With hackers, DIYers and the military using them for years, domestic police forces the world over are apparently itching to get some surveillance drones of their own. Now Australian authorities have discussed using drones alongside a new license plate recognition system, autonomously tracking vehicles of interest.
Social media can be problematic for professionals who don't want their bosses to see unflattering college party photos. But it’s even worse for people whose livelihood literally depends on anonymity, like undercover cops. What happens if the gang you’ve infiltrated finds your grinning mug in Facebook photos from the police union annual picnic?
Police in England will soon deploy 3-D laser scanners to the scene of car crashes, saving time and allowing wreckage to be cleared from roadways more quickly. The 3-D accident reconstruction will also be more accurate than human-generated reports.
A Utah man involved in a 16-hour standoff with police Friday night posted status updates about the ordeal on Facebook, sharing photos of himself with the woman police said he had taken hostage. He even got some help from his friends, who could now face charges of obstructing justice, according to the Associated Press.
One Facebook user warned Jason Valdez that a SWAT officer was hiding in the bushes outside the motel room where he was holed up with a hostage.
In Germany, the long arm of the law is taking to the wing. In an effort to sniff out hidden corpses more effectively, police there are training three vultures to act as detectives, hopefully to scan large, sometimes densely overgrown areas for the presence of dead bodies.
Weaving wool into Kevlar improves the energy and water absorption of the synthetic textile, potentially making bulletproof vests more comfortable and more affordable, according to researchers in Australia.
Tightly woven wool reduces the number of Kevlar layers required to stop a bullet from 36 to 30, and wool’s water-absorption qualities could make Kevlar more effective in wet situations.
Sometimes, you want Big Brother to be watching. In that spirit, South Korean officials are turning to GPS technology to keep their kids safe from criminals, AFP reports.
Starting in October, about 1,200 elementary school children in Anyang City, south of Seoul, will receive matchbox-sized GPS-embedded beepers. The devices can notify authorities of the kids' location and activate surveillance cameras.
Forget cops on the beat. Crime-fighting tech now involves gunshot detectors, video surveillance, a virtual "community patrol" system that allows people to report crimes via text messages, and trainable software sensors that can recognize violent behavior.
The burg of East Orange, N.J., once a haven for crack dealers and gangs, has seen a dramatic drop in crime rates because of its focus on technology, according to an AP story.
Law officers in Brockton, Mass., have a new tool for fighting crime: the iPhone. Using a new app armed with facial recognition software linked to a statewide database, cops can snap a picture of a suspect in the field and within seconds pull up that person's identity on the device.
It's the saving grace of every slow news day: you flip on the cable news networks during the mid-day reporting lull to find live video from news choppers tailing a perp as he tries to out-maneuver local law enforcement. But the privileged vantage point that allows you to see said perp ditch his ride and leap the fence behind an apartment complex is not shared by the cops on the ground.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.