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Security cameras are getting smarter. Big Brother is quietly adding artificial intelligence that tracks “suspicious behavior” to cameras nationwide.
“It has led directly to arrests, already,” said Blake Sawyer, statewide director of security for the Texas Department of Public Safety. “It gets smarter the longer it’s there.”
The artificial intelligence component, a controversial form of video analysis known as behavior recognition, emerged from researchers at a Houston firm, BRS Labs. But use of the technology has spread well beyond the Lone Star State.
According to the estimate of the company’s president, John Frazzini, local government agencies have applied the software to about 100,000 cameras nationwide. Declining to name specific clients, he said they include transit providers or city governments in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and Washington, D.C. In Tampa, local officials confirmed, the police used behavior recognition software to monitor the Republican National Convention.
Are app developers violating children’s privacy rights?
More and more white-collar criminals are being banned from the Internet, even if their crimes didn’t occur online. And some critics say the punishment outweighs the crime.
While sex offenders have long had their web-browsing rights heavily restricted, now everyone from teenage hackers and wayward tech CEOs to people engaged in mail fraud have been given this new-fangled punishment, which means they cannot access a job forum — let alone check Facebook — without first asking a parole officer.
“What you’re doing is telling somebody, ‘I’m going to lock you into 1964, but you live in 2012,’” said Mark Schamel, a criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C. “All you’re doing is forcing people to violate probation to live their lives in the 21st century.”
Legal experts and First Amendment advocates say that in today’s Internet-centric age — when people file taxes, get directions and keep in touch online — the punishment outweighs the crime. Worse, they say, such restrictions make it more difficult to reintegrate into society.
“What judges are doing here on the Internet is like saying to a shoplifter, ‘Not only can you not go into that store, you also can’t go on the road, the highway, or even back out of your driveway,’” said Jeff Ifrah, an attorney who specializes in white-collar crime. “It’s really draconian and overbroad.”
Whoa. This new virtual battlefield simulator, which lets U.S. soldiers train and fight in a digital video-game-like world, looks like something straight out of science fiction.
Real-world body movements control digital avatars, allowing squads of soldiers to tackle virtual battle scenarios anywhere in the world. While pilots and tank drivers have been using virtual trainers for years, this is the first system in which soldiers wear the simulators themselves.
By next year, more than 30 bases will house a DSTS “suite,” but for now, only a handful are up and running. The Daily recently spent the day with members of the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, N.C., as they entered the virtual world for the first time.
The suite includes kits for up to nine soldiers including a head-mounted display, microphone and headphones, an imitation M4 carbine, a 15-pound computer backpack and sensors that strap to a soldier’s arms, legs and hands.
Remember these grandparents? The ones who accidentally recorded this hilarious video of themselves struggling to figure out their webcam? Bruce and Esther Huffman were viewed on YouTube more than 10 million times last year – and now they’re back.
See all four parts of the series here, where we introduce the adorable duo to Siri, FaceTime, Wii Bowling, and more.
Ah, 2012, the year we named people after popular electronics.
This year’s list of popular baby names is here! And Apple, Mac and Siri all moved up the list.
This 4.4 ton, 14-foot-tall weaponized mech warrior is a thing that you can actually buy now in Japan.
Equipped with a water-powered bottle-rocket launcher, and a “smile-activated” machine gun capable of firing 6,000 bb’s per minute, one can easily imagine the evolution of the Kurata into a fearsome military monstrosity.
With a top speed of 6 mph, the Kurata can either be piloted from inside its cockpit, or remotely — using a smartphone.
“The vehicle of everyone’s wildest dreams,” as the company boasts in a promotional video, can be ordered in one of 16 different exterior colors, and carries a not-so-humble price tag of $1.35 million.
Watch it in action here.
The webcam grandparents are back — this time tackling at-home fitness with Wii Bowling. Watch the cuteness ensue.