points – past type, place and time of crime and a unique algorithm based on criminal behavior patterns, PredPol’s powerful software provides each law enforcement agency with customized crime predictions for the... Read more...
When we last gave you a status update on The Pirate Bay back in late December, we were given the impression that the site would make a full recovery. If you recall, earlier that month The Pirate Bay was the subject of a Swedish police raid that knocked the site offline. Since that time, the site’s operators have been working overtime to get the site fully operational (despite objections by Peter Sunde, one of The Pirate Bay’s co-founders). Well, they’re baaaaaaaaaaack! The Pirate Bay is officially back online and fully functional; one day ahead of schedule we might add. It honor of its resurrection,... Read more...
As someone who does a lot of driving and depends greatly upon the Waze app (Waze has roughly 50 million users in over 200 countries around the world), this bit of news struck a nerve with me. Law enforcement agencies across the country are coming out against the app, saying that would-be cop killers could use it to stalk officers while they are doing their jobs. But before we get to the complaints, let’s talk a little bit about what Waze actually does. First and foremost, Waze operates like a traditional GPS app, giving you turn-by-turn directions to a destination, voice prompts with spoken street... Read more...
It seems as though The Pirate Bay just can’t get a break these days. Over the weekend, Google started kicking out Pirate Bay-related apps from the Google Play Store, citing “[violations] of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior provisions of the Content Policy.” This week, The Pirate Bay was knocked offline following a raid by Swedish police officers. This is obviously not the first time that The Pirate Bay has encountered rough seas, but users who rely on the site to download everything from network TV shows to a digital copy of Guardians of the Galaxy to pirated software... Read more...
It should be common sense by now that you shouldn’t text and drive. Currently, 44 states in the U. S. have banned the practice and now police may be able to enforce the government’s harsh stance on texting and driving with a radar gun that will be able to tell if a driver is texting or not. The radar gun-like device is being developed by a company based in Virginia called ComSonics. ComSonics calibration service manager, who spoke to The Virginian-Pilot, explained that the device will detect the distinct radio frequencies that will emanate from a vehicle as someone uses their smartphone.... Read more...
For a police officer, an injury can change your career. Get hurt, and you might not be able to complete the physically demanding tasks your job requires each day. Jeremy Robins, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, has figured out a way for disabled officers to bring their training and experience back to the job: telebots. As Robins sees it, a telebot, remotely controlled by a police officer, should be able to handle many duties the police officer used to be responsible for, such as writing tickets and patrolling neighborhoods. To get his idea off the ground, Robins secured a... Read more...
It is cool enough that the authorities can match DNA or fingerprints in national databases, but here is something just as cool. Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a set of algorithms and software that can automatically match police sketches to mug shots in law enforcement databases. MSU doctoral student Brendan Klare, who was one of the leaders of the research team, said, “We’re dealing with the worst of the worst here. Police sketch artists aren’t called in because someone stole a pack of gum. A lot of time is spent generating these facial sketches so it... Read more...
The word on the street is that anonymous tips can play a critical role in police solving crimes. Often the anonymous tips actually alert the police to the existence of crimes in the first place. But how do the cops get those tips? The days of paid informants like Huggy Bear meeting Starsky & Hutch in the back of dark alleys is over, and modern technology is shepherding in a whole new way to narc on your neighbors. The Associated Press (AP) recently reported on how police departments are now starting to rely on text messaging for tips. "Since the beginning of the year, cities such as Tampa,... Read more...
Federal financial aid is always an arm-twisting manuever used against colleges, and this is no different.  Colleges must, according to Congress, make more of an effort to police their students, or face the "music" (pun intended).New federal legislation says universities must agree to provide not just deterrents but also "alternatives" to peer-to-peer piracy, such as paying monthly subscription fees to the music industry for their students, on penalty of losing all financial aid for their students.The U.S. House of Representatives bill, which was introduced late Friday by top Democratic politicians,... Read more...
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