You know those lizards that spray blood from their eyes as a defense mechanism? This Dutch McDonald's is pretty much like that, only replace "blood" with "synthetic DNA visible under ultraviolet light."
After a burglary a few years back, a Rotterdam McDonald's (described as "rough-and-tumble" by the New York Times, which isn't really that surprising) installed a new security system that relies on a combination of dumb criminals, buzzwords, and advanced biochemical synthetics--a potent combination indeed. Created by two brothers (one a policeman and one a chemist), the mist is made of an odorless and colorless synthetic DNA that is in large part identical to human DNA.
DNA security isn't without precedent; the ability of DNA to carry an ultra-specific identification makes it a powerful tool to pick out specific crooks responsible for specific crimes. But in the case of a McDonald's, it's not so much about the spray's effectiveness (though it is effective) as the preventative power of the word "DNA."
According to both the McDonald's reps and the distributor of the spray, just the sight of "DNA" on an anti-burglar sign is often a strong preventative measure. Criminals, say these folks, readily make the connection between "DNA" and "getting caught for your crimes," even though in this case the DNA is no more or less effective than, say, ultraviolet ink. Says the distributor about DNA (which it also sells in grease form), "No one really knows what it is. No one really knows how it works." Hence the sign on the front door reading "You Steal, You're Marked" (though it's worth noting that a patron of the restaurant, when asked, said she did not notice said sign).
This McDonald's has a small orange box near the exit, which when triggered by an employee both sprays the culprit with synthetic DNA and alerts the local police. It hasn't been needed since its installation, although it has been accidentally triggered "many times," so perhaps the scare tactic is working.
I'm not sure how I feel about the prospect of being sprayed by hybrid-human DNA.
Of course I'm no crimminal, but as the article indicates the device has been "accidentally triggered many times."
Yes, yes, I know I'm overreacting and that it is most-probably harmless, but I still get that "ick" feeling as if someone just sneezed on me.
err, completely harmless. DNA is only an inactive molecule with a very specific arrangment. People sneezing on you releases pathogens that CAN have an effect. So your secondary fear is still warrented.
If you think of DNA as analogous to the software of a computer, it would be like throwing a thumb drive covered in sticky tack at a tower. There is zero way that the program could actually be run by the computer, but anyone coming by could grab the flashdrive, and read the file that says "this machine is guilty".
There is a similar system produced by Smartwater Technology Ltd in the UK.www.smartwater.com/home.aspx
A shot-gun would be more effective.
Reminds me of joke I heard:
“You’re walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, a dangerous looking man with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises the knife, and charges. You are carrying a Glock 22, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.”
What do you do?
Canadian Police Officers
Answer: (Immediate thought processes)
* Is the knife a ceremonial kirpan?
* Does he prefer to communicate in English or French?
* Will this negatively impact my chances of promotion?
* Is this just his way of telling me that he pays my wages, and wants my job?
* Would this be an appropriate time to hug him and sing Koombaya?
* Will the media do a profile of him and how he was loved by everyone including his dog?
* Is the alleged ‘client’ a member of the NDP or an Environmental Group?
* Is he just a squeegee kid / pan handler trying to make a living on the mean streets?
* Is he a member of a gang that is just ‘misunderstood’ by society?
* Is he an undercover Toronto Star reporter looking for a news breaker?
* Is he a recent illegal immigrant to this country, and just doesn’t know how to approach the police?
* Is he recently released on parole and hasn’t been properly integrated back into the community?
* Is he a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome, and just doesn’t understand what he is doing?
* Warn and Charter him as he approaches.
American Police Officers
Umm... wouldn't an umbrella render this device ineffective?
Not sure how that reminded you of a that Joke but how true it is....
How about using this with pepper spray.
Make the DNA solution in the pepper spray unique, and each pepper spray bottle has a barcode that matches to the DNA.
A person could register thier pepper spray, and if anyone is picked up with the same tag, it can be tracked back to the owner. Needs more refinement but just a thought.
I reminded me because of the American attitude towards guns..
Was very interested in this when I saw some online articles. After research I have found the Australians have a far superior system called DNA Guardian that has been used in 'stings' and then used to convict criminals. The DNA Guardian system can also wait and spray multiple offenders, sprays 5 times wider, sprays a finer mist so criminals don't notice it has been activated than the Selectadna or Smartwater systems. It also has the capacity to send SMS alerts and trigger camera's/alarms etc that the unit has been activated. x4 they have a personal spray and alarm that scrambles the brain while being activated!! Is it the isolation of Australia that makes them so advanced in some areas!!!