• Surveillance


    Your phone might be spying on you. The many cameras you pass every day can recognize your face. Facebook, despite its grudging concessions, still wants you to broadcast your personal life. "Eye in the sky" drones are already watching over borders; next, they'll patrol the Olympics. It won't be long before police drones are omnipresent in the skies over every major city, and then every town. Read More

  • Welcome To The Panopticon

    Welcome To The Panopticon

    And so it begins. Carnegie Mellon researchers recently combined Facebook profile pictures and PittPatt's facial recognition software to identify supposedly-anonymous pictures from a dating site. Now they're planning to demo a smartphone app that identifies faces by tapping into cloud-based image databases and recognition software. What's next? That's a question I've been thinking about for a… Read More

  • Review: Dropcam Echo

    Review: Dropcam Echo

    When I first wrote about Dropcam I was fairly excited. Why? Because I had been looking for a simple DVR/security system for my home so I could see if the FedEx guy was at the door. Dropcam appeared, disappeared, and then was launched a few months ago. In the interim I started using a Linksys wireless cam and Vitamin D and that has worked extremely well and then Logitech came out with their Alert… Read More

  • Vitamin D video surveillance system is out of beta, multiple camera versions cost $49/$199

    Vitamin D video surveillance system is out of beta, multiple camera versions cost $49/$199

    Vitamin D Video has officially gone out of beta and is now available in 1.0. The basic, single camera version of the software is available now for free while a two camera version costs $49 and unlimited cameras costs $199. The software watches a web-based camera - including many popular models from Linksys and D-Link - and records motion as it it happens, even alerting you when humans step into… Read More

  • Beta Test: AVC LiveLine IP Camera

    Beta Test: AVC LiveLine IP Camera

    Advanced Video Communications may have a winner on its hands with the internet-connected LiveLine video camera. Simple setup, a low $10-per-month access fee, and a fairly straightforward user experience make the LiveLine worth a closer look. Early beta testers got a free camera, which AVC claims to be a $299 value. And while the company has sold out of all its initial freebies, it’s… Read More

  • Olympus develops 360° lens and camera prototype

    Olympus develops 360° lens and camera prototype

    Today Olympus Japan announced [JP] the development of a 360° lens and camera prototype. The technology is a world first. The company started working on the prototype last year. The camera covers a vertical angle of 180° now, while the old version only covered 45°. A special kind of glass is used for the lens, which has a diameter of 3cm. The picture on the right shows a conference room shot… Read More

  • House renews FISA, approves telecom immunity

    House renews FISA, approves telecom immunity

    Y’all have probably heard of FISA, the part of the U.S. Code that deals with electronic surveillance and the like. We care here because good ol’ AT&T more or less bent over backwards for the federal government, letting the NSA eavesdrop on certain telephone calls. (Wikipedia has a tremendous amount of information on the subject.) Well guess what—the House of Representatives… Read More

  • Even the Swedes are being warrantlessly wiretapped

    Even the Swedes are being warrantlessly wiretapped

    Normally, when it comes to personal freedoms, civil liberties, copyright law and the like, Sweden has historically been the progressive vanguard. And their women are statuesque and beautiful (but have self-esteem problems, I hear). But I was saying: Sweden has an excellent record on these things in my recollection (and correct me if I’m wrong), but today they made a Bush-administration-esque… Read More

  • DARPA rides the terahertz wave

    DARPA rides the terahertz wave

    Oh, DARPA. Everything you touch turns to semi-gold. Really, though — DARPA is great because they throw money at practically every cool new technology and even if it doesn’t turn into a neat gun, the residual advances from studying it often yield other interesting technologies. These daysthey’re looking into terahertz waves, those knicker-viewers the Brits were into a few months… Read More

  • Butterfly in the sky, the L15 can fly twice as high

    Feast your eyes on the L15 Airship by Airship Surveillance Ltd. It’s meant for very high-altitude surveillance missions of up to “15,000 feet with payloads as great as 1000lbs, durations up to 50 hours and speeds of 60 knots.” It looks like a remote-controlled toy Zeppelin to me but I’d better watch what I say, lest one of these things be hovering over my apartment… Read More