After the Boston Marathon bombings, police in the city made a plea for people with cell phone video and pictures to turn over their footage, adding to the hours of surveillance video from nearby businesses. But what would normally take investigators hundreds of hours to review can now take minutes or even seconds, thanks to technology like facial recognition. The software, which can help pick a person out of crowd, looks for differentiating features -- from the shape of a mouth to the ridge on a nose to the distance between a pair of eyes.
The police are sometimes accused of linear thinking, especially when it comes to DUI checkpoints.
They set them up on Friday and Saturday nights. They redouble their efforts on New Year's Eve.
Perhaps the finest example would was one police force in the wine country of Northern California that decided to put a DUI checkpoint at the bottom of a winery's driveway. Yes, on barrel-tasting day.
The police now have a stronger enemy in the people -- the people who are using social media to warn others that this particular Friday or Saturday night has been selected for … Read more
I have never presented a pornographic show on television, but I imagine it's quite stressful.
The normal scrutiny afforded TV personalities is surely doubled when your show has carnality at its core.
It is, then, understandable why a 19-year-old adult TV presenter, Sophie Dalzell, was mortified on being told by a judge that she must wear an electronic tag on her ankle.… Read more
When a murder trial becomes a televisual happening, somehow the public aspects become almost as significant as the legal ones.
We're always told the jurors don't know what's happening in the media, but we wonder that they may have known more than they let on before being selected.
Then there are the defendants and the prosecutors. Each tries to gain some sort of sway in the public eye -- perhaps on a just-in-case basis.
There now, though, seems to be an usual twist in the trial that is currently capturing popular eyes -- that of Jodi Arias.… Read more
STANFORD, Calif.--Issac Asimov's famous laws of robotics say machines may never harm humans. In Matt Groening's "Futurama" universe that takes place a millennium later, however, robots have become a bit less literal-minded.
"The three laws of robotics are actually built into many of the robots," said Patric Verrone, co-executive producer of "Futurama." "Some of them just choose to ignore them."
Cell phones have that certain power to record events that are occurring in the public sphere.
Sometimes, though, those who wield power aren't so keen to be filmed when they are exercising their might.
Here, for example, is one police officer who seems to believe that the Samsung Galaxy is a weapon.
I hadn't been aware that a slight increase in gadget-size could send it into the same category as, say, a machete.
However, in this footage a member of the San Diego Police Department seems to take great objection to being filmed on a Galaxy while writing … Read more
I am bracing myself for a knee-jerk reaction here.
For this is the story of a man who is said to have taken multi-tasking to an entirely exalted level.
The scene, as painted by the Mobile County Sheriff's Office in Alabama, is that 19-year-old Dandre Moore drove a car while texting.
Actually, the police say he steered the car while texting with both hands.
So how did he steer the car? Well, police say that he used his knees and told them he'd been doing so since he was 15.
Those who were planning road trips in West Virginia were worried.
Especially those who were included in Google's list of eminent and lucky people who would be the explorers of Google's wonderful, breakthrough (and possibly insane) eyeglasses known as Google Glass.
Gary. G. Howell explained very cogently that he was not against the invention, but that he feared it would be just as distracting as texting. And … Read more
You thought it was all done bar the noisy debating. And even that was abating.
But not just yet.
After Shawn Moore posted a Facebook picture of his 11-year-old son, Josh, with a fetching .22 rifle, child-protection experts and police arrived.
Moore, of Carneys Point, N.J., was outraged. So was his lawyer. The police wanted to enter his house and examine the safe where he kept his guns. They wanted to know that his son would be safe.
The police, though, had no warrant.
Subsequently, the authorities explained that there was a heightened sensitivity, after the Newtown massacre.
New … Read more