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Surveillance made easy

August 25, 2008

Governments around the world are developing increasingly sophisticated electronic surveillance methods in a bid to identify terrorist cells or spot criminal activity.

German electronics company Siemens has gone a step further, developing a complete “surveillance in a box” system called the Intelligence Platform, pooling data from sources such as telephone calls, email and internet activity, bank transactions and insurance records. It then sorts through this mountain of information using… read more

Surveillance Nation

March 24, 2003

Webcams, tracking devices, and interlinked databases are leading to the elimination of unmonitored public space. Are we prepared for the consequences of the intelligence- gathering network we’re unintentionally building?

Surveillance Net Yields Few Suspects

February 6, 2006

To find clues to terrorists in its terabytes of speech, text, and image data, the NSA uses AI-enhanced link analysis of associated people, places, things and events.

It also relies on decomposing an audio signal to find qualities useful to pattern analysis, using acoustic engineering, behavioral psychology and computational linguistics, as well as clues to deceptive intent in the words and paralinguistic features of a conversation, such as pitch,… read more

Surveillance robot knows when to hide

March 22, 2011

Surveillance Robot

A surveillance robot that knows when to hide has been developed by Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories.

The robot avoids visible detection by sentries of known locations, potential detection by sentries whose positions are unknown, areas in which the robot has no means of escape, and areas that are well lit.

It builds a computer model of its surroundings and incorporates information on lines of sight. A laser… read more

Surveillance Software Knows What a Camera Sees

June 1, 2010

(Song-Chun Zhu/UCLA)

I2T (Image to Text), a prototype computer vision system that can generate a live text description of what’s happening in a feed from a surveillance camera, has been developed by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and ObjectVideo of Reston, VA.

It puts a series of computer vision algorithms into a system that takes images or video frames as input, and spits out summaries of what they… read more

Surveillance video becomes a tool for studying customer behavior

January 31, 2012

Prism Skylabs

The huge success of online shopping and advertising — led by giants like Amazon and Google — is in no small part thanks to software that logs when you visit Web pages and what you click on. Startup Prism Skylabs offers brick-and-mortar businesses the equivalent — anonymously counting, logging, and tracking people in a store, coffee shop, or gym with software that works with video from security cameras.… read more

Survey: U.S. residents addicted to e-mail

June 2, 2005

U.S. residents are so hooked on e-mail that some check for messages in the bathroom, in church and while driving, a new survey sponsored by America Online Inc. has found.

About a fourth of respondents acknowledged being so addicted to e-mail that they can’t go more than two or three days without checking for messages. That includes vacations, during which 60% of respondents admitted logging into their in-boxes.

Survival of the fittest theory: Darwinism’s limits

February 4, 2010

Darwinists say that evolution is explained by the selection of phenotypic traits (heritable biological properties) by environmental filters, but the effects of endogenous structure, such as gene regulatory networks, can wreak havoc with this theory.

So say cognitive scientists Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini in a new book, What Darwin Got Wrong.

“Pigs don’t have wings, but that’s not because winged pigs once lost out to wingless ones,”… read more

‘Survival protein’ protects the brain against effects of stroke

May 25, 2011

(Credit: iStockphoto)

A “survival protein” that protects the brain against the effects of stroke in rodent brain tissue has been discovered by scientists at Johns Hopkins University. The finding has implications for treating stroke as well as Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, and heart attack.

When brain tissue is subjected to a stressful but not lethal insult, a defense response occurs that protects cells from subsequent insult. The scientists dissected this preconditioning… read more

Surviving Immortality: Just getting to the Singularity is the hard part

August 20, 2007

“The real peril in [the Singularity] is that our social, cultural, and political technologies probably won’t keep pace, meaning we’ll have whole new ways to hurt ourselves and others along with the same old ways to keep ourselves from doing so,” opines PBS columnist Robert X. Cringely.

Susan Greenfield: living online is changing our brains

August 5, 2011

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield cited evidence that digital technology is having an impact on our brains:

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Suspected cause of type 1 diabetes observed

May 12, 2008

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis working with diabetic mice have found dendritic cells in the islets of Langerhans carrying insulin and fragments of insulin-producing cells known as beta cells, which could trigger an immune attack on beta cells.

“Now that we’ve isolated dendritic cells from the pancreas, we can look at why they get into the pancreas and determine which of the materials that… read more

Swarm Intelligence: An Interview with Eric Bonabeau

February 26, 2003

Dr. Eric Bonabeau takes us from his childhood nightmares of carnivorous wasps to applying the theories of swarm intelligence to solving real problems in the business world.

“It’s no longer possible to use traditional, centralized, hierarchical command and control techniques to deal with systems that have thousands or even millions of dynamically changing, communicating, heterogeneous entities,” he says. “I think that the type of solution swarm intelligence offers is… read more

Swarm Theory

July 6, 2007

The study of swarm intelligence is providing insights that can help humans manage complex systems, from truck routing to military robots.

Swarming robots could be our future servants

April 1, 2013

Swarming robots push object (credit: University of Sheffield)

Researchers in the Sheffield Centre for Robotics, jointly established by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, are programming a group of 40 robots.

The researchers have demonstrated that the swarm can carry out simple fetching and carrying tasks, by grouping around an object and working together to push it across a surface.

The robots can also group themselves together into a single… read more

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